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For reasons that are entirely understandable, Byron Bay has evolved from its former mantle as spiritual home to Australia’s hippie community and is now an internationally name-checked holiday haunt for a generous mix of archetypes. Alongside keen surf hipsters there for the waves, holidaying families there for the leisurely cadence, and the annual pilgrimage of Splendour In The Grass and Blues Fest goers, there’s a strong magnetism toward Byron and its lush surrounding hinterlands as one of the most promising scenes for foodies along the East coast.
Whatever your mood, when it comes to eating in Byron Bay we’ve got you covered with our list below.
Best for… a really fresh feed
If you’re looking for a fresh (read: farm to table) feed to cure what ails you, head to The Farm: an 86-acre lush space which serves as an organic produce market, a home to an array of livestock and local fare, and the Byron basecamp for Bronte’s famed Three Blue Ducks restaurant.
Best for… Italian fare with a view
Flanking Byron’s iconic Main Beach, Italian at the Pacific whips up some of the region’s finest fresh Italo cuisine. Try a boneless beef short rib paired with a glass of Amarone while you soak up the sea mist.
3. Top Shop
Best for… enabling the caffeine dependent
The best coffee in Byron can be found at Top Shop courtesy of their long-running partnership with Sydney’s cult bean providers Single Origin). Not feeling a flat white? Opt instead for the house-made cold pressed juices and reliably yummy (and, for the most part, very healthy) breakfast fare.
Best for… lunch with a local vibe
It’s not exactly Byron, but it’s worth the 20-minute drive to Newrybar’s delicious mainstay, featuring a deli, bakery, cafe, restaurant and a sprawling backyard veggie patch all rolled into one diverse food experience.
Best for… morning mimosas with beachfront views
When it comes to serene breakfast vistas it’s hard to compete with this Byron Bay luminary, perched atop the dunes overlooking Julian Rocks. The menu is a showcase of seasonal produce sourced through top local providers and the breakfast menu comes complete with an 8-strong cocktail list. Campari and fresh-squeezed orange juice, anyone?
Best for… sunset schooners
Arguably one of the best beer gardens in Australia, this supremely laidback corner pub overlooking Byron’s Main Beach does a killer seafood tray (don’t forget to buy raffle tickets from the salty-haired reps of the local Surf Life Saving Club) and ice-cold beers on tap. One of the all-time spots for a sundowner.
7. Bay Kebabs
Best for… post-pub feeding frenzy
Don’t scoff. This haven boasts some of the best kebabs on the planet. They might be a parsley sprig more pricey than your usual late night shame den, but these pita-wrapped flavour bombs are busting with fresh produce.
Best for… beautiful fresh food served with a smile
A conscientious food spot where the best locally sourced and sustainably farmed produce collides with Byron Bay’s friendliest hospitality. Smiling staff delivers top-notch coffee and chai by day, refreshing organic cocktails by night, and a menu crammed with foodie gold (e.g. a fish burger comprised of sesame crumbed snapper fillet, miso and black bean Mayo, coriander and chilli slaw on an organic panini with picked ginger and chilli jam).
Best for… fish and chip heaven
Dine in at the hole-in-the-wall alley café only if you absolutely must. The best way to go is order your takeaway and stroll the 50-odd metres to Byron’s Main Beach to enjoy it fresh out of the cardboard containers. The fish and chips are categorically unimpeachable – but don’t deny yourself a few freshly shucked Pacific oysters for a well deserved extra indulgence.
10. 100 Mile Table
Best for… Instagram-ready gourmet goodies
The fantastic food – all inspired by the region’s prolific local produce – looks as good as it tastes, with dishes that pop with colour and plating worthy of a MasterChef challenge. 100 Mile Table (that also specialises in catering) is a worthy new addition to the Byron food scene.