Want to know where to eat when you visit Byron Bay? The area of Byron Bay and surrounds has come far from its reputation as a hippy enclave. Chefs today make use of fabulous North Coast produce and the local taste for healthy and fresh food. Here are 11 great eateries and shops to keep up your sleeve when you visit Byron Bay (in no particular order)!
The Farm and Three Blue Ducks, Byron Bay
The Farm and Three Blue Ducks is an example of two synergistic businesses. The Farm's produce is used in the Three Blue Ducks restaurant. Menu items are fresh and full of flavour and goodness: there are superb oyster, raw fish salads with spice and enormous plates of porchetta - these are country sized serves.
Before or after your meal visitors are welcome to wander up to the paddocks to take a look at the animals - the Scottish Highland cattle are a real treat (not to mention photogenic). A tip: on weekends, try to eat earlier than 1pm or you may find yourself in a queue waiting for a table. If you do find yourself waiting, there's a farm shop to browse in.
Stone & Wood, Byron Bay
Byron's local brewery located in an industrial area of Byron has twice daily tours from Tuesday to Saturday. Here people can do a beer tasting of 5 beers, have a tour of the brewery and take home their favourite schooner in their 45 minute tour. All for $10 a person. Even designated drivers are looked after with a locally sourced coffee or even sometimes a kombucha-this is Byron after all! Tip: book ahead for tours especially on weekends as there are limited numbers.
Naked Treaties, Byron Bay
Just follow the queue! There always seems to be a long line of people at Naked Treaties. Most people order a smoothie from a range that is designed to suit every mood. Feeling "I Am Magnificent"? They have a concoction for that that involves coconut, raspberry, lime, dates, greens and almond milk. Or something as simple as an, "I'm In the Flow" is a delicious mix of coconut meat and water blended with your favourite fruit (mango is fantastic). Tip: don't go if you're in a hurry, they do take their time here as each is made to order so relax and go with the flow :)
Byron Beach Cafe, Byron Bay
The view from the cafe
The whole point of Byron Bay is the beaches no? Well if you talk to my husband who was a keen surfer when he lived in the North Coast it's one of the biggest draws. Even if you aren't a surfer, you can enjoy breakfast with the sound of waves crashing nearby.
During summer it is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner and breakfast may include Aussie classics like Avocado on Toast or something a bit more elaborate like Atlantic salmon fillet with hash brown and a Byron twist of a mango and quinoa salad.
Fundies, The Source and Santos, Byron Bay
There is no shortage of health food stores in Byron Bay and on the main street of Jonson Street there are three within easy walking distance of each other. Fundies pulls fresh kombucha and it is absolutely delicious - there are a couple of types on offer and the pear and ginger is refreshing. The Source is a chain of scoopaways and Santos was where Mr NQN's family used to buy groceries. These three stores all allow you to buy produce by the weight so grab a paper bag, write down the code and scoop away for home snacking and self catering supplies.
St Elmo, Byron Bay
A "Bikini" of a different kind...
Hands up who remembers the movie? I promise it wasn't the only reason why we ate here. Let me give you a few reasons: 1. Choricito Con Panceta de Cerdo or baby chorizo with slow cooked pork belly cubes. 2. A Bikini sandwich or a Catalan style fried sandwich with jamon, Byron Bay mozzarella with truffle aioli and tomato or 3. Pudin de limon or lemon pudding.
Harvest Cafe, Newrybar
About 15 minutes' drive from Byron Bay town is a town called Newrybar. This gorgeous little town has Harvest, one of the best places to spend a long afternoon at. Don't be fooled by the name, it may be called a cafe but it's really more a restaurant. The weatherboard house definitely country charm in spades but the food would be at home in any fast moving city with their techniques and ingredients led by chef Bret Cameron. On the menu are items such as "Charred leek / prawns / buttermilk / rye crumb" (divine) or "Roast Bone Marrow / harissa / sourdough". It is absolutely worth the short drive. Oh and there's a cute little pantry store adjacent to the restaurant to find supplies for cooking with its own meat and cheese rooms.
Newrybar Merchants, Newrybar
Just across the road from Harvest is an antique store as well as a collective of artisans and shops. Most things are beautifully merchandised and curated and in some cases hand made. Prices reflect this but it's worth popping into.
Paper Daisy, Cabarita Beach
About 45 minutes' drive from Byron Bay is the much lauded Halcyon House hotel, a new and very stylish hotel development. Their restaurant Paper Daisy is also a beauty, both physically from the English upholstery wallpaper to the food on the plate. On the menu at our time of visit were: Smoked albacore with agnolotti and egg yolk vinegar and their signature dish, Paper bark grilled fish with onions, seaweed and braised kernels. And the salad?
Smoked albacore with agnolotti and egg yolk vinegar
It's a must order of Radicchio with orange, fennel and walnuts-so good that I was inspired to make a version for Christmas dinner just so I could eat it again.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have any Byron Bay recommendations? Have you ever been? And what did you think of it? Did you try any of these places?
NQN and Mr NQN travelled to the North Coast as a guest of Destination NSW but this did not influence the content of this post and all opinions remain her own.
11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale NSW 2481
Phone:(02) 6685 5008
Three Blue Ducks opening hours:
Monday-Thursday: 7am to 4pm
Friday-Sunday: 7am to 10pm
Stone & Wood
4 Boronia Pl, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Phone:(02) 6685 5173
2/3 Marvell St, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Phone:(02) 6685 7856
Byron Beach Cafe
Lawson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Phone:1300 583 766
61 Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Phone:(02) 6685 6429
Shop 1, 107 Jonson Street, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Phone:(02) 6680 8916
105 Jonson St, Byron Bay, NSW
Phone: (02) 6685 7071
22 Fletcher St, Byron Bay NSW 2481
Phone:(02) 6680 7426
18-20 Old Pacific Hwy, Newrybar NSW 2479
Phone:(02) 6687 2644
21 Cypress Cres, Cabarita Beach NSW 2488
Phone:(02) 6676 1444