Eat & Drink
Byron is home to a host of ambitious new eating and drinking experiences. Kombucha is a household word now and the market for the organic, the biodynamic, the hand-woven and the unsprayed is what Byron has always been known for. The dining has never been better here in the Bay. There is no shortage of fabulous eateries right in the heart of town for every budget and taste. Some of them, like Folk, 100 Mile Table and the various eating options at The Farm, are just out of town. There are also some fabulous options in the small towns around Byron, such as Bangalow, Harvest at Newrybar, Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby (each about a 20-minute drive from central Byron). Surf’s up, food fans – let’s get into it.
FOLK BYRON BAY
The popular Folk Byron Bay may be located on the outskirts of town, but it’s always filled with tourists and road-trippers alike. Folk’s menu focuses on organic, ethical and plant-based meals. This means all dishes are vegetarian, but not all are vegan. The clipboard menu changes each season, and there are usually up to 10 dishes to choose from. Guests will love Folk’s white weatherboard exterior and plant obsession inside. A favourite local dish is the zesty avocado toast.
THREE BLUE DUCKS
Three Blue Ducks is a restaurant and produce store, and the sister cafe to the award-winning Three Blue Ducks in Sydney’s Bronte suburb. It’s located on The Farm, which is an 80-acre working biological farm that’s 100% spray and chemical free. Three Blue Ducks creates dishes that are bursting with flavour from local produce, which is either grown onsite or sourced from regional producers. Along with its produce store, visitors can also purchase picnic baskets from the Three Blue Ducks, to enjoy in one of The Farm’s many picnic spots.
Miss Margarita was opened in December 2012 by Byron locals, Emma and Greg Thomson. The colourful cantina effortlessly blends Mexican fare with the laid-back vibe Byron is known for. With happy hour beginning at 5pm, be there early to secure a seat at this popular venue. Miss Margarita’s menu features the best Mexican bites, including nachos, burritos, tacos and quesadillas. The drink menu includes a large selection of margaritas and cocktails, as well as Mexican spirit tasting flights.
BEACH BYRON BAY
For breathtaking views overlooking Julian Rocks, Clarkes Beach and The Pass, visitors must check out Beach Byron Bay. The dining menu focuses on local ingredients and coastal flavours, such as grilled king prawns with lemon and chilli salsa; Byron Bay mozzarella ravioli with raw tomato and curry leaves; and Moreton Bay bugs, mussels, clams and Sardinian fregola. Its drink menu shouldn’t be overlooked either, as Gourmet Traveller Wine awarded Beach Byron Bay the 2017 Australian Wine List of the Year.
IL BUCO CAFE & PIZZERIA
Il Buco is the place to visit for authentic Italian pizza and desserts in Byron Bay. The Il Buco team loves to support local farmers and businesses, which is highlighted on their website. They list that Bangalow Sweet Pork supplies their ham, while their salumi comes from Salumi Australia. Fruit and vegetables are primarily sourced from local farmers’ markets. The pizza menu is extensive, while the entrees include some Italian favourites. Guests can eat in, takeaway and BYO drinks.
RAE’S ON WATEGOES
Rae’s on Wategos is “an exclusive boutique retreat in an idyllic beachfront setting.” Its onsite restaurant is all about fine dining and the finest produce, which is expertly cooked and styled by head chef, Guy Skinner and his team. The menu includes six sections: to start, oysters, raw, sea, land and veg. Bookings are essential at the restaurant, so secure a seat today in the al fresco dining area, which overlooks beautiful Wategos Beach.
FEDERAL DOMA CAFE
Located in the Byron Bay Hinterland town of Federal, Doma Cafe is worth the drive. Opening in 2012, it’s owned by two Japanese chefs, Takayuki Kuramoto and Takashi Yaguchi. The pair met while working together at a Byron Bay sushi restaurant. Their menu features sushi rolls (to go or eat in), burgers with international flavours, creative salads, and Japanese-influenced breakfast items. Federal Doma Cafe is a must-visit for people exploring the Byron Bay area.
Bayleaf Cafe is the top choice cafe in Byron Bay according to Lonely Planet. It’s also highly rated on TripAdvisor, which means there’s always a constant stream of locals and tourists visiting the cafe. What can people expect from the breakfast and lunch menu at Bayleaf Cafe? Seasonal dishes like coconut quinoa porridge; ocean trout, kale and wakame salad; mushroom toast; falafel and eggs; and dukkah poached eggs.
For a unique dining experience, head 15 minutes north of Byron Bay to Brunswick Heads. Fleet Restaurant has a small dining room that only accommodates 14 guests at one time, so online bookings are highly recommended. The menu changes daily, depending on what seasonal produce is available. It features small dishes, which each have a focus on a few primary ingredients. There’s also a degustation-style menu available, which consists of eight different dishes.
Byron is known for its eclectic mix of unique designers and stores. A melting pot of bohemian free spirit inspires designers in a way not seen outside of Byron. There are, of course, the high street brands on Johnson and Lawson Streets, but hidden away in and around Byron are some of the most creative stores and designers…get the wallet ready.
Both the Byron Bay and Bangalow outposts of Island Luxe are worth a visit, even if the price tags give you heart palpitations (it’s ‘luxe’ for a reason). From the couches (all-leather ones run into the 10s of thousands) to the one-of-a-kind leather goods handmade in Greece, this homeware/fashion/accessory/gift shop is what interior dreams are made of. Even if you can’t go home with a piece of furniture, there are plenty of smaller items that will fit into your suitcase (and your budget). Step outside into the patio area of the Bangalow store for a wood-and-white wonderland.
HENDRIX AND HARLOW
Another boutique fusing interiors and fashion, Hendrix and Harlow is a bohemian haven of woven hammocks, vintage Moroccan wedding blankets and sisal baskets. The rustic wooden furniture can be handmade to order and shipped anywhere.
OUR CORNER STORE
Your banal everyday necessities just got a whole lot nicer. Our Corner Store in Bangalow offers the best possible versions of your daily products from wardrobe basics and grooming products to vintage baseballs and twine. Test your self-control and try not to make a purchase. On second thought, just give in – at least whatever you buy will be useful.
Across the road from Our Corner Store is the Bangalow Pharmacy – but be warned, this is no ordinary pharmacy. This Parisian-looking pharmacy has the most charming display of too-pretty-to-use products, from hard-to-find French perfumes to chic toothbrushes (we didn’t know a toothbrush could be chic either). And yes, they can still fulfil your prescription.
HOPE & MAY
Selling clothing and interiors together must be a thing in Byron Bay – and we’re not complaining. Hope & May totally sells us on the dreamy beach house lifestyle. From poolside throw-overs to bed linens, we’d happily snap up all the bohemian glamour this place offers. (If only the weatherboard cottage came with it too.)
You may already know Spell from Instagram, or from their famous clientele (everyone from bloggers to Miley Cyrus), however, you haven’t been immersed until you’ve been surrounded by racks and racks of their 60s-boho-hippie-dippie-festival(ish) clothing that fits the Byron aesthetic perfectly.