Boho beach town Byron Bay has long been a hipster hotspot. Now the laid-back coastal cool town is trading its hippie heritage for some stylish new hotels, bars and restaurants.
Byron Bay has long since been a haven for relaxation and beach time, with visitors arriving in flocks to soak up the atmosphere of this idyllic Aussie paradise. In recent years, the Byron landscape has begun to change and now you’ll also find some of the best dining options in the country. What we’ve found is that the truly great ones are actually out of town and hidden in backstreets.
Here’s how to navigate the food offering of this it-destination in style…
Relax and roll out of bed late ’cause Byron is the kind of place where breakfast runs all day. Byron institution Bayleaf Cafe is no exception, serving all-day breakfast and healthy eats including the green bowl with kale, buckwheat and poached eggs. It’s earthy and rustic, essentially it’s Byron Bay on a plate.
New kid on the block Barrio, in dining and shopping precinct Habitat, demonstrates simplicity at its best. With just four items on the breakfast menu, Barrio takes the hardship out of decision-making and the simple silverbeet open omelette with harissa is pure perfection. Try Safya for unique Egyptian inspired-food with a modern twist; its corn fritters are an absolute standout. Or head to Folk for a nourishing, plant-based breakfast served on old-school ceramic kitchenware and other retro touches.
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Eat where the locals eat at the super casual hilltop cafe Top Shop in the back streets of Byron. Look for the corner cottage with people spilling out to the street and chilling on the grass in the sunshine. Try a green smoothie, local avos on sourdough or an epic burger.
Three Blue Ducks at The Farm should sit at the top of your Byron eating itinerary. Think rustic, honest fare overlooking the idyllic 30-hectare farm, this paddock-to-plate restaurant is the place to be seen. Missed out on a table? Grab some buttery pastry goodness from the Bread Social and chow down at the artisan bakehouse’s communal tables. And hidden away in the industrial backstreets of Byron you’ll find 100 Mile Table delivering an ever-changing menu of seasonal produce to locals and travellers in an eclectic setting.
Local favourite the Roadhouse on the outskirts of town is now open for dinner and it takes on a whole different vibe by night. While daytime it’s all healthy eats and nourishing goodness, when night falls ‘the Roady’ takes on a speakeasy, clandestine vibe serving wood-fired pizzas and negronis in a moodily lit back room, where it’s strictly a cash-only situation.
If you’re after some more sophisticated dining, or in town for a special occasion, try the Italian Byron Bay for contemporary Italian cuisine like rich slow-cooked lamb lasagne and an extensive wine list including a strong selection of Italian varietals. Nearby neighbour Miss Margarita blends beachy vibes with the colour and energy of a Mexican cantina. It’s a great spot to refuel before bar-hopping Byron style.
Bar hopping is mandatory for your Byron mini-break. Check out the local gig guide for what’s on at Byron’s most iconic pub the Beach Hotel for live music, casual atmosphere and beachfront beers. A favourite wine bar is just a stroll away at St. Elmo Dining Room & Bar. Head here for tunes, tapas and wines from the 100-strong global wine list.
Next up, the Mez Club serves sexy cocktails with a twist like its signature Turkish Princess using locally produced Turkish delight liquor. The Mediterranean-style bar is all white-washed walls, stylish interiors and good times with late-night happy hour and cocktail specials available after 9pm. No bookings needed so just cruise on in, Byron style.
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Elements of Byron has raised the bar for luxury accommodation in Byron Bay with the addition of an adults-only pool complete with a swim-up tequila bar and taco truck; you won’t want to leave. If you’re looking for luxe for less, try the completely dreamy and Instagrammable Atlantic Byron Bay, a palm tree-fringed compound located in the heart of Byron Bay.
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