Combining good food and travel is quite possibly a match made in heaven, which is why it might take you by surprise to discover you can enjoy both in Byron Bay.
The laidback beachside town in northern NSW has a surprisingly thriving and sophisticated food scene – everything from casual cafe dining to raw food bars, vegan cuisine and humble pub grub is on offer.
I’ve put together this guide for all the food-loving travellers out there. Here are my top picks of where to eat in Byron Bay:
With a popular cafe established in Melbourne, Combi has set up shop in Byron Bay and it makes a perfect addition to the local food scene. The open space offers comfortable and casual dining and the comprehensive menu means there are plenty of options to suit all tastebuds.
Renowned for their delicious smoothies, try the Coco Banana for a sweet yet refreshing hit. Those after a savoury breakfast or lunch option should not miss out on the avocado on toast. This is not your average avocado on toast – the avocado is tossed with feta, lemon and mint, and garnished with pumpkin seeds, cracked pepper, Himalayan salt and dukkah.
Combi: Shop 5b, 21 – 25 Fletchers St, Byron Bay.
Former Big Brother contestant Jemma Gawned is the owner and creator of Naked Treaties, a cafe that offers raw, organic, vegan, gluten free, diary free and sugar free food. The intention of the cafe is to offer delicious, healthy and exotic foods.
Expect to find a range of superfood smoothies, handmade nut milks, vitamin-rich salads and raw desserts on the menu. Sit outside in the cafe’s courtyard and enjoy a Life is Easy banana shake with a slice of tangy lemon and raspberry ‘cheesecake’.
Naked Treaties: 2/3 Marvell St, Byron Bay.
The Roadhouse has built a reputation for itself as one of Byron Bay’s leading restaurants for organic, locally sourced and wholesome food.
Open for breakfast and lunch, they offer organic coffee with almond milk, kombucha, cold pressed juices, and meals like paleo muesli, omelettes with a side of fermented veg and pulled pork burgers.
The Roadhouse: 6/142 Bangalow Rd, Byron Bay.
For authentic Mexican meals that can be enjoyed in a colourful and welcoming environment, get to Miss Margarita. Start by sharing the Chilli Con Carne nachos and move on to the melt-in-your-mouth pulled pork burrito which comes with a side of rice, black beans, tomato salsa, guacamole and sour cream. The restaurant is also renowned for their fine selection of cocktails – enjoy a refreshing lime mojito or, for the true taste of summer, opt for the coco pine martini.
Miss Margarita: 2 Jonson St, Byron Bay.
Treehouse on Belongil
Slightly outside central Byron Bay, but well worth the short drive, is Treehouse on Belongil which is famous for its traditional woodfired pizzas. But the dish that will warrant a return visit is the sticky date pudding with warm butter scotch sauce and surprising pieces of melted dark chocolate. It’s the sweet treat dreams are made of.
Treehouse on Belongil: 25 Childe St, Byron Bay.
Overlooking the ocean at Byron Bay’s Main Beach is friendly, open air pub Beach Hotel. The place is great for fuss-free, modern Australian meals with chicken parma, fish and chips, Caesar salad and a beef burger the stars on their menu. The slow cooked lamb for two is also divine and falls right off the bone – a must try!
Beach Hotel: 1 Bay St, Byron Bay.
This funky cafe situated at the top of a residential hill attracts locals and travellers alike and always seems busy. Go early or be prepared for a wait! Still, the vibe is very relaxed, and you’ll find people lounging on the grass outside as they sip on a coffee or enjoy a simple breakfast. For a light yet sweet start to the day, go for the Top Shop granola bowl – it’s been a bestseller on their menu for seven years. Otherwise the haloumi roll will satisfy those who prefer a savoury option.
Top Shop: 65 Carlyle St, Byron Bay.
Where is your favourite place to eat/drink in Byron Bay? Tell us in the comments section below.
Disclaimer: The writer travelled at their own expense.