If variety is indeed the spice of life Byron Bay’s thriving café scene delivers the goods. The region has always been synonymous with farm fresh produce and a healthy lifestyle. However the past few years have seen a heightened focus on creating a premium dining scene. In fact you’d be hard pressed to NOT find a café gem here. Whether you’re sampling your way down the main street, chilling by the beach or venturing through the lush hinterland, our must-visit list of top eats is waiting to be ticked off!
Woods is a quaint little café with loads of charm and a bohemian luxe vibe. Nestled in the arts precinct of Bangalow (approx. 15 minutes west of Byron Bay) the café is conveniently adjacent to on-trend fashion stores, artisan studios, bespoke jewellers and a charming florist. Locals swing by here in the morning for their coffee fix and are always met by smiling effervescent staff. It is a small venue so when it’s busy you may wait a short while for a spot in the sun or a perch at the bar. Which is no problem when you can wander about the precinct and maybe find yourself a token Bangalow memento. Breakfast standout dishes include but are not limited to; avocado on organic sourdough with dukkha and ‘Summer Eggs’ poached on rustic sourdough with organic smashed peas, greens, fresh herbs and pickled fennel. Enjoy!
Combi is, was and has always been at the forefront of the ‘super bowl’ revolution. Their price point is very reasonable and pretty much anything you order makes for an eye catching Instagram story. A stalwart breakfast menu item such as the organic acai bowl loaded with berries, pistachios and coconut flakes guarantees you a nutritious start to the day. Lunch is deftly enticing with a healthy array of raw dishes. Excellent examples include the raw Zucchini Spaghetti and my favourite the Organic Raw Pad Thai – fresh ribbons of carrot and zucchini, beansprouts, coriander and a homemade spiced peanut and ginger sauce. Bring it on.
Creators of food and elixirs to thrive is their tagline and it’s true. A meal here is a quintessential Byron experience. The menu changes frequently and appeals to all appetites. Think vegetarian lunch platters, free range mushroom omelettes, organic chicken pho soup and a host of decadent desserts. Come evening, sharing a cheese platter whilst flirting with their diverse range of Whisky blends is a real treat.
Harvest is at the top end of the dining game. The atmosphere is welcoming and the staff are incredibly knowledgeable with a professional yet friendly manner. Now the food, gosh the food. A huge emphasis is placed on ethical and sustainable produce. There’s an impressive edible garden on-site plus a delectable bakery and ever popular deli. Do yourself a favour and go all out with a multi course meal and matching wines. It’s always a memorable experience to visit Harvest. Unrivalled in its quality cuisine choices.
A trip to Byron Bay is not complete until you have called in to the somewhat hypnotic Bay Leaf Cafe. Staff here are super friendly and ooze charisma. There’s impressive art pieces adorning the walls too. Menu options will satisfy anybody, no matter what your preference, from carnivore through to vegetarian fare, they have you covered. It’s an awesome people watching place whether you’re seated inside or out. It’s an iconic Byron Bay café well worth your time. Note: opens from 6:30am for those that require an early coffee fix.
This hugely popular café/restaurant is part of The Farm. Essentially it’s an operational farm complete with animals, on-site workshops and sprawling produce gardens. If you happen to venture to Three Blue Ducks do make time to explore your surroundings. The always changing menu includes vibrant salads, fresh fish dishes and heavier meat options during the colder months. A terrific place to take a group of friends and settle in to enjoy the finest of food amid stunning green scape vistas. Note: this is child friendly venue complete with an epic adventure playground.
Okay this place is Byron’s BEST source of vegan and raw food. Naked Treaties main focus is the promotion of wellness for the mind and body via highly nutritional foods. Their ‘Raw Bar’ offers a diverse menu of drinks and elixirs including slow pressed juice, superfood smoothies, nut milk shakes, kombucha and cold pressed coffee. Lunch favourites include raw nachos, sautéed greens/tempeh bowls and their signature Raw BLAT- coconut bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato and almond mayonnaise. There’s also an array of yummy takeaway options. Hint; the rainbow salad wrap is the ideal post-surf belly pleaser.
Relatively new on the local dining scene The Mez Club has fast made its mark in Byron’s café culture. Think perfectly executed cocktails accompanied by mouth-watering tapas. The vibe here is properly buzzing. The space exudes European style. Long tables laid out to encourage shared dining and a scattering of private alcoves for a more intimate experience. Happy hour is from 4-6pm, so be sure to put The Mez Club on your to-do sunset drinks list when visiting the shire.
Eggs any which way you like, coffee strong, cool tunes and cheery staff. What’s not to like? Dip Café never fails to deliver in all of the above. Breakfast and lunch both offer a very extensive menu chock full of flavours to match your food mood. An open plan kitchen adds to the cafe’s trendy energy that seems to always attract a variety of clientele. The eggs benedict is officially (because I said so) the best in the bay. If the saying goes ‘eat where the locals eat’ than Dip Café is it. Highlight; Top position nearby a selection of fashion boutiques, bookstores and surf shops.
At the top of town is where you’ll find the world famous Fresh Cafe. Stroll across the road after a refreshing swim at Main Beach, find yourself a table here and we promise you will find yourself an unparalleled slice of foodie heaven. It’s a terrific vantage point for people watching and features live music daily from 4-9pm. Without exaggeration the food here is amazing! Fresh Cafe is effectively a Byron Bay institution, operational for 20 + years. No easy feat but one they have effortlessly managed to achieve by remaining at the top of the modern food game. Must try dish; Tasmanian Salmon Fillet served with sweet potato, kale and cashew cream salad, broccolini and a zesty salsa verse. The aforementioned pairs well with a local craft beer and/or a glass of New Zealand’s finest Golden Goose sauvignon blanc.
Location, location, location. This enigmatic café sits upon prime beachfront real estate at Clarkes Beach. The view over the bay is breathtaking and it’s not unfamiliar to see whales and dolphins playing just offshore. Beach Byron Bay is a classy establishment that still manages to convey a relaxed atmosphere. The menu is contemporary in fare and it’s clear the head chef is passionate about delivering quality produce. Presentation is impeccable and essentially a food bloggers dream. The token ‘Fish of the day’ doesn’t come any fresher than here at Beach Byron Bay. After dark the café turns into a destination restaurant hence bookings are a must.
Address: 3/6 Albert St, Federal.
Opening Hours: 7:30am – 2:30pm. 7 days.
Contact: +61 0266884711
A little off the beaten track and into the ethereal Byron Bay hinterland is where you will find the highly regarded Japanese café Doma. Everybody knows that the Japanese pay extraordinary attention to detail and its evident in every meal here. Doma’s team of chefs are super inspiring and create a little magic in every mouthful. Servings are generous and the prices are fair considering the high quality of ingredients. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are all available too. Heralded as the best Japanese/Western fusion food around sees weekends at Doma get pretty busy so if you prefer a more quiet meal then mid-week dining may be preferable. Do try the Tataki Beef, Miso Eggplant Salad and the Katsu Chicken Burger. Overall it’s a wonderful café, in a lovely forest like location that we guarantee you will love!
The Belongil is situated alongside its namesake’s beach, just a stone’s throw from the central Byron hub. It’s a lovely place to dine amongst the trees and enjoy a sea breeze. A breakfast stand out dish is the ‘Haloumi & Asparagus’ – grilled asparagus, raw spinach, haloumi, poached eggs on sourdough completed with a zesty lemon dressing. Super satisfying! The barista’s here weave caffeine magic courtesy of Campos coffee. For lunch, do try the Mexican style chicken burritos. An explosion of exotic flavour that matches well with a glass of Spanish sparkling. Hola!
Address: Shop 12A, Clifford St, Suffolk Park. (Suffolk shopping centre precinct).
Opening Hours: 6:30am – 2pm
Effectively the new kid on the block in the bay area, Tully’s has quickly become the go-to hub for the local tribe and visitors alike. Breakfast is a decadent affair delivered with a degree of simplicity. The lunch selection offers key dishes to suit the most discerning of diners. Bonus points – the overall café vibe is vibrant and the burgers here are a masterpiece! The coffee is consistently on point too and locally sourced via Moonshine Coffee Roasters.
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This Australia travel guide has been co-written by Roxanne Williams from @luxesurfstyle.