Byron Bay is known for its variety of cafes, breweries and restaurants. Many of the eateries in town focus on organic dishes made with local and seasonal produce. From the farm setting of Three Blue Ducks, to the fine dining at Rae’s on Wategos, here are the best restaurants in the Byron Bay area.
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, when 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 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.
Bar, Brasserie, Restaurant, Mexican, American, Vegetarian, $$$
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.
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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. But 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 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, their salumi comes from Salumi Australia and 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 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.
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.
The Byron at Byron is an exclusive resort and spa. Fortunately, everyone can enjoy a bite at the onsite restaurant. There’s a daily happy hour from May to September, and seasonal menus throughout the year. There’s definitely a focus on local produce at the restaurant as well, which is taken to another level on Thursdays. People can accompany head chef, Gavin Hughes when he visits the Byron Farmers’ Market. They can then eat what he purchases at Thursday’s set menu market dinner.
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 an 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.