Where to eat: Byron Bay CBD & Surrounds
My tops picks for where - and where not - to eat in Byron Bay! If you are like me and like to plan your holidays around the best places to eat then this is the post for you.
Earlier this year I revisited the one and only Byron Bay. This is a magical place where the smell of incense lingers in the air and where tanned, tattooed sea side hipster yogi's sip organic locally brewed coffee and chai lattes, no matter how hot it is.
If you have been to Byron, you know that while it is a wonderful place. it is also a very popular tourist destination. While there are some good eateries to be found in central Byron Bay there are also a lot of highly priced duds that take advantage of trusting tourists.
If you are not going on a retreat or heading to one of the wonderful day spa's that offer delicious plant-based organic foods, here is my little list of the best and worst places to eat in Byron Bay CBD and surrounds.
This unassuming little taqueria is tucked away in a little arcade just off the main drag, quite close to the horrid sushi train Kinoki, which I will get to shortly.
A chalkboard-sign reading "Taco's so good Donald Trump would build a wall around them" points to where you can find this little hole-in-the-wall, where local high schoolers and tourists alike can be seen digging in.
The taco shells are wonderfully authentic - having never been to Mexico I can only compare to La Tortillaria in Melbourne *drool* - and they have a bunch of tasty and fresh options.
My favourite was the Fish Taco, which had a generous amount of crispy battered white fish with slaw and charred corn. The pulled-pork with juicy pineapple was another winner - sweet and tender.
With two taco's for $12 special you can eat pretty well - they also have sides of charred corn, fries, chips and a selection of drinks. Definitely a better option than Guzman Y Gomez down the street.
Main St Burger
Across the road from the arcade you have Main St - which actually have pretty good burgers - brioche bun, pickle, slaw and all! I was pleasantly surprised at the sweet potato chips also - the best I have ever had by a long mile.
However, I have to say that the most appealing thing about Main St would be their happy hour from 5-7 weeknights which can get you a pint of tap beer - we chose local Stone and Wood - for $5.
One of the most well-known places to go for plant based - raw - organic - insert health buzz word here - type food and beverages - frequented by locals and tourists both.
Smoothies go for about $12 and are full of superfoods, nut milks, fruits and vegetables. They also have a range of acai breakfast bowls and raw sweet treats.
I liked this place because they use very good quality ingredients plus I could get a nice big iced matcha for $5 (TIP - get take away and you get more!) and everything tastes wonderfully fresh.
It is a pretty adorable shop - with the colourful beachy bunting and umbrellas.
Three Blue Ducks
I drooled the whole way through my meals at Three Blue Ducks. Well worth the short trip out of town and the money - everything was pretty much perfect.
We tried the raw mackeral with nori, puffed wild rice, cucumber, pickles and avocado - which was fresh, tender and melt-in-your mouth.
The pork belly - with carrots, kohlrabi and the best dukkha I have ever had was also pints of heavenly comfort food which went brilliantly with our pints of Stone and Wood.
Even the sourdough bread was amazing - freshly baked, elastic and soft.
It is a pretty casual and rustic setting with outdoor seating overlooking green pastures and views into the kitchen.
Housed at The Farm, a beautiful working farm with animals and produce as well as a retail store showcasing locally made products - from magazines to sauces to beauty products. It is also a lovely place to go walking after your meal and there are plenty of things to do with little (and big) kids.
nvironmentally friendly, plant-based conscious cafe on the edge of a caravan park. It's a hipster dream come to life. Beautiful warm wooden seating and benches with an old washing machine serving as a table for the record player - what more could you want?
Staff are super friendly and happily sing along to the playlist. Fresh and healthy plant-based meals can be eaten here, with various milks of almond, coconut and soy at no extra charge - yay!
20 minutes from Byron is beautiful Bangalow. With a big main street and gorgeous old buildings, this town is a great place to poke around. Many of the stores sell art, antiques, locally made jewelry and fashion. One of my favourite places was Poet, an adorable book shop selling tea, stationary and a carefully curated selection of books.
Woods, which is run by the same people from Folk, is in a rustic old warehouse type building surrounded by boutiques. It is like stepping into a boho magazine.
Their plant-based all day breakfasts and Dukes coffee are fantastic and creative - check out my soba noodle salad with spicy cashews and topped with elder flowers. So so good.
Just a short drive from Byron Bay CBD, closer to the far end of Tallows Beach you will find the Roadhouse. A super cool cafe/restaurant serving delicious seasonal foods with a menu that changes daily. The food here is super colourful and tasty - they use local seafood and produce with a great range of drinks - mushrooms lattes, cacao milk, coffee, wine, whisky, beer.
A great place for brunch after a morning swim!
Balcony Oyster Bar
Definitely full of tourists and accompanying tourist prices - it is a nice place to sit above the main street and do some people watching.
It is best at night when the lights are dimmed and the place is full of candles. Millions of cushions, plants and beach-side kitch items adorn the chairs, tables and walls. They usually have some easy listening live music and you can select form a range of modern Australian dishes.
Food Trucks & Markets
The many markets in Byron Bay always have an enviable selection of food trucks and food stalls selling anything from freshly baked bread to oysters.
Look out for the Italian baker, Niko. His flat breads fried in olive oil are a revelation. You can get some tasty burgers and egg and bacon rolls and Lebanese Lil also sell some crispy and delicious felafel wraps.
Places to Avoid!
Disappointing. Food was neither fresh nor flavoursome. Plus there were spring rolls on the sushi train.. I don't think I need to say more.
For a place that states it's commitment to using fresh veggies all over the walls of the restaurant, you don't get much! The meals are tasty enough however not as good as it should be for the price.
Just don't. Unless you want a tummy ache.
That's it! There were a bunch of other places I wasn't able to get to.
Have you got any places to recommend in Byron Bay and the surrounding hinterland? Coment below!