Byron Bay has morphed into a thoroughly modern coastal town with sophisticated bars and restaurants. Here’s our list of where to eat and drink in and around town.
In the historic village of Newrybar, a 20-minute drive south-west of Byron Bay, Harvest – housed in a beautiful 1900s cottage with an open fireplace and bar – is a sophisticated café, bakery and deli that’s truly evocative of the Hinterland lifestyle. Open for lunch and dinner seven days, and serving breakfast on Saturdays and Sundays (breakfast is available from the deli on weekdays), Harvest sources many of its ingredients from the local farming community and the menu is heavily influenced by the produce of the season. Standout breakfast dishes include a ricotta and capiscum omelette; and fried egg with a salad of cress, radish and beetroot. Stroll around the organic garden to see where elements of your meal began.
One of the hippest spots in town, The Roadhouse sidesteps more obvious breakfast and brunch fare. Its dishes include mushrooms with a rocket and parmesan salad, and toastie packed with cheddar, pickles and kale. Come sundown, this is also an outstanding dinner venue and a great place to grab a killer cocktail or whisky.
St Elmo Dining Room & Bar
Serving up Spanish tapas and shared plates, St Elmo Dining Room & Bar is a great option for a group meal. Located in the heart of Byron, it has a European vibe with a long wooden bar up front that’s perfect for a pre-dinner cocktail. Flagship dishes include heirloom carrots with peanut salsa, patatas bravas and ceviche with a cucumber, coriander and citrus dressing. For dessert, try the warm dark chocolate pudding with poached cherries.
The Bolt Hole
The Bolt Hole superbly marries old-school, Prohibition-style hipster charm with bartenders of the calibre you’d expect to find in New York or Melbourne. There are genuinely unique cocktail creations like the Rye ’n’ Gosling (rye whiskey with a splash of freshly squeezed apple juice), along with classics such as the Old Fashioned.
Balcony Bar & Oyster Co.
Just a few metres back from Main Beach, with sweeping views from a wraparound balcony over Jonson and Lawson streets (Byron Bay’s central hub), Balcony Bar & Oyster Co. is an idyllic location to watch the passing people parade while sipping cocktails. It’s also famed for its beautiful, plump rock oysters, which pair perfectly with a classic martini or a margarita made from El Jimador tequila, agave nectar, Patrón Citrónge liqueur and lime.
Three Blue Ducks
Situated on a 34-hectare working farm in Ewingsdale (about 8.5 kilometres from Byron) – with a playground and farm animals to keep children entertained – Three Blue Ducks has a small menu that packs a big punch. Graze on share plates as a group or enjoy your own main course but be sure to order the local burrata with fennel salt or the King Island rib eye.
This piece was originally published in 2017 and has been updated.