Although I felt geriatric in Byron, it was a love affair never the less. First thoughts in Byron: how is everyone so stunning… and thin!? I very quickly realised I didn’t belong to the barefooted beauty of Byron. An ASAP spray tan helped me on my way but my growing pregnant shadow and inability to grow my hair past my shoulders ensured I remained very much an outsider. But image shimage. Mate, I’m all about being a local when it matters. Eating. I tried the hustling touro spots along the high streets but the food snob in me came out in spades (“Authentic Mexican Cuisine” should not involve sour cream or an overdose of melted cheddar cheese. Fact. Acai and peanut butter do not go together. Fact.) Sooooo here you have it. A very handpicked and sickly full stomach later… my list of favs in Byron:
Folk Byron Bay
Normally I’m not one for nourish bowls, but normally I don’t eat them in Byron. It’s likely Folk has come up on your Instagram feed from some super hot paid Instagrammer and I can assure you it’s genuinely as amazing as it looks in the photos. By the time my food arrived it’s likely I had taken 100 photos on my iPhone and decided I didn’t care what the locals thought of me. I preganant therefore I get away with shit. What can I say, it’s a bonus to the bump. Then I had the food. Holy shit. Seriously seriously delicious that even the rice concoction had me chatting to the Chef. My tip: go early on in your stay so you have time to go back. Woods Bangalow is run and owned the same team.
It was a good (food) sign that I was the youngest in the restaurant and that we required a booking. About 15 minutes out of town is the freakin cutest place on earth, Newrybar (and yes, we had lots of fun pronouncing that in the car ride there). The name lends itself to the menu as this is fresh, seasonal, untampered, harvested produce at it’s finest. Well worth the $30 main meal price tag with a gorgeous Australiana interior and service so nice, you kind of want to be there friend. PSA: pop across the road to die in homeware heaven at Newrybar Merchants.
The Farm Byron Bay
Think of The Farm like a combination of The Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney or Meletos in the Yarra Valley. Throw in the Three Blue Ducks in Bronte, a brewery, a bakery, a florist and a giant farm and then that’s pretty much spot on. The Farm is my dream and I became slightly obsessed with everything to the point that I wondered if their uniforms were for sale. Cringe. But the food. The fooooood!! Worth the 30-40 minutes wait for a table and worth every penny considering the produce has been picked literally that day from the surrounding fields. Super kid friendly yet still insanely cool. Yum.
If you followed my Instagram stories, you’ll know that I may have eaten at The Top Shop three days in a row. I’m not ashamed to admit that I fell slightly in love in Top Shop and have decided it’s my favourite breakfast spot in…. yep I’m going there… Australia. Why? Don’t really know. It’s not the best coffee I’ve had in my life, it wasn’t the best smoothie I’ve had in my life but it was pretty darn close. Combine that with sitting on a rug in the sun under a yellow and white striped umbrella while locals read the newspaper and took photos of their beached 5 year olds and I’m in absolute heaven.
Fishheads Byron Bay
Because sometimes in life you just want to spend $8 and have fish and chips for lunch on the grass overlooking Main Beach before you head to the Beach Hotel for afternoon… lemonades. Don’t do it, it is too soon and I’m craving mango beer like you wouldn’t believe. After a day in the sun riding around on our super cool bikes from The Atlantic where we stayed, one can always smash a good crumbed, battered or fried fish and chips with 0 guilt. Fishheads has a restaurant yes but I was all over the takeaway bar on the side.
Leaf & Grain
Next door to the busiest breakfast bar in the world (and yes, it’s good and yes the menu is insanely creative and imaginative but the service killed me so it didn’t make the list… properly) lies the best Haloumi burger I’ve ever eaten. Ever. Warning, the thing is fucking enormous! To the point that I could have shared it and that says something because who the F shares a burger? Side note: likely my fav coffee in town.
As you know I lived in Asia which means I am a raging snob when it comes to authentic flavours from South East Asia. With this in mind, I don’t put Thai Lucy on the list lightly. I was genuinely surprised at how good the food was coming out of the kitchen (sure, the prawn crackers were a random addition to the menu, but because it was BYO i’ll let it slide). Actual Thai green peppercorns in curries and stir fries means you know you’re in the money. Byron & Thai food… who would have thunk it?
Beer In Byron: Notes From Ma Husband The Brewer:
- Head to Stone & Wood‘s original Byron brewery for fresh Pacific Ale (winner of best beer in Australia) and banter with the brewers (and for the non-alcos the kombucha on tap is amazzzzze).
- Byron Bay Brewing for boards games, giant portion of chips, live music and non challenging craft beer the an interior you’ll want to recreate at home.
- One of the benefits of Byron is being able to drink the full range of Gold Coast craft beer with Balter (the XPA winning fourth best beer in Australia) and Black Hops appearing on tap in some of the better venues (Beach Hotel and The Balcony).