Saturday, 18 May 2019

My favourite cafes and restaurants in Byron Bay

 
Having just spent this past week in Byron Bay, I had the opportunity to try out a range of cafes and restaurants over the five days I was there. This was my second visit to Byron Bay, my first being for my birthday last August (you can see my Byron Bay travel guide here), so there were a number of places I wanted to revisit on this trip, but there were also a few new discoveries which are worth a mention.

Chihuahua Taqueria

One of the best places for casual Mexican food is Chihuahua Taqueria, with their range of tacos that use freshly sourced local meat, seafood and vegetables to create a delicious and flavoursome meal. Some particular favourites were the pulled pork, the beef brisket and the calamari tacos.

Miss Margarita

Another great option for Mexican food is Miss Margarita, located close to the beachfront in town. Still in a pretty casual setting, this restaurant offers a range of Mexican food including burritos, fajitas, tacos and quesadillas, as well as a variety of margaritas and cocktails. We decided to get a couple of slow cooked chicken tacos and pulled pork tacos (along with an anejo margarita each), which were very fresh and flavoursome.

In the Pink

In the Pink is definitely the best gelato in town. My favourite flavours were the hokey pokey (filled with a generous helping of honeycomb chunks) and the salted caramel & nutella.

Safya

Safya is an Egyptian-inspired cafe and was conveniently located opposite our accommodation, so we headed here for breakfast one morning. We both couldn't go past the buckwheat pancakes with berry compote, caramelised banana, coconut yoghurt and honey walnuts.

Main Street Burger Bar

For the best burgers in town, definitely head to Main Street Burger Bar. We made two visits here this trip, after discovering it towards the end of our last visit to Byron (wishing that we had tried it earlier in the week). The fried chicken burger and the main street beef burger were both excellent options, and the sweet potato fries with chipotle mayo are hard to pass up. I'd also recommend their shakes, particularly the caramel cookie shake, which was cold, thick, and the perfect amount of sweet but not too sweet.


Combi 

One of my favourite healthy cafes to head to in Byron is Combi. I love their acai bowls, their pancakes, and their sweet raw treats, particularly the raw salted caramel slice and the snickers bar (it is hard to believe they are not made with refined sugar given how delicious they are).


Byron Fresh

If you're after a filling and wholesome breakfast in town, Byron Fresh is a great little spot to visit. I loved the buckwheat pancakes with berries, yoghurt and salted caramel sauce, while Dave was very happy with his scrambled eggs and field mushrooms on toast. They also do a great coffee here, and on our last morning in Byron, we got a couple of iced lattes, along with a white chocolate and raspberry almond croissant, as an excellent takeaway breakfast.

No Bones

I am definitely no vegan, but one of my favourite restaurants in Byron is No Bones, where they recreate regular dishes into vegan versions, and these dishes are so convincing that you wouldn't know there is no meat or dairy in the dishes you are consuming. We ordered the salt and pepper calamari, the duck pancakes and the spaghetti carbonara, all of which were incredibly tasty. We also ordered a couple of desserts - a chocolate peanut butter mousse and a vanilla creme brulee, which were both so thick and creamy that it was hard to believe they weren't full of milk and cream.


St Elmo Dining Room and Bar

A new discovery on this trip was the Spanish restaurant St Elmo Dining Room and Bar, which serves a range of tapas-style dishes in a cozy, dimly lit restaurant in the centre of town. In particular, we loved the seared scallops with celariac puree and basque green sauce, the slow cooked lamb with butter-braised asparagus, labneh and pistachio dukkah, and the broccolini with jamon serrano, roasted cherry tomatoes, garlic and chilli.

Doma

Located about 25 minutes' drive from Byron is a small one-street town called Federal, and within that town is an incredible Japanese-fusion cafe, Doma. If you're after authentic Japanese, including a range of hand rolls and freshly made sushi, or just a standard yet well constructed burger, then Doma is worth visiting. We shared a few sushi options, including the salmon and scallop hand roll, the fried salmon sushi stick, and the inside out brown rice tuna rolls.

Bang Bang

Another new discovery for us was the Thai restaurant Bang Bang. We went here on our final evening in Byron, and were a bit sad that we didn't venture here earlier in the week, given the funky vibe, the cool cocktails and the authentic Thai food. We decided to share the pad see ew with braised beef cheek, and the pad krapow with pork. The pad see ew was beautifully caramelised and the beef cheek was incredibly tender without being fatty, while the pad kapow was so fragrant and flavoursome with the combination of chilli, basil and lemongrass, and is definitely worth checking out if you love delicious and authentic Thai food.

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