Byron Bay is home to a food scene characterised by its wholesome ingredients, fresh produce and health-conscious philosophy. There’s so much good food to sample during a trip to Byron Bay that, often, time and money are the only limiting factors. Luckily for you, we’ve pitted Byron Bay’s restaurants against each other to reveal the top performers across several important categories. Now you can sample the best of the region by visiting some (or all) of the following restaurants...
Best Italian: Il Buco
Il Buco is a small, family-owned restaurant tucked away in Bay Lane, just behind Bay Street. Although fairly new to the area, this cosy little joint is said to be home to Byron Bay’s best Italian food. Above all, Il Buco is renowned for its authentic pizzas, whose fresh toppings and perfectly light bases have earned Il Buco a spot on Tripadvisor as Australia’s highest-rated pizzeria. We dare you to try it for yourself and disagree.
Best Mexican: Miss Margarita
If you’re looking for equal measures of food and fun, it’s hard to go past Mexican food –– especially the kind you’ll find at Miss Margarita. This colourful, cantina-style eatery blends traditional Mexican flavours in an exciting, delicious way. Choose from a selection of crowd favourites like pulled pork nachos with guacamole, salsa, cheese, pico de gallo and sour cream, and consider accompanying your meal with something more adventurous, such as a chipotle-infused margarita.
Best Tapas & Wine: St Elmo Dining Room & Bar
Head to St Elmo Dining Room & Bar and you’ll find over 100 varieties of wine sourced from all over the globe and a selection of modern tapas dishes and share plates. With chalkboard menus on the wall, an intricate mosaic by the bar and exposed lightbulbs for ambience, St Elmo’s is the place to be for a lively yet intimate atmosphere. Check out their 18 month Spanish mountain ham with tomato bread or set menus for a dip into Spanish cuisine.
Best Burgers: Top Shop Byron Bay
Everyone needs a favourite burger joint, and we suggest that you make this yours. Once a popular corner shop and milk shop, Top Shop Byron Bay now serves up delicious cafe food and creative burgers. From the classic juicy patties and softer-than-soft buns to the vegetarian friendly gluten-free quinoa buns and chickpea patty, head to the outskirts of town, grab a burger and recline on the grass outside for the ideal Byron Bay experience.
Best Brunch: Dip Cafe & Bay Leaf Cafe
We don't know how to put this, but in Byron Bay, brunch is kind of a big deal. As such, the title of “best brunch” has resulted in a tie.The first winner is Dip Cafe, a cool little café serving up all the breakfast classics including bircher muesli, corn fritters, croque-madames and an unmissable Boston bean stack. Sit back and enjoy Dip Café’s hearty and healthy offerings at the communal dining table, surrounded by poster-covered walls and the smells and sounds coming from the open kitchen.
Meanwhile, Bayleaf Café offers something equally good just a few streets away. Bayleaf’s coffee uses locally roasted Marvell Street beans and is often hailed as the best in town. The buzzing yet casual atmosphere is one that combines friendly service with old school tunes, breezy outdoor seating, and a range of fresh, wholesome meals.
Byron Writers Festival marked its 20th year with its strongest and best received program yet, breaking box office records and presenting a festival full of history making moments like Stan Grant’s Thea Astley Lecture that people will continue to talk about for years to come.
Blue skies broke for our 'True Believers' Leigh Sales, Kerry O'Brien and Sarah Ferguson on Festival Friday Pic: Evan Malcolm
After severe storm damage on the Wednesday night, it took a gargantuan effort to open the gates on Friday morning. I would like to thank the Festival team, the volunteers, our partners and everyone in the community who all went above and beyond to make it happen. Also to our wonderful patrons who remained good-humoured and enthusiastic despite the weather.
How heartbreaking it would have been if we hadn’t been able to listen to the beautiful Festival conversations that moved us so profoundly. Our storytellers are our most important teachers and I would like to thank all the writers and people who chaired each session for leading us on incredible journeys over the three days. It is my sincerest hope that all of us who witnessed those stories carry them out into our communities so that the conversations continue to live on.
9am-2pm, 2nd Saturday every month @ the Youth Activity Centre, Gilmore Crescent, Byron Bay
The Byron Flea is a monthly market nestled in the lush parklands of Byron Bay. Managed by Byron Youth Service this is a social enterprise aimed at giving young people opportunities and bringing the community together, something the people of Byron love to do.
Stalls are free for young people (25 and under), to encourage young people into a market they would normally be excluded from due to the competitive nature of markets these days. With unemployment being as high as it is in Byron Bay, many are turning to self employment, the Byron Flea market is a way for young people to gain skills and experience and to find if it suits them. For stallholders above 25, stalls are by donation, without a set price there is less pressure on the day, so stallholders can relax, mingle and enjoy themselves.
Young people also run the YAC café whilst entertainment is performed by Music Students from Byron Bay High, giving young people valuable first hand experience in the careers they wish to pursue.
The market attracts an eclectic bunch of locals and travelers selling second hand goods as well as crafts and food. Byron Flea Market is described as having that unassuming ‘old Byron’ feel, people return month after month for it’s quaint charm!
Byron Bay based photographer and documentary filmmaker Evan Malcolm’s short environmental documentary film ‘Lapse of Reason’ has received official selection and has gone on to become a Finalist in the ‘Documentary / Social Commentary’ category at The International Timelapse Festival to be held on August 13, 2016 at The Aero Theatre, Santa Monica, California. His unreleased film ‘Outlapsed’ also received official selection.
The captivating short environmental documentary, which was shown at the Byron Bay Film Festival in 2015, was selected by a world-class panel of judges renowned for their passion, creativity and leadership in the time-lapse art-form. The judges included Godfrey Reggio, Director of the 'Qatsi Trilogy': 'Koyaanisqatsi', ‘Powaqqatsi' and ‘Naqoyqatsi'.
'Lapse of Reason' will be screened at The Timelapse Festival Award Ceremony on August 13 to both industry peers and the general public. It's a significant career milestone for the Byron Bay-based documentary filmmaker to be acknowledged for his creative work at an international level.
“It is such a privilege to be recognised by some of my peers in time-lapse and documentary film-making, including Godfrey Reggio who directed ‘Koyaanisqatsi', probably the most important film in the evolution of time-lapse film-making” said Evan. “To be screened alongside the leading time-lapse film-makers in the world on an international stage is quite frankly, mind blowing”.
The audience for time-lapse films has grown worldwide and continues to be a passion for Evan’s current and planned projects.
Sydney, Canberra, Newcastle, Byron Bay
Border Ranges (QLD/NSW Border)
Bald Rock (NSW)
Tibuburra & Sturt NP (North West NSW)
Gibraltar Range NP & Ellenborough Falls (Mid North Coast)
ORIGINAL MUSIC by Trent Crawford
FILM FESTIVAL SCREENINGS
Byron Bay Film Festival 2015
The Timelapse Film Festival 2016
'Lapse of Reason' has been released independently. View more of Evan Malcolm's work at www.evanmalcolm.com.