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.