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Espresso Martini Festival

The Espresso Martini Festival is back and bigger than ever, Balcony Bar & Oyster Co. are celebrating their love for Espresso Martinis once again however this time for the entire month October.

For years Balcony Bar & Oyster Co has been known as the best place in town to grab a drink with friends. The cocktail list is extensive, the wine list is exquisite, the beers are fresh, local and on tap but above all else, the espresso martinis are always flowing and only $12 each from 9:30pm. If you were around the bay at a similar time last year you may remember a festival dedicated to all those Espresso Martini lovers abroad. In just two weeks 2,200 Espresso Martinis were sold going through a whopping 70kg of coffee. Balcony Bar & Oyster Co. love their coffee in a martini glass so much that this year Espresso Fest will be grinding for the whole month of October.

A specialty cocktail menu has been carefully crafted by their expert cocktail masters featuring flavours like

Pop Your Cherry
Cherry Brandy, Cerene De Cacao, cold brew coffee and of course the much loved Cherry Ripe garnish

Bounty Hunter
1800 Coconut Tequila, Crème De Cacao, Espressocello & cold brew coffee.

Kentuck y Cold Brew
Woodford reserve, peach liqueur, cold brew coffee and orange bitters

The Nutty Professor
Disaronno, Frangelico, cold brew coffee & Cracked hazelnuts with a salted caramel rim.

Bam Bam Espresso
Bam Bam Spiced Rum, Licor 43, Triple Sec, cold brew coffee & cinnamon.

The Golden Slipper
Don Julio Anejo, Cafe Patron, cold brew, agave and a gold rim

Yum! Now for the purists simply looking for a classic espresso martini, they’ve got you covered at just $12 all day every day, plus if you have a local member’s card, the price of espresso martinis will be just $10 after 9.30pm.

If the excitement of specialty espresso martinis isn’t enough to get you keen, one dollar from every full price espresso martini sold will be donated to the incredible charity Save the Bees Australia. Where would we be without bees? As far as important species go, they are top of the list. Bees pollinate 70 of around 100 crop species that feed 90% of the world. A world without bees could struggle to sustain the global human population. Bee the cure and get alongside us to save these little yet important creatures. To find out about this very worthy cause, head to www.beethecure.com.au or to book yourself a table to celebrate espresso fest head to www.balcony.com.au.

5 best pizza restaurants in Byron Bay

The Best of Byron series continues – this time, it’s pizza! Pizza is one of the world’s favourite foods, and here in Byron Bay, the pizza-lover is spoilt for choice.

We asked our Facebook fans to vote for their favourite pizza restaurant in the region, and the results are in. So, next time you're craving a slice, check out one of the five best pizza restaurants in Byron Bay below (in alphabetical order).

Earth ‘n’ Sea

Earth ‘n’ Sea Pizza has been a part of Byron’s vibrant dining scene since way back in 1976. The iconic restaurant serves up a delectable selection of 22 individual pizzas – including gluten-free and vegan options – all piled high with fresh ingredients.

One of Earth ‘n’ Sea’s signature concoctions is the Beethoven: prawns, fresh banana slices, and pineapple.

Il Buco Cafe & Pizzeria

Simple, honest, and authentic. That’s what you can expect from Il Buco Cafe & Pizzeria’s Italian artisan pizza.

Committed to using local, seasonal ingredients, the incredible pizzas feature fresh produce picked, grown, and raised in the region: ham from Bangalow Sweet Pork, salumi from the boys at Salumi, tomatoes from Coopers Shoot Tomatoes, and more.

Legend Pizza

Pizza doesn’t get much better than the classics served up at Legend Pizza. Open from 8 am till late for eat-in and takeaway orders, indulge in both gourmet and traditional styles pizzas (plus gluten-free and vegan options) or create your own perfect slice.

Legend has a relaxed vibe and is a firm favourite among locals and visitors alike.

Trattoria Basiloco

Trattoria Basiloco offers up delicious, authentic Italian cuisine with a Sardinian flair. Their pizzas are cooked the traditional way for maximum flavour: in a burning hot woodfire oven.

Alongside their artisan pizza, Trattoria Basiloco serves antipasti, famous fresh seafood, handmade pasta, meats, and classic Italian desserts.

Treehouse on Belongil

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Treehouse on Belongil is an all-day, fully licensed restaurant, bar, and live music venue. In the evening, pick from an irresistible list of woodfired pizzas, share platters, and daily specials.

Treehouse on Belongil also serves up an exciting cocktail menu and extensive wine list – the perfect accompaniment to fresh pizza and local musical talent.

Best of Byron

Discover our Best of Byron series. Find out where to grab the best coffee, burgers, and breakfasts in Byron Bay and surrounds.

5 best breakfast spots in Byron Bay

It’s the most important meal of the day.

Whether you’re looking for a leisurely Sunday brunch spot or a quick bite to eat before heading to the beach, Byron Bay is home to some excellent cafes, all of which serve up exceptional breakfasts.

We asked our Facebook fans to vote for the best breakfast spots in Byron Bay, and here are the results (in alphabetical order).

Bayleaf

Also voted one of the best coffee spots in town, Bayleaf was the clear winner. Popular with both locals and visitors, Bayleaf is a true Byron staple, serving up an inventive menu of fresh and healthy breakfasts.

The Bayleaf breakfast menu is inventive and ever-changing: think dukkah poached eggs, quinoa coconut porridge, and breakfast burritos.

Dip

Another top pick for coffee in Byron, Dip is the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and enjoy a long and laidback breakfast. The outdoor seating is a great place to people watch, and breakfast is served until 3 pm, so there’s no rush.

Dip offers all the classics, plus plenty for those with a sweet tooth – cinnamon and vanilla French toast, buttermilk pancakes with fresh berries, and wild rice porridge.

Espressohead

Espressohead has long been a favourite Byron cafe, and with breakfast this good, it’s no wonder hungry travellers come back again and again.

Espressohead has something for everyone, including a range of vegan and gluten-free options. You can build your own big breakfast from scratch, or opt for one of the cafe’s classics, like the grilled chorizo and house-made baked beans pictured above.

Three Blue Ducks at The Farm

Breakfast doesn't get much fresher than at Three Blue Ducks Byron Bay. Situated at The Farm – a picturesque, fully operation farm just outside of Byron’s township – Three Blue Ducks serves delightful breakfasts every day until 11.30 am.

The innovative menu boasts modern takes on old classics and entirely new concoctions, as well as an enticing list of breakfast drinks.

100 Mile Table

Located in the Arts and Industry Estate, 100 Mile Table Cafe is a dynamic eatery that serves up local, seasonal, and sustainable food and spectacular Marvel Street Coffee.

The curated breakfast menu changes with the seasons. From paired-back basics (think eggs and tomato jam or fruit and granola) to unique breakfast masterpieces, 100 Mile Table Cafe is a fantastic place to start the day.  

SAMPLE FOOD FESTIVAL announce festival line-up for 2018

Sample Food Festival is proud to announce the line-up for the annual event, to be held on Saturday 1st September at Bangalow Showgrounds in the Byron Bay hinterland.

This year’s program, launched by long-time supporter of the festival and celebrity chef, Darren Robertson includes headliners, Shannon Bennett, founder of Vue de monde (Melbourne) and Zeb Gilbert, executive chef at Wasabi (Noosa) alongside appearances from Byron Bay Cooking School’s wellness chef, Samantha Gowing, and author and producer, Luca Ciano.

The one day event will celebrate the diverse and rich produce, chefs, artisans and producers Northern Rivers of NSW is renowned for. Since 2011, Sample has evolved into the largest gastronomic gathering in the Northern NSW calendar, attracting over 16,000 locals, travellers, guest chefs and food lovers alike.

Working with Gold Coast Airport as presenting partner for 2018, Gold Coast Airport Chief Operating Officer Marion Charlton said the airport was pleased to partner with the biggest one-day food festival in the Northern Rivers. “ We are excited to increase our sponsorship support in northern New South Wales, which is a key tourism growth area for the airport,” she said. “Sample Food Festival has become a landmark event on the region’s calendar, and we are proud to be part of its continuing growth story.”

Festival Director, Rose Taylor said “Every year we have visitors going through Gold Coast Airport to attend the festival from around Australia and overseas, and we’re thrilled to have them on board as presenting partner. This year holds an exciting array of makers, chefs and restaurants and I can’t wait to showcase the best of the region for festival-goers - whether they’ve travelled locally, or from far and wide!”.

Look forward to $5 and $10 tasting plates showcasing the menus of 26 regional restaurants, including Harvest, No Bones and Balcony Bar & Oyster Co., over 100 market stalls, designers and producers, live music and children’s activities, while cooking demonstrations from attending chefs will come to a head at the TAFE Celebrity cook off. To help cleanse the palate over the day, award winning Byron Bay brewery Stone & Wood will serve a range of beers, alongside offerings of local wines and Husk Distillers spirits.

As part of the lead up to the festival, Sample and Le Cordon Bleu will also offer a season of events, including one-day food photograph & styling and food & wine writing workshops hosted by Fran Flynn (local photographer and designer) and Justin Bergman (The New York Times, Time magazine, New York magazine and Monocle). Guests may also attend the Fabulous Ladies Wine Society Dinner, hosted by Jane Thomson (Thompson Estate) and Rebekah Richardson (Irvine Wines) with food by Byron at Byron, Bangalow Hotel Dining Room and Luca Ciano.

Friday’s opening lunch will be catered for by none other than Shannon Bennett and his Vue de monde team. Always the hottest ticket in town, this year’s menu, designed by Shannon using local produce, includes canapes, three courses, matched wines and Stone & Wood beers.

Sample Food Festival presented by Gold Coast Airport:

Date: Saturday 1 September, 2018

Time: 8am until 4pm
Location: Bangalow Showgrounds, 1 Market Street, Bangalow 2479
Cost: Tickets upon entry are $5 per person and children are free

Pre-festival events:

Food Photography & Styling Workshop with Fran Flynn presented by Le Cordon Bleu Thursday 30th August 10am – 5pm at The Byron at Byron

Fabulous Ladies Wine Society Dinner with Jane Thompson and Rebekah Richardson, menu by the Byron at Byron’s Executive Chef Matthew Kemp and Gavin Hughes, Chef Consultant, author and producer Luca Ciano and Bangalow Dining Room’s Executive Chef Michelle Wright Thursday 30th August at The Byron at Byron

Eat Your Words Food & Wine Writing Workshop with Justin Bergman presented by Le Cordon Bleu

Friday 31st August 10am – 5pm at The Byron at Byron

Sample Festival Lunch by Shannon Bennett & Vue de Monde Team Friday 31st August 12pm at the Bangalow Showgrounds, under the marquee

Visit www.samplefoodevents.com for more information as well as tickets for the Sample season of events leading up to the festival.
 

5 best burgers in Byron Bay

Hungry? Sometimes there’s nothing better than a good burger.

Here in Byron Bay, the burger-lover is spoilt for choice. We asked our Facebook fans where they grab the best burgers. Here are the top five results in alphabetical order. Get ready to get hungry.

Beloporto

Beloporto, lovingly referred to as ‘Belos’ by the locals, has long been a favourite cheap-eats option in Byron Bay. Their specialty is Portuguese chicken burgers – marinated to perfection and topped with lettuce, cheese, house-made aioli, and optional chilli.

If chicken isn’t your thing, Beloporto serves up beef and veggie burgers, salads, and delicious fries. It’s all tasty, fast, filling, locally-sourced, and affordable. A true Byron staple.

Main Street Burger Bar

Main Street Burger Bar brings together a mix of classic burgers, real shakes, and craft beers. Their extensive menu offers everything from traditional cheeseburgers and BBQ brisket burgers, to truffle chicken burgers and vegan-friendly pulled jackfruit.

All burgers are made with 100% grass-fed beef, free-range pork, and locally sourced eggs.  

The Northern Hotel Restaurant and Bar

The Northern Hotel is a Byron Bay icon serving up classic pub fare including their delectable range of burgers – the wagyu beef burger, the lemon and herb chicken burger, and the baked ricotta and sweetcorn burger.

What’s more, every single day of the week you can pick up a burger and chips for just $10 between 12pm and 3pm. It’s one of the best lunch deals in town.

The Rails Hotel

The Rails is one of the most-loved live music venues in Byron, offering local, national, and international talent every night of the week.

There’s no better way to soak up the laid-back atmosphere of The Rails than with a freshly made burger. Choose from beef, fish, chicken and bacon, pork belly and slaw, and grilled eggplant – all served with chips or a side salad. Perfection.

The Top Shop

The Top Shop is a go-to for many Byron Bay locals. Known for its single-origin coffee, great breakfasts, and exciting burgers, The Top Shop combines the best of hipster cafe culture and small-town hospitality.  

Their burger menu is pretty extensive and changes regularly. So, whether you’re looking for straightforward American beef burger or something a little more inventive, The Top Shop has it all.

The Bangalow BBQ & Bluegrass Festival

Fri-Sat 17-18th August 2018, Bangalow A&I Hall and Showgrounds - Buy Tickets

Great local food and quality musicianship in a fun family day out raising funds for local Arts & Culture

Friday 17th - Old Time Variety Show - 6pm till 10pm at the A&I Hall - delicious barbecue and great bluegrass

On Friday night, the day before the Festival, once again we’re holding an oldtime music and comedy variety show at the A&I Hall. (MA15+) This show was an absolute a hoot last year with rave reviews. It’s not to be missed with over 70 artists entertaining you all evening long and great barbecue available for purchase. All artists are volunteers and all proceeds go back into our Original Music Artists Bursaries. With limited seating, it’s sure to sell out fast, so get your tickets soon. For most punters, this was the highlight of the Festival last year. A very special night out.

Saturday 18th - BBQ & Bluegrass Festival - 10am till 5pm at the Bangalow Showgrounds - family friendly event, barbecue competition, bluegrass on the main stage, Kids Games $2, Tasting Plates $10.

Chicken 10am – Ribs 11am – Pork 12pm – Beef 1pm – Whole Hog 1:30pm

Barbecue! Slow-cooked, smokey goodness with a cold one from the craft beer bar! Join us in Bangalow for the Firebrand BBQ Cook-off on Friday and Saturday 17-18th August. Great music and games for the kids, it's an epic family day out! Over 50 teams competing for the Grand Champion $1500 prize, and you get to taste the meat in support of our charities!

Visit the festival website for more information and tickets www.bbqbluegrass.com.au and follow them on on Facebook www.facebook.com/bbqblue.

Byron Bay's best coffee in town

Byron Bay takes its coffee seriously.

When in town, we like to drop into a whole range of coffee shops for our caffeine fix. So, we asked our Facebook fans which cafe they believe serves up the best coffee in Byron Bay.

We tallied the votes, and here are the top five picks (in alphabetical order).

Bayleaf

Bayleaf has been a favourite spot for coffee in Byron for years. With a bustling atmosphere and hip interior, it’s the perfect spot to escape the heat in summer or cosy up with friends in winter.

Passionate about serving locally-sourced, seasonal produce, the team at Bayleaf offer an inventive, ever-changing lunch and breakfast menu alongside their top-notch coffee.

Combi

Dedicated to delivering the very finest brew, Combi was another favourite among our Facebook fans.

The baristas use a fair-trade blend of beans with a medium to strong flavour complimented by a pinch of sweetness. Plus, all coffees are made double shot, so if it’s a morning kick you’re after, Combi is a great option.

Dip

A popular spot for breakfast and lunch, Dip serves up some of the best coffees in town. Using local, organic coffee beans, the skilled baristas at Dip help locals and visitors alike take on the day – even if that means lying on the beach!

The outdoor seats are the ideal place to people-watch as you enjoy your cuppa – you’ll want to sit there for hours.

Safya Byron Bay

Speciality coffee, Egyptian-inspired food, and one of the homeliest café settings in Byron Bay serviced by a friendly, tight-knit team of locals: that’s Safya

Bringing in a new single-origin brew every week, Safya is a coffee-lovers paradise.

Sparrow Coffee Co.

Need coffee fast? Drop into Sparrow for coffee on the fly. At Sparrow’s Byron location (you’ll find Sparrow Coffee Co. in several spots throughout NSW and QLD), expect quality, hand-crafted Allpress coffee without the wait.

If you’re feeling peckish, indulge in organic sourdough bread and pastries from The Bread Social.

The Byron Bay Cookie Company Gift Shop is now serving Coffee!

The Byron Bay Cookie Company Gift Shop is now serving coffee!

Find us at the corner of Ewingsdale Rd and Bayshore Dr in Byron, on the main road into town, and grab a FREE cookie bite of your choice with any coffee purchase!

Proudly serving locally roasted Zentvelds Coffee.

Byron Bay Industrial Estate: 
Unit 1, Ozigo Complex, Corner Ewingsdale Rd & Bayshore Drive, 
Byron Bay NSW 2481 

Tel: 02 6685 6925

(BP station, at the entrance of the Arts & Industry Estate) 

Store is open 7 days a week, from 10am - 6pm.

New matcha elixa from Byron Bay

Made in Byron Bay Australia and founded in 2017, Skinny Green Co is a 100% natural, premium cold blend tea, specifically formulated to boost energy, burn calories and detox the body. Natropathically blended, Skinny Green is free from artificial colours and flavours, delicious in taste and a powerful superfood drink that everyone will enjoy.

Available in two delicious flavours, Kiwi Fruit and Wild Berry, Skinny Green Co was created to achieve greater harmony within the body and a healthier society worldwide. Formulated and tested by nutritionists and naturopaths, this cold tea drink is specifically designed to bring you sustainable weight loss, increased energy and body detoxification. Priced at $34.95, Skinny Green is available Australia wide from leading retailers, cafés and lifestyle stockists, and online at skinnygreenco.com.

Every Skinny Green pack contains 20 x 3g sachets of organic matcha powder blended with Australian Bush Herbs, Grape Seed Extract and L-Carnitine. Australian made, recyclable packaging, sugar free and all-natural ingredients, simply mix with 350ml of cold water, shake and enjoy! For best results drink twice daily with food.

Matcha is made from the nutrient rich, young leaves that are hand-picked from shade grown Camellia Sinensis plants. Matcha is now recognised as the world’s strongest green tea and one of nature’s most powerful super foods. One cup of matcha elixir contains the nutritional content of 10 cups of regularly brewed green tea! And with more antioxidants, Skinny Green offers a natural caffeine alternative without the bitter green tea taste.

“When I drink Skinny Green, I feel energised for the whole day. I absolutely love matcha, but the bitter taste can be hard to enjoy. This is the perfect alternative. It’s natural, taste’s nice and helps me burn calories. I can honestly say I love this product.”

Elle Borenstein, Skinny Green Co customer, Byron Bay, NSW.

Boost energy, burn calories and detox the body. Skinny Green Co is a natural detox alternative, that taste’s great, is good for you, and will help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

STONE & WOOD PREPARES FOR PRE-SALE TICKET RELEASE FOR UPCOMING FESTIVAL OF THE STONE

Join Stone & Wood for a night that celebrates community, live music, good food and the release of their 2018 Stone Beer, all while raising money for Big Scrub Landcare. 

Sign up on the festival website: www.festivalofthestone.com to be notified when pre-sale tickets come online for Festival of the Stone happening Saturday 9th June, 3 – 10pm (Queen’s Birthday long weekend, NSW) at Stone & Wood’s brewery in Byron Bay.

Come along and kick back as the sun sets and the beer flows. Enjoy live music and food truck cuisine with your friends and family at the annual event that celebrates the release of their dark winter seasonal ‘Stone Beer’. 

Stone & Wood will be pouring their beers from their iconic beer truck Clyde and the newest addition to the brewery’s fleet Trevor the Troopie . The first kegs of 2018 Stone Beer will be tapped and available until the tap runs dry. Brewed eight weeks earlier, the beer honours the ancient techniques of brewing. By adding wood fired stones to the kettle to rouse the boil, the malt characters are intensified, which contributes to the beer’s roasted caramel aroma that’s balanced with a warming, full bodied cocoa flavour… perfect for a cold winter’s night!

All profits from the beer sales and tickets will go directly to national not-for-profit Ingrained Foundation, a separate entity of Stone & Wood that was set up to extend upon the brewery’s community program, which to date has donated $630,000 to a long list of not for profit partners. Stone & Wood will donate $1 per h/l sold to the Ingrained Foundation which along with proceeds raised from events such as Festival of the Stone will be used to partner and support local charities to create progress in their communities.

This year the Ingrained Foundation will donate proceeds from Festival of the Stone to Big Scrub Landcare. The brewery works closely with this local charity who focuses on restoration and growth of the Northern Rivers Big Scrub Rainforest.

Shannon Greenfields from Big Scrub Landcare says of hearing the news “It is simply fantastic that we are able to partner with Stone & Wood for their Festival of Stone. We are so proud of the work the team do to help our charity and continue to show in the community”

Family friendly, the festival is about bringing the community together. There will be a kid’s area ‘Malt Disney’ with tunes for the kids to dance along to, as well as crafts and entertainment from Spaghetti Circus.

Tickets are $30 via Eventbrite (going off last year, there won’t be any on the door!) and transport to and from the brewery will be available. To guarantee your alert for ticket pre-sale, makes sure you sign up at www.festivalofthestone.com.

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