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5 best cocktails in Byron Bay

Sit back and relax or celebrate with friends with an exquisite cocktail served up Byron style. We’re back with another instalment of the Best of Byron series – this time, it’s cocktails.

We asked our Facebook fans to vote for the best cocktails in Byron Bay, and the results are listed below in alphabetical order.

Loft Byron Bay

Loft is a concept bar that fuses European cuisine with a modern Australian laid-back vibe for a truly unique food and drink experience. Flooded with natural light during the day and cosy by night, the atmosphere of loft is beachy, earthy, sophisticated, and unmistakeably Byron.

Their refined cocktail menu features tried and true classic with a couple of surprises – an acai spritz with dragon fruit, a spiced chai whiskey sour, to name a few.

The Balcony Bar and Oyster Co.

Perched above the bustling streets of Byron Bay, The Balcony Bar and Oyster Co. is a must-visit on any trip to the area. Committed to serving simple, honest food and drink, The Balcony is a perfect place to unwind or celebrate.

The extensive cocktail menu has something for everyone and boasts an exciting array of traditional cocktails and signature creations.

The Bolt Hole

With a striking vintage church door entrance and a cosy interior with nods to hunting, heritage rail, and nautical adventures, The Bolt Hole is an eclectic bar with a personality all of its own.

The Bolt Hole bar showcases an incredible 300 whiskeys, gins, artisanal spirits, organic wines, and craft beers from all over the world. Stocking vintage and rare releases, The Bolt Hole serves up cocktails unlike any other bar.

The Mez Club

Escape to the Mediterranean inspired Mez Club, a light and airy eatery and bar in the heart of Byron Bay. The menu will transport you to the ‘souks’ of Morocco to the family feasts of Greece.

The cocktail list follows suit. All have been expertly crafted with a commitment to freshness and colour. Their signature Turkish Princess, which features locally produced Turkish delight liquor, is a must try.  

Treehouse on Belongil

Live music, great food, and excellent cocktails – what could be better? Treehouse on Belongil is another Byron staple, serving up breakfast, lunch, dinner, woodfired pizzas, and more, all while showcasing local musical talent.

Their cocktail menu has it all, with a few twists on old classics, like their Margarita three ways.

Best of Byron

Discover our Best of Byron series. Find out where to grab the best coffee, burgers, breakfasts, pizza, and ice cream in Byron Bay and surrounds – according to you.

Christmas 2018 in Byron Bay

Celebrate Christmas 2018 Byron style: warm weather, a day at the beach, and excellent food. A few of the restaurants and eateries in town are hosting special Christmas eve and day dinners and lunches.

The Balcony Bar & Oyster Co

The iconic Balcony Bar & Oyster Co serves up some of the best food and drinks in the region. This Christmas celebrate with an all-inclusive, four-course family feast with all the trimmings. Seatings are available for 12pm, 12.30pm, or 1pm for a delicious menu, a glass of Piper Heidsieck on arrival, and an optional beverage package.

Keep in mind the Balcony is not open on the evening of Christmas and will close at 4pm.

Adults $225, kids under 18 $95, kids under 5 free.

The Italian Byron Bay

Is there ever a bad time to indulge in Italian food? Get your nearest and dearest together this Christmas at the incredible Italian Byron Bay restaurant for a four-course meal with a few festive touches. Limited seats are available, so secure your table for the 12pm to 2.30pm or 3pm to 5.30pm seating now.

$165 per person.

Barrio Eatery & Bar

Join the local community and friends and family at Barrio for the first ever Christmas Eve Fiesta. Sample the ultimate Spanish festive feast of picadas featuring Argentine favourites prepared on a traditional Parilla (barbecue) and Asado (fire-pit) plus a welcome cocktail by Brookie’s Gin.

$65 per person, kid’s plate available for over 3s $20.

No Bones

Celebrate Christmas Day the vegan way with a huge vegan BBQ feast hosted by No Bones. The plant-based menu includes appetisers and tapas to share, vegan prawns, No Bones’s famous calamari, char-grilled corn with spicy garlic butter, summer salads, and a selection of desserts.

$90 per person.

3 best ice cream shops in Byron

We’re back with another instalment of the Best of Byron series. With the weather heating up, we thought it was the perfect time to find out where in Byron and surrounds serves up the best ice cream.

We asked our Facebook fans to vote for their favourite ice cream shop in the region, and the results are in. Cool down with a delicious ice cream from one of the most popular gelaterias in Byron, listed below in alphabetical order.

Bella Rosa Gelateria and Espresso Bar

Bella Rosa is a Byron staple and offers up some of the tastiest gelato and sorbets – all made fresh on the premises. Alongside their ice creams, they serve excellent coffee, tea, milkshakes, smoothies, and sundaes.

Located a very short 2-minute walk from Main Beach, Bella Rosa is a great place to cool down after a few hours on the beach.

Bernardi's Gelato and Espresso Bar

Image via www.brunswickheads.org.au

Bernardi’s Gelato and Espresso Bar is a Brunswick Heads favourite, situated about 20 minutes from Byron Bay. Bernardi’s produces all of their traditional ice cream and gelato, as well as dairy and fat-free sorbets, on-site. They also serve up Italian coffee, quiches, frittatas, salads, and cakes

Brunswick Heads is a quaint holiday town with spectacular beaches and idyllic waterways that’s well worth a visit this summer. And if you do make the trip, don’t leave without sampling some of Bernardi’s famous ice cream.

In the Pink

Byron Bay’s In the Pink was a clear winner – our Facebook fans picked the traditional artisan gelati served here as the best ice cream in the region. With 25 years of ice cream experience, research, and development, In the Pink uses a mix of local and Italian imported ingredients with no pre-made powder mixes.

In the Pink is located just 3-minutes from Main Beach, so is another fantastic place to get your ice cream fix after a day at the beach.

Best of Byron

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

Cheers for ten years of beers

Stone & Wood celebrates a milestone with a roll out of releases, events and a brewery opening!

It's been 10 years of beers since the first kegs rolled out of Byron's local brewery Stone & Wood back in 2008.

For the Northern Rivers independent brewery, they're excited but the milestone feels like a drop in the ocean.

"Compared to breweries in other parts of the world that have been around for hundreds of years, we’re 10 years young!" said co-owner Brad Rogers.

Looking back, Head Brewer Caolan Vaughn said that the brewery has released experimental brews since the early days, including Beers of the Earth, The Mash Collective series, Stone Beer, The Gatherer and Forefathers but has always been limited by capacity.

"We've released some memorable beers but until now, our focus has also been on getting enough of it to our thirsty drinkers.'

Stone & Wood is looking forward to ramping up their releases, promising some exciting changes, additions and limited brews in the coming months. But that’s not all... In the coming months, the brewery will put on their inaugural Backyard Invitational event on 24 November, at what will become their Brisbane Brewery in the new year, and the new Byron Bay Brewery will open its doors by the end of the year.

Stone & Wood Brewery Byron Bay project manager Jamie Revell has said "We are excited to be at the pointy end of our brewery build. All of the finer details such as landscaping and timber finishes are now coming to life. The bar and kitchen are both currently being fitted and the last of our brewhouse equipment will move in the coming weeks. We can’t wait to open the doors of our new spiritual home and invite locals and visitors to see how we brew and learn more about Stone & Wood. Early next year we will move our offices to the new space, so the whole Byron team can finally work under one roof."

When asked about the 10 year milestone and everything that’s coming down the line Head Brewer Caolan Vaughn said "We’re proud of the journey so far and having an incredible, passionate team that’s been along for the ride but all of us at Stone & Wood are even more excited for what’s to come!".

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.

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