Ah, Byron Bay. The most popular holiday destination on the East Coast of Australia, and even more so since lockdown regulations have been eased and NSW residents are allowed to travel the state. As a Byron native, I can understand the hype all too well, and am consistently asked where the best places to dine are in the small beach town.
In an area where restaurants that have good avocado toast and kitsch, beachy interiors take centre stage for being 'must-visits', I've learned how to separate the mediocre from the legitimately good, and so on. Not to toot my own horn but here we are, tooting it. Read on for my picks that won't make you feel like a fool for wasting your money.
Honestly some of the best Mexican food on this side of the globe. Situated next to the Brunswick River in Brunswick Heads, La Casita is the kind of place you meander over to after an afternoon beer at the local pub post-beach day.
Led by chef Josh Lewis (also the owner of La Casita), Fleet is one of the most prolific restaurants in the Northern Rivers. With an ever-changing set-menu and a waiting list that is often backed up for months at a time, you'll need to book in advance. But when you do get in? The wait will be worth your while.
Is there anything better than a simple bowl of pasta and a thoughtfully paired glass of wine? Probably not. Situated in the heart of Byron and close enough to smell the sea air as you dine, Di Vino offers an Italian menu worth dreaming about. Seafood pastas, tuna crudo, and silky risotto will have you eating extremely good.
What used to be the beach cafe that you'd swing past for a B&E roll or ice block before/after a swim at Clarkes beach has been transformed into a dreamy dinner location with a dining experience to trump many others. Located on Clarkes beach, book in for an early dinner before the sun goes down and watch it set as you dine looking out at the ocean. The menu offers simple, elevated Italian style cuisine with all the right touches.
Skip the dining room and head to the cellar bar after spending the day at Wategoes beach. With walk-in's welcome, the new Cellar Bar menu provides quintessential Australian snack items reimagined. If you're heading there during summer, the classic prawn butty won't disappoint.