EAT & DRINK: Best Restaurants in Byron Bay

Light Years - Byron Bay Restaurants

Once upon a time, visitors flocked to Byron Bay to meditate, surf and detoxify the mind and soul. These days, however, the coastal town offers another drawcard!

Byron's food star has been quickly rising on the foodie map with an abundance of locally grown fruit and veg, bountiful seafood and ethically sourced meats. The thriving and diverse culinary scene has been fuelled by a slew of chefs and restauranteurs bidding their goodbyes to major cities in favour of a seachange.

Hatted chefs exist side by side with the barefoot locals resulting in relaxed yet spectacular gastronomy offerings, many of which lean heavily into sustainably sourced food practices.

To say we're spoilt for choice would be an understatement!


 

Light Years 

Our love affair with Light Years is not one we’re looking to end any time soon. A firm favourite amongst both locals and tourists, this bustling little Asian diner is a powerhouse of punchy cocktails, enviable playlists and finger-licking good food. For those with ordering anxiety rest assured you simply cannot go wrong here. Every dish, and cocktail for that matter, is rave worthy. Plus there’s a ton of options for vegans without any of the connotations that usually accompany a vegan friendly restaurant.

For those from further up North you may have visited their Noosa and Burleigh Heads sites, but this is the OG where it all began!  Word on the street is they’re looking to expand their Byron venue… if the news is true, we can’t wait to see what they come up with next!

Light Years is open 7 nights. Book here.

Light Years Byron Bay

 

Barrio

Located in Habitat, Barrio is laidback Spanish cuisine with a simple offering of meats, fish and vegetables. Concrete floors and ceilings combine with honey-coloured timber panelling, presenting a modern cafeteria consisting of both inside and outside seating options. Unpretentious and artfully casual, Barrio’s tapas-style plating makes for buildable dining from the ‘just peckish’ to ‘haven’t eaten all day.’ This serving style is also ideal for those who like to eat a little bit of everything.

Their menu is ethically sourced, and while this is a selling point you’ll find most establishments in Byron follow this ethos, rather it’s the tender nature they carefully cook and flavour each dish that makes Barrio worthy of revisiting again and again. Cocktails are limited to a handful of classics, but this is more than made up for with a delicious and varied wine menu of predominantly Australian producers.

Barrio is open for breakfast (Monday to Saturday), lunch (Monday to Saturday) and dinner (Thursday & Friday). Book here.

Barrio Byron Bay

 

Bang Bang

There’s a lot to love about Bang Bang, it’s hard to know where to start. But a good place to kick off the praise is their service – it’s impeccable. Their team have mastered the fine art of being attentive without being overbearing. They’ll notice your dirty napkin needs replacing and have it refreshed with a new one before you knew you needed it.

Next is the venue’s ambience. It’s dimly lit with low moody lighting, ideal for dates. The DJ in the corner provides the perfect background music you’d expect from a trendy city bar but at an appropriate decibel that still allows for you to hear those seated next to you albeit maybe not those across the table from you, so if you’re not into noisy venues best opt for a table outside.

And the food? It’s good, it’s very good!

Bang Bang is open 7 nights. Book here.

Bang Bang Byron Bay

 

di Vino & Roadhouse

When the mood strikes, there’s no craving greater than that of Italian food. Step in, di Vino. Melt in your mouth fish crudo, plates of prosciutto and dry-aged bresaola, and gorgeous gooey burrata will start you off. Next up, bowls of soul-warming pasta broken up with salads and divinely cooked steak. Be sure to save some space for dessert, the Tiramisu is one of the best we’ve had. 

It’s very easy to lose yourself in the food here. The team at Di Vino consistently deliver flawless Italian.

If you’re leaning towards pizza for your carb fix it would be amiss of us if we didn’t give a shout out to their sister venue, Roadhouse. Located a little out of the main hub of Byron, Roadhouse offers a range of woodfired pizzas for both dine-in and take away. Added bonus - they’ve just launched a new cocktail menu which is as delicious as it’s original.

Di Vinos is open 7 nights. Book here. Roadhouse is open for brunch (7 days) and dinner (Tuesday to Sunday). Book here.

Di Vino Byron Bay Restaurant

 

Kouzina Byron Bay

Kouzina’s no menu policy makes this Greek restaurant, tucked away in Byron’s industrial estate, a no-brainer for groups who love to chat! On arrival, the friendly waitstaff will advise that both lunch and dinner are set menus and before too long you’ll be presented with mezze platters of dips, labneh, olives, pickled vegetables and pita bread. This is followed by two rounds of shared mains, before rounding out the evening with a Greek petit four. 

Those with dietary requirements will be pleasantly surprised that while the menu is set they’re able to cater for everything without a fuss!

Drinks are BYO so there’s no wine list to distract you with either!  

Kouzina is open for lunch (Thursday & Friday) and dinner (Thursday to Saturday). Book via 0451 196769.

Kouzina Byron Bay

 

The Eltham Hotel

Located in Byron Bay’s hinterland, the newly renovated Eltham Hotel is everything a country pub should be. The beers are cold, the vibes are relaxed, the faces are friendly and most importantly of all, they serve exceptional pub grub!

The lovechild of travel-influencer-turned-hotelier Julia Ashwood (@the_vista), who describes the concept as “somewhere between a Wes Anderson film and a gushy romantic novel,” and her husband, this destination pub has plenty of indoor and outdoor seating, a dog-friendly beer garden and live music on the weekends.

The Eltham Hotel is open Tuesday to Sunday. Book via (02) 66291217.

The Eltham Hotel Restaurant Pub

 

Raes

Whether you opt for the full dining experience or simply swing by the terrace bar for some snacks and a cocktail, a Raes dining experience is always high on the agenda for Byron holidaymakers, and for good reason.

Headed by Jason Saxby (previously Pilu and Quay) the menu offers a delightful take on modern Australian dining which leans heavily on fresh ocean bounty. Saxby elevates familiar dishes with clean innovation plated to perfection. It was under his tenure the dining room was awarded Hottest Regional Restaurant in 2019 in The Australian’s Hot 50 List! When we see something new on the menu we don’t question, we just order.

But let’s face it you haven’t come to Raes purely for the food. You’ve come for the whole kit and caboodle. The dining room, designed by Tamsin Johnson, is world-famous for breezy white interiors combined with natural marble textures, tiled floors and a rotating roster of artwork. 

Raes Dining Room is open 7 days for both lunch and dinner service. Book here.

Note: the Terrace Bar is currently closed for renovations. 

Raes Dining Room Byron Bay