MUST DO: The Hottest New Restaurants & Bars In Byron

BYRON BAY'S BURGEONING RESTAURANT AND BAR PRESENCE HAS JUST GROWN WITH THE ADDITION OF ANOTHER TWO EXCITING VENUES TO ITS DYNAMIC OFFERING AND LOCURA AND LOFT ARE ALREADY PROVING TO BE THE HOTTEST VENUES IN TOWN.

Let's start with Locura, a casual Latin American diner and cocktail bar that morphs into a late night bar. It's the first foray into the bar scene for the talented crew behind Three Blue Ducks at The Farm Byron Bay.  They've nailed the farm to table game as well as fine dining, so a bar was a natural progression for these Sydney surfers turned hatted restauranteurs who now have five fabulous venues under their belts.

The boys snapped up Byron's long-standing nightclub La La Land earlier in the year and inspired by a recent trip to LA and Mexico and the abundance of street-side taquerias with their vibrant and flavoursome food, Locura was born. A clever redesign under the creative eye of designers Pattern Studios and local architect Dominic Finlay-Jones to echo the minimalist modern bars of Mexico, and say 'hola' to Locura!  And of course music will continue to figure large with Locura, working beside acclaimed music producer, Jono Ma, for their music direction and good vibes which will go from 5pm til late.

The menu features lots of small plates influenced by Mexican, Peruvian and Costa Rican cuisine.  Our favs include red octopus, prawn and coriander oil ceviche, shredded achiote pork and chicharon taco and fresh oysters. There are lots of salads and house-made fermented hot sauces, rubs and salsas too and as always, the menu reflects the Duck's commitment to an ethos of sustainability and ethically produced fare. Drinks-wise, award-winning Sydney bartender Tim Philips has created a menu that's fun, fresh and flavoursome with plenty of Tequila, Mezcal and Pisco-based cocktails and they've included a take on the classic Mexican michelada and homemade tepache too.  That's a fermented pineapple drink made using the leftover pineapple skins from The Farm.
 
The boys say it best: 'May we celebrate the strange and wonderful experiences of travel, music, food and drink in the company of friends, strangers and new comrades. There is a hint of Locura (Spanish for madness) at the heart and soul of any memorable experience.  May we bring you ours and help you embrace yours.'  You've won us over!!
 
Now to Loft, a sleek and welcoming cocktail bar located in an elevated terrace on Byron Bay's bustling Jonson Street with views of Julian Rocks and the ocean. It's got an all-Byron vibe, from its white-washed walls, sleek timber fans, statement rattan lights, and contemporary woven bucket chairs and is all about snacking and sharing with a genuine focus on local produce and sustainability, an ethos that runs at the heart of so many Byron eateries.
 
"The vision was to create a cocktail bar that is European inspired with amazing modern Australian food and a natural atmosphere - warm, beachy and earthy," says owner Matt Hunt. "Loft is relaxed and comfortable and where you'll want to be.  You can come in at noon and end up being there all day and well into the night," he says, "and you'll be able to see your chefs prepping your food, slicing meats and shucking oysters while you're here."
 
Choose from the deli or oyster bar, or maybe it's scrummy morsels like the crispy-prawn milk bun or pressed duck-leg schnitzel sandwich with caramelised onion jam and pickle on soft white bread.  There are larger plates too such as fresh ceviche and roasted free-range pork jowl with spiced pear, or pan-seared salmon served with freshly sliced zucchini and lemon butter sauce.
 
Loft also boasts a substantial drinks offering with ten beers on tap including local brew Stone and Wood, as well as an extensive wine menu.  It's underscored by a vibrant cocktail menu which includes a couple of our favs - the Lychee Chill Coconut Martini with infused soho lychee liquer, organic tintenbar vodka, fresh lemon juice and coconut syrup, or how about a Balsamic Strawberry Fizz with caramelised strawberry balsamic syrup, topped with sparkling rose and a balsamic toffee coated strawberry to sip on at sundown.
 

How lucky is Byron? And of course both of these new gems are just a gentle stroll or peddle on your retro Lekker bike from The Bower and its luxury offering, with the jewel in its crown, the elegant round swimming pool embedded in a lush green oasis of towering palms.  Time to book your holiday?

LOFT'S FOOD MENU

LOCURA'S FOOD MENU