While Byron Bay might be known for its alternative lifestyle, when it comes to food it’s not all just brown rice and lentils. While healthy food is available in abundance, it’s generally part of a broader focus on the fresh, local produce that inspires the region’s restaurant and cafe menus and is readily available in local grocers, butchers and at the ever-popular Farmers’ Markets.
Byron Bay Farmers’ Markets
The rich volcanic soils make the Byron Bay hinterland extremely fertile, giving rise to a thriving dairy and agricultural industry. The region’s farmers’ markets are the perfect place to get a sense of the resulting bounty of gourmet food that is produced. At the farmers’ market you can access local macadamias, pecans, coffee, fruit and vegetables, cheeses, meats, eggs, olives, sourdough breads, herbs, and flowers. The markets are also a nourishing social and cultural experience. Stay for breakfast and soak up the atmosphere.
The Byron Farmers’ Market is held every Thursday from 8am–11am (officially, but stalls are set up from around 7am) on the Butler Street Reserve. There are also Farmers’ Markets in New Brighton (Tuesdays), Mullumbimby (Fridays) and Bangalow (Saturdays).
Byron Bay Gourmet Producers
The region’s focus on quality food has given rise to many gourmet producers that supply the local market and further afield. Enrich your Byron Bay experience by sampling some of their wares, or take some home as a reminder of your Byron Bay holiday.
Local producers include the Byron Bay Cookie Company, Byron Chai, Ginger Nektar, Brookfarm Muesli, Byron Bay Honey and numerous coffee growers and roasters.
Byron Bay Coffee
Local comedian Mandy Nolan based a piece around how – when you cross the northern border – the coffee is not worth bothering with. Now, while this may be a little harsh, it’s true that in Byron Bay we are spoilt for choice when it comes to coffee.
Most cafes specialise in locally grown and/or roasted coffees, including those of Zentvelds, Bun Coffee and the Byron Bay Coffee Company. At the markets, you can sample and buy beans from smaller local growers – whose beans are hand picked and sun dried – including Nashua Organics, Ewingsdale Coffee, and Bangalow Coffee.
Byron Bay Gourmet Stockists
The Byron Bay community’s high environmental values, strong ethical concerns and active participation in conscious consumerism has, over the years, encouraged and supported the growth of locally-owned and independent stores and good-quality products. What this has created is an abundant availability of diverse, quality ingredients to inspire your own culinary creations while on holiday in Byron Bay.
The well-stocked Green Garage is an essential stop for fresh local produce and gourmet products, as well as everyday grocery lines.
Red Ginger Asian Food and Home has an inspiring selection of Asian groceries and take-home meals, including yum cha, Spirit House curries, and Serendipity icecreams.
Trevor Mead Quality Meats stocks locally-sourced and fresh-cut meats including Sweet Pork, Alstonville free-range chickens, lamb and beef. They also have an extensive range of house-made sausages, rissoles and other barbeque meats.
The Byron Bay Cookie Company Factory Outlet at the Arts and Industry Park, and The Macadamia Castle five minutes south of Bangalow, both also stock a wide range of regionally-produced fine food.
Matching the Drinks
In Byron Bay we’re all about low food miles and self-sufficiency – so of course we brew our own beer!
Look out for the boutique Stone and Wood beers on-tap or at local bottle shops, or take a tour of the brewery.
The Byron Bay Brewery, located close to the centre of town, brews a diverse and impressive selection of award-winning beers from heavier ales to refreshing lagers. You can sample the selection at their bar and restaurant or pick up their standard lager from local bottle shops.
Special Dietary Requirements
If you have a dietary requirement or preference – whether it be a gluten intolerance, dairy allergy, preference for raw or organic food, or simply a desire for good-quality food – you’ll be catered for at almost any eating establishment or food stockist in Byron Bay. And if you can’t find something on the menu to suit, chefs are usually only too happy to devise something for you on-the-spot.
Byron Bay Gourmet Catering
Byron Bay is the perfect location for weddings, parties and functions. For access to the region’s rich supply of local ingredients, combined with the ease of getting someone else to cook it for you, Seaweed Cuisine cater for your every need. They are big supporters of sustainable farming and fishing methods, and service functions in and around the region.
Byron Bay Gourmet Kitchen Tools
Whatever the kitchen tool or serving ware you’re seeking, it’s unlikely you will need to leave Byron Bay to find it – in fact, Byron Bay will probably deliver something a little more special than what you set out for.
The serious cook will love the range of kitchenware and tableware available at Byron Bay Trading Company. Whether you’re looking for practical bakeware, a particular-sized tablecloth, the perfect-pouring teapot, top-quality Cuisineart and Kitchenaid appliances, or an exotic platter or cakestand, Byron Bay Trading Company will deliver – and does it at a competitive price.
Reflections of Byron also stocks a range of kitchen and home ware, as well as local fine food products.
While Byron Bay is spectacular as a beach destination, be sure to embrace the full experience the region offers. Whether you visit producers, cook for yourself or merely take closer notice of your menu, you’ll be enriched by Byron Bay’s gourmet focus.