15 delicious restaurants to try in Byron Bay right now
The Northern Rivers is famous for its fresh produce and innovative dining scene. Eat your way around the 15 best restaurants in Byron Bay, Bangalow, Murwillbumbah and the Tweed.
Raes Dining Room, Byron Bay
Even if you aren’t staying in one of the seven luxe suites at Raes on Wategos, you can still get in some excellent celebrity spotting at the two-hat restaurant. The light and bright Raes Dining Room feels like a slice of the Mediterranean in Byron, offering a three- or six-course menu with a focus on seafood and native ingredients.
A Northern Rivers institution, Harvest is a cafe and destination in its own right. Set in the village of Newrybar, about 15 minutes from Byron, it’s a restaurant, deli and bakery spread across multiple historic buildings and surrounded by a kitchen garden. Start your day with coffee, sit down for a long lunch or just grab a loaf of sourdough from the 120-year-old woodfire oven.
Light Years, Byron Bay
From the day it opened on the main street of Byron Bay in 2017, Light Years became an instant favourite. It’s since moved to a larger space in the new Jonson Lane precinct but still serves up the same fun, modern Asian menu accompanied by a funky soundtrack and the lights down low. The cocktails are a highlight, like the Netflix and Chill’ combining popcorn-infused rum, passionfruit and lemon.
Ciao, Mate!, Bangalow
Acclaimed zero-waste chef Matt Stone is behind this compact and charming Italian diner in Bangalow. It’s the kind of place you wish was in your neighbourhood so you could join the locals for a negroni at the bar or bring the kids for woodfire pizzas and hearty pastas in the retro brown booths. On balmy Bangalow nights, grab a table in the fairy-lit courtyard.
Pixie Food & Wine, Byron Bay
Chic coastal Italian is served in a 70s-Milan-meets-Byron style dining room at Pixie Food & Wine. From the Light Years group, it’s set in the new Jonson Street precinct and is a sophisticated spot for dining, cocktails and snacks. The menu is traditionally Italian with a contemporary beachside flavour – start with oysters and charcuterie, move on to the pasta course, choose from a few hearty mains and leave room for dessert.
Balcony Bar & Oyster Co., Byron Bay
Perched above Byron’s busy main street, Balcony Bar is the perfect place to slurp down some super fresh seafood and soak up the vibes. Executive chef Sean Connolly is an oyster grand master, sourcing the best local, seasonable and sustainable shellfish around. It’s the kind of place where you’ll feel welcome with board shorts and sandy feet or dressed in your best.
Bistro Livi, Murwillumbah
A moody Melbourne-style small bar in the heart of one of the Northern Rivers’ hippie hubs, Bistro Livi was just named the 2024 Regional Restaurant of the Year by the Good Food Guide. This intimate, Spanish-inspired diner has an impressive pedigree; its three co-owners and chefs come from Melbourne’s famed Movida and Carlton Wine Room.
Moonlight, Byron Bay
In contrast to sister restaurants Light Years and Pixie, Moonlight is all monochrome palette, intimate spaces and Japanese/Scandinavian simplicity. Food comes off a traditional hibachi grill but the chefs add some bolder flavours to complement the local and foraged ingredients. The biodynamic wines on the list have been picked at the peak lunar cycle, which is said to ensure the best possible flavours.
Chef Ben Devlin is a Byron local who honed his craft at some of the world’s best restaurants, including the famed Noma in Copenhagen. He opened Pipit with his wife in 2019, promising unique local produce (including Indigenous ingredients and tropical fruits), sustainable seafood and meats, and making everything from bread to vinegar in house. The result is a meal you’ll remember for a long time.
You Beauty, Bangalow
Matt Stone and team opened their second Bangalow restaurant in mid-2022, just a few doors down from Ciao, Mate!. Once again, there’s a commitment to local, sustainable ingredients and the menu changes regularly based on what the kitchen can source. But the beer is always cold and the dining room pays homage to the classic Aussie corner pub.
, Cabarita Beach
Part of the retro-chic Halcyon House hotel in Cabarita Beach, 40 minutes north of Byron, Paper Daisy pairs a distractingly beautiful dining room with glimpses of the ocean, a long gin menu and delightful flavours on the plate. The one-hat restaurant serves up a set four-course menu that’s sophisticated yet simple, created from locally and ethically sourced ingredients.
The Smoking Camel, Byron Bay
The latest opening from the Light Years group, Smoking Camel brings a modern twist to traditional Levantine cuisine, with influences from Lebanon, Turkey, Israel and beyond. The theme is Arabian Nights dance party, with neon lights, bright blues and oranges, a chequerboard floor and even a few disco balls. On the plate, expect mezze, fire-cooked meat and grilled pita breads.
Frida’s Field, Nashua
Frida’s Field might just be peak Byron – a regenerative and organic farm in the hinterland with its own herd of holistic Angus-Wagyu cattle, serving a paddock-to-plate lunch three days a week. Award-winning chef Alastair Waddell has been behind the pans at luminaries like Guillaume in Melbourne and Qualia on Hamilton Island, and secured a coveted chef’s hat for Frida’s in 2023.
, Byron Bay
Dine amidst the rainforest at Treehouse, close to the northern end of Belongil Beach. Perfectly encapsulating Byron’s bohemian style, this laid-back spot is immersed in lush palm trees and serves up a menu of chic Mediterranean-inspired dishes and wood-fired pizza. There’s regular live music, including a popular Sunday session every week.
Federal Doma Café, Federal
A windy, 20-minute drive through hinterland forest will get you to the tiny village of Federal and the legendary Doma. This has been something of a local secret since it opened in 2012, opened by two Japanese chefs who wanted to bring their own brand of vibrant, creative, fusion cuisine to the Northern Rivers. The sushi is always excellent, but expect a lot of Byron-style grain bowls, interested burgers and bright salads. They occasionally do dinner on Friday or Saturday nights – check their Instagram page for details.