Byron Bay — an updated list of our favourite spots

The last time I wrote a guide to Byron Bay, we weren’t even locals. We had just spent a month here in Byron on our round-the-world travels, so I was only scraping the surface of this beautiful area. Now that we’ve lived here for two years (can you believe it’s been almost TWO YEARS?!!), it’s really time for an updated version!

Here is an updated, much more detailed list of our favourite places in the Byron area:

EAT:

  • Sunday Sustainable Bakery: We often pick up sandwiches and bread from here before spending the day at the beach. Their blueberry spelt scones are a favourite in our family, as are the peanut butter cookies. They also make the best French-style baguette in Byron!
  • Barrio: This Spanish-style restaurant opened up about a year ago, and it’s difficult to remember the time before it opened. This is our favourite spot for group dinners, but also a great spot for coffee meet-ups with friends. The little courtyard offers a great area for the kids to play while you’re sipping your coffee.
  • The Golden Doughnut: Handmade, organic doughnuts. No need to say more!
  • Pop-up pizza nights: There are several different pop-up pizza stalls setting up on different nights of the week in the Byron area. There’s Il Carretto pizza in Clunes (at the Clunes General Store) on a Thursday night. Pizza in Bexhill on a Friday. Pizza at the Cavanbah Centre on a Tuesday night. Pepe’s Pizza at the Broken Head Hall on a Monday night. You can literally have good pizza nearly ever night of the week. It’s hard to pick a favourite.
  • Roadside produce stalls along Broken Head Road: If you drive from Newrybar toward the beach along Broken Head Road, you’ll find several roadside produce stalls selling organic, local produce. We often drive this road on our way to the beach and stop to pick up fruit along the way.
  • Bangalow Farmers Market: This is our local market, located just a stone’s throw from our house, and taking place every Saturday morning from 7-11am.
  • The Top Shop: A Byron Bay institution, and rightfully so! The coffee and food is delicious, and its location makes it the perfect place to stop before or after a surf — no shoes required.
  • The Bayleaf Cafe in Byron: One of our favourite cafes in central Byron, just off Johnson Street. Every meal I’ve ever eaten from here has been delicious.
  • Milk Bar in Brunswick Heads: This is a great spot for good coffee, breakfast, lunch or gelato at any point in the day! They also serve dinner on Wednesdays and Fridays (often something yummy like curry or Vietnamese or Asian noodles), and we’ve never had a bad meal from here. It’s located on the main strip in Brunswick Heads, just opposite the river and the little playground.
  • Harvest Café in Newrybar: One of the best restaurants in the area, Harvest opens up their gorgeous bakery every Saturday and sells delicious treats from a big farmhouse table.
  • The Roadhouse in Byron: This sometimes has a reputation for being the hipster hangout and unwelcoming toward kids, but we’ve never found this to be the case. Great food and amazing coffee are on offer in a lovely patio space. Dinner is great too but be warned, kids aren’t allowed in the evenings.
  • Woods Café in Bangalow: Just a 2-minute walk from our house, this is definitely one of our favourite local cafes. The staff is super friendly and the plant-based food is divine. There’s also a pretty courtyard where kids can run around while you wait for your food or enjoy a second coffee.
  • The Treehouse: Best for the beachy atmosphere and drinks, we’ve enjoyed this relaxed place for a couple impromptu dinners with large groups. You can come straight from the beach as you won’t feel a bit out of place here with sandy feet or wet clothes.
  • Miss Margarita: A small Mexican restaurant in the centre of town with a happening vibe and good food. Be prepared to queue though.
  • Basiloco: Good wood-fired pizzas and a relaxed, family friendly vibe can be found in this Sardinian owned Italian restaurant just minutes from The Pass.
  • The Farm: Located just outside of Byron Bay, this working farm/restaurant/café/shop/play-space is a wonderful, family friendly spot to hang out, meet friends, and enjoy a delicious meal. We often stop here to pick up bread from The Bread Social, and their veggie sandwiches are great too. Oh, and the donuts!
  • Doma Café in Federal: This Japanese-Australian restaurant is one of our favourites for their delicious food and pretty outside dining area. Definitely worth the drive to Federal just for the restaurant!
  • The Belle General in Lennox Head: We discovered this café/restaurant when we camped in Lennox Head before arriving to Byron Bay years ago, and it’s still one of our favourites, even if it means driving 20 minutes to get there. Really delicious food and coffee. (We often stop here for lunch before or after a swim at Lake Ainsworth.)
  • Mullumbimby Farmers Market every Friday morning: All of the local farmers markets are great, but this one is probably the best for the quantity of stalls and overall vibe. It can get really crowded though, so best to get there early.
  • St. Elmo: Great for tapas and cocktails in the centre of Byron.

DO:

  • Surf at The Pass: The Pass is the perfect place for surfers of all abilities. The point break and gentle waves were ideal for every surfer in our family and it’s a gorgeous place to watch the sunset. (See previous post)
  • Beach day at Wategos: Wategos Beach is just another of Byron’s gorgeous beaches – with good surf, lots of sand, and public BBQs for evening dinners with friends.
  • Walk up to the lighthouse for stunning views up and down the coast (see previous post).
  • Snorkel and swim with sea turtles at Julian Rocks: we booked a snorkel tour with the Byron Bay Dive Centre. The minimum age is 6, so Marlow was too young – but Michael took the three bigger kids and they loved it! They saw sea turtles, leopard sharks, and all sorts of fish and other sea life.
  • The Crystal Castle: botanical gardens filled with extraordinary crystals, sub-tropical plant life and mystical statues. It’s hard to define the appeal of this place – something to see and experience for yourself.
  • Killen Falls: There are several creeks and waterfalls in the gorgeous hinterland surrounding Byron Bay. We have loved swimming at the base of Killen Falls (though the large, jagged rocks make it slightly tricky to get into the water). We’ve even seen some baby turtles swimming next to us!
  • Minyon Falls is another beautiful spot with impressive views. The parking is easy here and the walk to the lookout is short and quick. From there, you can go on several bushwalks depending on your preferences.
  • Tea Tree lakes: There are a few different tea tree lakes scattered around the Byron Bay region. The lakes are warm thanks to their dark colour, and are believed to have healing properties due to the tea-tree oil infused waters. We love Lake Ainsley in Lennox Head, and you’ll find us here in the summer when the beach is too windy and the sun too intense. We also love the tea tree lake on the back side of Tallows Beach (see previous post).

SHOP:

  • Newrybar Merchants: This gorgeous shop is a collective of creative local artisans and shops and offers a variety of beautiful homewares, gifts, clothes and accessories.
  • Our Corner Store in Bangalow: They have a beautiful selection of homewares and fashion, and they even have a small corner with a well-curated selection of children’s products. Great for gifts!
  • Daughter Co. have a little shop in Bangalow just opposite Woods Cafe and everything in store is adorable!
  • St. Agni (in the Byron Industrial Estate) has the prettiest leather sandals and slides, and a great selection of linen basics for women too.
  • Pampa (in the Byron Industrial Estate) has beautiful homewares, handwoven rugs and the coolest photography prints.
  • Pop & Scott (in the Byron Industrial Estate) sells beautiful furniture, homewares and a well curated selection of clothing too.
  • Tigmi Trading has just opened a showroom in the Habitat complex and it’s as pretty as you’d expect it to be!
  • The Collective at Habitat is a wonderful place to find many of Byron’s local brands all in one place — from homewares to children’s fashion to accessories, etc.
  • The Beach People have just opened up a shop in the Habitat complex as well, and while I haven’t been in yet, I’m sure it is wonderful!
  • The Bangalow Market: held on the 4th Sunday of every month, we loved this big market full of gorgeous, locally-made products and crafts. We would have bought loads of things if we weren’t living out of suitcases. ☺
  • Olli Ella has a cute showroom in the Byron Bay Industrial Estate with lots of baskets, homewares and cute kiddie items.
  • For more about our favourite Byron Bay brands, see this post.

STAY:

  • Temple Farm House: We staycationed here for a few nights earlier this year and LOVED it. It’s a bit further out of town and away from the ocean, but the beautiful views make up for it, and it’s nice to enjoy the beauty of the Byron hinterland. We stayed here with friends and the house perfectly accommodated our two families.
  • Byron Bay Beach Abodes: I’ve never stayed in any of the beautiful homes listed on this site, but I’ve been inside The Chalet for a press event, and it was so nice! All of the abodes have that similar aesthetic and warm, inviting feel, and we’d happily stay in any of them.
  • Our good friends rent out their beautiful Bangalow home, and having stayed there for the first four months of living here in Byron, we can attest to how homely and inviting their home is. If you’d prefer to stay in central Byron, there’s another option listed on Kid & Coe that looks nice too.
  • The Atlantic is Byron’s hippest boutique hotel. Unfortunately they don’t allow kids, so it’s not family-friendly, but if you’re coming without kids, this is a great option.
  • Elements is more of a resort-type of hotel, and while it isn’t particularly charming or special, we’ve had several friends stay there who have been happy with it, so I know it is nice.  We were invited to join friends at the pool one time, and we all really enjoyed our time there.

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