Byron Good Food Guide
There is a new development on the corner of Fletcher and Lawson where the old council chamber once was. It’s the expansion of the old Byron Bay Beach Hostel and includes four or five new restaurants. BPS thought this would be a good time to do a list and review of some of the more interesting and good value restaurants around town.
These first three are in the new complex on the corner of Fletcher and Lawson – what many of us refer to as “The Second Roundabout”:
1. SAFYA, 1/8 Fletcher Street Byron Bay
An Egyptian Restaurant getting a bit of buzz and well worth a visit. Décor, service and interior fit-out are all well done and interesting. Safya means “pure” so all food is free of preservatives and additives. It has some very tasty Middle Eastern drinks and teas. If you doing breakfast try the Shakshuka with sardines, but all the wraps are terrific.
2. MELAKA, 11 Fletcher Street, Byron Bay
The BPS taste buds are a huge fan of Malaysian street food so happy to hear we have one in town now. It’s very authentic with the whole extended Malaysian family in the kitchen. Good, but I still prefer the real thing in the backstreets of Kuala Lumpur – may be the rancid oil they use over there that gives it the extra flavour. The Beef Rendang is good but a better one can be had at the Indo stall at the Mullum markets.
3. FINN PØKE and SLO-MO-JOES
(Two different restaurants same complex corner of Fletcher and Lawson)
A pøke bowl is a Hawaiian dish of salad and fish. This place is going to go gangbusters in summer, as this is a staple diet for many Byronians.
Slo-Mo-Joes is around the corner in Bay Lane. It has a selection of soups and slow-cooked meals. Due to a labeling mix-up I thought I was getting a slow-cooked meat dish but was given a large baguette with salad. The staff graciously fixed the problem with no fuss and what I finally got was delicious.
4. TRATORIA BASILOCO, 30 Lawson Street, Byron Bay
This is a Sardinian Restaurant and has survived in a venue that has been a graveyard for restaurants. Singer Pete Murray’s FRANKY’S was there previously, under the ugly brick motel past the second roundabout. This iteration has been open for a couple of years and the owners have hit on a good combination of quality dishes for a reasonable price. Good for families as the kids can tuck into the excellent wood fired pizzas.
5. JONSONS, 111 Jonson Street, Byron Bay
For many years the “Byronian Café” opposite the post office was an institution. When the building was sold the latest owner, Yatzik, moved it down the road to #111 Jonson. It has recently had a makeover and new menu and is worth another visit.
6. 100 MILE TABLE, 4/8 Banksia Drive, Byron Industrial Estate
This is a catering outfit that have a restaurant on the side in their funky industrial shed-like building opposite a car mechanic. Yes, it’s unpretentious and the menu is simple and served in disposable bowls and plates. But the food is delicious and the cutback, industrial décor works.
7. BYRON BANH MI, 130 Jonson Street, Byron
Down Jonson Street just before the RSL, where the very popular Citrus Deli was for many years, is a new entrant. A Banh Mi is a Vietnamese sandwich, which can be addictive. This place is by Moui, formerly of Moui’s Feast, which is opposite the Backpackers. Try the Crispy Pork Roast with a vermicelli salad. If thats not enough pork, get some of the delicious preservative free bacon from Holy Smoked butcher in the same complex.
8. DOMA, 3-6 Albert St. Federal
Our region is so trendy, every small village has to have its own Japanese eatery. Doma does a roaring trade on weekend lunches and the traffic is intense its sooooo hard to park the black Land Rover. Federal is growing a real foodie culture with its own artisan coffee roaster down the road and a vegetarian joint in a tepee.
9. ROADHOUSE CAFÉ, Cemetery and Bangalow Road, Byron Bay
Want more of the hipster scene? The Roadhouse is hipster central. Personally I think if you don’t know how to degrease a truck or fell a tree you shouldn’t be allowed to grow a full bushy beard. Lots of full beards are tucking into the smashed avo on organic wholemeal and Spanish aioli frittatas, as the food is pretty good.
10. MAIN STREET BURGER BAR, 18 Jonson Street, Byron Bay
Serial successful restaurant owner, Laurie Rose, has another hit here. (He also operates the ITALIAN AT THE PACIFIC at the Beach Hotel, which is more upmarket and is having a long overdue menu change). The filling choices are much more interesting and varied here than your trad burger bar. The “ban the bun” option is great for the gluten wary and the banana caramel smoothie is a knockout.
FLEET, I have not been here yet but there is a big following for this small place. Only seats 22 and is often booked out. Pricey!
FAT BELLY KAF, This restaurant has changed hands and is for sale but the food quality remains of a high standard. Greek flavours and they do incredible things with haloumi. Slow roast lamb is worth going back for.
FOOTBRIDGE CAFE is good for Sunday brunch or any weekday to sit in the sun. Creative menu and friendly relaxed service.
TOWN do cafe service at ground level and the upstairs restaurant, UPTOWN, does degustation. The downstairs café does amazing pastries.
CHOIX CHOIX up the road though does an incredible Blueberry Tart, which is one of the few things I miss since giving up sugar.
SPICE IT UP THAI is consistent, reasonably priced and unpretentious and I have never tired of it over the years.
IZAKAYA YU is Mullum’s obligatory Japanese restaurant. The name is so ornery most people just say the “Mullum Jap”. Very popular and often booked out and has two sittings per nght so cannot book between 6 and 7.
O’SUSHI in the Woolworth plaza is a regular haunt of mine and needs a mention as Carney and her family run a great establishment – as proven by the multiple awards they have won over the years.
LUSCIOUS in the Byron Industrial Estate was sold by long-term local caterer, Liz Jackson and is now run by an Israeli doing very good quality Middle Eastern fare for lunch.
This list was put together with the assistance of local foodie and caterer Lyndey Lee: www.trickytastytreats.com
Please comment on this post as it could be a regular column and I would appreciate feedback for the next update.