Byron may have a reputation for being relaxed back, but when it comes to cuisine, he takes things very seriously. We have curated what we believe are the best restaurants in Byron Bay that are home to some of the most skilled chefs outside of Sydney and Melbourne, and whichever cuisine you choose, there’s a high chance you’ll find an excellent version of it here. There’s so much food and so little time! Don’t miss out on our guide to the best restaurants in Byron Bay’s.

But where do you begin with such a large selection of restaurants? To assist, we unzipped our waistbands and ate our way across town, bringing you the finest of the best in 2022.

And, happily, the best does not have to be showy or expensive. This directory includes eateries ranging from gourmet dining to burgers. The one thing they all have in common is that they excel in whatever they do. These are the locations that leave you wanting more, the ones you’d recommend to a friend if they were in town, and so we recommend them to you.

Restaurants may vary their opening hours or days on short notice depending on the current scenario, so check their social feeds for the most up-to-date information before deciding on a certain location.

1. Lightyears

This renowned Byron cafe has expanded to three additional locations along the East Coast, which should be enough to convince you that it’s worth a visit. The original Light Years restaurant is hidden away in a Byron backstreet, just a short walk from Main Beach.

The compact indoor/outdoor venue is wonderful for a drinking supper with the crew because it’s relaxed and colourful. Share-style meals including mud crab, prawn, and scallop dumplings, chilli caramel pork buns, kingfish ceviche, turmeric and coconut fish stew, and mi goreng-spiced fried chicken with “firecracker sauce” are favourites.

The meal comes out thick and quick, so we propose continuing the party in nearby at a local bar or pub.

2. Raes @ Wategos

Raes on Wategos is an elegant paradise and a must-visit for serious foodies, with views directly across Wategos beach. Executive Chef Jason Saxby’s cuisine is modern Australian with Mediterranean influences and features a variety of unusual and unique ingredients. Enjoy meals like bay lobster with squid ink tagliolini, succulent lamb rump with asparagus and spring peas, or market fish with smoked bonito butter and caviar medley.

The prix fixe menu is $105 for three courses, or you may embark on a gastronomic journey with a six-course tasting menu for $140 with the opportunity to buy matching wines for $90. Vegetarians are also catered to, with a separate menu that follows the same structure.

The large wine list, designed by Sommelier Hannah Howard, has an incredible range of Australian and European wines, as well as cocktails and a diverse array of spirits.

3. Treehouse

The Treehouse is located right off the beach in Belongil, a bit out of town. With a lush, shaded conservatory, it’s a perfect location to relax in the day with a cocktail or a beer, while live music keeps the atmosphere hopping in the evening.

The meal is inspired by the Lebanese chef’s travels through Morocco and Italy. The wood-fired pizzas are among the best in Byron, and the supper menu includes seafood and vegetarian main courses, as well as a few meat items.

A limited cocktail menu and bottled beers are available, while the wine list is primarily Australian, with a few selections from France and Italy.

4. Williams Street Kitchen & Bar

The café, on the junction of Pacific Parade and Williams Street in Lennox Head, was already known as Williams St, having been somewhat re-branded from the previous version of Williamsburg (when it specialised in burgers).

Dishes on the lunch and supper menus overlap. The house-smoked salmon dish, is smoked on-site, a technique the chef has honed since hosting smoker nights at the Treehouse. The ingredients, which include quinoa, kale, miso broccolini, pickled ginger and carrot, radish, coriander, and a poached egg, are properly positioned in the bowl so that they are distinct yet readily blended in whichever combination takes your fancy with each bite.

The location has a full licence, even if you just want to have a drink without eating (though you’d be tempted by the amazing cuisine!) and has beers on tap as well as a full bar.

Saturday nights include live music, generally in the form of a singer/songwriter. ‘It’s largely original music with some covers, folk, blues, and some rock, many musicians who have graced the verandah thus far.

Williams St is pet-friendly, with water bowls available off the street out front. All of this fits nicely with the trio’s pleasant, welcoming aura. You can come in right off the beach with sandy feet and feel at ease.

5. Lovers Lane

Lovers’ Lane is the newest addition to Byron Bay’s gastronomic melting pot, and it’s a must-visit the next time you’re in town. The bar-restaurant hybrid, a dedication to outstanding cuisine, natural wine, cocktails, and dancing, is the newest gourmet offering from the team behind Bali’s magnificent Penny Lane restaurant in Canggu, so it has our complete attention…

The venue, which is located on Lawson Street, may be defined as ‘grungy yet elegant,’ a mood that has been carried through to the interior, which was designed by Adam Grygopruk and George Gorrow.

Lovers’ Lane is cosy and inviting, with a combination of leather seats and sofas urging customers to snuggle in, get comfy, and stay a long. Local art and photography are scattered around the room, paying homage to Byron’s artistic and creative heart.

Executive chef Tyler Preston (Bang Bang, Chin Chin) is in charge of the kitchen, and he has curated a concise menu of snack and share plates designed to graze over a casual cocktail or glass of wine – think freshly shucked oysters and beef tartare alongside more substantial bites like barbeque king prawns and charcoal chicken.

The menu is not limited to one kind of cuisine or geographic location; there are flavours from Southeast Asia as well as Greek, Italian, and French influences. While some chefs adhere to tradition, Tyler is more concerned with the quality and provenance of local ingredients.

Bradley Wakefield (Halycon House) created the cocktail menu, which includes native botanicals from the Byron region such as strawberry gum and lemon myrtle. The wine list includes natural, bio-dynamic, low intervention, organic, and vegan wines, as well as a mix of Australian, French, and foreign selections.

6. No Bones

No Bones serves some of the greatest vegan food we’ve ever had, and it’s well worth a visit the next time you’re in town. They artistically constructed counterfeit meat things, not to the point where you couldn’t tell the difference, but to the point where you can identify the difference and think it tastes better.

That is just great work. Highlights on the menu include “chicken” skewers and “calamari.” It’s also right in the heart of town, only a few blocks back from the beach, making it an ideal lunch stop in between swimming and shopping.

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