The Best Restaurants in Byron Bay in 2023
So much food, so little time! Don’t waste a second with our guide to Byron Bay’s best restaurants.
The last year has been a time of change for the restaurants in Byron Bay. We’ve seen new openings, location changes, and some sad farewells as old favourites closed their doors for the last time.
But one thing has stayed the same: Byron still has a huge choice of restaurants – so where do you start? To help, we’ve unbuttoned our waistbands and eaten our way around town to bring you the best of the best in 2023.
And thankfully, best doesn’t necessarily mean fancy or expensive. You’ll find a variety of restaurants in this guide, from fine dining to burgers. The only thing they all have in common is that whatever they do, they do it exceptionally well. These are the places that will leave you wanting more, the ones you’d send a friend if they were visiting town, and so, we send you.
Raes on Wategos
The views from Raes Dining Room over Wategos Beach are reason enough to make a stop at this opulent oasis, but for serious foodies, it’s a must-visit. Executive Chef Jason Saxby’s creative menu is modern Australian with Mediterranean influences and showcases the region’s finest ingredients. Enjoy spectacularly presented dishes such as Australian Bay lobster, Burrawong duck breast, or market fish with heritage zucchini and squash.
The prix fixe menu is $115 for three courses, or go on a culinary adventure with a six-course tasting menu at $155 and the option to order matching wines at $90. Vegetarians are equally well taken care of with a separate menu that follows the same format.
The extensive wine list, which the team has curated to complement Jason Saxby’s menu, contains an amazing selection of Australian and European wines alongside cocktails and a wide choice of spirits.
Find it: 6/8 Marine Parade, Byron Bay
Three Blue Ducks at The Farm
Three Blue Ducks offers a relaxed dining experience where you can explore the adjacent 80-acre working farm then enjoy a meal on the terrace surrounded by stunning countryside views. The menus revolve around the seasons and combine vibrant, original ingredients into a taste sensation and the result is plated like a photo shoot.
Meat eaters can share a delicious 600g lamb rump with honey, orange, Oomite glaze, while vegetarians will love the eggplant with salted lime, currants, lentils, onions, coconut, and coriander. In summer, head down on a Sunday evening for their popular barbeque with a rotating menu of lamb, pork, beef, and chicken, and in autumn and winter, their hearty Sunday roast will make you look forward to colder days.
To drink, choose from original cocktails, bottled beers, and a good selection of wine, which the knowledgeable staff will be happy to guide you through. All of the Aussie wine is from smaller organic and biodynamic vineyards. The restaurant is an incredibly popular spot for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so booking ahead is recommended.
Find it: 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale
Beach Byron Bay
One of the best restaurants in Byron Bay for ocean views, the open-air terrace of Beach Byron Bay sits perched above Clarkes Beach and offers stunning coastal panoramas across the bay. Awarded an Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat Award again in 2023, Beach is the perfect place to head for a special occasion.
The restaurant’s seasonal seafood-focused menu offers confident and inspired food pairings, including dishes like roasted fish with grilled asparagus, green harissa, pistachio and green olive salsa and roasted lamb rump with caponata, and eggplant caviar. Seafood is wood-fired where possible, and all the pasta is handmade.
The wine list is similarly cultured, carrying labels from Europe and Australia and includes some of the best champagnes you can buy.
Find it: 2 Massinger St, Byron Bay
Located at Habitat on the Arts and Industry Estate, Barrio has a modern architectural feel with a light and leafy interior. The menu is continuously evolving, and many dishes are cooked in the wood-fired oven or on the open-flame grill, which seasons the air and teases the senses as you walk in. At lunch and dinner, choose from favourites like slow-cooked Dorper lamb shoulder, wagyu beef, and smoked eggplant.
The drinks menu sports a handful of cocktails as well as bottled and tap beer, while the lengthy wine list includes plenty of home-grown choices and more expensive examples from Europe and South Africa.
Find it: 1 Porter St, Byron Bay
The Mez Club
For a taste of the Mediterranean, head to The Mez Club. The interior features whitewashed walls, Moroccan artefacts, and rustic, wooden tables, while the menu takes inspiration from Morocco, France, Italy, Spain, and Greece.
In true mezze style, you’ll find plenty of sharing plates, with favourites like hiramasa kingfish, roasted lamb, and haloumi with rhubarb jam, alongside dips, salads, and warm bread. If you can’t decide, try the chef’s tasting menu, which showcases eight dishes for $70 per person. The Mez Club is also one of the best places for drinks in Byron Bay and is well-loved for its beautiful cocktails and extensive wine list.
Find it: 4/85-87 Jonson St, Byron Bay
Set back from Main Beach in Fletcher Street, Di Vino oozes Italian charm. The restaurant’s singular goal is to offer authentic Italian dishes, and as winners of another Australian Good Food Guide Chef Hat Award in 2023, they’re clearly nailing it.
The ambience is relaxed and unpretentious, while the service is friendly and attentive. On the menu, pasta rightly takes centre stage and is all handmade on the premises. You might have eaten lasagne a thousand times, but Di Vino’s version will be a revelation. The menu is lighter on meat and includes several vegetarian options.
The drinks menu starts with a range of Italian-themed cocktails, followed by a mostly Italian wine list and a selection of aged reserve wines from Australia and Italy.
Find it: 4/2 Fletcher St, Byron Bay
Balcony Bar & Oyster Co
Something of an institution in Byron Bay, the Balcony Bar is set inside a heritage-listed building and features a wraparound terrace perched above the town that’s great for people-watching. The menu includes meat dishes from the grill and a selection of fish and pasta dishes, but the star of the show is Balcony’s oysters, which you can order natural, battered, or paired with local smoked bacon and their signature sauce.
In keeping with the laid-back house style, you’ll find the service relaxed and friendly but efficient. A master of wine oversees the extensive wine list, while the in-house mixologist regularly adds new gems to the cocktail menu.
To get the Balcony Bar experience on a budget, check out the daily Sunset Happy Hour, 4-6 pm, and Oyster Hour, every Wednesday, 5-6 pm.
Find it: 7/3 Lawson St, Byron Bay
Light Years Asian Bar and Diner is a Chef Hat Award-winning venue that has recently expanded and moved to the new Jonson Lane precinct. Started by three lads from Melbourne, Light Years has spawned sister restaurants in Noosa and Burleigh Heads, and their successful run continues in Byron.
The vibe is fun and welcoming, and the menu is equally fresh and punchy. Dumplings and bao buns sit alongside traditional curries and favourites like Kingfish Ceviche and Chilli Caramel Pork. Drinks include a selection of 12 cocktails with Asian-inspired ingredients, although the bar will be happy to make classic cocktails too.
Find it: 139 Jonson St, Byron Bay
Bang Bang is possibly one of the coolest restaurants in Byron Bay and is the place to go for a buzzing atmosphere and fantastic food. The menu is resolutely fusion, spanning Kingfish Sashimi, Pad Seuw, Chow Mein, and Braised Beef Massaman Curry. But save room for dessert – you don’t want to miss the Hot Pineapple Pie or ice cream!
Original Asian-styled cocktails or Sapporo beer from the keg will get the evening underway, along with a couple of mocktails. But bear in mind that the restaurant is regularly packed, so it’s best to book ahead if you can.
Find it: 4/1 Byron St, Byron Bay
One of the best Italian restaurants in Byron Bay, Trattoria Basiloco is a real find – genuine Italian cuisine that’s well-made and at a reasonable price. With an open front onto the street, the restaurant is light and breezy. The menu features a small sharing section followed by traditional Italian dishes, such as Venison Ragout and Crab Spaghetti. Pizza lovers can choose from 12 flavours, all of which can be made with a homemade, gluten-free base.
Find it: 30 Lawson St, Byron Bay
Treehouse on Belongil
A little out of town, the Treehouse sits among the palm trees just off the beach at Belongil. With a leafy, shaded conservatory, it’s a great place to chill out with a cocktail or a beer in the afternoon, while live music keeps the atmosphere buzzing in the evening.
The menu reflects the Lebanese chef’s travels throughout Morocco and Italy. Wood-fired pizzas are among the best in Byron, while dinner dishes include fish and vegetarian mains, along with a few meat dishes.
For drinks, there is a short cocktail menu and bottled beers, while the wine list is mainly Australian, with a few drops from France and Italy.
Find it: 25 Childe St, Byron Bay
No Bones takes plant-based food to a whole new level. Located on Fletcher Street, just back from Main Beach, the restaurant has made a name for itself with its recreations of popular meat dishes that vegans and non-vegans find equally delicious.
Main course dishes include No Beef Sliders, Penang Duk Curry, and Prawn Tacos. The three owners are keen to use local suppliers and sustainable practices; hence the wine list is exclusively from Australia. A selection of cocktails, beers, and ciders complete the refreshments.
Find it: 11 Fletcher St, Byron Bay
Yulli’s Byron Bay
Another plant-based eatery taking Byron by storm, Yulli’s adds a vegan twist to Asian fusion. Set just off Byron Bay’s main drag, the restaurant is modern and popular with a buzzing vibe and friendly, efficient staff.
Main dishes come in small, medium, and large and range across the cuisines of China, India, Japan, and Korea, among others. A separate Yum Cha menu is available on Saturday and Sunday, which consists mostly of crispy and fried dishes, dumplings, and buns.
As the third venture from the team behind Yulli’s Surry Hills and Yulli’s Brews, you’ll also find a vegan wine list and Yulli’s Brews’ range of craft beers, ciders, and kombucha.
Find it: 2/1 Carlyle St, Byron Bay
Hidden away inside Feros Arcade, just off Jonson Street, Elixba’s exotic purple and green signage gives a hint of the plant-based restaurant and alchemy bar inside. The menu is well thought out and offers a Banquet tasting menu for $50 per person, for a minimum of two people. For this, each person gets a choice of four main dishes, a drink, and a dessert.
Portion sizes are generous at Elixiba, so the banquet tasting menu can be difficult to finish, but it’s good value. The main menu includes starters such as Raw Kimchi Dumplings, while main courses include curries, nachos, and a vegan burger.
For drinks, there are vegan cocktails, beers, and a small selection of vegan wines.
Find it: Feros Arcade, 10/23 Jonson St, Byron Bay
Owned by a Bundjalung Aboriginal woman, Karkalla skillfully connects Aboriginal culture, art, and stories through food. The menu is eclectic and reflects numerous cuisines, including Japanese, Italian, and Australian, and offers separate menus for brunch, lunch, and dinner.
Example dishes on the dinner menu include snapper and organic mussel curry, and kangaroo fillet.
To drink, you can choose from refreshing fruit and vegetable mocktails or classic cocktails along with a small Australian wine list. Tapas and cocktails take centre stage on Sunday afternoon from 3-6 pm with live music.
Find it: 10/8 Fletcher St, Byron Bay
Main Street Burger Bar
In the centre of town, Main Street Burger Bar has the modern, clean lines of an American diner. The team’s winning philosophy involves using premium local produce, including 100% grass-fed beef, free-range pork, and happy chickens. You’re spoilt for choice with thirteen burgers on the menu, including several vegan and gluten-free options. Salads and side dishes, like chips with herb salt, are extra.
To accompany your burgers, choose from cocktails, handmade sodas, milkshakes, and a short wine list.
Find it: 18 Jonson St, Byron Bay
The Cyprus Tree
Just steps away from Main Beach, the Cyprus Tree is an easy choice for dinner. With an outside terrace on Bay Lane, along with interior seating, you can try out the best in Greek Cypriot cuisine while soaking up Byron’s buzzing atmosphere. The menu has a strong sharing theme starting with a mixed entree for two, which includes pita, dips, grilled halloumi, and roasted peppers.
For mains, you can go for classic Cypriot dishes such as Klefthico and Souvlaki. Or if the sharing vibe is holding strong, there are three main course Mezzare platters – vegetarian, traditional, and a seafood platter made up of scallops, calamari, and whole prawns.
Find it: 3/4 Bay Ln, Byron Bay
From the moment you arrive, Jonsons looks like a class act, with muted colours and sharp, clean lines. Inside, the theme continues with sleek and elegant décor, while the pavement terrace and window bar at the front is great for a drink before you eat.
The menu is made up of tapas-style dishes like Kingfish Tartare, Whole King Prawns, and BBQ Octopus, alongside a selection of mains.
Try the Slow Cooked Lamb Rump, Prawn Linguine, or Premium Eye Fillet for a real treat. The drinks menu contains a selection of classic and signature cocktails, and happy hour is from 5-6 pm.
Find it: 111 Jonson St, Byron Bay
Share your favourite restaurants in Byron Bay
So that’s our pick of the best restaurants in Byron Bay! If you’ve eaten somewhere that should be on this list but isn’t, send us a message here or on social media, and we’ll check it out! We use independent feedback and local knowledge to create all of our guides, so your opinion really matters. And if you think this article would be useful to someone else, feel free to share it – just use the social buttons at the top of the page.