Even though Italian cuisine has so many delicious vegetarian dishes, ‘being vegetarian’ is still misunderstood in many Italian towns. As a result I get served everything from fish (mistaking me for a pescatarian) to plain grilled vegetables (thinking I’m a vegan). It can be frustrating and tiresome always calling ahead to advise that ‘two vegetarians are coming to dinner’ and ask if they have anything to serve us.
So coming to Byron Bay really felt like coming home. It truly felt like we were welcome as vegetarians, not strangers from another planet. We felt in the majority not the minority, for once. And we ate like veggie kings.
So it only seems fit that my first vegetarian travel guide be for this vegetarian paradise!
Breakfast & Brunch
// The Farm + Three Blue Ducks
This place deserves its title as a foodie mecca. The boys from Bronte (Sydney) have set up a second venue 5 minutes drive out of Byron which includes a restaurant, store, yoga studio and flower shed on a 32 acre sustainable, chemical and spray free farm.
They have live music on weekend afternoons and you can even buy a picnic hamper to enjoy at your leisure on The Farm grounds.
Best for breakfast as a vegetarian as lunch and dinner have limited options.
// Bayleaf Cafe
Just a short walk from the beach Bayleaf is a favourite among locals and visitors alike. In fact the place is always packed and it can be difficult to get a table during the breakfast rush. But they do serve an all day breakfast to be enjoyed even later on in th day. Its got a typical laid back, relaxed vibe and serves local, organic seasonal produce.
// Top Shop
This corner shop on the outskirts of town is Byron Bay institution. Serving great coffee and a wide selection of snacks its the perfect pitstop heading to or from the beach. We stayed around the corner, so we ended up here most mornings for breakfast.
// Heart & Halo
Certainly one of the best vegetarian cheap eats in Byron, this food bar serves indian and asian inspired eat in and take away meals in a very relaxed and laid back setting. Perfect for a quick lunch, dinner or snack
A short 15 minute drive from Byron in the delightfully sleepy Hinterland town of Newrybar, you’ll find the award winning Harvest.
Also home to the Harvest Produce Delli where you can purchase everything on the ‘bar eats’ menu to take home and enjoy all over again.
Open seven days for breakfast and lunch, with dinner also served Thursday through Sunday, book ahead to avoid disappointment.
// Thai Lucy
Hidden in bay lane (Byron’s ‘eat’ street)
Plenty of veg options and vegan available on request
12-3pm & 1730-late (dinner BYO)
// Treehouse on Belongil
Playful, cozy spot with live music, just out of town, great atmosphere
wide selection of veg wood fired pizza plus other veg options
local craft beer and cocktails
There are so many vegetarian options in Byron that I didn’t get to try them all! I wish I had also had time to try:
// Naked Treaties
// The Cardamom Pod
// Folk Cafe
// The Cyprus Tree
// Manna Haven
// Asia Joe’s