Palate Poetry: Best Byron Bay Restaurants for Dinner

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Moonlight

‘Show me another pleasure like dinner which comes every day and lasts an hour.’ - Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Former Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs of France.

In the pursuit of authentically refined service and culinary excellence, there is a happy and benevolent recipient – the diner. 

For the curious traveller each dinner becomes a study of the unique character of the destination they dine in. 

Restaurateurs lovingly curate spaces of warmth and chefs transform the finest local produce into dishes that tempt every taste bud to explore. 

Finish your day by transcending the ordinary, step out on the town and explore the best Byron Bay restaurants. Dinner is served. 

Footsteps to Flavour: Unforgettable Dinner Just Steps Away

In the search for the best restaurant in Byron Bay, you can thank Basq House’s central village location that your search can easily be accomplished in your finest heels.

Mez Club

Cnr Marvell and Jonson Streets – 1 minute walk

The Mez Club may only be one minute away from your Basq House room, but it will transport you to Morocco and southern Europe. 

Combining the flavours and character of Spain, Italy, France and Morocco, Mez Club is one of the most desirable dining destinations in Byron Bay. Architecture and décor features orate arches, decadent mezzanines and rich terracotta and cream palettes. 

With an ambience of North African luxury, the menu includes Mediterranean delicacies like the Mez tajine, hiramasa kingfish or smoked honey halloumi. 

A visit to the Mez Club wouldn’t be complete without a foray into its wicked cocktail list. The Black Pearl mixes Cape Byron whiskey, Avallen calvados, Pedro Ximénez sherry, bitters and squid ink foam. The Last Dance marries Madre Mezcal Espadin with sweet strawberry and blueberry puree, zesty lime and woody rosemary. 

Bang Bang

Cnr Fletcher and Byron Streets – 3 minute walk

This Asian fusion hot spot is a local favourite thanks to its ability to service classic Asian dishes enlightened by flavour profiles and techniques that create a modern twist. 

A slightly moody colour scheme is lightened by dramatic chandeliers and greenery. Dark booths seduce diners into long dinners overlooking that action of the cocktail bar. 

Feast on share plates of sticky pork belly, salt and pepper tofu, Moreton Bay bug buns, Bangkok fried rice and red duck curry. Longer than the dinner menu, the drinks menu offers punchy, bold cocktails, a buffet of wine choices, ice cold beers and more. 

Bang Bang is a sensory experience that is just as much about its buzzy ambience and its delicious flavours. 

Karkalla

8 Fletcher Street – 5 minute walk

From southern Europe and then Asia to the ancient wisdom of Indigenous Australia, Karkalla celebrates native food and its important role in identity and culture. 

The passion project of proud Bundjalung woman Mindy Woods, Karkalla was born from Mindy’s passion for Country and creating opportunities for people to connect with Aboriginal culture, art and stories through food. 

Highly seasonal menus evolve with the flow of life. Try the kangaroo tartare, grilled mushroom bunya nut flat bread or native green curry of coral trout and mussels. 

Karalla staff are authentically warm, well informed and versed in the art of creating a dining experience that intrinsically creates a sense of place. 

The Smoking Camel

17 Lawson Street – 5 minute walk

With a bar marked by bright neon lights, there is little doubt that a dinner at The Smoking Camel will come with a generous side of fun. 

The traditional curved doorway and hanging lanterns pay homage to the restaurant’s Arabian origins, while a chequerboard floor and disco ball are a cheeky nod to an ‘open until late’ party promise. 

Ambience aside, The Smoking Camel fills tables with Levantine cuisine, mixing the flavours of Lebanon, Israel and Turkey. Put your flavour fate in the hands of the professionals by choosing the Sultan’s Feast which includes falafel, BBQ king prawns, Baharat spiced Wagyu beef and more.

Get into theme with the Turkish delight cocktail, a mixture of local Brookies Turkish delight gin, pomegranate, cranberry, rose, lime and foam. Or spice it up with the cinnamon, cardamom and fig flavours of a vodka-based cocktail - The Spiced Elixir.

Moonlight

Bay Lane – 5 minute walk

Next door to the Arabian party atmosphere of The Smoking Camel, you’ll find a Japanese hibachi grill and wine bar with a traditional soul and modern attitude. 

The narrow, laneway style restaurant is a bold canvas of midnight black accented with a white mosaic bar and the performance drama of the open kitchen. Moonlight offers seating at the bar, in the dining room or outside on the terrace. 

There is a sense of dedication to Moonlight’s menus. The wine list is graced by biodynamic wines chosen according to the luna cycle, sip-worthy sake, Japanese whiskies and the longstanding craft of cocktail making. 

Plates of watermelon sashimi, miso glazed salmon, Tokyo steak frites and crab rolls leave taste buds satisfied and yet still wanting more. 

The Jonson Lane Set: Top Restaurants Byron Bay

A curated community of retail and dining experiences, Jonson Lane elevates the Byron Bay restaurant offering with bespoke settings and dynamic flavours.

Light Years

139 Jonson Street – 10 minute walk

Peachy hues, terracotta tiles and an expansive bar set the tone for a modern Asian fusion restaurant that doesn’t take itself too seriously. Light Years is a Byron Bay staple that has been recreated around Australia. 

But to truly experience its magic one must dine in the original Light Years restaurant. 

Choose an intimate booth, a bar stool surrounded by all the action or people watch to the tune of lively party beats from a high table on the lane. 

Mud crab dumplings, spicy Korean fried chicken bao buns, cumin spiced cauliflower and roasted duck pancakes are just the tip of the flavour profile on a bold menu.  

Pixie

139 Jonson Street – 10 minute walk

The carefree bohemian heart of Byron Bay style meets old world coastal Italian charm in Pixie. Straight out of 1970’s Italy, vintage leather booths, burnt terracotta flooring and a long marble bar set the scene. 

Chef Matteo Tine pays homage to his Sicilian roots with a confident and evolving menu that features anchovy toast, marinated chargrilled peppers, prawn and saffron risotto and pan fried market fish. 

A decadent wine list battles for centre stage with an uninhibited cocktail list that reads like a liquid love letter to beach life. 

Refresh your palate with a mandarin bellini, a rhubarb spritz or an elderflower infused gin cocktail named Westside. 

Bar Heather

139 Jonson Street – 10 minute walk

Bar Heather is the buzzy love child of two long-time wine importers. James Audas and Tom Sheer are the brains behind incredible wine lists in some of the best restaurants in Byron Bay.  

Loud and fun with a soundtrack of late-era disco, Bar Heather showcases a refined wine list of little known, delicious drops from France, Italy, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Hungary and more.

The proudly atypical stance of the drinks menu bleeds into a food menu of elevated bar food presented with flair. Bay lobster is served with peaches and tomato butter, spanner crab and noodles swim in fragrant sauce and calamari drips in fennel seed vinaigrette. 

The space is full of rich textures, dark wood and warm lights, setting the scene for one of those unexpected evenings that live on in memories never lost.  

An Ode to Celebration: Best Restaurant in Byron Bay

If it were possible to entitle a single restaurant in Byron Bay as the best, then we would search for one that plays a seamless symphony of romance, cuisine and moments. A restaurant you reserve for special occasions.  

Beach Restaurant

2 Massinger Street – 15 minute walk 

Beach Restaurant is an ode to coastal modern Australian elegance. Set against the absolute waterfront overlooking Clarkes Beach, Beach Restaurant pairs Pacific Ocean views with crisp white tablecloths. 

With a setting that is second to none, there is an obvious obsession amongst the team to create moments for diners. At the heart of those moments, food is the star. 

The finest seasonal produce, with a focus on the bounty of the Northern Rivers community, is expertly refined by a talented brigade of chefs. 

The sashimi of local snapper is served with yuzu. The barbeque squid kissed with lemon, chilli and garlic. The spaghetti alla chitarra enlivened by Moreton Bay bugs. And the ice cream sandwich is a heady gift of brioche, lemon myrtle, blackcurrant and white chocolate. 

Whether you’re seeking a quick bite in a funky eatery or a special occasion restaurant that will feed your soul, the best Byron Bay restaurants for dinner are waiting. 

While this guide helps you end the day with grace, our guide to breakfast experiences will help you start it in style. 

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