The Barossa and Hunter Valley, Margaret River and Tasmania have long been renowned as the ultimate Australian foodie destinations, but the gloriously fertile volcanic soils and a resurgence in organic and slow cooked foods have now lifted Byron Bay and the hinterland of the Northern Rivers high on the list of “must-taste” holiday spots.
Blessed with scenic beauty, quaint cottage industries and a swag of ex-city chefs, Byron Bay and the surrounding hinterland has a unique blend of venues, food events and gourmet delights just begging to be sourced, sampled and taken home. Read on and savour our guide to the ripest and juiciest local food in the Byron region!
Local Farmers’ Market
The first point of call for any foodie interested in tasting the best and freshest of a region is to hit the local farmers’ market, and the Byron region is no exception. Be prepared to load up as the range and quality you’ll find is second to none. Prime organic fruits and veggies, cheeses, olives, nuts, lovingly made condiments and expertly distilled liqueurs all with the essence of the region can be gathered here.
• Byron Bay Farmers’ Market – Every Thursday, Butler Street Reserve, 8-11am
• New Brighton Farmers’ Market – Every Tuesday, New Brighton Oval, 8-11am
• Bangalow Farmers’ Market – Every Saturday, Bangalow Hotel Car Park, 8-11am
• Lismore Farmers’ Market – Every Saturday, Lismore Showground, 8-11am
Harvest Cafe & Deli, Newrybar
Imagine the smells of freshly baked pastries and sourdough bread, local coffee and sumptuous seasonal foods, all nestled in the midst of a picturesque historic village, and you have Harvest. History, passion for food and sustainable living are all part of the Harvest experience. Breakfast, lunch or dinner your yearnings for organic and locally produced food (most of which is grown in their own gorgeous gardens), will be satisfied here. Located in the darling little village of Newrybar, Harvest is less than a 15 minute drive from the Suffolk Beachfront Holiday Park and you must not leave the shire without visiting this local gem. If you’re planning on visiting Harvest Cafe on the weekend, during summer or on a public holiday, we highly recommend you call and reserve a table to avoid disappointment. Phone: (02) 6687 2644.
Sample Food Festival
September brings spring and the much-loved ‘Sample Food Festival’. Now in its 4th year, the Sample Food Festival is a colourful celebration of all things food and is held in the historical Bangalow showgrounds. Attracting top chefs from around the country and the best of the region’s gourmet producers, chefs and restaurateurs this is your chance to indulge, taste, try and simply delight in the heady pleasures of eating great food with good friends. Tasting plates and stalls are all in abundance, along with special dinner events, cooking workshops and much more. The 2014 Sample Food Festival is on Saturday September 13th, the perfect excuse to slip away for a weekend in Byron Bay. Our glamping safari style tents would make the perfect foodies retreat to bring back your gathered goodies and relax with a platter and drink beside the sea.Click here for more information.
Say Cheese Please
If relaxing with platters and cheese plates is your idea of holiday heaven then you must seek out the cheese makers of the Northern Rivers. Byron Bay Cheese Co’s ‘Nashua Washed Rind’ and ‘Brooklet Brie’ are 2 stunning varieties; and for lovers of all things blue Nimbin Valley Dairy produce decadent and piquant blue goats cheese that will blow your mind. Both are stocked in a number of delis around Bryon Bay and at the Byron Bay Farmers’ Market.
Top of the Class
Or if making your own cheese features on your bucket list, why not include a cheese making course as part of your stay. ‘Cheeses Loves You’ in Burringbar offers a range of courses in cheese making, as does Peppertree Kitchen in Lismore which offers cheese making plus other gourmet cooking classes in their custom made cooking school above their delightful kitchen shop and tea house.
The local subtropical climate and rich red soils have leant themselves perfectly for coffee growing, which has led to an industry of award-winning coffee producers. Many of Byron Bay’s cafes proudly support this industry and serve freshly brewed local coffee. Byron Bay Coffee Company is a well-known brand but Zentveld’s, Newrybar Coffee, Ewingsdale Coffee and Mountain Top Coffee from Nimbin are just a few of the other outstanding players who all brew a great cup! If tea is your thing then Byron Bay Tea Company teas combine the finest teas and herbal blends for that perfect relaxing ‘ahhh…’ moment that comes from a cup at the end of a day of exploring. Find them stocked at many stores around the region including ‘Baz and Shaz Fruit and Veg’ right here in Suffolk Park. Or take in the sights, sounds and smells of tea cultivating and manufacturing at the Madura Tea Plantation, Murwillumbah. You can book a one hour tour of Australia’s only sub-tropical tea plantation every Tuesday and Thursday from 10am. Bookings are essential – call (02) 6670 6000.
Sweet, savoury, organic and delicious the food trail which meanders from Byron through the hinterland and around the Northern Rivers is a smorgasbord of delights. Along with our suggestions, exploration will be the essential ingredient to getting the most from your foodie escapade and we haven’t even mentioned the amazing array of eateries. Why not book a foodie getaway today and come taste the flavours of Byron Bay. Mmmmmm….