For this post, I have the pleasure of welcoming a guest ‘blogger’ to Earth by Anna. My darling, permanently hungry sister, Linda, who was fortunate enough to find herself trekking up the east coast of Australia recently.
Being as much of a foodie as I am, Linda probably loitered in restaurants and cafes a little bit more than she should have. Us Weatherlake’s like to eat. However, in between mouthfuls she did manage to jot down the best places to eat plants in the beautiful coastal town of Byron Bay.
See below, ya’ll.
I am a serious food and coffee snob. I’ll admit that. I think living in Melbourne has made me this way. We are so spoilt for choice here that leaving our little food bubble sometimes seems quite daunting. Even if we’re visiting the cool capital of the east coast, Byron Bay.
I was pleasantly surprised with how much food I was able to eat (blessing or a curse I am still not sure) on my recent trip up north. And not just ok food – great food! So to cut to the chase, I have listed below a few of my favourite places to eat in Byron Bay so you too can enjoy the constant food coma I found myself in.
If you only eat once in Byron Bay, firstly, shame on you and secondly, you must try the Fresh Taco Bowl from Manna Haven.
Manna Haven is one of the best all vegetarian cafés in Byron Bay. They use fresh and local ingredients to produce a menu which although hosts only a few selections, well and truly delivers on quality and taste. The taco bowl is palate heaven in its finest form and consists of a generous serve of hummus, sweet chilli sauce, quinoa tabouleh, salad and falafels. The sandwiches at Manna Haven are also next level and are filled with generous servings of fresh plant-based goodness.
Manna Haven is only open for lunch so make sure you plan your day around this café and if time allows, sit and admire their perfectly manicured garden whilst devouring one of their delicious smoothies, salads or mouth watering desserts.
97 Jonson St,
The Cardamom Pod
The Cardamom Pod is a bain-marie style veggie haven serving everything from dahl to potato bake to some seriously good (and large) raw vegan treats. Before arriving in Byron Bay, I had read that The Cardamom Pod was a ‘vegan must visit’, so it was one of the first places I beelined it for on arrival. However, I must admit I left feeling a little bit disappointed. Unfortunately the service put a real dampener on my experience and my meal was good but not life changing as I anticipated it to be. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I couldn’t help but feel let-down.
However, The Cardamom Pod did have a saving grace – their raw vegan desserts. With choices like snickers, cherry ripe, tiramisu and the peanut cup, these well-priced, oversized bites of goodness are a force to be reckoned with. I dare you to just get one. I dare you.
NB: Calories don’t count when you’re on holidays.
Located in the heart of Byron Bay, Miss Margarita is smack bang in the middle of an area I usually try and avoid – the tourist centre. #snob
Although this little Mexican paradise isn’t a strictly vegetarian or vegan restaurant, there are plenty of options on the menu for plant eaters and the staff are incredibly switched on with ingredients and cooking processes. I ordered a mushroom naked burrito which was incredibly satisfying and somehow managed to fill the bottomless pit, sometimes referred to as my stomach. Fist pump for large portions!
Sit by the window, skull a margarita, have some guacamole and watch the pesky tourists go by and if you know what’s best for you, don’t go for a surf after you’ve ordered extra jalapeños – seriously.
2 Jonson Street,
The Farm is one of those eateries where ‘ethical’ meat is raised on the farm for food. Yes, ‘ethical’ meat. #nosuchthing
On one hand I was hesitant to even set foot in this café as the thought of supporting a place which believes there is an ethical way to take the life of an animal sends shivers down my spine. However, on the other hand I also thought they were doing a great job growing their own fresh produce (meat aside) and they should be supported and encouraged to put more vegan options on the menu. I was torn. Torn you hear me!
In the end, I stepped into The Farm and ended up ordering the vegan black rice porridge which was an incredibly generous portion topped with nuts, seeds, coconut, goji berries and blueberries. I washed it down with a heavenly salted caramel smoothie and for the first time in my life felt completely defeated by a meal. It was so, so good, but so, so massive. Clearly portion control isn’t a strong suit of mine.
Although The Farm could potentially offer more vegan options, the quality of the (plant) food was outstanding. I encourage you to visit this place and let your order be your voice.
11 Ewingsdale Road,
Heart & Halo
Heart & Halo is a hub for honest and freshly prepared vegetarian and vegan food. Tucked away in the back streets of Byron Bay underneath the Bayside Motel, Heart & Halo is a bain-marie style restaurant that offers delicious, hearty plant-based food with nothing to hide.
Open from breakfast through to dinner, Heart & Halo is a great spot for a sit-down meal or take away. Indulge in an organic curry, dahl or vegetable bake along with some locally sourced salad from the salad bar. Or perhaps you’d prefer a wholesome porridge? Whatever your preference, Heart & Halo has it all. Bonus: the staff are incredibly friendly.
4/14 Middleton St,
Naked Treaties Raw Food Bar
Naked Treaties is a vegan paradise offering smoothies, salads, raw treats and a raw gourmet menu that changes daily. Open for breakfast and lunch, Naked Treaties have a massive smoothie menu and also offers them pre-made so if the one you want is already in the fridge you can grab it and run. The food at Naked Treaties is wholesome, colourful and incredibly nutritious and you leave feeling like you’re being cleaned from the inside out. It is a wonderful place to celebrate vibrant and healthy living, but there is limited seating so be prepared to take away. Make sure you grab one of their amazing raw treats. *salivating*
2/3 Marvel St,