Byron Bay like a Local with Dion Agius
For the best pasta meal you will ever eat, head to the Italian at the Pacific.
There are two places in town that are incredible for coffee, The Roadhouse and The Top Shop. The Roadhouse, on Bangalow Road, was opened earlier this year by some young guys from Byron, and has become known for its amazing barristas and friendly staff. The Top Shop, on the corner of Massinger and Caryle Streets, also serves amazing coffee and an incredible selection of food—the Chilli Chicken Burger, Breakfast Burger and American Burger are winners!
Both The Roadhouse and The Top Shop are no brainers for food as well. For the best pasta meal you will ever eat, head to the Italian at the Pacific (attached to the Beach Hotel on Bay Street). Order the Ragu di Angelie—tortiglioni in a tomato ragu with shredded lamb shank and peas, topped with parmesan— it's life changing! Bayleaf on Marvell Street is another favourite of mine. It has a great vibe and serves incredible tabouleh.
My new favourite spot to drink is The Roadhouse. At night it transforms into a dimly-lit whisky bar, playing incredible music to a very relaxed local crown. If you like bourbon, order The Tusk—Kraken Black spiced rum served over a ball of coconut ice. Leave it for seven minutes to let the coconut melt.
The Beach Hotel is the obvious choice for an afternoon beverage, and the chance to catch some live music. On a nice Sunday afternoon everyone heads there before sunset to have relaxed drinks before the week ahead. The beaches in Byron are some of the most beautiful in the world… if you score a nice sunny day, pick your spot, and go and post up for the afternoon. There are a few sneaky hidden beaches, but you will have to go looking for them—good luck having a local point you in the right direction!
Fletcher Street is home to 11:11 O'Clock and Pompidou; two locally-run boutiques that feature amazing collections of men’s and women’s clothes and accessories. Ahoy on Marvell Street has quirky handpicked homewares worth picking through. Afends is a local Byron Bay brand that has recently gained huge momentum in Australia and overseas. Their store is on Lawson Street also has a lot of great stuff, and stocks the sunglass label I launched in December with a few friends called EPOKHE. Stop by and pick up some… the sun sure is bright around here!
My favourite pastime in Byron, besides surfing, is people watching. The diversity of the people that Byron attracts is amazing, and there is nothing better than sitting on the couches at The Balcony on Lawson Street with a fresh coconut filled with chili and rum, and watch the world go by.
My favourite place to surf is called Tallows. It’s a wave that breaks on the backside of the Byron headland, and gets really fun on days when the wind blows from the north. Weekends can get a little hectic out there, and it is also a little notorious for sharks!
Discover Dion’s favourite local spots
- Flights to Byron Bay: Virgin Australia operates flights to Byron Bay/Ballina daily, direct from Sydney.
- Byron Bay holiday packages: Plan your holiday with ease and expert knowledge, Virgin Australia Holidays offers exceptional Byron Bay holiday packages.
Uncover Dion’s passion for travel
- Keep up with Dion as he transverses the globe, camera in hand and surfboard under arm, visit Dion’s photo diary.