18 Top Northern Rivers Restaurants
Whether it’s a long indulgent lunch or an intimate evening sharing delicious food and fine wine, there are many sensational restaurants to tempt your taste buds in the Northern Rivers Tweed Region.
Not sure where to begin? Here are 18 venues that are sure to melt your heart.
Settle in at Harvest for a feast of the senses
Embrace the local harvest and nature’s offerings in an exciting dining experience at Harvest. Relish the fresh flavours and remarkable wines in the stunning Queenslander-style building.
Dishes are simple and honest and change with the seasons. Wander the kitchen garden and settle in on the lawns for live music on Friday evenings. There is also a deli and bakery for weekend treats.
Are you a lover of fine Italian cuisine? Then you must experience Gallura Italian in Tweed Heads. Drawing inspiration from Sardinia and the surrounding coastline, this establishment serves up fresh, local seafood, handmade pasta and delicious desserts to delight the taste buds – delicious!
Chef Ben Devlin serves up the goods at Pipit
Celebrate coastal dining with bold, balanced, seasonal flavours at Pipit. Award-winning chef and Byron Bay native, Ben Devlin, is the powerhouse behind this modern fine dining establishment. The seasonal menu incorporates sustainable seafood, wood-fired and charcoal cooking and Northern Rivers produce including wild edibles sourced from local farmers. Seduce your taste buds (and partner) with a long degustation.
This cosy and inviting yet polished neighbourhood restaurant is located in the romantic Art Deco building in Murwillumbah’s Art Precinct.
The dynamic team behind Bistro Livi focus on a mutual love of great food, wine and good times. Their Spanish-inspired menu includes a delicious char-grilled steak or superb pork chop and shiitake mushrooms, paired with organic wine.
Escape to Greece for the night at Taverna
– Can’t make it to Greece this year? Then visit Taverna at Kingscliff instead and soak in the traditional atmosphere. This Insta-worthy restaurant offers a host of contemporary Greek delicacies that are sure to leave you wanting more. Try the Byron Bay haloumi, fried baby squid or the slow-roasted lamb shoulder with red wine jus.
It’s certainly worth the pretty drive to this multi award-winning eatery in the Tweed hinterland. Set in a charming country cottage, Potager prioritise the provenance of their food, and most of the fresh produce is grown in the surrounding kitchen garden. Settle in and share the 12-hour saltbush braised New England lamb shoulder – it’s divine.
Relish a seaside feast at Shelter
If you want a truly memorable feast by the sea then head to Shelter at beautiful Lennox Beach. The focus is on using ethical, sustainable, seasonal and local produce aimed at cultivating awareness around supporting local growers and producers. The result – mouth-watering dishes such as Yellowfin tuna, nori, hazelnut, shallot and ponzu. Book for Sundowner drinks and snacks and be soothed by the sounds of the waves.
Situated at the foot of the awe-inspiring Wollumbin (Mt Warning), Mavis’ Kitchen is set on a 25-acre former dairy farm. The elegant country-style restaurant, housed in a renovated Queenslander, offers lunch, weekend breakfast and dinner on Saturday nights.
The food is sourced from local farmers and artisans and caters to all tastes. Why not take the wining and dining a step further and book a cabin for the weekend?
Chef Matt Stone has created an irresistible menu from seasonal locally sourced produce at Ciao, Mate!. In a cosy little hideaway in Bangalow village, this neighbourhood restaurant serves up wood-fired pizza, pasta, natural wines and craft beer. The potato pizza is definitely one to try, and the pistachio and spiced ricotta cannoli is an extra special treat to complete your meal.
Tuck into fresh seafood at Belongil Beach Italian Food
Enjoy a seaside dining experience complemented with fresh, locally sourced seafood and fish. The BBIF menu is carefully designed by head chef, Danny Rossi in collaboration with Elijah Holland, to showcase the best seasonal produce from the Northern Rivers region. The spaghetti with Goolwa pips, chilli and bottarga is sensational.
The team at Paper Daisy have hit the foodie jackpot. Situated in the beautiful Halcyon House, this fine-dining restaurant has been consistently awarded a Chef’s Hat since opening in 2017.
Every item on the menu is designed to tantalise your taste buds with local produce and seafood featuring prominently.
Lovers will be delighted by the menu at Jordy’s. Located in Brunswick Heads, this seaside eatery is known for its exceptional degustation and beautiful view of the ocean.
Enjoy a four-course degustation from Head Chef Jordan Birt that changes daily based on the freshest produce available.
Season restaurant is an award-winning dining venue in the heart of Salt Village, Kingscliff. With a focus on sustainable and local ingredients, the team have created an interesting mix of flavours to tantalise your taste buds. Enjoy fresh dishes such as oven-roasted gnocchi, delicious char-grilled steak or superb pork chop and Shiites.
Barrio is the go-to destination for Spanish tapas in Byron Bay. Set in a beautiful old beachside cottage, this restaurant celebrates traditional and modern Latin American culture with an innovative selection of dishes.
Must-try items include the BBQ octopus, tamarind churros and grilled quail.
A must on our list is La Casita, a Mexican restaurant located in Mullumbimby. This vibrant eatery serves up authentic Mexican dishes and cocktails with a modern twist.
Owner-chef Jess Foster has crafted an exquisite menu of tacos, enchiladas and desserts such as the famous Ricky’s Fritters and churros.
Federico and his team at No. 35 Kitchen and Bar have created an exquisite menu showcasing the best of what the Northern Rivers region has to offer. Using fresh seasonal produce, they have crafted a menu that changes with the seasons.
Be sure to try Federico’s signature dish – slow-cooked lamb shoulder with crispy roasted rosemary potatoes,
Federal Doma Cafe
Conveniently located in the heart of Federal village, Federal Doma Cafe serves up modern Australian cuisine with Asian influences. The restaurant has an impressive selection of dishes ranging from salads and sandwiches to curries and noodles.
The team also serves up some delicious desserts such as the matcha white chocolate tart or mango sticky rice pudding – worth the drive.
Lolita’s Cantina serves up some of the most authentic Mexican cuisine in Byron Bay. Led by head chef, Rodrigo Valenzuela, this vibrant eatery offers a delicious selection of tacos, burritos and enchiladas.
Be sure to try their famous taco platter with roasted pork shoulder, beef brisket, chorizo and smoked chicken.
Fins at Salt Village is a modern seafood restaurant located in Kingscliff. The restaurant’s menu is inspired by the sea and features locally sourced fish, prawns and mussels from the Northern Rivers region.
Be sure to try their signature dish – pan-seared John Dory with cauliflower puree and lobster bisque. The perfect way to end your meal is with their delicious coconut crème Brulé or passionfruit cheesecake.
Have we tantalized your taste buds?
As you can see, the Northern Rivers region of New South Wales is full of incredible places to eat.
Whether you’re looking for fine dining or a place to grab a casual bite, there’s something here to satisfy any craving.
It’s hard to narrow down the list and decide where to start, but I’m confident that one of these 18 top Northern Rivers restaurants could become your new favourite spot.
Looking for more eating and drinking options?
While you’re here please check out the local business directory