When you drive into Byron Bay there is a welcome sign, saying, “cheer up, slow down, chill out,” and that defines the experience at the Roadhouse Cafe Bar.
From humble beginnings, the Roadhouse was allowed to grow organically, the local community embraced it, and in the process the Roadhouse has become a Byron Bay institution.
Like Byron Bay, at the Roadhouse Cafe Bar, surfer dudes rub shoulders with locals, Buddhist nuns, award-winning journalists, and even business scions, on communal tables. The conversation is fast, furious, welcoming, and eclectic.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of whisky bottles line the walls. That’s because at night, the Roadhouse turns from a café into a whisky bar, with a dinner menu in the same organic style it serves for breakfast and lunch.
There is a specials board of five or six items that changes at each meal based on local produce. There is also a steady menu of eight or so customer favourites.
The food itself is impressively paleo. Their guiding mission is:
We dedicate our lives to sourcing the highest grade naturally-grown local produce, with which we create foods and elixirs to thrive.
The ingredients are organic and more or less all sourced locally, from actual farmers not corporations. Impressively, if you ask where the ingredients have been sourced they know the actual person’s name.
What’s more, the food is cooked to order. Which might make it a little slower but it is worth the wait. They even do poached eggs, rather than mass quantity produced scrambled eggs.
For lunch, I had the “Farm-gate Paleo Plate” which was a beautiful piece of local sirloin steak, smothered in garlic and rosemary which had so much natural flavour it was memorable. There was no bottled tomato sauce in sight.
It was served with a “living green” salad of pea shoots, new season snow peas, sprouts, and herbs.
Beyond the quality ingredients the food is paleo heaven.
Fancy a good old roast, then head to the Roadhouse on a Sunday evening and you won’t be disappointed. It is one of their most popular meals. Slow cooked pulled pork, beef cheeks, and lamb make a regular appearance on the menu, and for good reason. Their slow-cooked meals melt in your mouth, are deliciously tender and sell out quickly.
The lunch on my visit also included pulled pork pasties with green organic green pea, beetroot, organic green salad and “roady” pickles. If you want a strictly paleo lunch then there was also a glazed pork belly on the menu.
The coffee is amongst the best in Byron Bay, and in addition to cappuccinos and lattes the options include “Bullet Proof” or “Butter Coffee” which is coffee with organic, grass fed, local, creamy butter that is used in replacement of milk. Withhold judgment and give it a go – it is remarkably creamy.
Not a coffee drinker? Also on offer is noteworthy almond milk chai, which is fluffy and aromatic, and turmeric and ginger kombucha. Their ruby red juice is also a favourite, with beetroot, carrot, apple, lemon, ginger, and turmeric.
So if you find yourself in Byron Bay and want to not only eat paleo but experience the full Byron Bay experience, head to the Roadhouse Cafe Bar, and slow down, chill out, and cheer up.
My verdict: I absolutely love this place. So much so, if you end up at the Roadhouse, ask them if I am here and come up and say hello.
6/142 Bangalow Road, Byron Bay, NSW 2481