The Stockpot Kitchen, Bangalow
This casual eatery and smokehouse is nestled within the Bangalow Bowls Club and slings a hearty Southern-style menu where fried chicken is the hero. Serving dinner from Tuesday to Saturday and lunch from Friday to Sunday, ‘the bowlo’s’ resident smokehouse dishes up everything from saucy wings to 11-hour smoked brisket burgers, black-bean and corn chilli bowls, and slow-cooked-meat plates brimming with sides like tater tots, pickled slaw and corn bread with smoked honey butter. You’ll find it hard to look past the ‘crack chicken’ – a plate of seasoned fried chook loaded with chips, kale and apple slaw and a fresh bread roll, all generously doused in chicken gravy.
Punch and Daisy, Mullumbimby
Nestled at the end of Stuart Street in the heart of Mullumbimby, Punch and Daisy has a colourful breakfast and lunch offering, driven by the region’s rich local produce. You can sip on smooth brews by Moonshine Coffee, roasted nearby in Federal, while you tuck into eye-catching plates like haloumi and carrot fritters, and The Bread Social croissants filled with beetroot, labneh and watercress. Hot tip – spend some time in antique store Urban Archeology while you’re in town.
Ben’s Patisserie, Murwillumbah
This small family-run patisserie on Murwillumbah’s main drag is known for its quality treats, with its delicious flaky pastries hand made from scratch on the daily by passionate French patissier and owner, Ben. There’s Toby’s Estate coffee pouring, plus a glorious rotating selection of macarons, eclairs, baguettes, pastries, biscuits and more. Yes, buttery croissants are also available – chow down on a plain one, or live on the edge with the oozing fetta and spinach-filled variety.
Keith and Keith’s Shop of Really, Really, Really Good Things, Murwillumbah
More than two-and-a-half years ago, Matthew Taylor and Katie Browne opened Keith – a fun day-and-night eatery and bar serving specialty coffee, breakfast, lunch, baked goods, plus natural wines and craft beers, all with plenty of personality. Earlier this year, the duo expanded their offering next door with Keith’s Shop of Really, Really, Really Good Things, which is a more grab-and-go situation for deli items, home-style takeaway meals, fresh breads, house-made pantry essentials like pickles, kimchi and preserves, plus gifts like tote bags, locally made ceramic pieces, greeting cards, books (that you’ll actually want to read) and coffee-brewing equipment. Fun fact – Keith is a real person, he’s Matt and Katie’s best mate.
Fallen Leaf Espresso and Tea Bar, Burringbar
Burringbar’s old bakery was transformed into a dreamy teal-coloured cafe and tea bar last year, and is now armed with killer coffee from Moonshine Roasters and serves wholesome eats for breakfast and lunch, covering everything from smoothies to flavour-packed green bowls, raw treats and more. Open seven days a week, Fallen Leaf also doubles as a dispensary for its own small-batch medicinal teas and herbs, so you can choose something from the tea bar and sit and stay a while (nab the hanging chair out the front if you can), or grab your loose-leaf teas on the go.