It’s the place to see true entrepreneurial spirit at play with new products, new ideas and new ways of just being to ponder. It’s where you’ll find stalls overflowing with a gamut of seasonal fruit and vegetables, freshly baked bread, hand-churned gelato, samosas, gourmet cheeses, organic oils and artisan delicacies. There’s freshly picked flowers, honey, free-range eggs, small goods, baked treats, great coffee and live music. And it means you can do your own paddock to plate thing while supporting local business. After all it’s all about local, making, baking, sewing, growing and then selling to locals and visitors from across the globe, and we can’t get enough of them!
One of our faves is Byron’s Community Market which happens on the first Sunday of every month and has been operating for more than 30 years. The big news is that from August 2019 to January 2020 the 290+ stalls will be set up on the beachfront between the Byron Bay Surf Life Saving Club and Clarkes Beach. You’ll hear the markets before you see them. It’s the sound of great local performers and buskers plying their craft, creating a fabulous backing track for this always dynamic, community market.
We start with a steaming hot coffee, but if you just can’t wait, there are lots of first-of-the-day coffee spots to drop into on your easy walk to the markets from any one of our luxury BBA abodes. Places like Top Shop, The Byron General Store, Kombi, Sparrow or Sunday Sustainable Bakery. And to accompany our coffee? It’s Byron Bay Organic Doughnuts for one (ok some…) of their dribble-worthy cinnamon doughnuts. Sugar rush and caffeine high satisfied!
Of course with the markets now so close to the beach our hot tip? Take a basket and rug, and put together your own gourmet picnic to set up on the long stretch of Clarkes Beach. Chill out for a few hours under a clear blue Byron sky, watch the waves roll in and maybe even spot a whale or two. And if you’d rather head back to your Byron Beach Abodes holiday accommodation with your scrummy market spoils, you’ll find most BBA properties have superbly provisioned kitchen for you to get creative channelling your inner Nigella or Darren Roberston.
Then it’s a slow meander through the aisles of the markets, packed full of stallholders showcasing their creative genius and ingenuity. There are always lots of wearable hemp products which give a nod to the hippie culture that influenced Byron Bay for so long, but homewares and pieces to spark your home décor abound too. We love picking up things like a new hand-woven basket to hold our must-have cotton throws from Hale & Mercantile or to use as a plant holder for a lush green kentia palm, or maybe it’s some delicate strands of tiny threaded shells to hang off a doorknob or a length of hand-died fabric to create a new look for our cane hanging chairs or sofas. (As long as it’s in our signature colour palate of white, grey, black, the colours of natural raw linen with maybe just, a splash of gold or bronze - of course!)
Then it’s on to the farmers’ market stalls and it’s hard at this time of year to go past the selection of beautifully coloured summer fruits and a big pot of honey from one of the regions dedicated beekeepers. Another favourite is the Byron Bay Olive Company whose superbly marinated morsels, pickled garlic and homemade dips are staples on any of our antipasto platters. And a big bunch of freshly picked blooms to delight our senses is a must.
We finish how we start. Same same but different, with a visit to Hari Har Chai who’s had a presence at the markets for more than 20 years. Her selection of chai teas is amazing and our go-to is the Chocolate Chai with subtle hints of licorice and cinnamon. Yum!
And to eat? Not more donuts. It’s always Baylato - a lustworthy vintage caravan with pink and white stripes and loaded with homemade, authentic and fresh gourmet gelato made by In The Pink. They’ve been making gelato in Byron for 25 years and so good are their icy confections, they were nominated by Delicious mag as ‘one of the 10 best gelaterias in Australia’. Why wouldn’t we finish a day at the markets like this?
And if you don’t happen to be in Byron the first Sunday of the month, here’s the calendar of markets for the other weeks of the year.
FIRST WEEK OF THE MONTH
SECOND WEEK OF THE MONTH
THIRD WEEK OF THE MONTH
FOURTH WEEK OF THE MONTH
ADDITIONAL MARKETS IN BYRON BAY
For fresh produce and local meat products, head to the weekly farmers' markets across the region. Many local farmers also offer certified organic fruits and veggies. See below for a list of dates and locations of farmers' markets.