Delicious meals at St Elmo, Byron Bay.
Delicious meals at St Elmo, Byron Bay.

14 Northern NSW restaurants earn prestigious accolade

It wasn't easy for chefs and restaurants in 2020.

The COVID-19 had a massive impact on the industry, with many eateries forced to close their doors or invent new ways to reach their customers.

The judges of the Australian Good Food Guide's 2021 Chef Hat Awards recognised these challenges in naming the winners this week.

"'Tumultuous, tenuous, terrifying' are unsurprisingly some of the impassioned words used by this year's Chef Hat award-winners to describe the 12 months just gone," they said.

"The devastation caused by catastrophic fires and restrictions required to curb the spread of COVID-19 have left no restaurant unaffected, but the consequences have certainly been far more ruinous for some.

"As we release our 2021 Chef Hat Awards, we respectfully recognise the field has not been level.

"This year's awards are a credit to the phenomenal efforts of those who have managed to endure, but in no way take away from the incredible efforts and creativity of some of those forced into closure.

"We concede too that lockdown and border restrictions have obstructed our judges' efforts this past year, and acknowledge that we have not visited as many restaurants as we otherwise would have liked."

We've compiled a list of the Chef Hat winners in Northern NSW.

How many have you visited?

Are there any other restaurants that you think deserve to be on the list? Email and let us know.


Chef Hat winners in Northern NSW

1. The Loft, Lismore

2. Harvest, Newrybar

3. Beach Byron Bay

4. St Elmo Dining Room & Bar, Byron Bay

5. Light Years Byron Bay

6. Di Vino Byron Bay

7. Forest Byron Bay

8. Fleet, Brunswick Heads

9. Pipit, Pottsville

10. Paper Daisy, Cabarita Beach

11. Season, Kingscliff

12. Taverna, Kingscliff

13. Fins, Kingscliff

14. Potager, Carool