Elixiba Plant Based Restaurant
I have a lot of unpopular opinions – disliking Byron Bay is one of them.
I don’t know whether it’s my age (the Mayor of Byron Bay recently said that Byron is a place people love at a certain age – and I can’t disagree with him based on my own experience!), or whether living in the Northern Rivers area tainted my view of Byron.
Northern Rivers residents *hate* Byron with a passion, claiming the beaches are better in Yamba and Angourie; the residents of Byron Bay are insufferable (hustlers at best; anti-vaxxers at worst) you have to pay for parking, and the area is full of obnoxious tourists and rude backpackers… the list of Northern Rivers complaints does not end here.
But one thing that Bryon Bay does well is vegan food. Living in Yamba was appalling for this, and I regularly drove to Byron for a decent feed. The stand out vegan restaurant in Byron Bay is Elixiba, which also has restaurants on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. Even North Nomad ate with me at the Robina restaurant, so it has the hardcore carnivore seal of approval!
My recommendation for eating at these restaurants is to bring a partner and share a few dishes. They are generous portions, and filling, but you want to try and sample as much of the unique and delicious food as possible during a visit to Elixiba.
Elixiba Plant Based Restaurant Byron Bay
May I present, the Smokehouse Burger, with chips.
This tasty beast of a burger is filled with BBQ jackfruit, rainbow slaw, house-made pickles and aioli. One of my besties (who I affectionately call “Old Man”, as he looks 10 years younger than he is), orders the Humble Burger, but I didn’t manage to snap a picture of it as he was too keen to eat!
Old Man is a lover of dairy and meat, but at the end of his meal proclaimed the Humble Burger to be “the best burger I’ve ever had”. My Smokehouse Burger is up there at the top of my “best burgers” list, too, and I consider myself to be quite the connoisseur of vegan burgers. The chips are a thing of beauty, hand cut from different vegetables and beautifully spiced. The dipping sauce is moreish and I wish I could buy a container to take home.
These burgers are quite large, but I’m determined to order the Maneater Burger on my next visit. Containing a plant based patty, bbq jackfruit, cocomari, onion rings, lettuce, tomato, caramlised onion, vegan fetta and dressed with aioli, the menu warns it’s for big appetites only!
To finish, I have a white hot chocolate, with half coconut milk and half cashew milk. It’s delicious, warming, and Old Man tells me “you look so content drinking that”.
Elixiba Plant Based Restaurant Robina
The Robina restaurant is set in the Westfields shopping centre, and while it lacks the charm of the Byron Bay establishment, it makes up for it with the quality of the food.
I’m with North Nomad on this occasion, holidaying on the Gold Coast for my belated birthday celebrations. I try and order dishes I’ll love, and that are most appealing to a Canadian who favours meat heavy dishes.
I settle on the coco-mari as a starter, and nachos for our main (both to share). The coco-mari is made from coconut flesh torn into strips, coated with seasonings, and fried to mimic calamari. The texture is surreal in its similarity, and is one of the best approximations of calamari I’ve ever tried.
My ascent to veganism was a slow one, removing types of animals over the course of 12 years. I went via the route of being a pescatarian, then a vegetarian and finally settled on veganism. The only thing I really miss taste wise is seafood and this seriously hits the spot in a way other faux seafoods haven’t before.
The nachos pass muster with North Nomad, and I’m pleased we ordered them. I like the combination of spiced black beans and bbq jackfruit, topped with salsa, vegan cheesy sauce, vegan sour cream and a south west sauce.
And because I want that content feeling again, I order another white hot chocolate. It’s delicious and soul warming.
Byron Bay: Shop 10, Feros Arcade, 23 Jonson St, Byron Bay. NSW. 2481
Gold Coast: Upstairs at “The Kitchens” Shop 5040, Robina Town Centre, Robina. QLD 4230
Sunshine Coast: Shop 3, 11-13 Ocean St Maroochydore. QLD 4558