After a few years of working 9 – 5 office jobs in Sydney, creatives Maggie Dylan and Julian Kelly (and their dog, Cohen) decided it was time to up sticks and head to the country. As luck would have it, it wasn’t long before they stumbled across a rundown shack and decided that was the place they’d open Folk – a thriving vegetarian café at the heart of Byron Bay’s sustainability scene.
Maggie and Julian had always wanted to work for themselves and pursue a more creative lifestyle, but they weren’t sure exactly what type of business they wanted to open. But, when they came across a shack for lease on the outskirts of Byron Bay, they immediately fell in love with the idea of opening a café that brought together their mutual love for food, art and community spirit. In fact, they loved the idea so much that they signed the lease without even viewing the property in person.
The couple transformed the crumbling building into an eco-chic café with wooden and whitewash walls, vintage pottery pieces and an array of lush greenery, both indoors and outdoors, that is now a firm favourite with locals and visitors.
Folk is located away from the busy, tourist-filled centre of Byron Bay, making it the perfect place to enjoy a quiet coffee to start your day or to pass a few hours with friends. The café is also opposite Discovery Holiday Park, a popular place to stay for families, festival goers and grey nomads.
This mix of clientele, the veterinarian and plant-based menu, plus the swinging 70s tunes that play throughout the day (think Johnny Cash and The Eagles) all add to an atmosphere that reflects the Byron lifestyle before the influx of tourists. Maggie and Julian describe Folk as an extension of their own home and kitchen which continues to evolve along with their own tastes and those of their customers.
It’s a vibe
Take a seat on one of the handcrafted wooden stools or on one of the picnic rugs under the shade of native palms while browsing the menu and you’ll see that Folk Byron Bay has a commitment to the health of its customers as well as the planet.
The seasonal menu is the same all day with cleverly designed dishes that you can eat for breakfast, brunch or lunch. All dishes are either vegetarian or fully plant-based. Our favourite dishes are the Folk burrito with spiced biodynamic brown rice and quinoa, organic black beans, relish, roast pumpkin, house kraut, avocado and garden greens, and the gilled zaatar pita bread with hummus, cucumber, tomato, pistachio, savoury pickle, garden greens, fresh herbs and a poached egg.
If you’re a bit of a coffee afficionado you’ll be in your element at Folk. Firstly, we love that there’s no extra charge for your choice of milk, and they have them all. The house coffee beans are from Dunes in Melbourne, but for something more exotic try the Matcha Mesquite Antioxidant Rich Brew, Spiced Cacao Cardamon Hot Chocolate or, on a hot day, the chilled House Brewed Vanilla Kefir will hit the spot.
Address: 1/399 Ewingsdale Road Byron Bay
Monday – Friday | 7.30am – 2.30pm