THE brouhaha surrounding KFC in Byron Bay has thrown up the claim from many in the pro 11 herbs and spices camp that it's nigh on impossible to get a feed for less than $10 in the tourist town.
So The Northern Star set out to discover the truth.
Do the town's notoriously exorbitant commercial rents mean you need to sell a kidney on eBay to be able to eat there or are there cheap and cheerful options if you know how to avoid the tourist traps?
We conducted our research by consulting Byron Bay residents and workers to find out where they eat.
Here's the criteria: Food had to be $10 or less, come recommended and be within quick walking distance of the CBD.
The eateries may not come backed by multi-million-dollar marketing budgets or tall illuminated signs, but they serve up good, honest reasonably priced food, according to those we consulted.
People who prefer some form of nutrition when they eat and vegetarians are especially well catered for.
Here's our picks for the best places in Byron to eat for $10 or under:
Byron Corner Store, Corner Jonson & Byron St - Owner David Anderson bills his store as the place "where the locals eat" which is no idle boast judging by the number of office workers you can see in there grabbing a quick lunch on week days. But this eatery is also a favourite with visiting families as there are a diverse array of options for mum, dad and the kids that won't strain the wallet. You can get a generous salad sandwich for $7.50 and a breakfast wrap jammed with two eggs, bacon, cheese, avocado, spinach and tomato for $9.50. As David's a vegetarian, he also offers a lot of non-meat options.
OzyMex, Lawson St - You have to queue to get served at this eatery during Schoolies and the Christmas/New Year period such is its reputation for serving up big meals for small bucks. OzyMex has all the old favourites like nachos, tacos and burritos with the cheapest item on the menu just $4. The store, owned by the folks behind Byron Bay Chilli Sauces, has nachos starting from $7, or an OzyMex Bowl with beef, chicken or fish for $8.
Beloporto Burgers, Feros Arcade, Jonson St - Manager Shane Morritt says his marinated chicken burgers and seasoned chips which have a huge following among locals and visitors alike, are proof that Byron is already well catered for in this culinary department. Beloporto's meals are $10 for locals, and $10 for everyone on Tuesdays.
"And everything's made fresh every day," Shane said as a sly dig at a certain international fast-food giant.
Hole in the wall,
Lawson St - the eatery and coffee outlet on Lawson St sells fancy rolls and focaccia starting at $5.
One of the most popular items is the crumbed chicken schnitzel foccacio with cheese, lettuce, tomato and your choice of sauce all for $8.
Pot Belly Pies,
Marvell St- This Northern Rivers pie chain offers a meal deal of a 600ml drink and pie including pepper steak and mushroom and lamb mint and rosemary starting from $9.
It's dude food at its finest so little wonder that it's a favourite haunt of male backpackers.
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