{Cafe Review} Manna Haven, Byron Bay

Mat celebrated his birthday on Tuesday- he creeps ever closer to the big Four Zero!

Byron Bay

He wanted to celebrate the day by visiting one of the busiest tourist hot spots in our region at its busiest time of year – Byron Bay. Who was I to argue with that proposal?!

Despite the frenetic pace, rubbish-strewn streets and lack of adequate public amenities, I have a soft spot for the place. The beaches are truly special.

We arrived in Byron in time for a late lunch.

Manna haven

We decided to visit Manna Haven, a not-for-profit vegetarian cafe run by the Byron Bay Seventh Day Adventist Church. We had heard whispers of a new vego cafe in Byron, and we were keen to check it out.

This was our family’s first visit to the cafe, but it certainly won’t be our last. I am looking forward to our next batch of visitors from the ‘Big Smoke’, so that we can share our great discovery with them.

Upon arrival, we were welcomed by a friendly staff member who informed us – upon seeing our trail of children – that the cafe had a children’s play corner.

As the boys began scrounging for treasures in the toy box, the same friendly staff member handed us a couple of  menus. We seated ourselves on a pew near our happily playing children and began examining the menu.

The menu features numerous vegan and gluten-free options. It also specifies if a meal is ‘low GI’, or ‘raw’ or contains a ‘superfood’.  My daughter was thrilled to discover that the cafe serves raw cheesecakes – a berry one, and a mango one. They also sell a vegan cheesecake made from Tofutti.

We decided to eat inside to avoid the hot sun. After placing our order, we moved to a long table with a cushion-strewn pew, and we plonked Little Baker into a high chair.

Our drinks arrived first.

drinks

Berry Blast Smoothie for the kids to share (raspberry, blueberry, strawberry and banana on soy milk). At Manna Haven, vegans have a choice of rice, almond and soy milks.

A chai latte made with Rooibos tea for me. It was decorated with a cinnamon stick, which provided a good five minutes of entertainment for the children! The drink was creamy and moreish, with a mild cinnamon flavour. I truly savoured each sip.

fruit salad1
Admittedly, our eyes were bigger than our bellies when we ordered, and the serves were very generous. Consequently, we were presented with copious amounts of fresh, vibrant food.

Firstly, a fruit salad with cashew cream for the kids. This appealing and colourful salad was devoured in no time. This is a fail-safe and kid-friendly option for us – our kids are fruit bats!

We also ordered several dishes from the Mains’ section of the Lunch Menu.

$13.20$14.70 (gf option)

$13.20
$14.70 (gf option)

I  ordered a Big Burger. The menu describes it as ‘a large open burger with a grilled legume-based patty… Served with fresh salad, caramelised onions and a capsicum relish’. It also featured a generous amount of hummus. I chose the gluten-free option.  The bread was quite hard; I had difficulty cutting it but that did not detract in any way from my enjoyment of the meal.  The burger came with a mountain of raw salad vegetables. I was delighted to discover that the patty was one of the tastiest I have ever eaten. I shared this meal with Mini Chef.

Mat enjoyed Longevity Patties. I think that is an appropriate meal to have on one’s birthday! They are described on the menu as ‘walnut and brown rice patties served with roast capsicum relish, rocket and hummus’.  The patties are gluten-free. Mat also ordered Tri-Salad Plate – ‘a choice of three salads with a zesty dressing’. 

$8.50

$8.50

Mat’s Tri-Salad Plate consisted of:

Roast Vegetable Salad with quinoa, baby spinach and roasted pepitas. Gluten-free.

Purple Sunflower Slaw – purple cabbage, roast sunflower seeds, capsicum and baby spinach. Gluten-free.

Zestabouli – quinoa, barley, tomato, cucumber and fresh herbs.

The salads were scrumptious. My favourite was the Roast Vegetable Salad. I can’t resist a roasted vegetable!

I think our daughter’s meal was the largest.

$14.50

$14.50

She chose Mum’s Vegetable Lasagne, served with a choice of two salads – the Purple Sunflower Slaw and Roast Vegetable Salad. Mat helped her polish off this hearty lunch. According to the menu, the lasagne contains 7 vegetables.

Little Baker nibbled on vegetables and a chunk of vegie pattie – and an unbleached serviette! I promise, the patties were scrumptious and tasty and much more flavoursome than a serviette, even an unbleached one.

Suffice to say, there was no room for dessert! My daughter was very conflicted. She had been dreaming of raw berry cheesecake, but alas, she just couldn’t fit it in. You saw the size of her meal!

cafe

Our lunch at Manna Haven was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. The food is wholesome, tasty, vibrant and colourful – I think we ate every colour of the rainbow! All palates in our family were catered for. The meals are abundant in size and healthfulness.

It is a cafe that we will definitely return to. I don’t think my daughter has forgotten about the berry cheesecake! I am keen to try some of the other vegan (and gluten-free) delights – such as Moussaka, Vegetable Green Curry, and Baked Potato Stack – although it will be hard to go past the Big Burger.

I noticed a green smoothie on the drink menu. An early morning swim, and breakfast at Manna Haven is now on the agenda!

Manna Haven –

97 Jonson Street, Byron Bay, NSW

For opening hours and contact details, click here.

ByronBay

We spent a couple of hours on the beach in the early evening. The kids built 20 sandcastles, swam with their dad in the ocean, and were fascinated by a poor, washed up jelly fish. Little Baker played on the sand, and dipped his toes in the sea.

The weather was glorious. A holiday vibe blanketed the town, with holiday-makers, locals and lots of dogs enjoying the beach.    

Do you have a favourite beach side town or suburb? Divulge all!

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About Ally
Mamma. Vegan. I blog at Made of Stars.

15 Responses to {Cafe Review} Manna Haven, Byron Bay

  1. Xiomara says:

    I love your pictures and babies! It’s crazy to imagine you are at the beach while I’m freeeezing in NYC lol. We are far far away from each other.

    • Ally says:

      I know. I find it hard to imagine too! Although, it is pouring rain here today so it is very un-beach like weather! I actually felt cold overnight.
      I’m glad you liked the photos.

  2. tahinitoo says:

    How funny… My partner Tim celebrated his birthday this past week too (also getting closer to the big 4-0)! And, we went to the Oregon coast! I guess we all know how to celebrate properly, huh? The food at Manna Haven looks remarkable! Colorful, vibrant, healthy, and nourishing – can’t beat that. Hope you and your family are able to enjoy a break in the heat soon. 🙂

    • Ally says:

      That is funny! A trip to the coast is a great way to celebrate a birthday.
      I noticed the towering rocks in your photos. In my last beach photo, you can see a rock emerging from the ocean- it’s called Julian Rock. People scuba dive there. Apparently you can see turtles and grey nurse sharks.
      When I lived in Sydney, I lived right on the coast but I think I just took it for granted. Now that I don’t live on the coast, I appreciate its beauty so much more.

  3. susykat says:

    I can’t wait to join you guys for lunch here next time I’m up! The food looks wonderful – I guess it adds a new option to the mix when we lunch at Byron (instead of just Japanese and the falafel place – as much as I love both places!). I will definitely try the moussaka – I LOVE moussaka! And cashew cream on fruit salad sounds delectable!!! Glad Mat got to indulge in some lovely food on his birthday.

    • Ally says:

      We are there! You have moussaka- and I’ll have a taste! I’ll order potato stack and share it with you. We’ll get raw cheesecake too.
      Mini Chef loved the vegie patties. He was talking about them last night.
      We were planning another trip to Byron yesterday but it rained all day. We were going to have Japanese for dinner.

  4. Andra Muhoberac says:

    This is such a lovely review! I love the photos, the descriptions, and the humour! If only the world’s children could be raised like yours!

  5. Sophie33 says:

    What more do you want on a perfect vegan full & enojying yourselves day??
    Happy Birthday to your husband! Yeah!!

    What a great & tasty review! Your main dish is huge! That lasagna & the sides are huge!

    I couldn’t eat all of that deliciousness! Lovely pics too! Thanks!

  6. Happy birthday, Mat! Wow, what awesome options at the Manna Cafe and seeing how much everyone enjoyed it. Plus, such a lovely day at the beach! I will remember this if I ever make it to Byron Bay 🙂

  7. liveblissful says:

    That all looks so good! Last week when I went to Byron it was either this place or The Conscious Cafe, but I saw that Conscious Cafe first. Definitely have to go back to try this place out! I think Marco would of preferred this place.

    • Ally says:

      Yes, we had the same choice! We’d done a web search before we went. We realised that Manna Haven was the cafe that we had been hearing about.
      We actually parked right next to Conscious Cafe! We looked around, checked the menu and decided that we still wanted to go to Manna.
      There are some other yummy places- a middle eastern place called Orgasmic Felafel, and a Japanese place called Kinoko. We usually go to either of these. Now we have Manna as an option too.

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