Good food, good friends and fine wine are some of life's greatest pleasures, so of course we love a restaurant that embraces BYO. From cheap eats to fine dining with a view, here are some of our favourite venues to enjoy a fine drop and amazing food.
Tucked away in Kensington Street, Spice Alley is a lively open courtyard bordered by Asian eateries, just like Singapore's hawker centres. With tables spilling onto the street under a canopy of lanterns, Spice Alley allows you to indulge in Asia’s best flavours, paired with your own bottle of vino with no corkage. Winning.
Kensington Street, Chippendale
Serving up Nonna's faves since 1999, Il Baretto is a Surry Hills stalwart that dominates the pasta game. The restaurant is as unpretentious as it gets – the specials are scrawled on butcher’s paper, and there are no fancy wine glasses. Speaking of wine, the list is exclusively Italian, but better still you can also BYO. Even more important to note, Il Baretto is cash only, so make sure you hit up the ATM to avoid playing the transfer game with your posse.
496 Bourke Street, Surry Hills
The aesthetic is worn, but the menu makes Bar Reggio loveable in a way only Italian can. With corkage just a couple of dollars, the restaurant is perfect for a cheap, boozy dinner among friends. Pasta, pizza and Pinot Noir. What's not to love?
135 Crown Street, Darlinghurst
A hidden gem on northern pocket of Bondi’s Campbell Parade, Sean’s Panorama has a hole-the-wall style feel, but the dining space sprawls out onto the street (and into the sun). The menu is seasonal, simple, yet ever-changing. The corkage is $25 per bottle, but this means the afternoon can be spent with Veuve instead of Chandon (at a fraction of the wine list’s cost). When you want to treat yourself and a couple of friends, Sean’s is the place to head.
270 Campbell Parade, Bondi
Once upon a time there was The Larder, a BYO spin-off from the award-winning Otto Ristorante. You could enjoy the same fine dining in a space next door but bring your own bottles of champagne to accompany the menu. Sadly, The Larder is closed at the moment but there is still a BYO option at Otto for those birthday lunches drawing in a big crowd. The $95 group shared menu is popular, as the dishes and drinks accompanied with a spectacular view from the Woolloomooloo wharf. An expensive outing, but it’s a price worth paying for an iconic Sydney dining experience.
Area 8, 6 Cowper Wharf Road, Woolloomooloo
An authentic Indian fix is brought to Maya da Dhaba diners at an affordable price with $2.50 corkage to match. The Surry Hills institution is now an award winning takeaway restaurant, but dining in is just as appealing. The menu covers all the classic Indian dishes and has a large vegetarian selection. Ideal for a mid-week dinner or special occasion with a bigger group.
431 Cleveland Street, Surry Hills
The Inner West has a special place in its heart reserved for Emma’s Snack Bar. A regular pit stop for locals, food lovers flock from near and far to sample Emma's authentic Lebanese street food and moreish share plates. Note to self: Emma’s fills up quick on the weekends, so bring your bottle ($4 corkage per person) along with you early to guarantee a spot.
59 Liberty Street, Enmore
For some seriously good seafood north side of the bridge, head straight to Garfish. Fresh fish is served just the way you want it – grilled, spiced or woodfired, in two distinct locations. Overlooking Manly Cove, Garfish has a woodfired oven and a cocktail and wine bar, SuGarfish. The restaurant is BYO bottled wine only ($6 corkage per person) and no BYO in SuGarfish. Up the hill from the harbour, Garfish Crows Nest soaks up the curbside café culture of Crows Nest – BYO bottled wine only ($5 corkage per person).
Manly and Crows Nest
A gem on the lower north shore, Papaya Thai oozes ambience, caters to large groups and the food (which is so, so good), is designed to be shared. The best part is, Papaya is BYO ($2 corkage per person) with bottle shops conveniently located just steps from their restaurants.
Cremorne and Cammeray
A go-to mid-week dinner stop, Rosso Pomodoro brings authentic Italian to Balmain. The fit-out is bright and basic, but the dishes are exceptional. Simple, quality Italian is brought to customers at an affordable price, and when pizzas are paired with $0 corkage (BYO wine only), a mid-week dinner between friends is made easy for everyone.
20-24 Buchanan Street, Balmain