BYOB: the first rule of barbecues and dinner parties, but a restaurant no-no. Most respectable establishments will slap a whopping corkage fee at the very sniff of a smuggled Jacob’s Creek. And for good reason, restaurants benefit from a pretty sizeable mark-up from their wine lists and, they’d add, you also benefit from the experience of a sommelier and the wine list they’ve carefully assembled without the contamination of Jacob, or his creek… But once in a while restaurants come along that let you B your own B and suddenly you’ve the chance to either bring along something truly special that you’ve been saving for that perfect meal or occasion, or else something truly cheap that makes getting the bill more palatable. Either way, here’s a list of the London BYOB joints we rate.
Neighbourhood brasseries with excellent steak
Bring a nice bottle of red and feast on Foxlow’s excellent steaks on BYO Tuesdays. The neighbourhood brasserie restaurants are located in Soho, Chiswick, Balham and Clerkenwell and do an awesome roast dinner.
Where: 8-10 Lower James Street, Soho , W1F 9EL
Mondays are juicy with boozy
It is a truth universally acknowledged that Mondays are just ghastly. The worst. But not at Hawksmoor. For £5 corkage you can bring a bottle of whatever you like to accompany some of the best steak dishes London has to offer.
Community Veggie and Vegan
This charming cafe just a short walk from Vauxhall Station is the very hub of the community around Bonnington Square. Run by the locals it specialists in vegetarian and vegan food. They don’t charge corkage and they only take cash.
Where: 11 Vauxhall Grove, Vauxhall, SW8 1TD
Bring something special for BYOB Mondays
Grab a bottle of something special and head down to Hix on Mondays, when BYOB rules the house. Founded by chef, restaurateur and food writer Mark Hix the food is exquisite, perfect for that wine you’ve had waiting on the wine rack for just the right occasion.
Where: 36-37 Greenhill Rents, Cowcross Street, EC1M 6BN
Is it okay to drink with breakfast?
Celebrating everything 1980s (it’s named after the John Hughes film) they do a pretty mean breakfast, but unless you’re a committed wino then you might rather bring YOB for a long weekend brunch or dinner.
Where: 33 D’Arblay Street, Soho, W1F 8EU
BYOB (of vodka)
Georgia will be very much on your mind at this Hackney restaurant celebrating the food of the former Soviet state, with its retro décor and eclectic menu.
Where: 87 Goldsmiths Row, Hackney, E2 8QR
This no nonsense curry house is the best place to tame the heats and spices with a cold BYO beer! Nestled on popular Brick Lane you can run back and forth to the shops to your hearts content as you indulge in the Indian offerings.
Where: 136 Brick Lane, E1 6RU
Best Indian in Tooting
It wouldn’t be a true list of BYOBs without a decent Indian restaurant. Tooting may be known as the latest foodie destination for it’s varied popups in the markets, but it’s also the home of the Indian restaurant with most of the high street given over to Indian and Sri Lankan cuisine. And the best of a very large bunch has to be Masaledar.
Where: 121 Upper Tooting Road, Tooting, SW17 7TJ
Burgers and your own beer
Burgers are all the rage right now, and one of our favourites has to be Band Of Burgers in Camden. Desperately cool, they serve a pretty mean, charcoal grilled burger and you can wash it down with whatever you fancy from home.
Where: 23 Camden High Street, Camden, NW1 7JE
The cocktails are on you
This speakeasy style cocktail bar has a twist: you bring the booze. Patrons pay £30 on the door and let BOYC’s expert mixologists do the rest. They provide the venue and a range of homemade ingredients to bring your cocktails to life.
Where: 11-13 Camden High Street, Kings Cross, NW1 7JE
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