Is a restaurant that allows you to bring your own wine being unsupportive of their own wine list, or are they simply giving their customer more choice when it comes to the question of what to drink?
Many restaurants have great wine lists. An enormous amount of work and time goes into compiling and structuring a wine list to work best with the menu, while being a significant document in its own right. Nonetheless, some of these restaurants still allow BYO. We embrace the freedom of bringing your own and we’ve compiled a list of some of our favourite venues that support the practice.
Almost everyone has been to Abla’s over the years to feast on the authentic Lebanese dishes, kibbeh, tabouleh and makaneek. Sauntering in with a bottle tucked under your arm is welcome, if it’s wine that is.
The biblically proportioned wine list is breathtaking in its depth and breadth of wines available, but this 26-year-old French bistro on Toorak Road is happy for you to bring along your own bottle for your steak frites or sole meuniere. There are conditions though: not on Saturdays, not for bookings over seven, public holidays or special event days (such as Mother’s Day). That still leaves us with quite a few other days to BYO nonetheless.
The great value, much-loved Japanese restaurant has a short, sharp wine list but allows BYO for wine and beer at a very reasonable price. Drink whatever you wish with your pop chicken and tempura prawns – this is very good value.
$3.50/person (wine only)
181 Wells Street, Southbank
(03) 9686 1109
This cosy cafe is open for dinner two nights a week (Friday and Saturday) and BYO is welcome. The menu covers three courses and the dinners have garnered quite a following. The team behind Richmond’s Friends of Mine operate this Hawthorn gem and the quality, consistency and flexibility is evident in the final product.
The restaurant that took over longstanding Arriverderci has already made its own mark with solid Italian food, good service and a shmick wine list. BYO is more than welcome here – they’ve even won awards for best BYO.
Matteo’s has been on the Fitzroy North end of Brunswick Street since 1994, offering an environment that has evolved when many other venues have long disappeared. Flexibility is key to this dynamic and despite their comprehensive wine list, they allow BYO wine any time. It’s a great place for an occasion, so pop out the good stuff and settle in.
Ladro is BYO every night, but on Mondays they have a BYO charity night where the customer pays corkage of $5 per bottle, which is then donated to the annual Christmas lunch for Prahran Mission (if you eat at Ladro Greville) or Vinnie’s Vannies (if you take your own with you to Ladro Gertrude). Enjoy your own vino di tavolo with a classic Bada Bing pizza and help the community at the same time.
$5/bottle (wine only) Monday nights and $15/bottle (wine only) other nights.
162 Greville Street, Prahran
(03) 9510 2233
It’s been said you aren’t a Melburnian unless you’ve queued on the stairs at Supper Inn at 1am and sat down to some salt and chilli quail and pork belly. The overused term ‘institution’ fits easily here and the fact that they’re BYO is good news if you’re feeling like matching something with that quail, or the duck soup, or the oysters, or...
$2/person (wine only)
15 Celestial Ave, Melbourne
(03) 9663 4759
If you’ve heard about Dainty Sichuan, you know the food is on the spicy side. If you’re ready to jump headfirst into the heat of Sichuan peppers and chilli, rest assured, you can BYO while you take the plunge. Gerwurtzraminer, riesling or just something really cooling will be the ticket for this classic, punchy cuisine.
$2/person (wine only)
176 Toorak Road, South Yarra
(03) 9078 1686
Carmine Costantini derives his daily menu from what he’s grown or what’s looking good, and keeps the choices simple. Choose a three or six-course degustation and enjoy the balance of rustic elegance and the chef’s regional Italian flavours, including cured meats, tender braises, subtle Italian cheeses and great pasta. Tuesday is the only BYO night and it’s wine-only. Grab your favourite Soave or Valpolicella and let the team here do the rest.