We've all been there. Firmly ensconced with a liquid glow in our fave pub/bar/ drinking hole when the tummy rumbles take control of our senses. We don't wanna leave (hells no), but the kitchen is closed (or perhaps doesn't even exist) and a packet of beer nuts or Smith's Crisps just isn't going to cut it.
So, we've done the hard yards and sipped and supped our way around town to bring you a selection of our fave bars you can BYO food to. Bottoms up!
GIBSON'S WINE BAR
I cannot sing the praises of this local Hawthorn gem highly enough; it's my own version of Cheers. A cosy, woody, poster laden bottleshop-cum-winebar, an evening at Gibson's is deliciously low-key (I've been known to go in trackies, post spray tan). To accompany your Chablis, you can munch on cheese or olives to your heart's content.
But, whilst both are delicious options, if you've got an appetite on you, head straight to the dozen or so well-thumbed takeaway menus at the bar. Take your pick from Indian, Thai, Japanese or pizza – Burwood Road pretty much has it all. Some of them will even deliver the 200 metres to your table.
Gibson's Wine Bar | 73 Burwood Road in Hawthorn
Local Takeaway Picks | Bombay Beat, Restaurant 101, OCHA2go
SMALL PATCH WINE STORE
Further along Burwood Road is Small Patch Wine Store, a slightly more upmarket proposition, where they even host Friday night wine tastings. Here, they also only do alcohol-friendly nibbles, but there are some great spots nearby to take away a more hearty dinner.
If you like a little spice in your life, pop around the corner on Glenferrie and grab a $12 Sri Lankan style dinner pack from my latest discovery, Araliya.
Small Patch Wine Store | 346 Burwood Road in Hawthorn
Local Takeaway Picks | Araliya, Rococo for excellent pizza
For the young (read: student) or young at heart Urban Lister, Hawthorn's third (yes, third!) BYO food venue, Nevermind, is for you. A grungy spot with cushy old couches, live music and the like, Nevermind your hunger (groan), 'cause you can BYO buns from neighbouring hole in the wall fast food joint, Burger It.
Burgers not your thing? Keep tootling your way up to Penang Coffee House for a ripping beef rendang.
Nevermind Bar | 336 Burwood Road in Hawthorn
Local Takeaway Picks | Burger It, Penang Coffee House (549 Burwood Road)
With a great drinks list including local boutique beers, cute fit out and a cracking courtyard, Lygon Street's Eydie's doesn't lose any points for the lack of kitchen. Seriously, with so many amazing eating options nearby, why would you bother?!
Thaila Thai is within touching distance, dishing up delicious and affordable aromatic goodness, or there's The B.East for epic burgers, and Rumi for five-star Middle Eastern cuisine.
Eydie's | 86 Lygon Street in Brunswick East
Local Takeaway Picks | Thaila Thai (82 Lygon Street), The B.East, Rumi
In the affluent suburb of Armadale, Toorak Cellars is a charming and ever-so-welcoming wine bar and bottle-o, with an impressive selection of local and imported drops. They also hold events – gutted we missed the local Riesling and BBQ pork afternoon!
Grab some crispy fried calamari with spicy salt from Silky Apple or dumplings from CINA Malaysian & Chinese Cuisine. Night. Made.
Toorak Cellars | 18 Beatty Avenue in Armadale
Local Takeaway Picks | Silky Apple, CINA
CHAPEL ST CELLARS
A chilled out spot on Chapel, with a focus on craft beer and interesting bottles of plonk, Chapel St Cellars is great for a low key catch up with friends or after work tipple. You can sample the goods in store at bottle shop prices (bonus!), there's a friendly vibe and a few outdoor tables to watch the (sometimes weird) and wonderful parade of life drift by.
And if you're feeling peckish, what goes with beer better than fish 'n' chips? Get yours at Hooked. Got a carb craving? Sauced Pasta Bar will sort you out.
Chapel St Cellars | 89 Chapel Street in Windsor
Local Takeaway Picks | Hooked, Sauced Pasta Bar, Parlour Diner (64 Chapel Street)
Sure, you can smash nachos at The Vic. And yes, on Wednesdays and Fridays, Mr Burger will sort you out. But this Victoria Street favourite also happens to be conveniently wedged in the middle of Little Vietnam… and you can bring your own duck pancakes. Happy days!
The Vic | 281 Victoria Street in Abbotsford
Local Takeaway Picks | Take your pick…
Main Image Credit: Donna Lewis - 10and5.com
Bars & Pubs