A good meal becomes a great meal when it’s paired with a glass of your favourite vino. You bring the booze and they’ll take care of the food at any one of these fine Auckland establishments. Read on to discover the best BYO restaurants in Auckland and get ready to eat, drink and be merry.
Chu Thai Eatery
Settled along the main strip of Ponsonby is Chu Thai Eatery, a BYO wine restaurant serving colourful Thai food with a twist. We’re talking mouth-watering noodles, juicy bao, vibrant poké bowls and flavoursome broths—all perfectly paired with your choice of bottle shop vino.
If you love a hidden gem, Tasca is your place. Tucked away behind the cafe-style storefront you’ll find a secluded outdoor courtyard and olive garden to wine and dine the evening away in. Serving delicious Mediterranean fare, is there really anything better than abundant tapas and Spanish wine?
Po’ Brothers is all about cheap (but good) eats using flavour influences from across Asia including Japan, China, Thailand, Vietnam and Korea. Don’t go past the duck red curry or unicorn spring rolls—they will certainly hit the Asian fusion spot.
When the comfort of a curry is all you’re craving, head to Oh Calcutta in Parnell. Tuck into an array of lip-smackingly good tandoori delights, Punjabi Saag Ghosht and of course, Butter Chicken.
If the Italians have one thing right and it's pizza and wine. Grab an exotic Tuscan bottle and make your way to Archie’s in Newmarket, who serve gourmet wood-fired pizzas like classic Alla Margarita or the more adventurous Al Salmone with salmon, mozzarella, cream cheese and mesclun.
There are a lot of things to love about Sri Penang. Firstly, their Malaysian chicken curry is all sorts of amazing. Secondly, the owner, Angie, is one of the friendliest people in Auckland. And lastly, corkage is a measly $1 per person. Need we say more? Pro tip: order lots of rotis.
You can’t call yourself an Aucklander until you’ve scoffed 20 dumplings dressed in your Friday night best at New Flavour. Gather your squad, grab a bottle of Passion Pop from the Liquorland down the road and demolish a plate of tasty morsels before you hit the town.
Average customer service is all too common at BYO restaurants, but Symonds Indian is an exception. The owner, Arun, is all smiles as he serves up some of the best curries in town. And, when you return again (which we guarantee you will), he’ll greet you like a long lost family member.
If you enjoy nice décor and friendly customer service, don’t visit Canton Cafe. However, if it’s good times you’re after, Canton is your one stop shop. Book a table, recruit your tribe and load up on garlic prawns and Lindauer. A night out at the iconic Chinese restaurant is always a distinctly rowdy affair.
Joy Bong Thai
Joy Bong Thai is certainly one of the tastiest BYO restaurants in Auckland. The pork ribs with tamarind, ginger and soy glaze are not to be missed. Life’s too short to say no to dessert especially when we’re talking about these infamous banana fritters. Or if you’re after a feast, opt for the banquet menu at just $29.50 per head.
Mutiara Malaysian restaurant takes inspiration from Malay, Chinese and Indian cuisine. Our top picks are the butter prawns (flavoured with garlic, chilli and fragrant curry leaves) and the traditional rendang kampung (a thick, spicy coconut curry served with either beef or chicken). Rock up to this Ponsonby gem with your brown-papered bottle in hand, slap down a small corkage charge and eat your way through the extensive menu.
Auckland CBD and Newmarket
To BBQ or not to BBQ? That IS the question at Korean BBQ joint Faro. And, in our humble opinion, we vote BBQ. Choose from a selection of raw meat dishes (the pork belly and marinated beef steaks are our faves) to cook on your very own grill and enjoy with tasty sides. Whether you’re trying to impress your Tinderella or your friends from out of town, Faro’s interactive dining experience is your go-to.
Wine bottle in hand or not, Moto Sushi is the Japanese joint you need in your life. Located down wooden fairy lit stairs in Parnell, the small bustling restaurant is a favourite amongst locals. The bento box is our must-have off the menu and perfect for first timers as it provides a taste of everything. There’s also no going wrong with a classic teriyaki chicken roll, served with freshly cooked rice and avo.
Pane e Vino
Just like their website says, “When you visit Pane e Vino, you’re in for a treat!”. This is a perfect spot for pizza lovers. Grab your crew together and devour a few slices over your favourite drink. The menu is plentiful, with not just one but SIX different sorts of bruschetta in the antipasto section. You’ll be greeted with ‘Ciao Bella’ and you’ll have a hard time wanting to leave the beautiful interior of this place.
Okay, this one’s edging on the pricey side with a minimum spend of $20 in order to make you allegeable for the BYO at Sawadee. But trust me, it’s worth it. We recommend getting the starter platter to share as an entree complete with spring rolls, gari puffs, prawn patties and satay skewers. After all, messy Thai food and a bottle of red are the ingredients of a night to remember.
This list wouldn’t be complete without a mention from our friends over at Nishiki. A generous space that seats even the largest of crowds, round up your crew and eat (and drink) yourselves silly. Don’t leave without trying the infamous Japanese pancake though, it’s one thing you’ll remember from the night for sure.
Image Credit: Jaiden Bhaga