Restaurants

10 Of The Best BYO Restaurants In Sydney Right Now, According To You

By Cordelia Williamson
23rd Mar 2022

facade of small restaurant at night

To celebrate our 10th birthday here at Urban List, we’re asking you to tell us your top 10 lists over on our Instagram—this week, we asked and you delivered on Sydney's best BYO restaurants. 

The fact of the matter is, BYO is always a good idea. There’s something fun about hitting your favourite bottle-o before dinner and winding your way through decorated aisles to find the perfect convoy for your boozy feast. Or, just grabbing the cheapest bottle on the shelf and discovering whether or not you’ve found the greatest deal of all time.

While we’ll always leave the wine lists and the wine pairings to Sydney’s seasoned sommeliers, if you’re saving your pennies, BYO is a cheaper way to wine and dine. And on the flip side, there are a few swanky spots on this list for true wine lovers who are keen to polish off their cellared stuff. 

Really, BYO is for all occasions—making it tough to pick just 10 Sydney restaurants that offer this sweet, sweet deal. So, to help us decide, we handed you guys the mic for this one.

Here are 10 of your favourite BYO restaurants in Sydney right now. 

Sydney's 10 Best BYO Restaurants, As Chosen By You

Spaghetteria

Randwick

exterior of restaurantPasta and wine are an all-time choice, so it makes sense that @andrearodeats, @niamhy0312, @talnetanel8, @bubbles.kerrie7, @steve.the.short, and @ad_rudd all voted for Spaghetteria. In fact, this Randwick BYO bolthole took home the top gong. So, if you're feeling like a big bowl of pasta paired with a robust nebbiolo, head here. Naturally, the homemade pasta is the name of the game, with dishes like tonnarelli cacio e pepe; mafaldine with tomato sugo, basil, and whole burrata; and the truffle-stuffed gnocchi with porcini butter. As for the wine, there is no corkage fee—so you can sip to your heart's content.

Spaghetteria offers BYO wine with no corkage fee. It's open for walk-ins every day for lunch and dinner.

Phamish

Darlinghurst

If you’re after a low-key date-night spot, head to Phamish. Spoiler alert, this epic Vietnamese joint throws down the most delicious blue swimmer crab dumplings, curries, and herb-packed rice paper rolls around. It's also predominantly outside, making it a go-to for balmy summer evenings. As well as being licensed, Phamish offers BYO wine, and, lucky for you, it is conveniently located just down from a few Oxford Street bottle shops. No wonder @jessbeck22 is a fan. 

Phamish offers BYO wine for $3 per person. It's open for lunch Thursday – Saturday and for dinner Tuesday – Sunday. Call (02) 9357 2688 to book, or just walk in. 

Bar Reggio

Darlinghurst

Just around the corner from Phamish, you'll find Bar Reggio. The family-owned Italian institution has been around since 1992 and has become a favourite for office lunches and celebratory (but still affordable) dinners with mates. There are more than 30 pizzas and 20 sauces offered with various pastas to choose from, as well as salads, mains, desserts, and sides. They even offer gluten-free variations. Simply said, it's a crowd-pleaser—and that's even before you take into account that Bar Reggio offers BYO wine with a $3.50 per person corkage fee. Thanks to @mlzy.mlz and @angie.ohhh for giving this one a shout-out.

Bar Reggio offers BYO wine for $3.50 per person. It's open for lunch and dinner every Monday – Saturday. To book, head over here.

Thai Pothong

Newtown And Marrickville

If you haven't been to Thai Pothong, you clearly didn't go to the University of Sydney. The OG location on King Street is a favourite among uni students and locals alike—plus, @gab.pereira217 rates it—and the newer Marrickville eatery is proving to be popular, too. Thai Pothong serves up really good Thai—forget all about that watered-down curry from your lackluster neighbourhood joint, this place serves up dishes packed with flavour. The real selling point? It's got to be that it's BYO (but, yes, the giant robots are also a hit). At the licensed Newtown restaurant, you'll be coughing up a $4 per person corkage fee, while at its Marrickville offshoot you'll be paying just $1.50 per person. 

Thai Pothong Newtown offers BYO wine only for a $4 per person corkage fee. It's open for lunch and dinner every day. To book, head here. Thai Pothong Marrickville offers BYO for $1.50 per person and is open for lunch and dinner every day. To book, head here.

Spice I Am

Surry Hills

People in restaurantIt should come as no surprise that another top Thai spot has made its way onto this list—thanks @careyannborden, @rhymondramirez, and @mikeyinsyd for calling this one out. Spice I Am is an award-winning Thai restaurant at the bottom of Surry Hills (so it's conveniently close to Central Station). Some of the veggies and herbs come straight from the Spice I Am farm, so you can expect fresh-as ingredients in everything from the curries and noodle dishes to the salads and soups. It's walk-in only and popular—so bring your vino in a cooler bag, as you'll likely have to wait for a table. As for the corkage fee, it's just $1 per bottle, so bottoms up!

Spice I Am offers BYO for $1 per bottle. It's open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Sunday and is walk-in only. 

Vacanza 

Surry Hills And Bronte

pizzaYou can't go wrong with traditional Italian pizza. Vacanza has restaurants in two locations—Surry Hills and Bronte—and both are BYO-friendly. BYO is limited to wine, though, with a $12 per bottle corkage. And you can only bring one standard-sized bottle (750ml) for each person. But, despite the BYO rules at these Italian spots, the atmosphere is fun and vibey—trust us. Whether you want to head here for date night or get the crew together for a feast, the pizzas here are winners (not to mention the gooey burrata). Both locations are usually packed, so we recommend booking ahead

Vacanza's Surry Hills and Bronte locations offer BYO wine for a $12 per bottle corkage fee. The Bronte location is open for dinner Wednesday – Sunday and the Surry Hills restaurant is open for dinner Tuesday – Sunday, plus for lunch Friday – Sunday. To book, head to the website.

Two Chaps

Marrickville

pastaWe were hoping someone would call out Two Chaps—so big ups to @lam_eunice for mentioning it. While predominantly a vegetarian cafe and bakery, this Inner West spot also offers one of the top set menus around come dinner time. Every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, Two Chaps turns into a pasta haven, offering a set seasonal menu of starters, pasta dishes, and desserts for a reasonable $60 a head. To top things off, these dinners are BYO with a $10 per bottle corkage fee. Lucky for you, too, because it's located mere steps away from The Henson, so you can head there for a pre-dinner schooner and pick up a bottle (or few) from its on-site bottle-o, before making your way to Two Chaps. 

Two Chaps' Pasta Nights run every Thursday – Saturday evening, offering BYO wine for a corkage fee of $10 per bottle. Bookings are recommended and can be done over here

Mamak

Chinatown And Chatswood

This buzzing little Malaysian eatery is a big vibe for all things roti, satay, and BYO. The feeds here channel the best of Kuala Lumpur roadside stalls peddling tasty Indian Malay street food, and we highly recommend trying the spicy lamb curry and stir-fried tiger prawns. As for the BYO booze, expect to pay $4 per person for the corkage—but, trust us, you won't be forking out a fortune here. Not to mention the food is second to none, which @greedygutsforever and @everythinginnereast already know. 

Both of Mamak's Sydney locations are open for lunch and dinner every day, and are walk-in only. 

Sang By Mabasa

Surry Hills

exterior of restaurantThis Surry Hills gem is one of the top Korean restaurants in Sydney. Sang By Mabasa serves up authentic (yes, actually authentic) Korean fare in a contemporary and intimate setting. While the menu changes regularly, what doesn't is the restaurant's BYO policy, which lets you bring wine for a corkage fee of $10 per person. So, bring along a good drop to accompany your feast of yassam, bossam, and daegu tang, then perhaps sample some of the restaurant's selected liquors. @j.hsiao30—you picked a good one. 

Sang By Mabasa offers BYO wine for a $10 per person corkage fee. It's open for lunch and dinner Thursday – Sunday. To book, head to the website.

Macleay St Bistro

Potts Point

While you may want to hit a BYO joint to save yourself some coin, sometimes bringing your own bottle calls for a high-flying feed. If you've been cellaring a bottle of Grange, you certainly don't want to crack that open over any old feed. This is where Macleay St Bistro comes in. The Potts Point bistro has been serving up impeccable French fare for over 30 years, garnering loyal patronage and glowing reviews along the way. Plus, it's not every day that you find an upscale restaurant offering BYO. While it is licensed, you can bring your own vino and pay $14 per bottle for it—except on Sundays where there is no corkage fee. As @stemoretz knows, this is where to BYO the fancy stuff.

Macleay St Bistro offers BYO for wine for a corkage fee of  $14 per bottle Monday – Saturday and no corkage fee on Sundays. It's open for dinner daily, as well as for lunch every day except Wednesdays. To book, head to the website

More Of Sydney's Best BYO Restaurants

NORTH

Radio Cairo

Mosman

Radio Cairo is a buzzing African, Indian and Caribbean feasting haven, filled with a series of dishes that will truly knock your socks off. On the menu, you’ll need to hit the mud crab curry, the tea-smoked salmon in betel leaf wrap, and the staple smokey BBQ pork belly and chocolate chilli roti.

Radio Cairo offers BYO wine for a $5.50 per person corkage fee. It's open for dinner every day and bookings are recommended, which you can do via Resy

Last Train To Bombay

Crows Nest

various dips and rice and pide on platterAs one of the best Indian restaurants in Sydney, Last Train To Bombay specialises in some too-good-to-be-true banquets. For when you’re trying to lay low on the spending money side of things, the aptly titled “budget meal” won’t set you back much and it's packed with veggie samosas, butter chicken, Rogan Josh, and aloo gobi. And if you’re going to BYO, there’s a conveniently placed bottle shop right across the road.

Last Train To Bombay offers BYO with no corkage fee. It's open for lunch and dinner daily. To book, head to the website.

Afous Moroccan and Spanish Tapas

Mosman

If you’re big on mood lighting and a cosy set-up, Afous Moroccan and Spanish Tapas has you covered on both these fronts. This BYO restaurant brings you stained glass windows, harbour views, and insanely delicious Moroccan Spanish feasts all at the same time. If you’re looking to truly blow your taste buds away, the honey mustard halloumi with cherry tomato, mixed berry puree, and roast pine nuts is an absolute must.

Afous Moroccan and Spanish Tapas offers BYO for $4 per person and is available for any alcohol of your choice. It's open for dinner every Tuesday – Sunday. To book, call (02) 9969 8000.

EAST

Don’t Tell Aunty

Surry Hills

Don’t Tell Aunty's regularly changing, rule-breaking menu spans all regions of India. Drop in for mega tasty street food, cross-regional curries, and tandoori specialities with a modern twist. We love signature dishes like "Nachos of the Motherland", which is also known as papri chaat (a sweet, tangy, sour and spicy traditional street food meal using crisp fried dough wafers), and "Colonel Tso’s Cauliflower", an Indo-Chinese-style, deep-fried cauliflower with a tomato and chilli sauce. 

Don't Tell Aunty offers BYO for wine only with a corkage fee of $20 per bottle. It's open dinner every day, as well as for lunch Friday – Sunday. To book, head to the website

Dumpling And Noodle House

Potts Point

If you’re looking for that one trusty place with no-frills eats and BYO, look no further than Potts Point’s famed Dumpling And Noodle House. Here, it’s all about the fresh handmade good stuff, stretched noodle soup, spicy squid, and homestyle san choy bao. 

Dumpling And Noodle House offers BYO. It's open for dinner Monday – Saturday for walk-ins and takeaway.

Sefa Kitchen

Bondi

two hands cheersing over foodSefa Kitchen is a whirlwind of good times with a Levantine-inspired menu. This means you’ll find a melting pot of Middle Eastern flavours. It’s all about sharing here, so order up some ox tongue skewers, crispy toum potatoes, and crack open your bottle of poison. BYO is wine only here from Monday through to Wednesdays. Best BYO in Bondi? We’d back that.

Sefa Kitchen offers BYO wine every Monday – Wednesday for a $10 corkage fee. It's open for dinner every day. To book, head here.

Mr. Chen Beef Noodle

Haymarket

wine held over banquet of dumplingsMr. Chen Beef Noodle is one of our favourite spots for top-notch cheap eats. On top of whipping up dumplings that are made fresh to order and tasty noodle soups like the iconic Lanzhou-style beef noodle creation, you can also choose from five types of freshly made noodles ranging from extra thin to super thick, all hand-pulled on site, and the team here has blessed Sydneysiders with free BYO.

Mr. Chen Beef Noodle offers free BYO. It's open for lunch and dinner Tuesday – Sunday for walk-ins. 

Fatima's

Surry Hills

This iconic Cleveland Street Lebanese might have been your go-to for a late-night kebab (the garlic chicken, made fresh to order with hummous and tabouli), but it's also one of our favourite BYO spots. Bring your favourite bottle of red and tuck into one of Fatima's never-fail banquets (the Mega Banquet is only $45). 

Fatima's offers free BYO. It's open for lunch, dinner, and late-night takeaway every day. To book, call (02) 9698 4895.

SOUTH

Sealevel

Cronulla

cooked octopus on plan with glasses onf wineFor fancy times without the hefty price tag, Sealevel should be your go-to. This beauty does BYO (wine only) and sports an Aussie menu with French and Italian flair. The big focus here is seafood so you’ll want to make sure you splurge on the seafood platter for two, an epic smorgasbord of Sydney Rock oysters, fresh blue swimmer crab, Balmain bugs, smoked salmon, fresh BBQ prawns, scallops, and beer-battered fish.

Sealevel offers BYO wine and champagne for a corkage fee of $8 per person. It's open for lunch and dinner every day. To book, head over here

Summer Salt Restaurant

Cronulla

At Summer Salt restaurant, you’ll get to lap up oceanfront views, fill up on chilli squid, charcuterie platters, soft shell crab, and creamy burrata—as well as bringing along your own vino.

Summer Salt offers BYO wine for $8 per bottle for lunch every Wednesday – Saturday and for dinner every Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. To book, head to the website

WEST

The Middle Feast

Merrylands

Expect all the royal palace vibes as this place exhibits decor typical of Marrakesh palace. At The Middle Feast, expect interiors decked out with hanging fanoos lanterns, Arabic style archways, Persian rugs with palms scattered around the room. You’ll feel as if you just stepped into the set of Aladdin

The Middle Feast offers BYO for a corkage fee of $2 per person. It's open for lunch and dinner every day. To book, head here.

The Sultan’s Table

Enmore

If hanging wall rugs, chilled courtyard seating, and char-grilled kebabs sound like your jam, you need to add The Sultan’s Table to your list. Hit the bottle shop beforehand and then head on out the back (past its takeaway shop facade) and tuck into  The Sultan’s legendary stuffed vine leaves, endless pides, zucchini fritters, and large mixed dip plates. It’s impossible to go home hungry from here. Our top pick for a nearby bottle-o? Grab some light and breezy natural vino from P&V Wine + Liquor Merchants down the road. 

The Sultan's Table offers BYO with no corkage. It's open . To book, head to the website.

Golden Lotus

Newtown

Golden Lotus is a rare gem in Sydney—being completely vegan and plant-based authentic Vietnamese. The Saigon taro rolls here are a major hit, as is the spicy tofu and veggie noodle soup with lemongrass-spiced broth and rice string noodles. Just note, BYO here means a slight surcharge.

Golden Lotus offers BYO for a corkage fee of $3 per person. It's open every day for walk-ins as well as takeaway. 

Emma’s Snack Bar

Enmore

We love Emma’s Snack Bar for so many reasons. Be it the legendary village fatouche with traditional tangy peasant salad topped with fried bread or the delicious pistachio halva bouca layered with vanilla ice-cream—from savoury to sweet stuff, you’ll be well looked after here. We suggest hitting this one with your ride or die crew so you can max out on the feeding front (the house-made sausages, arak garlic prawns, and golden cheese balls are also a great idea) and good news, BYO is just $5 per person. Heads up, though, it is currently closed for renos.

Emma's Snack Bar offers BYO for a $5 per person corkage fee. It's currently closed for renovations.

Look for Sydney's best happy hours? Head over here

Image credit: Golden Lotus, Spaghetteria, Bar Reggio, Spice I Am, Vacanza, Two Chaps, Sang By Mabasa, Last Train To Bombay, Sefa Kitchen, Mr. Chen Beef Noodle, Sealevel

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