BYO restaurants are popping up left, right and centre these days. So grab your fave bottle of vino, evade extortionist mark-ups on alcohol and enjoy yourself! We’ve compiled the definitive list of Brisbane’s best BYO restaurants. You can thank us later.
Fortitude Valley/New Farm
Looking for heart-warming Nepalese goat stew and dhal in a brightly-painted, cosy room decorated with Tibetan prayer flags? Well, that’s weirdly specific of you but Himalayan Café is your place. Sit cross-legged at long wooden tables or book the back room for larger groups.
King of Kings
A favourite for a quick yum cha feed in Chinatown, King of Kings has been serving up delicious Asian fare to Brisbanites for more than 20 years. BYO wine or beer and get ready for a fun night!
This modern industrial-chic restaurant prides itself on dishing up authentic Vietnamese food. Enjoy your fresh vermicelli salad bowls, rice paper rolls and san choy bow with a bottle of your favourite wine.
What do you get when you combine touch screens, Japanese food and BYO? One hell of a good time, that’s what! Wagaya serves tasty Japanese food – fresh sashimi, chicken karaage and gyoza – which patrons order through touch screens nestled in private booths. Just leave the beers in the fridge: this place is BYO wine only.
Promising customers that they’ll “eat like royalty”, this Indian restaurant stays true to its word. Bring along a chardonnay to complement the aromatic chicken tikka masala – their signature dish.
The Purple Olive
One of the first restaurants on James Street, The Purple Olive opened way back in 1995 and has since become a Valley favourite. A family-run Italian restaurant, The Purple Olive serves up homemade pasta and gelato in a simple, glass-walled space. Bring your own wine on any night excluding Friday and Saturday.
South Bank/West End
Having been awarded Brisbane’s Best Vietnamese in 2010 and 2012, Trangs in West End has a reputation for delicious Chinese and Vietnamese food at reasonable prices. Enjoy the ambience in the alfresco dining area and BYO wine and beers from the bottle-o just next door.
From the founders of Holloway Eyewear, this West End restaurant boasts a warm, laidback vibe with a seasonally changing menu of world-fusion cuisine. A beautifully-designed space, the furniture and bar have been created with recycled materials. The floor is a mosaic of native tree slices and stones, while in the cellar below, the crew craft custom-made watches and eyewear from natural materials.
Meaning “the camel stop on the ancient silk road”, Caravanserai has been dishing up authentic Middle Eastern fare in West End for many years. For the full experience, try the four-course banquet, which includes meze platters of halloumi and grilled garlic prawn skewers. Don’t cut corners for dessert - the Turkish delight is guaranteed to melt in your mouth! They are unlicensed so bringing your own is advised. Pick up a few bottles at the Hill End Cellars (conveniently located across the road) and you’re set for a great night.
Don’t be fooled by the unassuming exterior – this West End gem is a Brisbane favourite. Serving up a fusion of Chinese and Vietnamese, Quan Thanh is everything a great BYO restaurant should be: delicious, cheap and run by staff that are patient and accommodating when things get a bit rowdy! Their list of soups is impressive, but you can’t go past the pho, which is rumoured to be one of the best in Brisbane.
Little Greek Taverna
Situated on the bustling West End intersection, Little Greek Taverna offers a vibrant outdoor dining experience. You’d be hard-pressed to find Greek food as authentic as this. The tender spit-roasted lamb is a standout. BYO wine and beer is welcome, and corkage is just $2.50 per person.
Mons Thai Rarnaharn
Tucked away in the backstreets of Windsor, Mons Thai is an elegant Thai restaurant offering traditional curries, stir fries, banquets, cooking classes and, most importantly, BYO wine at just $3 per person.
A north side favourite, Rhubarb Rhubarb has always operated as a BYO, with a $6 per head corkage charge. Romantic and intimate, especially at night when the tables are candlelit, the menu offers a raft of French favourites such as duck l’orange or grass-fed eye fillet with roast capsicum, mushroom ragout and pommes fondant.
Willow & Spoon
While the exterior of this one might be unassuming, this north side gem not only serves up a mean brekky, but now also offers BYO tapas on Friday and Saturday nights.
Sichuan Bang Bang
With a location in Kenmore, a new restaurant in Paddington, and one to come in Wilston, Sichuan Bang Bang is a perennial favourite among west-siders. Their hot pot is world-class and cheap Peking Duck pancakes on a Monday (five for $10)! Note: only their Kenmore location is BYO at this stage.
For no-frills Asian cuisine, look no further than Sings at Rosalie. Always a fail-safe option, their extensive menu is not only incredibly cheap, but rumoured to be some of the best Asian in Brisbane. Check out their Coorparoo location too!
This gem of a bistro/café has injected some life into Milton’s Baroona Road with its offering of simple but delicious food. Plate sizes range from tapas to small share plates and large dishes. If you’re already sharing food, why not share a bottle? And if you’re a coeliac, don’t worry – there are plenty of gluten-free options to choose from too.
You know them for their delicious coffee and breakfast offerings, but at night-time they turn their attention to the South-East Asian palette and pay homage to their history as Green Papaya Restaurant. BYO wine for just $10 a bottle.
For Mexican street food, mains and banquets served in a colourful, lively space, check out La Quinta in Bulimba. Enjoy a margarita off the extensive cocktail menu, or BYO wine for a guaranteed fun night!
An upmarket bistro with a warm and lively vibe, Cinco is nothing short of a foodie’s haven. Offerings include lavender pork belly with sweet potato, olive apple salsa, Tonka gel and miso. With a comprehensive list of wines designed to complement the menu, Cinco is the perfect place to splurge on an indulgent meal AND it’s BYO on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Looking for BYO on a Monday?
This French restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows has a menu which is equally as stunning as its view of the Brisbane River. Bring your friends, along with your favourite bottle on a Monday night when everything else is normally closed!
The Balfour Kitchen
The best-kept secret of The Balfour Kitchen (in the Spicers Balfour Hotel) is that they do BYO Mondays. Dine inside or enjoy the alfresco experience of a classic Queenslander wrap-around verandah and intimate courtyard shaded by frangipani trees. Bring your favourite bottle and the staff will happily serve and match it to the menu.
Looking for BYO on a Tuesday?
Public Restaurant & Bar
Dust down that bottle you’ve been waiting to open and head to Public Restaurant & Bar every Tuesday from 5.30pm for their new Wine Club. Load yourself up with some wines from your cellar or local bottle shop and enjoy your favourite drop in the relaxed setting of George Street.
Serving some of the best pizza in Brisbane, Sugo Mi is licensed, although on Tuesday nights they run a BYO night for charity. The corkage charge per bottle of wine is donated to their charity of choice. A total of $2450 has been raised since its inception in April 2015.