Whether it’s a canny way of keeping costs down, or a great opportunity to enjoy that bottle of something special you’ve picked up, we love a bit of bring-your-own. Here’s a pick of some of London’s best places to come armed with a bottle — all great dining experiences in their own right, and mostly excluding curry houses or kebab restaurants where BYO is much more common.
We’re not advocating a bottle of Burgundy with your brekkie (well, maybe on a weekend), but the Soho branch of this all-day eatery has a big advantage over the others in the group, as it allows you to bring your own wine, completely corkage free, at any time.
The Wigmore Street branch of this brightly coloured Lebanese eatery will let you bring your own bottle free of charge. This makes the fresh-flavoured and already well-priced salads, stews, breads and mezze dishes even better value.
Hawksmoor’s little brother restaurant shares its siblings’ passion for meat, with ribs, steaks and ridiculously unctuous bacon chops taking centre stage. On Tuesdays, a corkage charge of just £5 makes the meal significantly cheaper than normal. The best bit? The more you drink, the more you save. (Tuesday only)
Several restaurants offer free BYO on Mondays, but the £5 charge here is more than worth paying. Given a trip to this steak behemoth is never going to be cheap, we can’t think of a better way to knock a tenner or so each off the bill and still enjoy a full-bodied red to ease the meat down. The offer is available in all four branches: Spitalfields, Seven Dials, Guildhall and Air Street. (Monday only)
This breakfast and lunch-only restaurant near Shoreditch High Street serves deceptively simple plates that deliver full-powered flavour: think beef mince on dripping toast, or a Mediterranean bean stew with chicory. It’s inexpensive anyway, but a corkage charge of just £5 will help keep the cost low.
This rustic, French-leaning Battersea restaurant from the same stable as Terroirs in Charing Cross and Brawn in Hackney has a strong wine list based around natural and biodynamic options. But on a Monday, you can bring whatever you want and pay no corkage at all. A bottle of Jacob’s Creek might cause a few raised eyebrows, though. (Monday only)
There isn’t a shortage of BYO curry houses around town, but if you want some serious quality food to match your plonk with then that’s a taller order. Roll-up Tayyabs, Whitechapel’s famed North Indian restaurant that’s fast becoming a London institution. With starters from £4, mains from £10 and free corkage, it’s an absolute bargain — and we’d challenge you to find any better lamb chops, grilled meats and naan breads.
You might not think that a wine bar was the most likely place to offer a BYO deal, but that’s effectively what Vinoteca bars in Farringdon, Soho, Marylebone and Chiswick are doing every Monday evening. Vinoteca sell wine to take away as well as to drink in, so the only concession is that you do have to buy the bottle on-site. Maybe BYO isn’t quite the right phrase, then, but it does mean that you’re paying retail price rather than restaurant price, and that there are some fantastic savings to made across a wine list that’s rather special in terms of both quality and quantity. (Monday only)
BYO comes with a corkage charge of £10 at these seafood restaurants in Soho, Spitalfields and Borough Market, but we’re including it in our list as it still represents a good value way to get your hit of oysters and other fishy numbers. A fruits de mer platter is always going to be a treat, and there’s no denying that Wright Brothers is among the best places in the capital to indulge — this will just help take the edge off.
Corrigan’s (no corkage at the bar on Mondays)
Richard Corrigan’s decadent Mayfair restaurant
Le Café Anglais (no corkage on Mondays)
Rowley Leigh’s British-influenced brasserie in Bayswater
Little Georgia (no corkage)
Georgian food in intimate surrounds near Bethnal Green
Mangal Ocakbasi (no corkage)
Top-rate Turkish in Dalston
Outlaw’s at The Capital (no corkage on Mondays)
Fishy fine-dining in Mayfair