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 after 6pm. Corkage is £5 per person.
33 D'Arblay Street, W1F 8EU
Hawksmoor’s little brother restaurant shares its sibling's passion for meat, with ribs, steaks and ridiculously unctuous bacon chops taking centre stage. On Tuesdays, free corkage makes the meal significantly cheaper than normal. The best bit? The more you drink, the more you save. (Tuesday only)
Locations in Chiswick, Balham, Clerkenwell and Soho
Several restaurants offer free BYO on Mondays, but the £5 charge on Mondays at Hawksmoor 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. (Monday only - corkage costs £25 other days of the week)
Locations in Spitalfields, Seven Dials, Guildhall, Air Street, Borough and Knightsbridge
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. Any day of the week you can bring whatever you want and pay just £10 corkage. A bottle of Jacob’s Creek might cause a few raised eyebrows, though.
23 Battersea Rise, SW11 1HG
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.
83-89 Fieldgate Street, E1 1JU
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 across London 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)
Locations in King's Cross, Farringdon, the City, Marylebone, Chiswick and Soho
BYO comes with a corkage charge of £23 at these esteemed seafood restaurants, 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.
Locations in Soho, Spitalfields, South Kensington, Battersea and Borough Market
Serving local Xi'an dishes from her childhood, chef Wei Guirong plates up marvellous noodles, dumplings and soups in a small, sparsely decorated restaurant just minutes from the Emirates Stadium. It's an entirely unfussy affair, always packed full of locals, with a neat £4.50 corkage fee to boot. Recommended by Londonist's Ruth Hargreaves.
117 Benwell Road, N7 7BW
B.Y.O.C (no corkage)
Not a restaurant, but a cocktail bar, where you bring the spirits and they sort the mixers
Corrigan’s (no corkage on Mondays)
Richard Corrigan’s decadent Mayfair restaurant
Hix Oyster and Chop House (no corkage on Mondays)
Authentic British fare with oyster and steak highlights
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 Thursdays)
Fishy fine-dining in Mayfair
This article is part of our Best of London Food and Drink series. Visit the page for more recommendations of where to enjoy the capital's top food and drink, categorised by cuisine, food type and more.