Eating out in London can be pretty damn expensive – particularly when drinks are involved – so when there’s an option to BYOB , then you can count us IN. We’ve tried to pick a real variety here, from Thai and Moroccan to Ethiopian and Vietnamese – all you’ve got to take care of is the vino and beers. Simples. So, without further ado, here’s our rundown of 10 of the best BYOB restaurants in London:
1. Marie’s Cafe, Waterloo
English fry-ups by day, lip-smackingly great Thai food by night. What more could you ask for from a restaurant, right? The food at Marie’s Cafe is also pretty bloody delicious – think drunken noodles, intense jungle curries and a flavour-filled prawn, bamboo and cashew nut stir fry – the portions are decent, and it’s incredibly affordable too.
One of the most popular BYOB restaurants in London, the corkage fee here costs just a quid per person, and it’s incredibly unpretentious which makes it one of the best spots in town if you’re looking for a relaxed evening of good food and good company.
You’ll find Marie’s Cafe at 90 Lower Marsh, London, SE1 7AB. Nearest station is Waterloo.
2. BúnBúnBún, Hoxton
Unsurprisingly, Vietnamese is pretty much the only food you can find if you’re headed down ‘pho mile’ at the Hoxton end of Kingsland Road, but BúnBúnBún stands out from the masses. It offers a range of less well-known Vietnamese dishes and its bun cha Hanoi (barbecued minced pork balls in a fish sauce with vegetables and noodles) is one of the most authentic you’ll find anywhere in London.
It’s one of the best places to come for BYOB in East London, and they’ve got huge portions, affordable prices and fresh and zingy flavours. What more could you ask for? They’ve also got a sister restaurant just further up the road in Dalston.
You’ll find BúnBúnBún at 134B Kingsland Road, E2 8DY. Nearest station is Hoxton.
3. Tagine, Balham
There may be shisha at this delicious little Moroccan restaurant but there’s certainly no alcohol on the menu, which is naaat a problem when it’s BYOB. Slow-cooked meats and spicy tagines are, naturally, the way forward – try the barkouk (lamb shank, almonds, prunes, poached pear, sesame seeds) for something fresh and tasty, or chicken with preserved lemons, olives, onion compote and saffron.
Set just down the road from Tooting Bec Common, the lively Tagine is all about great food, authentic Northern African interiors and lovely staff, who have been serving the local community since they first opened their doors in 2004.
You’ll find Tagine at 3 Fernlea Road, Balham, SW12 9RT. Nearest station is Balham.
4. Andu Cafe, Dalston
Another fab spot for BYOB in East London, the no-frills Andu Cafe was the UK’s first vegan Ethiopian restaurant, serving up authentic, fully plant-based East African cuisine. We recommend going for the sampler or traditional option, which comes with either rice or injera, a fluffy type of flatbread (that feels more like a crêpe) which you can use to scoop up the savoury sauces and mouthwatering stews.
The prices here are incredibly reasonable – costing from just seven quid per person – and the staff are lovely. Plus, it’s a bring your own bottle restaurant which we all love right?
You’ll find Andu Cafe at 528 Kingsland Road, London, E8 4AH. Nearest station is Dalston Junction.
5. Guanabana, Kentish Town
Next on this roundup of the best BYOB restaurants in London is Guanabana Restaurant, a friendly spot offering cuisine from all over Latin America and the Caribbean – from Jamaica, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua and everywhere in-between.
All the food whipped up here is 100% halal, and standouts include great jerk chicken, nachos and oxtail butter bean stew. There’s no corkage fee on Mondays either, and we for one can get on board with that.
You’ll find Guanabana at 85 Kentish Town Road, London, NW1 8NY. Nearest station is Camden Town.
6. Roti King, Euston
This tiny, cult Malaysian spot is just across the road from Euston station, and it specialises in unforgettable roti canai – a flatbread of Indian origin that is extremely loved in Malaysia and Singapore. They’ve also got the ‘Nasi Lemak’ – steamed coconut rice served with peanuts, fried anchovies, cucumber, egg, sambal and spiced fried chicken – which is pretty much to die for, and some mean noodle and curry dishes too.
The food served at Roti King is also all halal-prepared, and you can bring your own booze for a small corkage fee which is always handy! Word of advice – it gets very busy here, so be prepared to queue. They’ve now also opened a new spot south of the river – a good one to check out!
You’ll find Roti King at 40 Doric Way, London, NW1 1LH. Nearest station is Euston.
7. Tayyabs, Whitechapel
This beloved, family-owned restaurant in Whitechapel was founded in 1972 and has been serving up some of the best, award-winning Punjabi food in London ever since. There’s no tikka masala or chicken korma here – instead you can sample the famous Tayyabs lamb chops, melt-in-the-mouth Karahi chicken curry and tarka dhal.
There’s no corkage charge at this BYOB Indian restaurant either, so you can have as much booze as you please – no wonder then that this legendary East End spot can get really rather raucous!
You’ll find Tayyabs at 83-89 Fieldgate Street, London, E1 1JU. Nearest station is Whitechapel.
8. Poppy’s, Hammersmith
With next to no online or social media presence, this West London establishment is the real epitome of a hidden gem. Poppy’s has three branches filled with peculiar taxidermy, sparkly chandeliers, gorgeous antiques and various oddities – and it’s perhaps the last place you’d expect to find some excellent Thai food. It’s more suited to quaint afternoon teas and coffee and cake – but of course they have that, too. Lucky us!
By day, you can scoff on red velvet cakes and macarons until your heart’s content. But, come dinner time, the menu makes a swift transition to pad thai and tasty tom yum soup. You can BYOB for just a small corkage fee, and there’s a handy off licence just down the road.
You’ll find Poppy’s on Greyhound Road, Brackenbury Road and Glenthorne Road.
9. KaoSarn, Brixton, Clapham Junction and Tooting
Another legendary Thai spot for our penultimate entry here, KaoSarn is a trio of South London restaurants offering up incredible, authentic food, friendly service and snug surroundings. All three of their branches – in Brixton Village, Clapham Junction and Tooting – do a BYOB policy, and the food is all affordable so you’ve got yourself a pretty cheap (and delicious) night on the cards if you’re craving payday!
You’ll find KaoSarn in Brixton, Clapham Junction and Tooting. You can find out more here.
10. Band of Burgers, Brick Lane
Rounding off this list of the best BYOB restaurants in London is another one for the East London crowd. While Band of Burgers has three other branches – one in Camden, one in Walthamstow and one in Southgate – it’s their Brick Lane branch which has the bring your own booze policy.
On top of this, you’ll get some of the best burgers in town, made from three different cuts of beef selected from some of Britain’s best butchers.There also whip up some Wagyu beef burgers here – fancy – and have a whole host of vegan and veggie options.
You’ll find Band of Burgers at 22 Osborn Street, London, E1 6TD. Nearest station is Aldgate East.
So there you have it, a roundup of the best BYOB restaurants in London. So if you’re running low on funds or are waiting for payday, then this is the roundup you need! You can thank us later…