Ask any young New Yorker what’s in their fridge, and there is a 90% chance they will tell you beer and some kind of condiment. New Yorkers are too busy to shop and too chic to stay home, and even though most would rather give up electricity than those glamorous nights out, these economical times call for just a little penny-saving action. That’s why we’re presenting you with a list of the best BYOB restaurants in New York City. Why pay more for two glasses of wine at your favorite restaurant than you’d spend on an entire bottle at the liquor store down the street? And if your perception is that a BYOB restaurant in NYC couldn’t possibly have quality food or that high-profile atmosphere, think again.
But beware— many restaurants are afraid of diners coming in and turning their quiet establishment into a frat party. (One venue told us that a group of guests actually brought their own personal kegs). So be respectful of the other customers, don’t take advantage of the policy, and make sure to order food. So with this little note of caution, here are our favorite BYOB restaurants in NYC.
Best BYOB Restaurant in NYC: Itzocan Café
438 E 9th Street | New York, NY 10009
Mexican is always fun, and generally boozy, so Itzocan Café is definitely a great place to dance your tequila dance at a fraction of the price. And of course, Itzocan wouldn’t have made it onto our top list if it didn’t also have great food. The East Village restaurant creates a fusion of French-Mex cuisine, with guacamole that is to die for and incredible twists on ravioli, empanadas, and casseroles. Don’t fret if you forget your own alcohol – their seemingly bottomless pitchers of delicious sangria will render you utterly useless but blissful.
Best BYOB Restaurant in NYC: Athena Mediterranean Cuisine
535 6th Avenue | Brooklyn, NY 11215
For an upscale night out, without the “upscale” bill, come to Athena. This restaurant is definitely not your average Greek diner. The lamb chops and mousaka are to die for, and their complimentary homemade hummus and pita are a big part of the craze. The chef makes an effort to come out and speak to the diners, and we are always happy to find a place that takes care of its customers. *no corkage fee
Best BYOB Restaurant in NYC: Ivo and Lulu
558 Broome Street | New York, NY 10013
Anyone who has been to Ivo and Lulu will tell you that it is incredible. Although the venue is a little small, the food is worth the wait to be seated – and the BYOB policy isn’t too bad either. The NYC restaurant has been described as “cheap and chic” French-Carribean food. Even if you are typically a non-adventurous eater, we recommend Ivo and Lulu if you want to try something off your beaten path – you can’t go wrong with anything you choose. Try their wild boar sausage soaked in blueberry sauce, or their venison pâté. Combine great food, a max price of $12 per dish, and no corkage fee, and we’d say you’ve got a restaurant gem.
Best BYOB Restaurant in NYC: Aaheli
826 9th Avenue | New York, NY 10019
If you are looking to BYOB at a real Indian place, come to Aaheli in Hell’s Kitchen. The food is as authentic as you can get without going to India, and it comes at inexpensive prices and in large portions. Paired with a bottle of wine that you brought from home, thanks to the restaurant’s generous BYOB rule, a dinner out at Aaheli won’t have to cost you a fortune. The restaurant features outdoor dining as well, so if you want to enjoy a delicious meal in a comfortable atmosphere, head over to Aaheli – one of the best BYOB restaurants in New York City.
Best BYOB Restaurant in NYC: Cube 63
63 Clinton Street | New York, NY 10002
For some reason, people love going for sushi on dates, and if you can’t woo your date with your fish selection, just go the old fashioned route and get them drunk (an easy task when you opt to BYOB at this spot). But seriously, Cube 63, located on the Lower East Side, has great food and sake if you are interested. Plus they let you BYOB without charging you a steep corkage fee. The restaurant is not too small and has a very cool vibe, so definitely check it out if you are looking for Asian cuisine at a hip BYOB restaurant in NYC. * no corkage fee