The 21 Best BYO Restaurants in Melbourne

Head to your local bottle shop or pilfer your own wine collection before hitting these Melbourne BYO restaurants.
Andrew Zuccala
March 15, 2024

The 21 Best BYO Restaurants in Melbourne

Head to your local bottle shop or pilfer your own wine collection before hitting these Melbourne BYO restaurants.

Like bulk-billing GPs, Melbourne has lost a lot of its BYO restaurants over the years. Many of the old favourites we used to rock up to with bottles of wine and six-packs of beer in hand have either shut down or started serving their own booze.

But we still have a handful of excellent Melbourne BYO restaurants floating about. Sure, some only let you bring your own booze on particular days, but that just means you have to plan ahead a little.

To help you with said planning, check out our guide here to 21 of Melbourne's best BYO restaurants.

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Recommended reads:
The Best Restaurants in Melbourne
The Best Bottle Shops in Melbourne
The Best Bars in Melbourne
The Best Pubs in Melbourne

  • 21
    best italian restaurants melbourne - amiconi dining room in west melbourne - also home to the best pasta in Melbourne

    Amiconi in West Melbourne has been serving up plates of spag bol for over 60 years now, feeding all of those who are in the know. Little has changed over the decades. Warehouse chic, this is not. And its Instagram will not inspire much food envy. But that’s not what Amiconi is about.

    At the end of the day, it’s all about the traditional southern Italian dishes done to homely perfection. And it’s got a BYO liquor license. Grab a few bottles of wine from the IGA or Parkhill Cellars around the corner, and pair them with some of the best Italian food in Melbourne. How can you beat that?

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  • 20
    Yulongfu- one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne CBD

    The husband and wife duo behind Yulongfu take their dumplings very seriously. Located on Bourke Street, this Shanghainese-style dumpling shop is a celebration of tradition and craft, executed through a menu full of signature dim sum morsels handmade to long-held family recipes, some dating back as far as 1904.

    It’s run by some of the most friendly front-of-house staff in the city. They’ll pop your beer and chilled wines in the fridge and talk you through the long menus. We are obsessed with their oysters cooked in XO sauce, the xiaolongbao and clay pot beef. Just be warned that the separate spicy menu is no joke. Even the spiced-down version will have you reaching for your beers after every bite. Consider yourselves warned.

    Image: Griffin Simm

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  • 19
    Jinda Thai - one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne.

    Since opening in 2013, Jinda Thai has gained a devoted following. The authentic, high-quality food here makes this undoubtedly one of the best-value restaurants around Victoria Street.

    There are all the Thai classics that’ll take you back to Patong Beach, but you shouldn’t look past the deep-fried barramundi fillet with tamarind sauce, fried shallots and coriander or the traditional yellow curry with grilled chicken. Just beware that the word is out about Jinda (among the best Thai restaurants in Melbourne) so expect to line up for a table.

    Image: Visit Victoria

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  • 18
    France Soir - one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne. South yarra.

    A true legend of the game, France-Soir has been dishing up French-accented goodness from its charming Toorak brasserie since 1986. It’s considered a go-to for timeless, expertly executed French classics, from escargots to duck a l’orange.

    But it’s about more than just the food — France-Soir’s intimate, understatedly elegant atmosphere is nearly impossible to replicate, and its old-school sense of hospitality is hard to resist. Add BYO lunches from Monday to Thursday, et voila — it’s easy to see why the loyal regulars keep coming back to this Melbourne dining destination again and again.

    Image: Brook James

     

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  • 17
    Dining room at Jim's Greek Tavern. The best greek restaurant in melbourne

    Come one, come all to this Collingwood Greek restaurant that offers BYO without a corkage fee. Turn up equipped with whatever you feel like drinking and the staff will let you pop your beers in a fridge to keep them cool. There are no menus at Jim’s — but food won’t just magically appear on your table.

    Rather, the Greek-Australian waiters will run you through the options available that day. If you’re with a group, opt for the banquet and bring a few bottles of Assyrtiko. You’ll eat and eat until you can’t possibly fit in any more. For our money, it’s both one of the best Greek restaurants in Melbourne and one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne.

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  • 16
    The Recreation - BYO restaurant in Fitzroy North, Melbourne

    Fitzroy’s The Recreation is a wine bar, bottle shop and bistro all wrapped up in one delightful package, helmed by the expert trio of chef Steven Nelson (ex-Bistro Gitan), sommelier Mark Protheroe and FOH gun Joe Durrant (both ex-Grossi Florentino).

    Although this Melbourne restaurant has a killer wine list, it offers BYO at lunchtimes from Sunday to Thursday. Unlike most other spots on this list, its corkage fee ain’t cheap. You’ll be parting with $30 per bottle to bring your favourite drop from home. Either make sure it’s worth it or just order from the team’s fantastic wine list.

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  • 15

    You’ll find this gem of a pizza joint on the increasingly buzzy High Street of Northcote. Among the bohemian 1960s decor lies a true local family pizzeria. It serves delicious pizzas with thin, chewy bases smothered with thoughtful and unconventional toppings.

    Pizza Meine Liebe is best enjoyed in-house so that you can soak up the charming atmosphere. While it might not alleviate your Euro-summer FOMO, you will be distracted by the good food, good company and cosy surrounds. And if you head over on Tuesday nights, you can bring your own bottles of wine for no extra charge. What’s not to love about that combo?

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  • 14
    Supper Inn - one of the best BYO restaurants in melbourne CBD.

    Nestled up an unassuming Chinatown staircase, this Cantonese restaurant is a simple sort of spot with minimal frills. But it’s also a true institution — a longtime hit with off-the-clock chefs and discerning late-night diners alike. And it’s not hard to see why.

    The menu is a roll-call of classics done well and served without restraint. Tried-and true winners like crispy-skinned roast duck, along with many incarnations of that age-old comfort food, congee. The BYO offering makes this one ideal for group feasts and cheap eats.

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  • 13
    Pacific House Richmond- Cantonese restaurant in Melbourne. bbq.

    You’ll notice Richmond’s Pacific Seafood BBQ House from the street with its array of ducks hanging in the windows and chefs working frantically behind them. The street scene tells you everything you need to know — this is a place that’s serious about food and not much else. There are no bells and whistles here, just deliciously made Cantonese food that won’t let you down.

    Inside, it’s all plastic chairs and tables, lazy susans, and menus blu-tacked to the walls. We highly recommend you get the duck and its wildly good lobster noodles. Pair it with some BYO wine and you’re in for a great meal out in Richmond.

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  • 12

    The Waiters Restaurant (formerly The Waiters Club) has been around since 1947 and still resembles an old canteen from the 70s but it remains a city stalwart. Originally a members-only, after-work venue for Melbourne’s Australian waiters, the restaurant now hosts a cross-generational legion of foodie fans.

    Tuck into a large welcoming bowl of pasta like the spaghetti bolognese that’s been on the menu since the 70s (in the exact same form) and settle in for a good old fashioned family-style feast. Add in BYO wine, and you see why this joint has been around for so long.

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  • 11
    I love Dumplings in Melbourne - one of the best byo restaurants in Melbourne.

    No fancy metaphors, clever pop culture references or humorous double entendres here — just an exclamation of something to which most Melburnians can relate. I Love Dumplings is certainly not trying to be coy, and if you do indeed love the steaming hot morsels of flavour, this is the place for you.

    Now, they aren’t necessarily the best dumplings in Melbourne, but they are great budget options — especially when you factor in the BYO policy. For $3 per person, you can bring in as much wine as you like, pairing your drops with a huge array of dumplings. It’s got to be one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne.

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  • 10
    Tiamo - italian restaurant on Lygon Street.

    The super popular family-run Lygon Street mainstay is cosy and comfortable despite spilling over into the space next door and upstairs to a second level, making it the perfect spot for a big group affair.

    Grab a seat inside or out on the street and settle in for a classic Italian meal featuring antipasto, salads, pasta and simple (but delicious) pizzas. The clientele is a mixture of students, workers and northside locals after affordable, family-friendly eats. The fact that this Carlton restaurant is BYO is but the cherry on top.

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  • 9
    Mamak - one of the best BYO restaurants Melbourne.

    One word: roti. Mamak is famous for a good reason, and that reason is flaky, buttery, delicious and dipped in curry. The Melbourne branch of the Malaysian restaurant sits in the middle of the CBD on Lonsdale Street.

    Obviously, you’ll hit up the roti menu but don’t bypass the satay options — they’re just as good. There’s also dessert roti FYI, so make sure to try and exercise a minute amount of self-control and leave space. And on top of all that greatness, Mamak is BYO at $4 per person.

    Image: Alana Dimou.

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  • 8
    Mrs Kim's Grill - best BYO restaurants in Melbourne

    Mrs Kim’s Grill has been serving authentic Korean fare in Richmond since 2013 with a special focus on traditional methods of marinating meat. The food here is delightful and the service is friendly and charming, making this one of the best barbecue joints in Melbourne. 

    For those after a proper bargain, order one of the all-you-can-eat menus — only costing $45 per person for the bulgogi option, $59 for the seafood and steak feast and $69 for the premium wagyu barbecue buffet. Add BYO wine to the affair, and there you have it, some of the best cheap eats in Melbourne.

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  • 7
    Chimac Plus - KBBQ Korean BBQ Melbourne

    Chimac Plus is a classic Korean barbecue joint, brought to life with an elegant interior and dim lighting which set the mood for an intimate and tantalising feast. The all-you-can-eat menu includes pork belly, soy-marinated pork scotch, oyster blades marinated in soy, a range of bulgogi and fried chicken wings in wonder soy — all complemented with classic Korean sides.

    Pair that all with some of your own favourite drops of wine brought from home and you’ve got a banging night out without breaking the bank. Plus, if you’re off the booze, try a bong bong or two (a Korean grape drink), which is delightfully fizzy and refreshing.

    Image: Tran Nguyen

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  • 6
    Hu Tong - one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne.

    At the high-end of Chinatown’s dumpling bar district, HuTong is a buzzing CBD eatery that shouldn’t be missed. Book in advance, because the restaurant’s three levels of seating are consistently occupied with diners.

    Don’t bother with anything else on the menu — just come for the hand-assembled dumplings served fried or steamed or spurting with hot soup, xiaolongbao-style. Despite being a little more upmarket than the usual dumpling canteen, the traditional suburban Chinese restaurant BYO format is still honoured.

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  • 5
    David's in Prahran

    Tucked away from the mayhem that is Chapel Street, is David’s — a restaurant with seriously epic Chinese food. Shanghai-born David Zhou set up the restaurant, creating a menu using recipes favoured by his ancestors. The menu is monstrous and can be a little overwhelming.

    Thankfully, you won’t feel rushed here. Come on a Tuesday night and bring your own vino for corkage of $12 per bottle, slowly sipping your way through it as you peruse the long-ass menu. If you haven’t been to this Melbourne BYO restaurant yet, add it to your dining bucket list right now.

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  • 4
    Ladro Melbourne - one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne.

    Every Monday, Ladro waives its usual $15 corkage fee in favour of a $5 transfer from your pocket directly to charity. For Fitzroy’s Ladro, that money goes straight to Street Smart to help fight homelessness in Australia. Lovely stuff.

    Team up a special (or not-so-special) bottle with a salami board before unleashing the pizza procession. Keep a look out for the porcini e gorgonzola number and the gamberi piselli with tomato, lemon garlic prawns, peas, chilli, and basil. It’s easily one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne.

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  • 3
    I Love Pho - best BYO restaurants in Melbourne

    This one’s all in the name. With a focused and easy-to-read menu that doesn’t compromise on variety, I Love Pho is your go-to for a quick and no-fuss meal in Richmond. Like so many of the top pho spots in Melbourne, the extensive protein options range from brisket, meatballs, tendon, heart, liver and giblets — but notable here is a vegetarian option with tofu and veggies.

    Pair your pho with some beers or wines from one of the bottle shops lining Victoria Street, and settle in for a big budget-friendly feast. This is an easy win for big groups hunting down a cheap feed near the city.

    Image: Visit Victoria

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  • 2
    Estelle - Concrete Playground. One of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne (Mondays only).

    Estelle from acclaimed Chef Scott Pickett (Longrain, Matilda and Pastore), showcases his signature modern Australian fare across both the bar and dining room. The menu runs easily from bar snacks through to larger plates primed for lengthy dining room sessions.

    The wine list is finely curated by the bar crew, but if you drop by on a Monday night, you can BYO booze. You will need to pay a corkage fee for the privilege ($20 per person), but it’s worth it if you’re bringing a few fab drops of wine from the home collection.

    Image: Simon Shiff.

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  • 1
    Laksa King in Flemington - one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne.

    If you’re after a knock-your-socks-off laksa to stave off the winter chill, you can’t go past Flemington’s Laksa King. While there are plenty of delicious menu items that are sure to catch your eye, we believe that everyone in Melbourne should have a combination curry laksa at least once in their lifetime, filled with mixed noodles, shrimp, fishcake and chicken.

    Believe it or not, all this slurping is still pretty thirsty work. It’s BYO wine only here, with $8 corkage per bottle. It’s both one of the best laksa spots in the city and one of the best BYO restaurants in Melbourne. If you’ve never been, add it to your hit list, stat.

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Top image: Mamak

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