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FOOD & DRINK

Eight Restaurants That Let You BYO Beer If You're Not Much of a Wine Drinker

These spots welcome you and your six-pack (of beers) with open arms.
By Leisha Kapor
February 12, 2020
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Eight Restaurants That Let You BYO Beer If You're Not Much of a Wine Drinker

These spots welcome you and your six-pack (of beers) with open arms.
By Leisha Kapor
February 12, 2020
  shares

EIGHT RESTAURANTS THAT LET YOU BYO BEER IF YOU'RE NOT MUCH OF A WINE DRINKER

in partnership with

These spots welcome you and your six-pack (of beers) with open arms.

If you're someone that prefers hops over tannins and malted barley over grapes, going out to a BYO restaurant can sometimes be a frustrating venture. Many BYO venues allow you to bring wine only, so finding somewhere to go with a pack of craft brews can be tricky. Just for you, we've done the research and put together this list of places around Melbourne that will let you BYO beer. Make a pitstop at your local BWS for your preferred ale, lager or sour, then head to one of these eight restaurants.

  • 8

    Come one, come all to this Collingwood favourite 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 let them bring you a variety of meats — think lamb souvlaki, baked chicken and barramundi — alongside pan-fried saganaki, dips, salads and bread. You’ll eat and eat until you can’t possibly fit in any more.

    Pick up some Your Mates Brewing Larry Pale Ales

    Image: Tracey Ah-kee

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  • 7
    Thaiger Rabbit

    When searching for BYO spots outside of the CBD’s massive Chinatown, you can’t go wrong on Abbotsford’s Victoria Street. A highlight among the many is Thaiger Rabbit — a quirky oasis where you can take your own brews and enjoy modern Thai dishes. There’s a huge menu covering all the standards like pad thai and stir fries with your choice of protein, veggies and a tasty sauce. Then there are the more complex dishes; get your fingers dirty pulling all the juicy flesh from the whole crab legs in the fiery salted crab papaya salad or tuck into a whole fish with raw garlic, chilli and a special sauce.

    Pick up a six-pack of Moon Dog Old Mate Pale Ale.

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  • 6

    The heart and soul behind this East Lebanese joint in Brunswick is the owners’ téta (grandmother), and the village soul food they were raised on. Surrounded by black-and-white photos of the family, tables covered in plastic and vintage kitchenware, you’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time to your grandparents’ place for Sunday lunch. Nab a table in the courtyard out the back, and enjoy crunchy falafel, smoky baba ganoush, zucchinis stuffed with wild rice and vegan baklava. And good news: it’s just $1 per bottle to BYO beer (or $8 per bottle of wine).

    Pick up a few bottles of Moo Brew Pilsner.

    Image: Tracey Ah-kee

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  • 5
    Shaanxi-Style Restaurant

    In Melbourne’s eastern suburbs lies an unassuming gem for cheap and cheerful food from the Shaanxi province of northwest China. Shaanxi-Style Restaurant in Box Hill has you covered for delicious dishes and flavours — like roujiamo (flatbread meat sandwiches), biang biang noodles and paomo (a lamb soup popular in the province’s capital, Xi’an). Good news for the budget-conscious: most dishes are priced at around the $12 mark. And you can BYO beer, too. We recommend a saison, tropical pale ale or IPA to pair with the strong flavours of garlic, salt and onion that the region’s cuisine is known for.

    Need some inspiration? Pick up a six-pack of Kaiju Krush Tropical Ale.

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  • 4

    A quick glimpse of the dumpling masters working their magic behind a wall of glass is all you need to realise you’ve stumbled across something special. Din Tai Fung has grown from a stall on the streets of Taipei in 1972 to a name known worldwide for its delicious dumplings. Spicy shrimp and pork wontons or pork dumplings are the more traditional choices, but the not-so-traditional black truffle xiao long bao is also worth a try. You’ll find Melbourne’s outpost inside the Emporium, and you can bring your own wine (for $10 per bottle), beer (at $2.50 per bottle) or tea, which is a novel idea that should be adopted elsewhere.

    Pick up a six-pack of Mornington Peninsula Brewery Pale Ale.

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  • 3
    Southern Grace Diner by Big Boy BBQ

    It’s no secret that most of Melbourne’s BYO restaurants are dedicated to Chinese, Thai or Middle Eastern food (not that we’re complaining). So, it’s great to add something different to this list in the form of good ol’ fashioned American-style barbecue. Big Boy BBQ has been doing its thing since 2011 making it one of the first in Melbourne to serve up the sticky, slow-cooked meat and classic sides from America’s south. Everything is generously rubbed with spices, cooked for a whopping 16 hours and served with sticky barbecue sauce and sides like slaw, pickles and mac ‘n’ cheese. Plus, you can BYO beer and be charged just $5 per person.

    Pick up a six-pack of Stomping Ground Gipps St Pale Ale.

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  • 2

    China Red is one of those spots that is deceptively small at first glance, but you should always try your luck, even if it looks too busy. There’s a downstairs dining room that always has space for hungry dumpling seekers. The classic dumpling house specialises in xiao long bao, veggie dumplings and salt and pepper squid, as well as bigger dishes like pipis in spicy XO sauce. The gimmick of China Red is ordering everything through a touchscreen menu at each table, which is great for adding extra dishes when you’re halfway through and realise how delicious everything is. You can also BYO, which is a bonus.

    Pick up a six-pack of Zytho Zesty Pale Ale.

    Image: Tracey Ah-kee

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  • 1
    Charntra Thai

    For more Thai food, try Camberwell’s Charntra where everything is made from scratch in-house, from the spring rolls and roti to the desserts. Pick up a six-pack of easy-drinking beer with fragrant citrus notes to pair with the sweet, spicy and sour flavours of Thai classics like tom yum prawns, spicy minced chicken larb seasoned with lime juice and fish sauce and pad see ew. There are also a few house specialties, including prawns in a coconut sauce with lemongrass, kaffir lime, galangal and Thai basil. The best part of the meal? Finishing it all off with a banana fritter and ice cream. Oh, and corkage is free.

    Pick up a six-pack of Mountain Goat Summer Ale.

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Update: Due to the current situation, we understand that going out may not be a possibility right now. Keep this list handy so that, when it’s all over, you can get back out there with your mates (and a bottle) and support these BYO-friendly businesses. In the meantime, check out these venues’ takeaway options and get yourself a bottle to match with BWS online delivery.

Top image: Din Tai Fung

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