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

No need to sit through a sober meal — these spots will welcome you and your six-pack (of beers) with open arms.
By Dominic Gruenewald
March 06, 2020

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

No need to sit through a sober meal — these spots will welcome you and your six-pack (of beers) with open arms.
By Dominic Gruenewald
March 06, 2020


in partnership with

No need to sit through a sober meal — these spots will welcome you and your six-pack (of beers) with open arms.

Let's face it, anyone can take a swing at wine pairing and claim success — like drinking sangiovese at an Italian joint and pinot gris with your seafood feast. It may add a personal flair to dinner but it's not exactly rocket science. Pairing a frosty beer with your meal is, while considered less formal, arguably a braver and more interesting choice. And, if you don't actually like wine, it's also more enjoyable.

Luckily, more and more restaurants around Sydney now allow you to bring beer along, so we've teamed up with BWS to highlight some of our favourites that do so. Read on to discover the eateries near you that permit you to crack open a cold one and savour it with your burger, curry or bowl of dumplings.

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    After a stint of successful pop-up endeavours, Redfern’s Bush opened permanently in mid-2019. Long wooden tables and handmade rustic chairs line the interior with native Australian flora decorating the walls, and the concise menu offers a playful spin on some well-loved classic Aussie dishes. Chef Grant Lawn keeps things simple and straightforward, and the proof is quite literally in the fairy bread and butter pudding. The quaint George Street spot is almost always packed, and it slings out a banging cheeseburger, crinkle cut chips and curried kangaroo pies — all of which will pair excellently with a tinny or two (corkage is just $3 per person for BYO).

    Need inspiration? Pick up a four-pack of BentSpoke Crankshaft IPA

    Image: Kitti Gould.

  • 6

    Sydneysiders don’t need to search hard to find an Asian hawker-style marketplace near them — but what sets Chippendale’s Spice Alley apart from the others is the fact that it’s BYO and there is no corkage fee. Tucked away behind Central Park plaza, the bustling openair market sees a scattering of tables and chairs lit overhead by hanging lanterns. Grab some mates and some brews, then treat yourself to a banquet of Asian dishes in the heart of Sydney — you can tuck into dumplings, pad see ew, sticky pork belly, roti canai and more.

    Pick up a four-pack of The Welder’s Dog Pea Blossom Lemonade.

    Image: Destination NSW.

  • 5

    Marrickville’s Two Chaps has gone from strength to strength since it opened back in 2014. Tucked away in an old garage with mismatched furniture and bikes adorning the walls, this cafe and restaurant may seem like hipster inner west epitomised, but it sets a mighty high standard for casual dining. Two Chaps focuses on sustainable vegetarian and vegan dishes — an approach that tracks from its decadent baked treats and brekkie bowls during the day to its $60 nighttime set menu, which is available across two sittings on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. This reasonably priced feast includes a grazing board to start, fresh salads, house-made pastas and desserts, and the menu is updated fortnightly based on seasonal produce. You can BYO both beer and wine here — and there is no corkage fee on Thursdays.

    Pick up a six-pack of Philter XPA.

    Image: Alana Dimou.

  • 4

    On the hustle and bustle of Enmore Road, one is rather spoiled for choice in terms of excellent eateries. But if you’re on the lookout for a spot to BYO beer, our pick is The Sultan’s Table. At this inner west stalwart, you can expect a blend of Cypriot and Turkish cuisine, cushioned seating and a warm, friendly atmosphere — all of which make this place a great spot for dining in groups. The $38 banquet offering is a particular winner with a selection of dips, meats, breads and vegetables brought out to your table. Other dishes include up-market kebabs and pides, and there’s a healthy mix of dishes suited to vegetarians and carnivores alike. It all tastes excellent, especially when washed down with your favourite local cold beer.

    Pick up a six-pack of Young Henrys Newtowner.

  • 3
    I Love Pho

    As the name suggests, the tricky-to-pronounce but easy-to-consume Vietnamese noodle soup is the star of the show at this Crows Nest spot. Following a traditional recipe from Hanoi, and cooked for 24 hours, this steaming broth is available in a number of different flavours including vegetable, pork chop, wagyu beef and chicken breast.

    Outside of pho, the menu boasts some incredible traditional Vietnamese dishes. Standouts include a vegan curry topped with roasted peanuts, spicy pork belly served with steamed Chinese broccoli, and a truly spectacular roast duck salad. This spot also welcomes BYO wine and beer so, for northsiders, heading here with a six-pack is an easy call — and yes, it’s definitely worth crossing the bridge if you’re based on the other side.

    Pick up a couple of cans of Modus Operandi Pale Ale.

  • 2
    Chinese Noodle House

    ‘The place with the tapestries and the grapes hanging from the roof!’ is the unofficial but perhaps the better-known name of this busy dumpling and noodle eatery. Based in the middle of Haymarket, this place is an institution for students, locals and anyone who loves a good feed at a great price. Noodles might be in the name but the dumplings are what really makes this place shine — the traditional pan-fried pork and chive bites are a must. Pair them with a serving of dry-fried french beans topped with crispy eschalot and the unmissable special braised eggplant. There’s a BWS just around the corner, so grab a six-pack and head on down — it’s well worth the short wait in the line that’s often out front.

    Pick up a six-pack of Capital Brewing Co Trail Pale Ale.

    Image: Trent van der Jagt

  • 1

    When you’re looking for a simple family-run Italian restaurant with great food and just the right amount of hipster charm, Il Baretto hits the nail on the head. This Surry Hills spot is BYO and cash only, and it churns out high-quality traditional Italian dishes — standouts include gorgonzola gnocchi, pappardelle with duck ragu and, of course, a marvellous tiramisu. The vibe is smart but laidback, so a more traditionally informal beverage such as beer will pair well. A locally brewed red IPA will complement the richer dishes, while a fresh ale will wash down what is sure to be a great feast.

    Pick up a bottle of Willie the Boatman Albo Corn Ale

    Image: Letícia Almeida.


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: Letícia Almeida. 

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