Restaurants generally mark up wine bottles at three times the price they paid for them wholesale. Meaning that you, the customer, are getting screwed. Throw in some pricey cocktails and you’re really in trouble. Hence the beauty of the BYOB restaurant: The overall meal price is lower, and customers drink precisely the wine they want. So without further ado, here are our picks for the city’s best BYOB restaurants. Now that we’ve supplied the list, all you have to do is bring the bottle.
10. Pinche Taqueria — This Nolita Mexican restaurant is low frills and high flavor. Grab a six-pack of cerveza, order the fish tacos, and get the party started. 227 Mott Street, 212-625-0090
9. Taureau — When the winter months strike, nothing warms the soul like a big pot of melted cheese followed by an even bigger bottle of wine. This East Village fondue restaurant dishes up gooey Gruyère, cheddar, and Gouda — all you have to do is provide the bottle. 127 East 7th Street, 212-228-2222
8. Tartine — This West Village bistro and popular weekend brunch spot might not have booze, but it does have all the classics: omelets, quiches, croques, and pastries galore. Be warned: Come summertime, the lines are long, given the outdoor seating. 253 West 11th Street, 212-229-2611
7. Poke — This Upper East Side restaurant prepares fresh-tasting sushi and sashimi. The only downsides? They’re cash only, and they limit customers to one bottle of wine per two or three diners. 343 East 85th Street, 212-249-0569
6. Umi Nom — King Phojanakong of Kuma Inn (another solid BYOB joint) prepares Filipino-inspired tapas like pancit and sauteed sausage at this Clinton Hill restaurant. But what kind of liquid refreshment to best complement balut, otherwise known as boiled fertilized chicken egg? That’s your call. 433 DeKalb Avenue, 718-789-8806
5. Lucali — Jay-Z and Beyonce might be regulars at this Carroll Gardens pizzeria, and for good reason. The pies and calzones are fresh and delicious and the ambiance intimate and romantic. Go early, though, or be prepared to wait. 575 Henry Street, 718-858-4086
4. Sigiri — Manhattan doesn’t boast many Sri Lankan restaurants at all (you’ll have to go to Staten Island for that). And after eating the restaurant’s string hopper kotthu and kotthu roti, you’ll wonder why the cuisine isn’t more popular. An added bonus — the nearby Dowel Grocery has a great beer selection. 91 First Avenue, 212-614-9333
3. Abistro — Classic bistro fare gets an international upgrade at this charming Fort Greene restaurant. Bring the vino and dig into dishes like moules frites in lemongrass broth and Senegalese fried chicken. 154 Carlton Avenue, 718-855-9455
2. Di Fara — This beloved pizzeria hardly needs an introduction. And really, what else is left to say other than that it’s one damn fine pie. So uncork your best bottle of red and indulge in a marriage of gastronomic perfection. 1424 Avenue J, 718-258-1367
1. Gazala Place — It may be tiny, but this Druze restaurant (which claims to be the only one in the country) goes big when it comes to flavor. Their scrumptious flaky bourekas, foule (fava bean puree), and kebabs are so good you won’t even want booze. 709 Ninth Avenue, 212-245-0709
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