When someone suggests a BYO for dinner, the benchmark is already set for a good evening out. It means a meal of fun, ease and atmosphere, so it’s little wonder why Melburnians love it. Thankfully, delicious BYO restaurants in Melbourne are aplenty, with the city’s dining out scene brimming with options.
We’ve put together a list of Melbourne’s best BYOs and you’ll see that diversity is clearly a strength. Easily rivalling Sydney’s BYO scene, locals can usually find whatever cuisine they’re searching for in Melbourne.
From Malaysian and Thai to Japanese and Chinese, you’ll also find a few Middle Eastern and Italian gems. Take note that most policies are for wine only, but there’s a few with beer included.
But let’s be honest, most of the charm about BYO is the low-cost price for booze. So we’ve chosen to leave out some top-quality BYO restaurants in Melbourne that have expensive policies. If you can afford $18+ corkage however, we recommend Scopri, Sosta Cucina and France Soir.
So, let’s get cracking shall we? And if you’re after even more vino experiences in Melbourne, check out our favourite wine bars.
The Best BYO Restaurants in Melbourne
Lebanese BYO in Brunswick
Two brothers from Beirut are charming locals with their family-run restaurant Mankoushe. The vibe is laid-back, ingredients are locally sourced and Lebanese-style pizzas reign supreme. With such a combo, it’s little wonder why it is one of our favourite Middle Eastern restaurants in Melbourne.
Corkage $7 for wine, $1 per beer bottle
323 Lygon Street, Brunswick East, Melbourne 3057
Thai BYO in Abbotsford
Serving some of the best Thai cuisine in Melbourne, Jinda Thai Restaurant is family-run and all dishes follow their grandmother’s recipes. Trust us, food is seriously legit here. Furthermore, the large and industrial space is modern and has a great vibe for group dining. This is a place to feast, with your chosen bottle of wine, of course.
Corkage $3 per person
1-7 Ferguson Street, Abbotsford, Melbourne 3067
Paris Go Bistro
French BYO in Carlton
Bringing a slice of France to Carlton, Paris Go Bistro is a neighbourhood gem. From fresh oysters and homemade rabbit terrine to confit duck and beef bourguignon, the food here is authentically French. They also have a fabulous French wine list, but varieties by the glass are $14. With $13 corkage per bottle, you do the math!
Corkage $13 for wine
116 Rathdowne Street, Carlton, Melbourne 3053
BYO Pizzeria in Northcote
Wine and wood-fired pizza is a match made in heaven, especially when it’s BYO. Ferdinand ticks all the boxes, and in superb style if we may say so. Their Neapolitan-style pizzas are truly authentic with top-quality toppings – think pancetta with ricotta and truffle oil, or mozzarella with gorgonzola and deep-fried eggplant. The homemade pasta is also delish!
For corkage cost, enquire with Ferdinand
98-100 High Street, Northcote, Melbourne 3070
Italian BYO in Carlton
Beyond Ferdinand, other hotspots for artisan pizza are the three D.O.C Pizza & Mozzarella Bars. However, our personal favourite in the D.O.C. group is D.O.C. Espresso which serves fresh handmade pasta. They keep things authentic but with a contemporary twist and it’s some of the best pasta in Melbourne. Start with a signature DOP cheese board and then feast on Umbria pork shoulder penne, Tuscany porcini pappardelle and Trentino radicchio gnocchi.
Corkage $10 for wine
326 Lygon Street, Carlton, Melbourne 3053
Italian BYO in West Melbourne
If D.O.C. does modern Italian in Melbourne, Amiconi does old-school Italian in Melbourne. It’s been around since the 1950s and has stayed within the same family the entire time. They specialise in traditional southern Italian cuisine, so think seafood linguini marinara from Campania and traditional sweet cannolis from Sicily. As with any down-to-earth restaurant run by Italians, genuine hospitality and welcoming service is in abundance!
For corkage cost, enquire with Amiconi
356 Victoria Street, West Melbourne, Melbourne 3003
Japanese BYOs in Forest Hill & Lilydale
Bringing all-you-can-eat Japanese to the suburbs, meals at Isshin are a steal. For $40.95, guests at their Forest Hill and Lilydale restaurants can feast during a two-hour buffet session in which you “order as you go”. All the dishes are made fresh, unlike most buffets, and quality is high. If two hours of non-stop gyoza, tempura, sushi, sashimi and teppanyaki – plus BYO wine – sounds like you, check them out!
Corkage $2.50 per person, wine only
Locations in Forest Hill and Lilydale
I Love Dumplings
Chinese BYOs in Kensington, Richmond & St Kilda
Not much beats a restaurant that does dumplings and BYO. Melburnians love the combo, so good thing I Love Dumplings is a triple threat with branches in Kensington, Richmond & St Kilda. Their handmade dumplings are some of the best in Melbourne and the diversity is delish – think Sichuan-style wontons, steamed prawn har gow and pan-fried gluten-free pork dumplings.
Corkage $3 per person, wine only
Locations in Kensington, Richmond & St Kilda
HuTong Dumpling Bar
Chinese BYO in the CBD
Beyond I Love Dumplings, the varieties at HuTong are also stellar and slightly more fancy. They’ve got numbers like mushroom prawn dumplings with diced water chestnuts, and xiao long bao soup dumplings. But we especially love HuTong for their authentic Sichuan and Shanghainese specialities. Come here and feast on crispy fragrant duck, sweet vinegar pork ribs, tofu with minced pork and Sichuan pepper or whole barramundi in bean sauce.
Corkage $4.50 for wine
4-16 Market Lane, CBD, Melbourne 3000
Afghan Gallery Restaurant
Afghani BYO in Fitzroy
Neighbourhood charm, romantic ambience and tasty Afghani food are all reasons why Afghan Gallery Restaurant is a Fitzroy favourite. The fact it’s also BYO is just a cherry on top. Winning over locals since opening in 1983, a meal here is full of authentic Middle Eastern flavours. Fill up on signatura kofta meatballs and a legendary vegetarian menu!
Corkage $3 for wine
327 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, Melbourne 3068
Malaysian BYO in the CBD
Inspired by the hawker stalls of Malaysia, Mamak is a bustling hotspot in the CBD that serves authentic street food. Originally from Sydney, this award-winning restaurant group is all about food that’s finger-looking good and bold in flavour. Expect fluffy roti (both sweet and savoury), charcoal-grilled satay skewers, sambal stir fries and tangy curries. There’s no reservations and it’s always popular, so expect a line.
Corkage $3 per person, for wine and beer
366 Lonsdale Street, CBD, Melbourne 3000
Jim’s Greek Tavern
Greek BYO in Collingwood
Leading the pack as Melbourne’s most lively BYO restaurant, Jim’s Greek Tavern has been around for decades. Dysfunction is all part of the dining experience when visiting this Collingwood restaurant as there’s no menu and the atmosphere is something else. Bustling is an understatement; perhaps boisterous is more fitting. As for the authentic Greek food – simply perfection.
32 Johnson Street, Collingwood, Melbourne 3066
Indian BYO in Fitzroy
There are standard Indian BYOs in Melbourne, and then there’s Horn Please. This hip restaurant sets itself apart thanks to contemporary Indian cuisine. It utilises authentic flavours and traditional cooking, but in thoughtful and creative ways. The menu changes regularly, depending on what’s fresh and in season, but expect dishes like blue vein naan, crab tikki croquettes and goat masala stewed in marrow. The homemade Indian ice cream is a must try!
Corkage $10 for wine (maximum two bottles)
167 St Georges Road, Fitzroy North, Melbourne 3068