Let’s face it, alcohol is expensive, especially in the swankier parts of London. Everyone likes to swig down a cool glass of rose wine on an evening out. However, when one can cost you upwards of ten pounds a glass, one starts to consider whether alcohol in restaurants is an expense we’d much rather live without.
Being the savvy financial managers and celebrated tipplers that we are here at the Evan Evans offices, we’ve managed to find a smart way to circumvent the sometimes extortionate prices of alcohol in restaurants. ‘Bring your own booze’ restaurants offer the same great food as other establishments, except that they don’t have licenses to sell alcohol on the property. You can, therefore, bring in your own drinks and enjoy a glass at a much lower cost. Hurrah!
Let’s explore some of the best BYOB restaurants in London. They’re both excellent money-savers and fantastic places to eat in their own right.
A beautiful, family-run eatery with a menu centred around its titular dish, Tagine is an excellent option if you’re looking for something flavourful, healthy and comes with an exotic twist. Morrocan food has grown in popularity in recent years, and Tagine is at the forefront of this exciting couscous revolution.
This unique establishment is designed to help us focus on the little things. A tiny restaurant with a tiny menu, you’ll find some fascinating and unique dishes here that change depending on the seasons and the whims of their passionate chefs. They charge a corking fee of £10 on wine, but you can drink your own beer and ciders for free.
I’ll eat my hat if this isn’t the best Punjabi restaurant in town. Tayyabs serves mouthwatering dishes at an extremely reasonable price with no corkage fee. It’s situated right next to Brick Lane too – one of London’s Indian food hotspots – so it’s perfectly placed next time you go out for a curry with the gang.
Little Georgia, Hackney
Anyone that has never had Georgian food before is in for a real treat. Think beautiful pan-fried meats and delicious cheese bread, all marinated in zesty sauces that will leave you counting down the days until your next visit. There is an artisan wine list in-house, but you can also bring your own bottle for no corkage fee.
With its predominantly steak-focussed menu, Foxlow has a surprising amount of delicious dishes for the veggie lovers amongst you, too. It’s real Instagram-worthy food and you’ll be able to stuff yourself for a reasonable price. Watch out, though, as its only BYOB on Tuesdays – an important point to note.
Serving Egyptian and Middle-Eastern cuisine, Ali Baba’s is a truly family run affair that gives you the feeling that their recipes have been passed down for generations. It’s also great value for money, and you’ll get a gut-busting meal for the paltry price of around £25.
This outrageous Thai is found in Hammersmith and serves excellent food in a cosy, quirky setting. It’s the decor that makes this place so memorable, with Victorian fireplaces and bell lampshades surrounded by creeping plants and stuffed animals. The food is pretty fantastic, too.
For more ways to explore the culinary landscape of London, take a look at our London Tours page. Our walking tours will take you around some of the capital’s best pubs, whilst you can explore Borough Market on our guided small group tour.