Guide to the best BYO restaurants in Sydney

Nov 23, 2022

I have always loved eating out and really enjoyed venturing to different parts of Sydney to try new restaurants. But since making the switch to non-alcoholic wine, I have been disappointed at the lack of options available. Don’t get me wrong, things are starting to change, but I’m over pairing a nice meal with sparkling mineral water and lots of my customers have been telling me they feel the same way!
People dining in a crowded restaurant

This is where BYO restaurants come into their own. You get the restaurant experience, the food and the atmosphere, and you can bring your own non-alcoholic wine, non-alcoholic beer or non-alcoholic RTD drinks too. I’ve been exploring the best BYO restaurants Sydney has to offer and I’m here to report back to you.

This guide includes the BYO restaurants Surry Hills locals don’t want you to know about, the BYO restaurants Newtown locals wish they could keep to themselves and the BYO restaurants that Mosman locals want to keep under wraps! I’ve also included my tips on the best non-alcoholic wine and best non-alcoholic beer to take along with you.

Spice I Am 

Since opening in 2004, Spice I Am has become one of the best BYO restaurants in Sydney. It’s a favourite with both locals and commuters who are happy to wait in line for a table. The menu features all the Thai classics you would expect, made authentically and packed with flavour and spice under the watchful eye of critically acclaimed head chef, Sujet Saenkham. 

Eat

Try the Phuket-style Pad Cha, a veggie stir fry with curry paste, peppercorn, basil and Thai eggplant or a Yum Pla Krob salad made with Thai herbs. 

Drink

I like a non-alcoholic rose wine with my Thai food or a fruit-forward non-alcoholic white wine such as Two Hoots Non-Alcoholic Chenin blanc

Good to know

Spice I Am does not take reservations so be prepared to wait for a table. There is a very small surcharge for BYO of $1.00 per person. 

Location

90 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills NSW 2010.

Two Chaps 

With its open-plan galley kitchen, exposed steel shelves and rustic furniture, Two Chaps is one of those BYO restaurants with a very back-to-basics vibe. Much the same can be said of the Mediterranean-influenced food, which is made from scratch with organic, locally sourced produce. Two Chaps is a bustling cafe during the day and is open for dinner two nights a week (Friday and Saturday).

Eat

The Two Chaps night menu changes every few weeks, but expect a set menu featuring pasta and seasonal produce. 

Drink

A European-style non-alcoholic wine that will complement Mediterranean food such as 1920 Wines Non-Alcoholic Pinot Grigio. Made in South Australia in the Italian style it has a dry profile with notes of nashi pear, apple, and lemon.

Good to know

Two Chaps can cater for vegan and dietary requirements, but it’s best to flag this in your booking. They serve dinner in two sittings, 6.00pm and 8.15 pm. There is a BYO corkage fee of $10 per bottle.

Location

122 Chapel St, Marrickville NSW 2204.

Mamak 

Don’t let the generic cafe tables fool you, people come to Mamak for award-winning Malaysian food, and they’re happy to queue out the door for it. With a reputation as one of the best BYO Restaurants Sydney CBD has to offer, Mamak features a little theatre in the form of roti throwing as well as a roti menu bursting with aromatic Southeast Asian flavours.

Eat

Try a Kari Sayur, a vegetarian curry cooked with lentils, fresh tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, long beans and eggplant, or a Rojak, a Malaysian-style salad featuring fried tofu, hard-boiled eggs, freshly shredded yam bean and cucumber all topped with a thick spicy peanut sauce.

Drink

I love to wash down Malaysian food with a light and refreshing non-alcoholic beer like Sobah Lemon Aspen Pilsner

Good to know

Save some room for dessert — the tall cones of crisp, sweet roti are just as lauded as the mains. Corkage is $4 per person.

Location

15 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW 2000.

Golden Lotus 

When it comes to BYO restaurants, Newtown has an abundance. However, Golden Lotus offers something fairly unique — it’s got a completely vegan and plant-based Vietnamese menu. The food is simple and fresh, and comes in big servings which are ideal for sharing with your friends. 

Eat

Try a clay pot eggplant in a sticky, sizzling sauce, the vegan beef rendang curry (yes, I did just write vegan beef) and of course, lots of fried dumplings. 

Drink

A non-alcoholic wine with a little acidity will complement Vietnamese food. Try 1920 Wines Non-Alcoholic Sauvignon Blanc or if you’re in the mood for a non-alcoholic G&T, there are several gin and tonics RTD drinks to pick from. 

Good to know

There is a small surcharge for BYO of $3 per person. 

Location

341 King St, Newtown NSW 2042.

Bar Reggio

Some BYO restaurants are practically institutions and Bar Reggio is one of them. Since opening in 1992, the family-owned restaurant boasts over 30 different hand-crafted pizzas and 20 different pasta sauces along with salads, other mains and of course — dessert — so there really is something for everyone. 

Eat

I can’t go past the Crown Street Vegetarian pizza — with grilled eggplant, roasted capsicum and garlic with a simple rocket salad. 

Drink

It’s got to be a non-alcoholic red wine such as Next Destination 2018 Barossa Valley Shiraz or how about an alcohol-free Aperitif Spritz? There are several RTD drinks available such as ISH Non-Alcoholic Spritz

Good to know

There is a surcharge for BYO of $3.50 per person. 

Location

135 Crown St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010.

Afous Moroccan and Spanish Tapas

This is one of those BYO restaurants Sydney residents come to for the atmosphere as well as the food. With stained glass windows, views of the harbour, mood lighting and cosy tables, it is perfect for an intimate date night. The food, Moroccan and Spanish Tapas is made to be shared. 

Eat

I can highly recommend the honey mustard halloumi which comes with cherry tomato, mixed berry puree and roast pine nuts

Drink

I suggest taking the best non-alcoholic red wine I know, which is Next Destination 2018 Barossa Valley Shiraz. It has a full body that will stand up to the flavours in your tapas as well as notes of dark chocolate, ripe berries and new french oak.

Good to know

There is a surcharge for BYO of $4.00 per person. 

Location

1/81 Parriwi Rd, Mosman NSW 2088.

Don’t Tell Aunty 

This is one of those BYO restaurants Surry Hills residents wish they could keep to themselves. With a menu that boasts dishes from all regions of India including street food and specialities with modern twists, it’s best to expect the unexpected. 

Eat

Must-try dishes include Nachos of the Motherland, which is a sweet, tangy, sour and spicy traditional street food and Colonel Tso’s Cauliflower, an Indo-Chinese-inspired cauliflower dish with a tomato and chilli sauce. 

Drink

You can wash all this down with a non-alcoholic beer, or perhaps a non-alcoholic sparkling wine such as Thomson & Scott Noughty which pairs well with spicy food or how about a non-alcoholic beer such as an IPA? My pick is Nort All Day IPA

Good to know

There is a surcharge for BYO of $20 per bottle. 

Location

414 Bourke St, Surry Hills NSW 2010.

Macleay St Bistro

One of the best BYO restaurants in Sydney, Macleay St Bistro has been serving French cuisine for more than 30 years. This is a great restaurant for a special occasion as it’s a little fancier than your typical BYO restaurants

Eat

Try the twice-baked French onion soufflé with truffle butter, and leave some room for dessert — the pear and vanilla Tart Tatin will transport you straight to Paris. 

Drink

A special occasion calls for bubbles and the Next Destination 2021 Langhorne Creek Blanc de Blanc is the best non-alcoholic sparkling wine for the job. Expect delicate bubbles along with flavours of toasted brioche, fresh blossom and green apple.

Good to know

There is a surcharge for BYO of $14 per bottle unless you go on a Sunday when corkage is free. 

Location

73A Macleay St, Potts Point NSW 2011.. 

I hope you’ve found my guide to the best BYO restaurants in Sydney helpful. I’m sure you know where to buy non-alcoholic wine by now, but as a reminder, you can get the best non-alcoholic wines (including non-alcoholic wine under $10) and the best non-alcoholic beer right here at Sans Drinks. Make sure you’re subscribed to my newsletter so that I can keep you in the loop about special offers and promotions. I’d also love you to follow me on Instagram and tag me in your posts and stories so I can see which BYO restaurants you’re taking your non-alcoholic wine to. Perhaps I’ll even see you there!

Get 15% off your first order and a chance to win $500. Join my newsletter for exclusive weekly discounts and offers.

JOIN NOW