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A close up shot of a glass of white wine at Estelle Bistro
Photograph: Graham Denholm

BYO restaurants in Melbourne

Time Out trawls the streets of Melbourne to find restaurants that let you bring your own, no matter your budget

By Time Out editors
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Have a top-shelf bottle of wine you want to crack open at dinner? Skip the restaurant mark-up and settle on the many eateries around town that allow diners to bring their own bottle, whether you're feeling like vino or beer.

If you're looking for a scenic nightcap after dinner, check out some of Melbourne's best rooftop bars. Alternatively, if you want wine to be the star of the show next time you're out, head to one of the best wine bars in Melbourne.

$0 corkage

The Waiters Club

Restaurants Melbourne

This old-school Italian restaurant is all about the classics. Eggplant parmigiana, marinara, calamari salad – and there's  even a Hawaiian pizza. Some scoff at pineapple on pizza, but we say haters gonna hate.

BYO: Free, wine only

Jim's Greek Tavern

Restaurants Collingwood

This is Greek food at its home-style best, and even though there is no menu, don’t let it put you off. There are always a couple of Greek grandmas (yes, the food really is just like back home) in the restaurant to give you some guidance.

BYO: Free for beer and wine

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Charntra

Restaurants Camberwell

They make everything from scratch at Charntra, be it roti, spring rolls, curry pastes or desserts, and conveniently this cheap and cheerful Thai joint is open seven days a week.

BYO: Free for beer and wine

$1-$4 corkage

HuTong

Restaurants Melbourne

Don your loosest pants and get ready for dumpling madness. First you'll want an outrageous number of soup-filled dumplings, all wobbly with their satiny thin skins. Then you'll need some of the soft, gelatinous, red-braised pork and a big dose of green beans sautéed with fried pork mince.

BYO: $4.50 per person, wine only, City Dumpling Bar only

Supper Inn

Restaurants Melbourne

The Supper Inn has been providing Melbourne revellers with cheap and delicious Chinese food at all hours for the past 20 years. Not much has changed over the years, and for that, we’ll always remain loyal and head straight to the Supper Inn when we’ve got the late-night munchies.

BYO: $3 per person for beer and wine

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Mamak

Restaurants Melbourne

They serve roti here in all its forms – savoury, with pools of curry sauce and a lentil mix, or as a sweet sugar-coated cone with fresh banana slices and a melting blob of ice cream. Plus they stuff them with minced pork, cabbage and egg (murtabak).

BYO: $3 per person for wine and beer

$5-$9 corkage

Food at Dainty Noodle
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Dainty Sichuan Food

Restaurants South Yarra

This South Yarra treasure is the place where the chilli is hot and the Sichuan pepper is tinglingly, numbingly fresh. And while none of the food is what you’d call dainty, it’s certainly way up there with the best Sichuan we’ve ever had the pleasure of burning our mouths on. It’s cheap, too.

BYO: $2 per person

Afghan Gallery

Restaurants Fitzroy

This Fitzroy institution is still going strong after two decades of deceptively simple Afghani food. Highlights include a qorma slow-cooked with chunks of tender eggplant; lightly spiced meat samosas with homemade yoghurt; and a smooth, delicately flavoured yellow dhal.

BYO: $5 per person

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Porgie and Mr Jones

Restaurants Hawthorn

Porgie and Mr Jones café is open for breakfast, brunch and lunch seven days, and on Friday and Saturday nights they open up shop on evenings as well. Set dinner menus are $55 per person for two courses or $70 for three – and that includes BYO.

BYO: $5 per person and $10 per bottle 

DOC Pizza and Mozzarella Bar

Restaurants Italian Carlton

Just off Lygon Street is DOC – a pizza bar that means business. Thin crispy bases make the perfect partner for the simple core Italian ingredients – buffalo mozzarella, fior di latte and Italian smallgoods. Wash it down with a Campari or Italian beer, and finish up with a dessert pizza.

BYO: $8.50 per bottle

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Camy Shanghai Dumpling and Noodle Restaurant

Restaurants Melbourne

Camy Shanghai Dumpling and Noodle Restaurant, often abbreviated to the Shanghai Dumpling House, has been a part of the Chinatown culinary scene since, well, forever. Line up on Tattersalls Lane, wait for a table, and then get amongst the all-you-can-eat menu.

BYO: $6 per bottle of wine, $1 per beer

Ocha

The Ocha kitchen combines traditional and new techniques in its approach to Japanese fare, and it is are reintroducing its evening 10-course degustation menu held on the last Monday of every month with no BYO corkage fee.

BYO: Lunch every day and Wednesday evenings only. $15 per person (wine only)

 

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Jinda Thai Restaurant

Restaurants Abbotsford

Real authentic Thai food is what you'll get from Abbotsford's family-run Jinda Thai restaurant. A lunch and dinner menu offers made-to-order rice paper rolls, signature street food dishes such as kao kaa moo (stewed pork shanks on jasmine rice with spices, Chinese broccoli, pickled cabbage and a homemade garlic sauce) and favourites such as tom yum. Just be sure to book ahead, or you'll be standing out in the street waiting for your table.

BYO: $5 per person (wine only), daily

The Potsticker

Restaurants Caulfield North

Malaysian and Chinese fare is this joint's bread and butter, plus it does yum cha daily with a staggering 60 different dim sim. The menu won't break the bank and it's vegetarian and gluten free friendly, so bring all your dietary-restricted friends.

BYO: $10 per bottle, wine only

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Kluska

Restaurants Dandenong

Set in an old red roofed house in Dandenong, Kluska doles out traditional Polish dishes like cabbage rolls, potato cakes, sauerkraut stew and pork schnitzel – just the thing to put a coating on your ribs against the cold.

BYO: $7 per bottle

$10+ corkage

The Recreation Hotel
Photograph: Graham Denholm

The Recreation Bistro

Restaurants Bistros Fitzroy North

The Recreation Bistro is smart pub dining without the pub. You can pop by for an easy drink- it has a modern-style bottle shop where you can drink a searching, global and local list alongside its Euro-smart menu. But, if nothing on their list or walls takes your fancy, you can bring your own bottle any night of the week. A number of wine-savvy locals are already in on the secret.

BYO: $25 per bottle, wine only

Sosta Cucina

Restaurants North Melbourne

Turin-born chef Paolo Masciopinto has come on board (via Stokehouse and Grossi Florentino) to give this North Melbourne olde Italian a refreshing take on traditional flavours. If you can't hit the five-course degustation make sure you don't go past perfect buttery scampi and the delicate duck tortellini with a little duck liver parfait on the side.

BYO: $20 per bottle for tables of eight and under, Tuesday to Thursday

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Scopri

Restaurants Carlton

The chef here offers a seasonal rotating menu of Italian favourites made from Victoria’s finest local produce. They have an impressive cellar, but also encourage BYO. Hell, they can even tailor menus to match your wines if you are a serious oenophile. 

BYO: $20 per bottle 

Carlton Wine Room
Photograph: Graham Denholm

The Carlton Wine Room

Restaurants Carlton

If this neighbourhood wine bar game-changer doesn't have that particular drop you're after, they invite you to bring a bottle from home on Monday nights. It better be good, cos their list is expansive and impressive. Extra points for having a menu that's been specifically designed to match wine, and not the other way around.

BYO: $20 per bottle, Mondays only

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whole flounder at Estelle
Photograph: Graham Denholm

Estelle

Restaurants Modern Australian Northcote

Scott Pickett's eatery Estelle is offering guests the chance to bring their own bottles to its wine bar. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays the bar offers specials that set you back $30 to $35 per head, and if you bring your own wine you're in for a deliciously affordable evening.

BYO: $20 per bottle

For a post-dinner nightcap...

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