Restaurants with BYO in Sydney
Tucked behind the Kensington Street laneway in Chippendale, this open-air courtyard is serving up hawker style dishes from across the globe.
This is a real local’s haunt. Inner Westies wander in and out for takeaway or load in for a table, grabbing bottles of red from the bottle-o next door. Make sure you order up Rosso Pomodoro’s pizza bianco – potato, Italian sausage and rosemary.
Order up kafta (skewered grilled lamb mince), tabouli, lady fingers (make sure you ask for them to be grilled), loads of hommous and falafels; bring your own bottle of red and you'll see why Fatima's has been around for so long.
You can bring your own wine or beer here, so crack a six-pack of 333 and order the likes of the crisp chicken and mushroom spring rolls.
This place is so popular, the line snakes out the door most nights, but don't worry, you'll be in before you can decide whether you want your dumplings pan-fried or steamed.
Just opposite Marrickville Station, this little restaurant is the rare Siamese outsider in the very Vietnamese neighbourhood of Illawarra Road. Order the fire-hot jungle curry and BYO a citrus-edged Sauvignon Blanc.
Order the nam khao tod – a crisp rice salad heady with the scent and taste of kaffir lime, which comes tossed with crumbled Thai pork sausage, a good dose of chilli and ground peanuts. Break off leaves from the iceberg wedge served on the side and scoop it up like a Thai-style san choy bau.
Fried chicken is definitely the star here. You can have it four ways, but if texture trumps dressing every time, you’re going to want the original recipe. Half a dozen chicken portions arrive in a perfectly seasoned, crisp batter spiced with chilli flakes.
From the moment you enter Yasaka (complete with 'Irasshaimase!' greetings) you'll understand they really like to live their motto: 'No ramen, no life.'
The beloved Bronte Road pizzeria has branched out, bringing their truly excellent pizzas to Surry Hills, along with a mozzarella bar if that's your thing.
Make sure you try the homemade gnocchi here, which comes with either arrabbiata, bolognese, pesto or gorgonzola sauce.
When you walk into this Hall Street staple you can instantly smell fragrant Thai basil and hear the sounds of woks clanging. They do seriously big serves (one serve will satisfy two) of grilled meats, super rich curries and wok-fried favourites.
The nasi goreng is a staple and the kari ayam is a rich, mouth filling mild curry of chicken pieces with chunks of potato. Eat it with rice or scoop it up with a roti canai. They also make one of the tastiest nasi lemaks in town.
Make sure you order a serve of the smoky, feather-light babaganoush or the spicy humous dressed with a warm chilli oil and flecked with fried garlic.
Play it straight with a margarita (tomato, buffalo mozzarella and basil) or try the broccoli topped with mozzarella and ripped up chunks of pork sausage. They also make an excellent pizza biancho (that's pizza sans tomato) with thin slices of potato, sea salt and rosemary.
The Golden C may be most famous among Sydneysiders for its awesome late night dishes such as pork and preserved egg congee, salt-and-pepper squid and roast pork, but this impressive Canto-palace is one of the most lavish places for a night on the town.
Corkage: $8 per person
Veggies get loads of love here: the cauliflower salad is snazzed up with dots of cranberries, walnuts and pistachios, the baked pumpkin kibbeh gets a soft serve of fiore di latte on top and the stracciatella comes with smoked eggplant and pine nuts. Proteins are also a flavour fest – the duck bastilla packs a hit of cinnamon and the kingfish is seasoned with sumac.
The Siciliana is a crowd favourite here: thin slices of charred eggplant embedded in gooey mozzarella and a rich tomato sauce. Purists will stick with the Margherita and gluttons will head straight for the quattro formaggi cheesefest.
Corkage: $15 per bottle
The meats here are grilled over white charcoal and served over piles of roughly chopped raw white cabbage. By the time you’re done with your juicy, salty chicken thigh or crisp folds of strangely sweet chicken skin, that cabbage will have turned into a well-seasoned side of its own.
If you can't afford to have a top chef come to your home and cook the kind of aspirationally fresh, local and elegant fare you normally see on cooking shows, the next best thing is going out for dinner at Sean's Panaroma.
There's a host of restaurants around Sydney serving up tasty food at prices that won't leave your wallet empty.