The Best Restaurants Where You Can Bring Your Own Wine guide image


The Best Restaurants Where You Can Bring Your Own Wine

Where to go when you know exactly what you want to drink, and you don’t mind paying to bring it in.

If a restaurant allows you to bring your own wine, it falls into one of two camps: it’s either BYOB, or it charges a corkage fee per bottle. BYOB spots are relatively rare in NYC - at least compared to other cities like Philadelphia and Chicago - but a lot of great restaurants here do allow you to bring your own wine as long as you’re willing to pay.

So whether you’ve been looking for an occasion to open something special, or you just hate paying huge markups on bottles from a restaurant’s wine list, bring your own wine to any of these 27 spots. We’ve ordered them from lowest corkage fee to highest (and the majority charge less than $40).

The Spots

SriPraPhai review image



64-13 39th Ave, Woodside
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Making sure you handle the wine situation at SriPraPhai correctly is important for a few reasons. First, you should plan to bring a good amount, because it takes a while to read through the really long menu, and you’ll also want to hang out in the backyard for as long as possible. Second, the excellent Thai food here is quite spicy, so bringing nebbiolo or cab would be like trying to put out a fire by dousing it with gasoline. Bring some riesling or chenin blanc instead.

Corkage: $10 per bottle.

There are a bunch of ways to make a good impression on early-in-the-game dates, like asking lots of questions, offering plenty of compliments, and not mentioning your extensive collection of tearaway pants. You could also bring a couple bottles of high quality wine to Txikito, a small tapas spot in Chelsea that’s ideal for casual dates.

Corkage: $15 per bottle.

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photo credit: Emily Schindler

Al Di La review image

Al Di La

When you want some of the best Italian food in the city, and you don’t want to monitor the reservations pages of Lilia and L’Artusi like a sonar technician on a submarine, head to Al Di La. This Park Slope spot doesn’t take reservations, and while there’ll probably be a wait, opening a good bottle of barbera with the fantastic pastas here makes it well worth it.

Corkage: $20 per bottle.

Fiaschetteria Pistoia is close to being an ideal weeknight date spot. The pastas are excellent, the staff is friendly, and the space will remind you of some trattoria you wandered into after hopping off the EuroRail in Florence. The only downside is that their wine selection is really limited, and all the options are served about 15 degrees too warm. But bring your own bottles, and those are no longer issues.

Corkage: $20 per bottle.

The Spanish food at La Vara involves things like anchovy aioli, spicy ink sauce, and various types of vinaigrette. They’re delicious, but they’re really tough to pair with wines. The wine list here has some good options, like fino sherry and txakolina, but if you have something else in mind, just bring it in with you.

Corkage: $20 per bottle.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Paulie Gee’s review image

Paulie Gee's

Telling people how they should eat pizza is just asking for trouble. So rather than starting a fight by saying which wines you should be drinking with your plain or pepperoni or Hawaiian pie, we’ll just say that you should be eating pizza (like the Hellboy with soppressata and spicy honey) and drinking wine at Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint.

Corkage: $25 per bottle.

Whether or not a few drinks actually make you a better singer, they certainly make you think you would’ve wowed Simon Cowell. So before doing karaoke in one of the private rooms at Insa, a Korean BBQ spot in Gowanus, get some added confidence by opening a few of your own bottles while really good meat grills on the table in front of you.

Corkage: $25 per bottle.

photo credit: Noah Devereaux

Ivan Ramen review image

Ivan Ramen



OpenTable logo

Maybe the clerk at the wine store got you excited about trying some white wine from Alsace - or perhaps you just really liked the label. Either way, put your selection in an ice bucket next to your picnic table on the back patio here while you enjoy some of the best ramen in the city.

Corkage: $25 per bottle.

Not only is the food at Cafe China better than what you’ll find at most spots in Midtown East, but it’s also a fraction of the price. This walk-in-only (except for groups of eight or more) spot is great for group dinners, and you can keep the bill very reasonable if you bring your own wine to pair with the spicy, delicious Sichuan dishes.

Corkage: $25 per bottle.

Drinking Napa cab while eating some phenomenal steak isn’t just something you do in Midtown or FiDi while comparing things to bears and bulls. You can also do it at St Anselm in Williamsburg, a casual spot with primarily bar seating where you can watch the chefs cook the best $24 steak in the city.

Corkage: $25 per bottle.

Feel free to bring great wine to Tanoreen, but just know that the star of the show will still be whatever you decide to eat. This Bay Ridge spot serves some of the best Middle Eastern food in the city, and is a great place to bring a group and share things like ground lamb kafta and very creamy hummus.

Corkage: $25 per bottle.

Most things in this city stay cool for about 114 days, if they’re lucky. Keens has managed to do it for 114 years. Go to this classic Midtown steakhouse and pair your oldest nebbiolo or syrah with a 26-ounce mutton chop.

Corkage: $30 per bottle (one bottle for every two people).

Sushi Seki serves some of the city’s best sushi, which you can order a la carte at the bar while drinking something you decide to bring from home. Whether you bring sake or prosecco or whatever your roommate’s friend left in your fridge last weekend, drink it while eating at least one spicy scallop handroll.

Corkage: $30 per bottle.

Perhaps you over-watered the cactus and need to apologize - or less likely, you’re just feeling romantic. Either way, you want to have a special date night. Go to Gramercy Tavern, a classic spot in Flatiron with a prix-fixe menu in the dining room and a more casual a la carte situation in the bar area up front. Bring a bottle or two of whatever you shared on your first date together, and if you can’t remember, just tie a bow around whatever you have and say it’s a present that should be opened right now.

Corkage: $35 per bottle (up to 12 bottles).

Suggesting Upland is kind of like choosing a Journey song at a karaoke bar - it’s always well received. The menu of American and Italian dishes has a wide range of options, and the big, busy dining room a block from Madison Square Park works just as well for impressing clients as it does for telling your parents that you’re taking six months to motorcycle around Argentina. The wine list is long and varied, but if you want to open a specific Napa cab with clients or Argentinian malbec with your parents, you can do that here, too.

Corkage: $35 per bottle.

Whoever you’re bringing to Lilia should already be impressed by the fact that you got a reservation, but if you want to go one step further, open a bottle of Sicilian chardonnay with the sheep’s-milk-cheese-filled agnolotti.

Corkage: $35 per bottle.

Bringing clients to Locanda Verde - an attractive spot in Tribeca with excellent Italian food - will help convince them that your unplanned nap in this afternoon’s meeting was an anomaly. Open some Brunello or Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and they’ll forget all about how you woke up and started clapping in the middle of their presentation.

Corkage: $35 per bottle (2 bottle maximum).

No matter what you drink, you’re probably not going to feel like doing a whole lot of anything after eating the 26-ounce dry-aged prime rib at Smith & Wollensky in Midtown. So just lean into it, and either order a martini, or bring your own bottles of syrah, zinfandel, and Tums.

Corkage: $35 per bottle, two bottle maximum, and bottle can’t be on their wine list.

Whether it’s the service, the wine list, or the food, your father-in-law always finds something to complain about. A good way to test if he’s just tough to please or if he actually hates you is to bring him to Union Square Cafe. The service and food here are always excellent, and even though the wine list is huge and the sommeliers are helpful, take one more variable out of the equation by bringing some bottles you already know he likes.

Corkage: $35 per bottle.

Don Angie is a great Italian spot where you can drink a couple bottles of your own Chianti while eating a massive platter of lasagna (“for two”). On the off chance that you need more of a reason to check this place out, the attractive West Village space is loud, fun, and ideal for double dates.

Corkage: $35 per bottle (two bottle maximum).

Balthazar is an upscale French bistro in Soho that’s been a go-to for all kinds of situations - business meals, impressing tourists, dinners with the family - since it opened in 1997. The wine list here is long and the markups aren’t as bad as you might think, but if you want to bring your own bottle to drink with some escargots or the best French onion soup in the city, you can. (It should probably be French.)

Corkage: $35 per bottle (two bottle maximum).

You get dinner at The Nomad for two main reasons: the staff and the chicken. The servers are attentive enough to make this place feel like a fine-dining spot, but they’re also friendly enough to make it work for birthdays or double dates. As for the chicken, it’s whole-roasted and has black truffle and foie gras stuffed under the skin. It’s $98, which is fairly absurd for chicken, but it’s phenomenal, and you can somewhat offset the price if you bring your own wine.

Corkage: $35 per bottle, and once you reach five bottles, there’s an added $250 sommelier fee.

Llama Inn has some very good cocktails - like the “Llama Del Rey” on tap with pisco, rum, and red wine - and while there’s also a wine list at this constantly busy Peruvian spot, you’re allowed to bring your own bottles in, too. Try to sit on the roof when the weather’s nice.

Corkage: $35 per bottle.

The massive, mostly-Italian wine list and helpful staff at L’Artusi are two of the key things that make this one of our favorite restaurants in the city. But if it’s a special occasion or you just want to use the opportunity of eating some incredible Italian food to open a Barbaresco or Brunello you’ve been sitting on for a while, this is a good place to do it.

Corkage: $40 per bottle.

Even if you bring your own wine to Olmsted, you should still have a cocktail in the backyard before dinner. Check out the micro greens that’ll be on your plate in a few minutes, say hi to the quail in the quail coop (who, don’t worry, won’t be part of your meal), and prepare yourself for some of the very best food in Brooklyn.

Corkage: $45 per bottle (one bottle maximum per guest).

Pretty much everything about RH Rooftop, the American restaurant on the top floor of Restoration Hardware in Meatpacking, is over the top. From the five floors of really expensive furniture below, to the chandeliers over every table in the dining room, this isn’t the kind of place you’d bring a $12 bottle of New Zealand sauvignon blanc. So while a $50 corkage fee is pretty steep, this is the kind of place where you should open that magnum of Champagne you got as a gift five years ago.

Corkage: $50 per bottle (two bottle maximum).

Unless you’re the kind of person who doesn’t worry about commute times to the Hamptons because helicopters don’t have traffic jams, you’re probably enjoying some sort of extremely special occasion at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare (food alone costs over $360 per person) - and you should bring a bottle of wine to match. It needs to be nice enough to justify paying a $90 corkage fee (and also passing on the excellent wine pairing) - but we’ll leave that to you. No matter what you drink, the food here will be some of the most memorable you’ll eat in New York, or probably anywhere.

Corkage: $90 per bottle (two bottle maximum).

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