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London's restaurants pride themselves on choosing the best wine lists, providing plenty of New World and Old World wines, and employing the services of a sommelier to help diners pair their wines with the menu choices. Some restaurant wine list might seem a bit steep in the payment department, or they might not stock the specific wine that you love. Searching for the best bring your own booze restaurant in London? Here are the Top 10 best restaurants in London for BYOB/corkage so that you can buy your wine elsewhere and bring your own booze with you on the night.
Image courtesy of Flickr user Emiliano De Laurentiis (Share Alike).
Clerkenwell / Restaurant / Cuisine: Eclectic
Situated in a Grade II listed former cork warehouse, Foxlow is a split-level neighbourhood restaurant and bar with two ground floor dining areas and a first floor gallery. Located on St. John Street in Clerkenwell, it serves slow-smoked and charcoal grilled dishes, salads and sides alongside original cocktails and reasonably priced wines. The key element here is BYOB Tuesdays, when there is no corkage fee for anyone bringing their own wine. Result!
Clapham / Restaurant / Cuisine: Modern European
Now also the proud owner of an alcohol licence, this tiny 15-seater restaurant on the edge of Clapham Common still offers the option to BYOB. At £10 per bottle, corkage isn't cheap, but the quality of the small plates on offer will sweeten the deal. Sharing a similar attitude to food as its award-winning sister restaurant and next-door neighbour The Diary, Counter Culture serves up seasonal, sustainable and under-used produce, preserved using a variety of techniques, alongside fresh vegetables, meat, fish and desserts.
The Jones Family Project
Shoreditch / Bar / Restaurant / Cuisine: Meat
This quirky, two-level bar, restaurant, cafe and general Shoreditch hangout has so many reasons to visit. The decor for one; the impeccable, friendly service for another, and, for all the wine loves out there, a £5 corkage club on Monday nights. So dust off that precious bottle of wine, gather some East London-friendly mates, and tuck in to the outstanding steaks.
Mayfair / Restaurant / Cuisine: European
The Square has been included just to show that it's not just cheap restaurants that allow 'bring your own'. The Mayfair postcode should be a giveaway that it's anything but cheap, but it is very, very good. The most purse friendly option is the lunch menu at £30 for two courses, and the corkage is £50 a bottle. If this is not going to be used on a dusty bottle of vintage Crystal, why bother? They too have an award-winning list, some of which can be ordered by the glass.
Marylebone / Restaurant / Cuisine: Fish
A central London fixture since 1914, The Golden Hind is one of the capital's best dine-in fish and chip restaurants. Their simple food, done well, is why it's still a favourite with Londoners and tourists alike. Plus, with a smattering of off-licenses on nearby Marylebone High Street, it's not a struggle to buy drink and, get this, there's no corkage charge!
Tooting / Restaurant / Cuisine: Indian
Upper Tooting Road is a battleground when it comes to curry restaurants. Like most of its neighbours, Mirch Masala is cheap, tasty, aesthetically tatty, and BYOB, but multi-award winning Mirch is the clear winner. Commonly packed so queuing may be necessary, but there's no shortage of shops close-by for a quick booze run, plus, again, there's no corkage.
Finsbury Park / Restaurant / Cuisine: Indian
Fill up for a fiver at this vegetarian Indian restaurant, with dishes as cheap as £3 each. The traditional curries are freshly made so it's easy to forgive the austere lighting and cafe style decor. Corkage is £1.75 per bottle, and there's a friendly offie opposite stocking wines and beers.
Mangal 1 Ocakbasi Restaurant
Hackney / Bar / Cuisine: Turkish
On arriving at Mangal Ocakbasi it's impossible to ignore the heat from the massive grill, where they knock up their famous Turkish kebabs. The atmosphere suggests a place to grab a quick bite rather than luxuriate over multiple courses, but why not act all classy, and have a kebab with a glass or two of vino? After all, they charge nothing for corkage and there's a Tesco down the road.
Wandsworth / Restaurant / Cuisine: Korean
A menu of authentic Korean food famed for it's smokey barbecue meat, but the vegetable options are also flavoursome at this colourful South London favourite. They charge a £2.50 corkage fee per bottle of wine. Bringing in beer is not allowed but there are some Korean beers on the menu.
Tay Do Cafe
Bethnal Green / Restaurant / Cuisine: Vietnamese
Tay Do Café is a family run establishment that was one of the very first Vietnamese restaurants to grace the streets of East London, opening over 16 years ago. The café specialises in traditional South Vietnamese dishes and diners can expect street food favourites such as delicious, aromatic Vietnamese grills, wraps and soups. The chefs in the café kitchens (mainly all family members) kitchens go back three generations and their menu is both authentic and truly delicious.
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