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A platter with savory egg crepes, fresh greens, and chili sauces in a wicker basket. Gabriella’s Vietnam

21 Great Philly Restaurants Where You Can BYOB

Bring your own bottle to these cozy Philadelphia restaurants

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Thanks to Pennsylvania’s decades-old alcohol laws and the challenge and cost of obtaining a liquor license, many Philadelphia restaurants embrace one of the country’s most unique drinking workarounds: Bring Your Own Bottle policies. At the cities’ many great BYOBs, diners can bring bottles of wine, bubbly, beer, or even spirits to dinner, and corking fees are uncommon.

Bring-your-own restaurants in Philly range in style from homey neighborhood spots to upscale fine-dining destinations and serve every type of cuisine. Here you will find a selection of some of the city’s favorites, especially when it comes to date-worthy outdoor seating to bring a bottle to drink al fresco.

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This cash-only Moroccan place should be on everyone’s list for the baked brie, eggplant lasagna, lamb shank, and whole fish with special charmoula sauce. If you are vegetarian, the vegetable platter with couscous is a delight. Try a bottle of agiorgitiko from Nemea or a red from Illyria. Reservations can be made by phone.

Apricot Stone

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With a mix of Mediterranean, Armenian, and Middle Eastern flavors, Apricot Stone in Northern Liberties is the destination for prix fixe mezze or dinner-for-two menus. Bring a few bottles of crisp whites (assyrtiko from Greece or musar blanc from Lebanon) and chillable reds (xinomavro from Greece) to enjoy alongside hummus plates, boreg, and lamb kebabs. Book your reservation through OpenTable.

Chef Michael Millon curates his menu according to the seasons, so you can expect a dynamic dining experience. His appetizers and handmade pasta courses include fish, chicken, and pork shank in traditional Italian preparations with a twist — it all goes extremely well with any Sicilian wine, like nerello mascalese. A Mano is currently offering a 3-course menu for $48 a person or a 4-course family-style menu for $68 a person. Reservations are available by phone, email, or Resy.

James Beard semifinalist chef Adam Diltz stands by the fact that our city is so much more than cheesesteaks and soft pretzels, and the evidence is obvious at Elwood on Frankford Avenue.  Everything is locally sourced to support regional farmers and purveyors, and Elwood’s family style servings are intended for sharing. His signature venison scrapple served on antlers sets the stage for gastronomic extravaganza. Try out the rabbit or the stripped bass, ideally paired with bottles from PA’s close-to-home wineries. Reservations for indoor dining and tea service are available on Resy.

Umai Umai

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Located in the Fairmount neighborhood, chef and owner Alex McCoy has taken sushi to another level of gastronomic art. A great spot for either sushi, stir-fries, or seafood paella. Reservations are can be made over the phone. BYO sake, pilsners, or white wine.

Pietramala

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Pietramala is an Italian-inspired vegan BYOB offering an intimate dining experience in Northern Liberties with chef Ian Graye cooking with locally sourced ingredients. Check out the fire-roasted delicata squash or the salad of escarole with radish, fennel, and fermented ramps. The restaurant is not wheelchair accessible yet. Reservations can be made for up to 4 people on Tock. There is a $20 corkage fee per bottle.

TERAKAWA RAMEN

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Head over to this Japanese noodle house either in Chinatown or in University City on a chilly fall evening for the ultimate ramen experience — BYO sake. It’s first come first served — ideal for last-minute dinner plans.

Banana Leaf: Malaysian Cuisine

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Although the focus at Banana Leaf is on Malaysian cuisine, it takes inspiration from Chinese, Indonesian, and Thai cuisines as well. The roti, satay, and clay pot curries are bursting with vibrant spices and aromas. Don’t forget to try the Singapore rice noodles — they’re unmatched. Bring a 6-pack of Thai Singha beer too. Reserve a table here any day of the week. 

This intimate Mediterranean BYOB has a wide array of pasta dishes on its menu that should satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Head over on a Monday night with a bottle of Yarden cabernet sauvignon or Recanati chardonnay to complement the food. Reservations are available on Resy.

Amma's South Indian Cuisine

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Amma is one of the best Indian restaurants in downtown Philadelphia. With a focus on dishes like rasam (lentils with spices and curry leaves), medhu vada (doughnut shaped fritters), curd rice (rice made with yogurt and spices and curry leaves), and idli and dosas, Amma’s menu is an absolute treat to explore centuries-old South Indian dishes. Amma can also cater to your spice level preference. Pair with lighter-bodied red wines, crisp whites like sauvignon blancs or vinho verdes, or pale ales and lagers. Reservations can be made over the phone but walk-ins are equally welcome.

Charley Dove

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With both a la carte and prix fixe menu options at the newly reopened Charley Dove (previously Audrey Claire BYOB), diners can delight in sunchoke soup, tuna crudo, and wild head prawns as first courses. Whole roasted branzino and pork chop deliver the harmonious blend of Mediterranean flavors for main dishes. For white wines, bring along lightly oaked chardonnay or fiano. For reds, Musar Jeune or Etna Rosso will pair great with the food and the spices. Reservations are available on Resy.

Buna Cafe Philly

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Philadelphia has a rich tradition of Ethiopian cuisine. Although many Ethiopian restaurants are located in the West Philly area and serve alcohol, Buna Cafe stands out as a BYOB. The blend of Ethiopian herbs and spices used in the slow-cooked dishes are enjoyed best with the famous injera bread. Try it with doro wot (chicken and hard boiled eggs) or shiro and ingudai tibs. Or dig in to the vegetarian or meat combo to explore the lentils and other sides. Bring along a Spanish red from Ribera del Duero or a white such as a verdicchio.

Mabu Kitchen

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The hospitality and warmth of this Canadian couple Grace Cavallo and Ayad Sinawi shines in their dishes. Named after the village back home in Nova Scotia, Mabu offers Southern comfort food with a French twist. Starting with the heirloom carrots and cauliflower wedge, the magic continues with the smashing burger and juicy confit chicken. End your culinary journey with Cavallo’s banana pudding. Accepting walk-ins, an ideal place for a weekday comfort food with few cans of ciders or IPAs, or a bottle of natural wine. 

Sakana Omakase Sushi

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Upscale omakase sushi place, Sakana is now offering a $148 and a $98 signature omakase tasting menu. Make sure to check out their aged fish for sushi and bring your favorite sake. Don’t forget to book your table on Resy.

Lazeez Indian Cuisine

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Try Lazeez Indian Cuisine’s gobi (cauliflower) or chicken Manchurian and fried rice. The tandoori Malai chicken and the mutton biriyani with aromas of Indian spices and herbs are made to perfection in a typical Mughlai style. Lazeez is open for brunch buffet on weekends, too. Walk-ins are welcome.

Aroma on 3rd

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At Aroma on 3rd, head chef and co-owner Antonio Cardillo (Tony) focuses on specialties from all regions of Italy. Originally, on Pine Street in Washington Square West, Aroma’s new location in Pennsport offers a range of homemade pastas, desserts, and bread. Try the tartufo, gnocchi gorgonzola, or the vitello Abbruzzese for a true range of Cardillo’s offerings. Don’t forget to bring a bottle (or two) of barbera, dolcetto or montepulciano d’abruzzo. Reservations can be made by phone.

Chef Lou Boquila’s modern take on Filipino food is served as pre-fixe Kamayan style menu at $48 per person. The food is served on a banana leaf and intended to be shared. The myriad assortment of food calls for a lager or pale ale to wash it down. Regarding wine, an off-dry riesling, or pinot grigio should be perfect. Reservations are available on Resy

Gabriella's Vietnam

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Featured in the New York Times’s top 50 restaurants to visit in the country in 2022, Gabriella’s is the manifestation of chef Thanh Nguyen’s dream to bring authentic Vietnamese flavors to Philadelphia and to introduce each dish exactly as it is served in the streets of Vietnam. Locally sourced ingredients make their way into water fern dumplings, savory crepes with pork and shrimp, shaken beef, and a whole fried fish. Definitely bring some Thai Singa beers or pinot bianco or riesling. Reservations are encouraged and can be made through Resy

Nineteen Eleven BYOB

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Chef Jon Raffa and chef Mike Gingras met at the former Will BYOB and are using contemporary culinary technique to transform classic American flavors to a sensory adventure. From 60-degree egg on a mushroom toast to blue fish and meatballs, the food calls for Cotes du Rhone or a Willamette pinot noir for reds and a lightly oaked chardonnay for white. Reservations can be made on Tock or by phone.

June BYOB

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First opened in South Philly in 2019, Richard and Christina Cusack re-opened June BYOB in Collingswood last August with the Cusacks’ culinary expertise showcased in traditional French food with modern influences. Their main attraction is canard à la presse, which is a gastronomic delight on its own, but would be heightened by the addition of a French bottle or two from Burgundy or Rhone. Check out their seasonal menu and they are always accommodate vegetarian, vegan or other dietary restrictions. Join their mailing list to stay up-to-date on special events on Sundays, such as wine pairing dinners. Reservations are available on Resy.

Zeppoli

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Located across the bridge in Collingswood, New Jersey, this Sicilian-focused Italian BYOB offers homemade pastas, delicious meat and fish courses, and deluxe desserts. A graduate from the French Culinary Institute and former chef de cuisine at Vetri Cucina, Joey Baldino’s culinary vision came to fruition with Zeppoli. Try nero d’Avola, the native grape from Sicily, with the main courses and definitely try the zeppoli Siciliano, with a fortified dessert wine such as a Sauternes. Reservations are available on Resy.

Figs

This cash-only Moroccan place should be on everyone’s list for the baked brie, eggplant lasagna, lamb shank, and whole fish with special charmoula sauce. If you are vegetarian, the vegetable platter with couscous is a delight. Try a bottle of agiorgitiko from Nemea or a red from Illyria. Reservations can be made by phone.

Apricot Stone

With a mix of Mediterranean, Armenian, and Middle Eastern flavors, Apricot Stone in Northern Liberties is the destination for prix fixe mezze or dinner-for-two menus. Bring a few bottles of crisp whites (assyrtiko from Greece or musar blanc from Lebanon) and chillable reds (xinomavro from Greece) to enjoy alongside hummus plates, boreg, and lamb kebabs. Book your reservation through OpenTable.

A Mano

Chef Michael Millon curates his menu according to the seasons, so you can expect a dynamic dining experience. His appetizers and handmade pasta courses include fish, chicken, and pork shank in traditional Italian preparations with a twist — it all goes extremely well with any Sicilian wine, like nerello mascalese. A Mano is currently offering a 3-course menu for $48 a person or a 4-course family-style menu for $68 a person. Reservations are available by phone, email, or Resy.

Elwood

James Beard semifinalist chef Adam Diltz stands by the fact that our city is so much more than cheesesteaks and soft pretzels, and the evidence is obvious at Elwood on Frankford Avenue.  Everything is locally sourced to support regional farmers and purveyors, and Elwood’s family style servings are intended for sharing. His signature venison scrapple served on antlers sets the stage for gastronomic extravaganza. Try out the rabbit or the stripped bass, ideally paired with bottles from PA’s close-to-home wineries. Reservations for indoor dining and tea service are available on Resy.

Umai Umai

Located in the Fairmount neighborhood, chef and owner Alex McCoy has taken sushi to another level of gastronomic art. A great spot for either sushi, stir-fries, or seafood paella. Reservations are can be made over the phone. BYO sake, pilsners, or white wine.

Pietramala

Pietramala is an Italian-inspired vegan BYOB offering an intimate dining experience in Northern Liberties with chef Ian Graye cooking with locally sourced ingredients. Check out the fire-roasted delicata squash or the salad of escarole with radish, fennel, and fermented ramps. The restaurant is not wheelchair accessible yet. Reservations can be made for up to 4 people on Tock. There is a $20 corkage fee per bottle.

TERAKAWA RAMEN

Head over to this Japanese noodle house either in Chinatown or in University City on a chilly fall evening for the ultimate ramen experience — BYO sake. It’s first come first served — ideal for last-minute dinner plans.

Banana Leaf: Malaysian Cuisine

Although the focus at Banana Leaf is on Malaysian cuisine, it takes inspiration from Chinese, Indonesian, and Thai cuisines as well. The roti, satay, and clay pot curries are bursting with vibrant spices and aromas. Don’t forget to try the Singapore rice noodles — they’re unmatched. Bring a 6-pack of Thai Singha beer too. Reserve a table here any day of the week. 

Olea

This intimate Mediterranean BYOB has a wide array of pasta dishes on its menu that should satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Head over on a Monday night with a bottle of Yarden cabernet sauvignon or Recanati chardonnay to complement the food. Reservations are available on Resy.

Amma's South Indian Cuisine

Amma is one of the best Indian restaurants in downtown Philadelphia. With a focus on dishes like rasam (lentils with spices and curry leaves), medhu vada (doughnut shaped fritters), curd rice (rice made with yogurt and spices and curry leaves), and idli and dosas, Amma’s menu is an absolute treat to explore centuries-old South Indian dishes. Amma can also cater to your spice level preference. Pair with lighter-bodied red wines, crisp whites like sauvignon blancs or vinho verdes, or pale ales and lagers. Reservations can be made over the phone but walk-ins are equally welcome.

Charley Dove

With both a la carte and prix fixe menu options at the newly reopened Charley Dove (previously Audrey Claire BYOB), diners can delight in sunchoke soup, tuna crudo, and wild head prawns as first courses. Whole roasted branzino and pork chop deliver the harmonious blend of Mediterranean flavors for main dishes. For white wines, bring along lightly oaked chardonnay or fiano. For reds, Musar Jeune or Etna Rosso will pair great with the food and the spices. Reservations are available on Resy.

Buna Cafe Philly

Philadelphia has a rich tradition of Ethiopian cuisine. Although many Ethiopian restaurants are located in the West Philly area and serve alcohol, Buna Cafe stands out as a BYOB. The blend of Ethiopian herbs and spices used in the slow-cooked dishes are enjoyed best with the famous injera bread. Try it with doro wot (chicken and hard boiled eggs) or shiro and ingudai tibs. Or dig in to the vegetarian or meat combo to explore the lentils and other sides. Bring along a Spanish red from Ribera del Duero or a white such as a verdicchio.

Mabu Kitchen

The hospitality and warmth of this Canadian couple Grace Cavallo and Ayad Sinawi shines in their dishes. Named after the village back home in Nova Scotia, Mabu offers Southern comfort food with a French twist. Starting with the heirloom carrots and cauliflower wedge, the magic continues with the smashing burger and juicy confit chicken. End your culinary journey with Cavallo’s banana pudding. Accepting walk-ins, an ideal place for a weekday comfort food with few cans of ciders or IPAs, or a bottle of natural wine. 

Sakana Omakase Sushi

Upscale omakase sushi place, Sakana is now offering a $148 and a $98 signature omakase tasting menu. Make sure to check out their aged fish for sushi and bring your favorite sake. Don’t forget to book your table on Resy.

Lazeez Indian Cuisine

Try Lazeez Indian Cuisine’s gobi (cauliflower) or chicken Manchurian and fried rice. The tandoori Malai chicken and the mutton biriyani with aromas of Indian spices and herbs are made to perfection in a typical Mughlai style. Lazeez is open for brunch buffet on weekends, too. Walk-ins are welcome.

Related Maps

Aroma on 3rd

At Aroma on 3rd, head chef and co-owner Antonio Cardillo (Tony) focuses on specialties from all regions of Italy. Originally, on Pine Street in Washington Square West, Aroma’s new location in Pennsport offers a range of homemade pastas, desserts, and bread. Try the tartufo, gnocchi gorgonzola, or the vitello Abbruzzese for a true range of Cardillo’s offerings. Don’t forget to bring a bottle (or two) of barbera, dolcetto or montepulciano d’abruzzo. Reservations can be made by phone.

Perla

Chef Lou Boquila’s modern take on Filipino food is served as pre-fixe Kamayan style menu at $48 per person. The food is served on a banana leaf and intended to be shared. The myriad assortment of food calls for a lager or pale ale to wash it down. Regarding wine, an off-dry riesling, or pinot grigio should be perfect. Reservations are available on Resy

Gabriella's Vietnam

Featured in the New York Times’s top 50 restaurants to visit in the country in 2022, Gabriella’s is the manifestation of chef Thanh Nguyen’s dream to bring authentic Vietnamese flavors to Philadelphia and to introduce each dish exactly as it is served in the streets of Vietnam. Locally sourced ingredients make their way into water fern dumplings, savory crepes with pork and shrimp, shaken beef, and a whole fried fish. Definitely bring some Thai Singa beers or pinot bianco or riesling. Reservations are encouraged and can be made through Resy

Nineteen Eleven BYOB

Chef Jon Raffa and chef Mike Gingras met at the former Will BYOB and are using contemporary culinary technique to transform classic American flavors to a sensory adventure. From 60-degree egg on a mushroom toast to blue fish and meatballs, the food calls for Cotes du Rhone or a Willamette pinot noir for reds and a lightly oaked chardonnay for white. Reservations can be made on Tock or by phone.

June BYOB

First opened in South Philly in 2019, Richard and Christina Cusack re-opened June BYOB in Collingswood last August with the Cusacks’ culinary expertise showcased in traditional French food with modern influences. Their main attraction is canard à la presse, which is a gastronomic delight on its own, but would be heightened by the addition of a French bottle or two from Burgundy or Rhone. Check out their seasonal menu and they are always accommodate vegetarian, vegan or other dietary restrictions. Join their mailing list to stay up-to-date on special events on Sundays, such as wine pairing dinners. Reservations are available on Resy.

Zeppoli

Located across the bridge in Collingswood, New Jersey, this Sicilian-focused Italian BYOB offers homemade pastas, delicious meat and fish courses, and deluxe desserts. A graduate from the French Culinary Institute and former chef de cuisine at Vetri Cucina, Joey Baldino’s culinary vision came to fruition with Zeppoli. Try nero d’Avola, the native grape from Sicily, with the main courses and definitely try the zeppoli Siciliano, with a fortified dessert wine such as a Sauternes. Reservations are available on Resy.

Related Maps