Bring your own

While it seems there are some divided opinions on whether it’s ever OK to bring your own food into a pub, there are plenty of restaurants which let you provide your own booze, because they don’t want to or can’t get an alcohol licence.

This came to mind when a friend told us about a BYO Thai restaurant in Walworth in south London (Mama Thai, 235 Walworth Road, London SE17 1RL).

The nearest tube is Elephant and Castle. It’s a cheap and cheerful thai place without a licence (so technically BYO) but has struck a deal with the off licence next door to let you order what you want. They have a surprisingly good selection of bottled beers which you can order. Off hand, I remember there were Left Hand beers from the US, but I’m pretty sure they had a lot of Belgian, Czech and other European ones.

Given the appalling state of the beer on offer in most restaurants (“So my choice is Chang or Tsingtao…?”) and how fussy we’ve become about what we will and won’t drink, BYO is the perfect solution.

Here’s a directory of BYO restaurants put together with wine in mind, but we’d be interested to hear your recommendations.

3 thoughts on “Bring your own”

  1. I was in the Bootlegger in High Wycombe last night (*almost* great place right next to the train station – 250 bottled beers, 7 or 8 cask handpumps… if I blogged I’d probably detail the problems they have which range from some poor choices of bottled beers to signage covered in typos), and noticed that they are trying to make it a “BYOF” (Bring Your Own Food) pub. I’d heard they were getting the kitchen ready (it’s only been open for a few months) but who knows what this means. Nobody was taking advantage, but will be interesting to see how it pans out.

  2. I agree – we too have a BYO Thai in Headingley, and we’ve had great, almost impromptu, meals there due to our beer selections. Its like the best of both worlds, like you say. I feel an idea for a new post coming on….

  3. Here you must provide ‘substantial food’ to have an onlicense, some pubs get around this by utilising the kitchens of nearby establishments. There is a pub in Dunedin that alows you to order food from anouther pub down the road (one with crap beer) and the bar staff walk up the ally and deliver it to your table!. Many BYO restaurants also have licenses and standard policy is that BYO is for Wine Only not beer. Many of us get around this by bringing along beers that are packaged in wine bottles. It makes no sense, its as if they are saying:

    ‘we have all the beer options you could desire, golden lager, golden lager, amber lager but ofcourse we cant provide all the wines so feel free to bring your own’

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