Everyone’s skint at some point or another these days, and with lots of restaurants overcharging on often average drinks, we say … BYO. Take a magnum and do it properly! Or make cocktails…why not?
DIWANA BHEL POORI HOUSE
South Indian vegetarian street food at its best, this place is famed for its Bhel Poori; small plates of savoury snacks that are perfect for sharing, though BarChick got so stuck into them that they made the perfect meal. The buffet lunch is £6.95 (12 – 2.30pm) and it’s BYOB with no charge before 10.30pm. This place ain’t fancy and the staff aren’t here to please but you can count on the food making up for all this.
121-123 Drummond St. London, Greater London NW1 2HL
This cool Caribbean joint is halfway up Brixton Hill and does some of the best jerk chicken and plantain wedges outside of carnival. The tables are usually rammed, inside and out, and the BYOB for a small charge means that you can spend your pounds on extra rice ‘n peas.
132 Brixton Hill, London, SW2 1RS
The food here is all fresh n local and is lovingly prepared into home cooked dishes. The setting is a wicked old Citroën garage where diners sit on old Sunday school chairs and for just £30 can enjoy a dinner of canapés and 3 courses. The theme of food changes depending on the day of the week, so fish one day, meat the next. It’s BYO with no corkage fee… we love.
133b Upper St, N1 1QP
Islingtons Pie and Mash shop converts into The Seagrass on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings. Previously a one-day-a-week pop up it did so well that it’s now a three-day a-week! The menu consists of three courses and focuses on game and seafood which rotates weekly. At a set price of £30 and no alcohol licence it’s the perfect excuse to BYO booze.
74 Chapel Market, Islington, London, N1 9ER
The hordes of hungry people lurking outside with plastic bags splitting at the seams should give away this very popular Kebab house and takeaway joint. It gets crowded so make sure you book but it’s worth it, BarChick admits even while intoxicated a 15 person banquet fit for a king was provided. A great alternative to watching your team play at your local, yes they show the games. Surprisingly it’s not too bad for veggies either but screw that the pork chops too good.
We’d take – Efes/Raki beer
2-4 Umberston Street, London, E1 1PY
Tried and tested for over a generation and as the queues in the evening pay testament, you cannot go wrong with Alunak. Reasonable prices for tasty and well made Persian food. The koobideh (mince lamb) and barg (lamb shank) is recommended by us, spot on every time.
We’d take – Vodka and soda
44 Westbourne Grove, London, W2 5SH
The minds behind the food here have put as much thought into the décor as they have to the carefully sourced seasonal menu. (BYO Monday and Tuesday only with alcohol bought only from the Bottle Apostle next door). Love thy neighbour right?
We’d take – wine and sherry
130 Lauriston Road, London, E9 7LH
Boasting the best steaks this side of the pond. With cool furnishings and hot boys at the helm, there are good vibes in here. It’s BYO on Mondays and well worth the fiver, BarChick will see you there.
We’d take – red wine
1 Langley St, WC2H 9JG, 10/12 Basinghall St, London, EC2V 5BQ and 157 Commercial Street, E1 6BJ
THE BEACH HUT
It’s almost worth moving into the area so this place can be become your local chippy. Said by many to be one of the best in town the fish are as fresh as is gets from Billingsgate market. Cooked upon ordering – get your calamari, oysters and homemade chips fix in here. Bring whatever you want to drink with no corkage fee and why not time it with a game at the nearby Emirates Stadium.
We’d take – white wine
28 Highbury Park, London, N5 2AA
Everyone’s favourite hangout spot for coffee, wraps, burgers, breakfast, being hungover and banoffee pie. Come here after 6pm and as long as you order some food you can drink your own booze. With locations in Hoxton, Angel, Soho and Spitalfields you can guess the crowd, and the interiors are kitsch, cosy, and cool.
We’d take – Berocca
You’ll find it past the buzz of brick lane on Arnold Circus, study hard and you will see the “canteen” buzzer on the blue panel. It’s a converted school building and the restaurant is in the old bike shed! There is an ever-changing menu of home cooked food and for a £5 corkage fee you can drink whatever you want.
We’d take – rum and ginger beer and lime
Arnold Circus, London, E2 7ES
If you love your Thai then you should like it here at Boys café. Seriously small, friendly staff, edgy décor and a menu that will make you order pretty much everything. Top it all off with the fact that you can bring your own booze, no wonder the locals love it. They do take away too so you can team it with TV and the sofa for that ever occurring hung over night in.
We’d take – Singha beer and Sangsom whisky
615 Harrow Road, London, W10 4RA
Don’t go judging this place by the interior. Bring large groups so you can order everything, and if you’re organised book on the day to avoid queuing later. This part of town has a reputation for its Indian food and here is where it starts. Their lamb chops have a big name and to hell with the hungry queuing customers, you got your seat and you’ve brought your own booze so there’s nothing stopping you from staying all night.
We’d take – Kingfisher or Cobra beer
83-89 Fieldgate Street, London E1 1JU
If you’re into your kebabs you might as well get a good one. It’s as authentic as you get without having to stand in the middle of a bazaar with bleating gloats. Freshly made in front of you and you can rock up with as many plastic bags of booze as you like from just around the corner.
104 Ladbroke Grove, London, W11 1PY
Monday night’s the night and although you’ll be missing out on Gilly playing the piano it’s still worth coming down. The food is seasonal and where it can be, British. Bring some bargain booze and enjoy for a £5 corkage fee.
2 Battersea Rise, London, SW11 1ED