Top 5 hottest BYO spots in Sydney

Rosa Nguyen
By Rosa Nguyen
8 months ago
5 min read

We recently went on a foodie mission to find the Top 5 hottest spots to BYO in Sydney. I mean, we could have just Googled it or taken someone’s word on Instagram, but being the adventurous mofos we are, we decided to pack our bags (full of vino!) and catch the next flight to Sydney all in the name of BYO. 30 hours, 15 wines and 5 restaurants later, we reckon we’ve nailed it… 

1. Ripples

Whether it’s for business, a birthday (true story: three birthdays happened while we were dining here) or anything in between, Ripples is the go-to place for relaxed dining with the most #blessed views of the Sydney Harbour. Located in Milson’s Point, it feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of the CBD with palm-lined streets, light foot traffic and an absence of selfie sticks. Expect super friendly service and chilled vibes, teamed up with a modern Italian menu and a seafood focus. Start with Sydney rock oysters drizzled with ponzu dressing, sesame oil and shallots, followed by crunchy king prawns with spicy mayonnaise and for main, order two bowls of Busiate pasta to share featuring octopus, crab, mussels, zucchini puree, bottarga and chilli oil. And the good news? It’s only $12 to BYO (per bottle). If white wine is your jam, bring a bottle of chardonnay (in our case, it was Mimi Flamingo) or Aquila (a chardonnay viognier blend with a bit of petit manseng thrown in) and let the good times roll. - Rosa.N 

Mofo Tip: Located between the North Sydney Olympic swimming pool and the iconic Luna Park, make the most of your time here and don’t forget to pack your swimmers! 

Details: Ripples, Olympic Drive, Milson’s Point

$12 BYO per bottle

2. Bar Reggio 

A Sydney institution and the best Italian BYO in town (don’t @ me, just go there and prove me right), Bar Reggio ticks all the boxes. Delicious, authentic Italian food at insanely cheap prices, served by staff who treat you like family and always sneak an extra serve of garlic bread on your table and a corkage fee of a mere $3 per person. You’d be hard pressed to find a better value meal in Sydney - splurge on the lobster ravioli special with the incredible creamy seafood bisque sauce (that will make you want to lick your plate clean) paired with a 2017 Giant Steps ‘Applejack’ Chardonnay from the Yarra and you’ve got yourself a good time. - Samantha. P

Details: Bar Reggio, 135 Crown St, Darlinghurst

$3 corkage per person

3. Sean’s Panaroma 

Established in 1993, Sean’s Panaroma is an icon. Located in North Bondi, we arrived for a late dinner at 8.30pm and the place was jam-packed. Bustling with families, mates and couples - this was definitely the IT place to dine this side of town. Despite how busy it was, the atmosphere was still cosy, charming and low-key, kind of like visiting grandma’s kitchen. Surrounded by art and reminders of old Bondi, it was love at first sight from the moment we sat down. We were looked after by the lovely and knowledgeable Amy, who even joined us for a cheeky sip of Stellenbosch Chenin Blanc (shhh, don’t tell!). The menu changes frequently and the produce is fresh, organic and locally sourced, and you can definitely taste it. Our top recommendations: the farm plate to start, followed by seared Mahi Mahi fillet and if you’re still peckish, don’t go past the honey ginger prawns. And to drink, Fanny Limehead Riesling and Metzer Family Chenin Blanc. Delicious! - Lei Lani.T 

Details: Sean’s Panaroma, 270 Campbell Parade, North Bondi

$25 BYO per bottle

4. Chinese Noodle Restaurant

Despite the unassuming name, this place is a real institution amongst Sydney-siders. Mention the grapes hanging from the ceiling and most people will know exactly what you're talking about. Whilst the decor is an experience in itself (an odd selection of wall tapestries reminiscent of Ancient Mediterranean scenes?), the food here is the real deal. Sure, you'll probably be crammed on a little table sharing elbow space with the restaurant goer next to you, but all this fades when the first plate of steamy dumplings arrive. Don't miss out on the handmade noodles being cut in the kitchen right behind you or the fried eggplant. There are great vegetarian options too, like the spring onion pancake and egg & chive dumplings. - Elin.M

Mofo Tip: Beware that you don't end up at the wrong place, as other eateries in the vicinity have adopted similar names. Look out for the elderly owner playing his violin outside the entrance and you'll know where the action is. 

Details: Chinese Noodle Restaurant, 160 Thomas St, Haymarket

$1 corkage per person  

5. Chat Thai

What does Sydney have that Melbourne doesn’t? A neighbourhood named Thai Town (jealous much?), where you’ll find Chat Thai (CT). Started in 1989 with one restaurant in Darlinghurst, there are now six CTs where you can dig into their lively Thai plates from 10am-2am. Yep, we’re talking brunch to supper of delicious Thai food (#YOLO). Their digs are equal parts moody and fun - definitely a good spot for a first date. What to bring? Riesling from Alsace or Mosel, Gewürztraminer from anywhere or maybe a chilled natural red. - Beth.B 

Details: Chat Thai, 20 Campbell St, Chinatown

$3 corkage per person


Where's your favourite place to BYO in Sydney? Let us know in the comments below! 

Or are you simply lacking something to BYO? Head to our wines to sort that out quicker than you can say 'dumpling night!'