South Philly is Italian BYOB central, in addition to Mexican, American and French restaurants that encourage you to bring your own wine. (Credit: Shutterstock)
This is the fourth in a series of posts that rounds up our top picks for “Bring Your Own Bottle” restaurants, or BYOBs, in Philadelphia, categorized by neighborhood.
Have you been following along with our new Guide to BYOBs?
So far, we’ve posted top picks for BYOBs in Center City, West of Broad; Center City, East of Broad; and University City.
Next up: South Philly. From East Passyunk to Queen Village, BYOBs abound in the southern sections of the city.
Check out our top picks, and contribute your own favorites in the comments:
• Fond: East Passyunk in South Philly is home to a handful of excellent BYOBs, such as contemporary American Fond. Bonus: desserts come courtesy of Belle Cakery, Fond’s pastry chef and co-owner Jessie Prawlucki’s latest venture.
• Blue Belly BBQ: Beer’s probably a great choice for South Philly’s Blue Belly BBQ. The menu features smoked meat platters and sandwiches from Jamaican jerk chicken to Korean beef. Don’t forget to save room for the Southern-inspired sides.
• Izumi: Japanese restaurant Izumi from Paradiso’s Lynn Rinaldi is a BYOB right on East Passyunk near the iconic Singing Fountain. Weather permitting, they’ll even set up alfresco tables and chairs right next to the Fountain.
• Cochon: Carnivores, rejoice! Cochon in South Philly is the perfect place to BYO wine and beer for an incredible meal. All entrees are priced under $30 and they offer vegetarian options upon request.
• Circles: Contemporary Thai at 15th and Tasker (you can also get takeout or delivery!) comes in the form of Circles. So. Good.
• Sabrina’s Cafe and Spencer’s Too: BYOB to the Sabrina’s Italian Market, Powelton Avenue or Fairmount locations and chow down on a meal that has everyone in Philly talking.
• Green Eggs Cafe: Green Eggs Cafe in Northern Liberties, Midtown Village and South Philly offers daily brunch specials like the lemon meringue pie french toast or the gyro burger and is also a BYOB. Perfect way to start your day!
• Monsu: Chef/Owner Peter McAndrews is nothing short of a master. Open for brunch as well as dinner, Monsu treats diners to a Sicilian-French combination of culinary deliciousness.
• Mr. Martino’s: Mr. Martino’s on East Passyunk is simple and delicious.
• L’Angolo: A perfect first date spot, tiny L’Angolo lets you see your pasta being made before you eat it. Don’t skip dessert.
More South Philly BYOBs, below.
• Victor Cafe: Old world classics meet a new world spin at this favorite Italian restaurant on Dickinson. In addition to their full bar, Victor Cafe allows BYOB Sunday through Friday.
• Tre Scalini: It’s like having dinner at your Italian grandmother’s house. This old-fashioned BYOB on East Passyunk delivers on vibe as much as menu.
• Ulivo: Ulivo is a neighborhood BYOB at the corner of 5th and Catharine Streets right at Passyunk Avenue in Queen’s Village. It’s Italian with a strong emphasis on seasonal produce and sustainably-raised meat and fish. The handmade pasta will make you swoon (we love the gnocchi).
• Will: This latest addition to East Passyunk is a modern French-inspired BYOB from Chef and Owner Christopher Kearse. Look out for a backyard patio opening next spring.
• Bibou: French food done superiorly. Bibou offers a la carte dinner Wednesday to Saturday, and a special four-course prix fixe menu on Sundays. They’re cash-only. Insider tip: get free three-hour public parking on 8th Street next door.
• Ristorante Pesto: This Italian spot right on Broad Street has a liquor license, but you’re still allowed to bring bottles of wine (with no corkage fee, either!). Owned and operated by one of South Philly’s established restaurant families, the Varallos, Pesto also has a next-door casual takeout spot, perfect for ordering in on football Sundays (just saying).
• Dmitri’s: Head to Queen Village for cult favorite Dmitri’s, serving authentic Greek that will make your taste buds simply sing. Word to the wise: it’s cash-only.
• Caffe Valentino: At the intersection of 3rd, Wharton and Moyamensing lies this Italian BYOB (no corkage fee!) with a cozy neighborhood feel. Order the tiramisu.
• August: Tiny August delivers that intimate BYOB feeling in the heart of South Philly, but it’s only open Wednesday through Saturday, so plan accordingly.
• Nina’s Trattoria: The Italian Market is a hotbed of yummy authentic Italian restaurants, including Nina’s Trattoria. Bonus: they open at 9 a.m. for breakfast!
• Paloma Mexican Haute Cuisine: Classic French cooking meets Mexican cuisine at Paloma on S. 8th Street. Bonus: chef/owner Adán Saavedra posts recipes from the restaurant on their blog.
• El Zarape: Located directly across the street from the more upscale Cantina Los Caballitos, El Zarape is a traditional taqueria with quite possibly the city’s most delicious tacos (which, incidentally, just won Best of Philly Tacos for 2012).
• Gnocchi: What could possibly be wrong with an Italian BYOB named after one of the best pasta dishes ever hand-rolled? The prices are right, and it’s great for groups.
• Scannicchio’s: Happy 9th Birthday to one of South Philly’s favorite authentic Italian BYOBs, Scannicchio’s. Back in 2003, Chef/Owner Christian Varalli and partner Mike Gibson opened this sister restaurant to the one in Atlantic City owned and operated by the Varalli family for more than 30 years.
• Taqueria la Veracruzana: Want some beer with your tacos? BYOB to Taqueria la Veracruzana on 9th and Washington. Bonus: there’s a bodega next door to do just that.
• Karina’s: Chef/Owner of Karina’s in South Philly is Pedro Beltano, a veteran of Il Portico, Portofino, Frederick’s, and Bistro La Viola. So you know he can do Italian right. Fun fact: Karina is his daughter’s name.
[Photo credit: Shutterstock]