This is the second in a series of posts that rounds up our top picks for “Bring Your Own Bottle” restaurants, or BYOBs, in Philadelphia, categorized by neighborhood.
BYOBs in Philadelphia will take you on a food tour around the city from Northern Liberties all the way to South Philly.
From cafes to full waiter service restaurants of all cuisines and price ranges, head to the Washington Square West area for a meal to remember. We’ve even got the low-down on great places to BYOB during brunch.
Note: Many BYOBs are cash-only. Some may charge a corkage fee. Also, don’t forget to give restaurants a heads up if you plan on going with a large group.
Check out our top picks for BYOBs east of Broad Street in Center City, below:
• Mercato: Washington Square West Italian BYOB Mercato offers the best of all worlds: cozy inside seating, great sidewalk seating, delicious Old World Italian and an open kitchen so you can watch the chefs in action.
• The Farm and Fisherman: The already acclaimed BYOB The Farm and Fisherman has received praise for its pastured chicken baked in hay (named one of just five spots to get great roast chicken in America by Esquire). But that’s not the only reason we love: it’s a really intimate dining experience (there are only 30 seats) perfect for a date or cozy friends’ gathering.
• Effie’s: Greek culture is all about the hospitality. When you dine at Effie’s, expect good food, drink and conversation. Don’t miss the outdoor seating while the weather’s still warm.
• Giorgio on Pine: Savor authentic Italian cuisine at Giorgio on Pine. With dozens of pastas and entrees, this great BYOB is a go-to for a great dinner experience.
• Kanella: Boasting authentic Greek and Cypriot cuisine, Kanella is a great place to BYOB. With the white and blue cushions and outdoor seating, you’ll feel like you’re right in the Mediterranean. And brunch is delicious.
• Lolita: For something a little different, try Lolita in Midtown Village. On Chef Marcie Turney and Valerie Safran’s famous 13th Street empire, this modern Mexican BYOT (T for tequila) serves incredible margaritas from an original flavor to blood orange, watermelon and strawberry basil. Blood orange is our favorite.
• Mi Lah Vegetarian: Veggie lovers and non-meat eaters rejoice! Vegetarians can have their own BYOB spot right in Center City at Mi Lah Vegetarian, featuring an incredible array of veggie dishes all under $20.
Keep reading for more BYOBs.
• Bistro 7: Local, organic foods are central to this white-linen American bistro-style BYOB on 3rd Street.
• Radicchio Café: Wonderful rustic Italian cuisine and seafood are the specialties at this fresh BYOB situated on the outskirts of Old City.
• Kisso Sushi Bar: Endorsed in our Philly 101 video spotlighting Ristorante Panorama sommelier Bill Eccleston, nearby sushi spot Kisso offers “edible art” featuring fresh fish and other sushi ingredients.
• Garces Trading Company: One of Iron Chef Jose Garces’ many Philadelphia restaurants, this part-cafe, part-casual restaurant and part-charcuterie is all good. The on-location boutique wine shop is a huge plus. Bonus: there’s no corkage fee on your first bottle, either.
• Chloe: This tiny bring-your-own bottle spot in Old City offers New American cuisine with innovative flair in a comfortable, neighborhood setting.
• Farmicia: Farmicia has a full bar but also offers the option to BYOB at no additional charge (for a group up to 11). The friendly, casual atmosphere is a great place to enjoy the organic and mostly local menu, which is supplemented daily by freshly baked Metropolitan Bakery bread.
• 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.
• Banana Leaf: Serving up Malaysian and other Southeast Asian cuisine, Banana Leaf is a great alternative to an Italian BYOB. With both small and large tables, this Chinatown hotspot will meet all of your dinner group needs, from a date to a full-sized party. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to sit in the straw hut in the back.
• Charles Plaza: Right in the heart of Chinatown is Charles Plaza, a BYOB offering a large array of dim sum and tradition Chinese cuisine. It’s also a great spot for vegetarians.
• Wedge + Fig: For a quiet night in Old City, BYOB at Wedge + Fig for a delicious wine and cheese experience. They also serve sandwiches and homemade mac and cheese. Like what you eat? You can buy cheese to go from the counter. Don’t forget to ask about their garden seating. You’ll be surprised at the lovely courtyard in the back.
Keep an eye out for our upcoming guides to BYOBs in University City, South Philly and Northern Liberties/Fishtown/Fairmount. And let us know in the comments what your favorite BYOB is.