10 Best BYOB Restaurants

Tara Nurin

By , Travel Expert at Large, Philadelphia
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While the idea of toting one’s own wine, beer or liquor to a restaurant might strike some as unusual, in Philadelphia it’s not just commonplace, it’s exciting. To get around prohibitively expensive liquor licenses, many restaurateurs choose to simply open as BYOB’s, and locals know those are often the spots to get the best food and most delicious ambiance. Many BYOB’s require reservations, cash, and in some cases, a vintage bottle whose price tag raises envious eyebrows at surrounding tables.

  • 1


    With a gracious front-of-house to match the finesse delivered by the kitchen, Bibou has arisen as arguably the best French restaurant in Philadelphia.

    Local Expert Tip: "Go Sunday for a four-course, $45 prix-fixe dinner."

  • 2

    Noord Eetcafe

    Newcomer Joncarl Lachman brings arctic seafood and sauces to Noord in East Passyunk.

    Local Expert Tip: "Though seafood dominates the menu, land-lubbers and vegetarians can find solace in dishes like a lamb burger and roasted acorn squash."

  • 3

    Will BYOB

    The future comes to Philly in the form of Will's gadgetry and modernistic techniques.

    Local Expert Tip: "The third Thursday of each month, Chef Chris Kearse curates a tasting menu around one seasonal ingredient."

  • 4

    Marigold Kitchen

    • Cuisine: American, Fusion
    • Average Main Course Price: $31
    • Neighborhood: West Philly

    Far-fetched modern cooking at prix-fixe-only Marigold means "ingredients" like liquid nitrogen play a major role in the menu.

    Local Expert Tip: "Chef Robert Halpern tries to accommodate dietary restrictions revealed during the reservation phase but can't limit his menu so severely so as to appease vegans or diners with extreme dairy allergies."

  • 5

    Blackfish - Conshohocken

    • Cuisine: American, Seafood
    • Average Main Course Price: $30
    • Neighborhood: King Of Prussia

    Adorable Blackfish regularly weighs in as one of the suburbs' most desirable destinations for seafood.

    Local Expert Tip: "The menu changes daily, and Chef Chip Roman offers a tasting menu to boot."

  • 6

    The Farm and Fisherman

    Renowned chef Josh Lawler obsessively adheres to farm-to-table standards at The Farm and Fisherman.

    Local Expert Tip: "On certain Sundays, Lawler teaches butchery and sausage-making classes in advance on dinner service."

  • 7


    Sicilian jewel-box Zeppoli consistently ranks as one of South Jersey's most masterful BYOBS.

    Local Expert Tip: "Impress your dining companions by informing them that "zeppoli" means "fried dough.""

  • 8


    Cypriot Kanella radiates sunny Mediterranean blue from its décor and traditionally inspired fanciful Greek entrees from its plates.

    Local Expert Tip: "Whether Sunday brunch or Sunday prix-fixe dinner, Sunday is the time to try this restaurant out."

  • 9


    From hiring a professional urban forager to butchering his own pigs, Chef Andrew Wood couldn't be more...  Read more »

    Local Expert Tip: "Look on the website before making reservations to find out what ingredients Wood is featuring for that night's dinner."

  • 10


    Obscure pizza toppings layered on wood-fired dough bring all the hipsters to Bufad.

    Local Expert Tip: "Take advantage of the growler-borrowing program that allows you to fill a growler with beer at Prohibition Taproom without buying the growler itself or worrying about returning it. "



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