Brilliant BYOB restaurants in London

Hanar Kurdish Restaurant, Peckham. Image by Lydia Manch.

Things are changing fast in a time of coronavirus. Check the venue’s websites and social media before the visit for the most up – to – date details.

Hanar Kurdish Restaurant, Peckham. Image by Rob Turner.

Relaxingly delightful, Hanar Kurdish Restaurant – tucked under a railway arch down a Peckham alley – is filled with candlelight and the scent of tahini, and pomegranate and oven-fresh flatbread. Read about our visit here.

Corkage costs GBP 2.50 per person. head, and Peckham is crammed with places to buy drinks, including craft beers from the Brick cockpit, a large selection of wines at Peckham Cellars, and a bunch of newsagents along Rye Lane selling everything from smart IPAs to cans. Christmas cocktails (can not recommend the latter).

Hanar Kurdish Restaurant, Peckham.

Yada’s Green Kitchen, Peckham

Another Kurdish Peckham restaurant, Yada’s used to sit at Hanar’s current location. Now they have a more prominent (but no less cozy) place on 104 to 106 Rye Lane, with a menu of Kurdish classics, including dalooja – roasted peppers mixed with pomegranate and walnuts for a rich, nutty-sweet dip – chicken stew with saffron rice and a good selection of vegetarian and vegan options. No prop tax makes it extra good value – but the generous portions and the friendly sum would make it feel like a bargain regardless. Closed on Mondays.

Yada’s Green Kitchen, Peckham. No website – call 07401 542067 for reservations and info.

Hawksmoor is home to one of the best mac and cheese dishes in London
Image by Hawksmoor, Seven Dials.

Hawksmoor, Seven Dials, Air Street, Knightsbridge and elsewhere

A trip to Hawksmoor is never going to be cheap, but you can make your bill a little less conspicuously steep by leaving on a Monday – when it’s BYO with a $ 5 prop tax. Spend the money you save on their wonderfully rich mac and cheese.

Hawksmoor, Air Street, Knightsbridge, Seven Dials and elsewhere.

Tayyabs, Whitechapel.

There is no shortage of BYO curry houses around town, but Tayyabs is a league in itself. The North Indian meets the legendary East London restaurant in the neighborhood – with starters from £ 4, main courses from £ 10 and free cork, it’s a bargain and the food is spectacular. Tayyabs are as busy as it is loved – so much – but it’s also big enough that there’s a constant amount of diners and you rarely have to wait long for a table. Loud, busy, friendly and makes portions so cartoonishly generous that you might think you are ordering modestly, yet it leaves the burden of crates of leftovers. In summary: fantastic.

Tayyabs, Whitechapel.

If the cheese-heavy Georgian splendor of the menu was not reason enough to look past their Hackney restaurant, the small inviting space – warm lighting, the smell of aubergines and ajika (a spicy Georgian pasta) cooking – and the fact that Little Georgia offers zero prop tax on BYO should make you hammer on the reservation button hard. It helps that so many of the Little Georgia dishes are perfectly geared to ward off winter blues and soak up wine – Exhibit A: Adjaruli Khachapuri, a long flatbread with curved edges, with a mix of cheeses baked in the recess, topped with butter and an egg . Please note that this does not apply to their Islington department, which does not offer BYO (but has a license to sell alcohol).

Little Georgia, Hackney.

Chef Wei Guirong serves local Xi’an dishes from his childhood and serves hand-drawn noodles, potstickers and muffins – many of Xi’an’s traditional dishes involve a lot of dough: elastic, stretchy biang biang noodles, toasted flatbread stuffed with slow-cooked pork, delicious wheat noodles served cold – in a small restaurant near the Emirates Stadium. The decor is spartan, the flavors are great, and the crowds are a testament to how good the food is – and the modest corkage fee of £ 5.50 (£ 1.70 for beer) does not hurt.

Xi’an Impression, Highbury.


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