For all the great wine flooding restaurant lists across Dublin these days, it’s another expense on top of the already-rising price of a nice meal out. That’s where BYO can come in very handy, letting you take along your own choice of drink for little or no added charge. It’s also a great option for special occasions, allowing you to enjoy that special set-aside bottle alongside some top quality food.
We’ve scoped out some of the best restaurants in the city that are happy for you to bring along your own wine (or beer in some cases) and while it’s heavily stacked toward Asian and Arabic food, we think that’s no bad thing. Just be warned that most of the wine glasses you'll be presented with may not be up to your usual standard, so if it's a REALLY special bottle, you might want to think about bringing your own...
CN Duck, Ranelagh
A highlight of fast casual dining in the south suburbs, CN Duck seriously impressed us a few months back (read our once over here) with the best Chinese roast meats to be found anywhere in the city. The generous starter and meat main portions are perfect for sharing (not least so you can try as much as possible) and would go down great with a bottle of something special. It's €6 for corkage.
Delicious, Middle Eastern, purse-friendly food in Drumcondra that's predominantly vegetable based (but don't panic, they do have meat). Pittas, falafel, mezze and flavour-packed salads are always on the menu at Shouk, as well as rotating specials. They've been working on developing their own wine list since opening, so corkage is €9 per bottle.
M & L Chinese, Dublin 1
One of the few places in Dublin to get authentic Sichuan food, the dumplings and fried green beans with chilli at M & L Chinese have caused many addictions to be formed over the years (raises hand). Corkage is €6.50 but go easy on the chilli oil if you're taking something nice.
Fayrouz, Dublin 8
A taste of Lebanon in the Liberties, Fayrouz has an authentic menu of mezzes and grilled meats on offer alongside broader fare like shawarma and shish. Vegetarian options are particularly good, while their tabbouleh has a reputation as among the city’s best. Corkage is free for tables of fewer than six, and nearby Molloy’s has Lebanese wine in stock for a perfect pairing option.
Pho Ta, Temple Bar
Delicious, flavour-filled Vietnamese food in Temple Bar with the friendliest staff. Try Pho Ta's unusual looking (but amazing tasting) steamed rice paper rolls with prawn (above), the cold beef salad or the crispy fried rice noodles with chicken or prawn. Corkage is €5.
Zakura, Dublin 2
Fancy some Chardonnay with your sashimi, Riesling with your ramen, Gewürztraminer with your gyoza? Okay, we'll stop now. Zakura’s three south city sites all allow you to bring your own wine along to enjoy alongside their sushi and noodle-packed menus. Corkage comes in at €6 per bottle.
Dada, Dublin 2
Top-quality Irish meat gets the Moroccan treatment in Dada, with a menu brimming with traditional tagines and couscous. The harissa and ras el hanout can make for some seriously spicy dishes, so be sure to pair wisely. Corkage is €4 for wine and €1.50 per beer and only available until 21:15.
Pho Kim, Dublin 1
Some of the best Vietnamese food in the city with excellent savoury pancakes, Pho (noodle soup) and Bun (rice vermicelli with a combination of meat, spring rolls, fresh vegetables and herbs). Pho Kim charge corkage of €7 on wine and €1.50 on beer.
Musashi, Dublin 1
Musashi now has six locations across Dublin, and the quality doesn't seem to have been affected, with sushi aficionados frequently mentioning it as one of Dublin's top spots. A hot tip is to go mid-afternoon when they've sold out of lunchtime stock and are making it fresh. Only the Parnell Street branch allow BYO and corkage is €6 per bottle.
Jerusalem, Dublin 2
Hearty home cooking Arabian style, Jerusalem takes inspiration from across the Middle East in its menu but hones in particularly on Lebanon and Jordan. Makloubeh, a slow-cooked rice dish studded with veg and served upside-down, is one not to miss. Corkage is €5 for wine and €2.50 for beer.
Eatokyo, Temple Bar
Sushi, gyoza, katsu curry and noodle dishes are all on the menu at Eatokyo on Wellington Quay, although a couple of critics have recommended veering towards the hot dishes over the sushi. Corkage is €6.
Rotana Café, Portobello
Casual Lebanese restaurant in Portobello serving charcoal-grilled kebabs, falafel sandwiches and mezze platters at very good prices. Corkage is free in Rotana when you have two courses.
Keshk Café, Dublin 4
Casual, no-frills Mediterranean/Middle Eastern food in Ballsbridge, with all meat at Keshk Café cooked on a charcoal grill and the lamb moussaka coming highly recommended. Corkage is free.