While Manhattan residents enjoy overpriced cocktails as much as anyone else, the fact that we’re rent poor and like to get extremely fucked up when going out means we need to be resourceful about our choice of drinking location. Cue the BYOB restaurant, where you can bring your own alcohol to accompany dinner, usually because the place doesn’t have a liquor license and the food is best enjoyed while extremely intoxicated. There are actually plenty of NYC restaurants that will let you booze to your heart’s content and have great food, but like anything you have to know the right places. We’ve found eight for you to try out, because if there isn’t a strong chance that you’re blacking out during dinner then what’s even the point?
1. Eleven B (East Village)
Eleven B comes highly recommended as a place to have a few glasses of wine with dinner or hold a full-on pregame for a rowdy group of people. If you’re doing the latter, you should definitely call and make nice with the wait staff in advance since it’s a smaller place. They accommodate big parties and the food—pizza, salads, pasta, etc.—is very very good although I haven’t ever eaten there sober so can only be 99% positive about that.
2. Peking Duck House (Chinatown)
An instant classic, Peking Duck is birthday party central or just another place to get trashed with your 15 best friends if you guys enjoy family style Asian food. I guess you could also come here for dinner on a normal night, but that’s what Seamless is for. Order the duck, bring a lot of wine (they don’t allow hard alcohol) and you’ll be guaranteed to have a fab time here.
3. Panna II Garden (East Village)
Panna II Garden is liiit, and we’re not just talking about the fact that it looks like a Christmas tree exploded in there all year round. It serves Indian food, which may be a questionable cuisine before going out, but allows all the liquor, wine, and beer you can carry which makes it worth trying if your goal is to be wasted before 9pm.
4. Ponche Taqueria (Hell’s Kitchen)
This place is legitimately a hole in the wall so definitely won’t work for a huge crew, but Ponche Taqueria has some of the best Mexican in the city, which is saying a lot since there are like 15 different Dos Caminos’s in midtown alone. Bring wine or beer for this one and save the tequila for pre-dinner margs which we know you were planning on getting anyways.
5. Sticky Rice (LES)
Conveniently located where you’ll most likely be heading out for the night, Sticky Rice is the perfect dinner and drinking combo. They serve great Thai food and play bumping music at night so you’ll be ready to stumble over to the bars nearby after, and you’ll likely be joined by everyone else at the restaurant who has the same idea.
6. Poke (UES)
We know the UES might as well be upstate New York, but if you do happen to venture uptown Poke is a dope sushi spot that won’t destroy your bank account. It’s cash only and there can sometimes be a wait, but if you’re committing to that area anyway it’s NBD. You might as well drink some of that wine you brought while you wait.
7. Tartine (West Village)
Tartine is adorable AF and would be the perfect place to bring a date you actually like or small group of friends. This French restaurant offers BYOB dinner AND brunch which means bottomless mimosas and great food for extremely cheap. Need we say more?
8. BK Jani (Bushwick)
Yeah I know, “She doesn’t even go here!” But if you’re hanging out in Brooklyn because, say, your Bumble match lives there, this is the place to go. BK Jani—like most places in Bushwick and, now that I think about it, Bushwick in general—is a hole in the wall. BUT their burger is divine. Just trust me on this. Their other Pakistani-inspired offerings are delicious as well (I am told, I don’t branch out), and there’s a liquor store like, three doors down—meaning you don’t have to lug a liter of wine on the L train. Seating is a bit of a shit show, so make sure at least one member of your group comes on time to stake out a table.