You know that decades-old bottle of wine you've been saving for an absolutely perfect occasion? Well, how nice would be to enjoy it with a professionally cooked meal served on dishes you don't have to wash? Yes, we're talking about restaurants that allow guests to bring their own bottles of wine and beer — and they're not fantasies.
Here in metro Phoenix, servers at cozy Italian eateries, pho spots, and elegant bistros are waiting to uncork the wine you picked up on that vacation to Italy and serve it alongside top-notch cuisine. Now, before you get too excited, a few rules apply when it comes to BYOB restaurants.
"Bring your own bottle" establishments are usually small restaurants or other business establishments holding an Unlicensed Premises license, as explained by R19-1-324, Standards for Exemption of an Unlicensed Business. Small restaurants typically have a maximum occupancy of 50 patrons, and possession or consumption of alcohol is limited to the hours between noon and 10 p.m. Other business establishments holding the Unlicensed Premises license may have occupancy of 300 persons or less, and may allow liquor consumption between 4 p.m. and 2 a.m.
That said, here are 10 restaurants in the Phoenix area where you can bring your own bottle.
A Touch of European Cafe7146 North 57th Drive, Suite C, Glendale
This little European cafe covers the globe. A Touch of European Café is one of those welcoming restaurants serving lunch and dinner since 2003 — and it’s BYOB to boot. There are salads, gourmet sandwiches, homemade soups, and Polish fare in the form of pierogis, cabbage rolls, hunter’s stew, kielbasa, and more. For dessert, think cheese blintzes, cakes and cookies, brownies, and caramel apple cider. What wine or beer should you pair this all with, you ask? That's up to you.
Atlas Bistro2515 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Found in the Wilshire Plaza just south of Scottsdale and Thomas roads, Atlas Bistro is an intimate dinner spot offering a daily, prix-fixe menu of upscale, New American fare. Since 2002, Atlas Bistro has billed itself as “Arizona’s Premier B.Y.O.B. Restaurant,” and the team encourages patrons to bring their best bottle of wine or craft beer to enjoy with dinner. If you’re rushing to meet your reservation and left your favorite wine at home, Atlas also neighbors the AZ Wine Company store. The restaurant's corkage pricing is $8 to split a bottle, $15 for a single bottle, and $25 on large-format bottles.
Basil & Garlic Bistro9330 East Poinsettia Drive, Scottsdale
Founded by the Armetta family in 2013, Basil & Garlic Bistro is a neighborhood spot serving up Italian favorites including pizza, calzones, pastas, and subs. This north Scottsdale, southern Italian eatery offers a bright dining area, takeout, a large patio, and a $5 corkage fee for a six pack of beer or bottle of wine. And even if you didn’t have a bottle at the house, there’s a pretty good selection of wine a couple of doors down at the Convenient Corner Market Deli.
Cyclo Vietnamese Cuisine Restaurant1919 West Chandler Boulevard, #2, Chandler
Though Cyclo is found in a nondescript strip mall like many other Valley restaurants, its dining room pops with bright orange and blue walls against stark-white tables and spherical, hanging lanterns. This photogenic little pho spot is also BYOB — allowing customers to bring in wine or beer — and there is no corkage fee. During operating hours, pop open your favorite bottle of sauvignon blanc for that order of ga xao xa ot or bun sai gon, and enjoy the ambiance with a nice buzz on.
Hana Japanese Eatery5524 North Seventh Avenue
If you want Japanese food, a lengthy sushi bar, and a BYOB policy, head just north of the intersection of Seventh and Missouri avenues to Hana Japanese Eatery — overseen by chef Lori Hashimoto. Patrons may bring their own sake, beer, or wine for a $5 corkage fee, and the Hana staff will keep it cold. The restaurant's closed Mondays, but on other nights you may enjoy your favorite adult beverage with a Hana Pecha roll, bento box, or Maguro Teriyaki.
Reathrey Sekong1312 East Indian School Road
Reathrey Sekong is a BYOB Cambodian restaurant that serves some typical and not-so-typical Asian fare. It's tucked away, meaning you spot those arriving for the first time by the U-turn they've pulled on Indian School Road between 12th and 16th streets. But the unassuming exterior, and minimalist dining room, come with a great menu of Cambodian dishes, including noodle soups, salads, sandwiches, stir-fry, barbecue, and the Cambodian iteration of pho, called katheaw. It also offers a BYOB atmosphere, so feel free to join that stir-fry with your favorite bottle of red.
Ristorante Giuseppe13610 North Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
Located on the southwest corner of Scottsdale and Thunderbird roads, Ristorante Giuseppe has been at this location since 2000, but gracing the Valley with classic Italian fare since 1989. Owned by Pasquale and Rica Carotenuto, Ristorante Giuseppe is a casual, BYOB restaurant, allowing patrons to pair their own wine or beer with menu items such as Giuseppe's Sub, eggplant Parmigiana, and the Alessandro Special. The restaurant corkage fee is $5.
Sala Thai Restaurant10880 North 32nd Street, #29
This north Phoenix Thai eatery is closed Mondays, but offers an expansive menu and BYOB privileges in its cozy, brightly decorated dining room. The family-owned, family-run Sala Thai Restaurant serves spicy seafood, stir-fry noodles, and wide range of barbecue and curries. Just make sure you really want a craft beer or pinot gris more than one of the restaurant's Thai sweet ice teas or a boba smoothie in coconut, honeydew, or taro. Sala Thai's corkage fee is $5 for a bottle of wine, $5 for a six-pack of beer, or $2.50 for a bottle of beer.
Tempe City Tacos119 East Southern Avenue, Tempe
Set just east of Mill and Southern avenues, TC Tacos is a quick Mexican eatery known for its street tacos. The restaurant is open daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. for breakfast, lunch, and dinner with a menu including menudo; entrees like pollo adobado and fajitas; and tacos with cecina, barbacoa, bistec, and more. In addition to that menu, you’re allowed to bring in your own wine or beer. If you’re out of your favorite domestic at home, the owner of TC Tacos also owns Valley Fair Liquors, which is located right next door.
The Beach House501 East Camelback Road
Formerly the The Two Hippies Beach House, this noticeable spot has been under the supervision of husband-and-wife-team John Lichtenberg and Kalen Mehlman since 2013. Spotted along Camelback Road by the Volkswagen bus and "Mod Podge" decor, The Beach House offers quick Tex-Mex menu options like burritos, nachos, tacos, hot dogs, and more. In addition, the little eatery is BYOB — and there's no corkage fee.
Editor's note: This story was originally published on August 15, 2016. It was updated on November 20, 2019.