10 BYOB Restaurants in Chicago for the Frugal Winos

10 BYOB Restaurants in Chicago for the Frugal Winos

BYOB restaurants in Chicago and nationwide are gaining popularity for good reason. You know the feeling…you’re all excited to down a hot dish with a cold beer or wine, but the restaurant you’re at doesn’t offer any. Or worse, they do, but your happy food coma belly drops when you see the bill.

We don’t want you going home thirsty or broke, so we’ve scoured the windy city for an eclectic mix of some of the most awesome BYOB restaurants in Chicago. From tempura to eggs benedict, feel free to bring your own bottles to pair with the tasty food at any of these restaurants.

Of course, we know this is in no way a complete list, but rather few suggestions. Check out our Chicago restaurant listing for more places. We’d love to hear about your favorite BYOB spots in Chicago. Be sure to make a place suggestion below if you know of any, and let your friends know too, by sharing our post!

Chicago BYOB Restaurants
  • Amelia's Mestizo Grill

    4559 South Halsted Street , Chicago

    Amelia’s menu changes for brunch, lunch and dinner, but BYOB is always an option at this Mexican-style BYOB gem in Chicago. They aim for an authentic Mexican food experience here, so the flavors are full and not as heavy or undefined as Americanized Mexican. Presentation is prioritized, so expect a nice view of your dish while sipping on YOB. You’ll find amped up classics on Amelia’s menu, like the Quesadilla de Cuitlacoche, a corn truffle quesadilla with Oaxaca cheese, epazote and corn salad. The grilled asparagus served with roasted red peppers and parmesan cheese is one of many popular sides to accompany.

  • Jam Restaurant

    3057 West Logan Boulevard , Chicago

    Jam is a BYOB restaurant in Chicago that takes breakfast to elite levels – so maybe take it easy if you’re B’ingYOB at brunch time. Choose from malted custard French toast in lime leaf cream or macerated stonefruit, generously portioned pastries like blueberry turnovers and pecan sticky buns, or indulge on the savory side with smoked salmon alongside potato-leek cakes, poached eggs and kohlrabi slaw. The prices are fairly high, but the servings are filling, so take your time and enjoy Jam’s playfully fresh looking interior. Be sure to ask the chef about breakfast-inspired cocktails to try in-house, or come prepared.

  • Luzzat Restaurant

    1505 West Jarvis Avenue , Chicago

    Moderately priced Indian food leads us to number three on our guide to BYOB restaurants in Chicago. Samosa pastries so flaky they fall apart at the touch of your fork, tenderly prepared lamb vindaloo and authentic Indian and Pakistani spices all around flavor this BYOB Indian restaurant in Chicago with deceiving dive looks. If you’re unsure of how to order off an Indian menu, let the humbly friendly staff recommend something, or go with a sure win like curry fish or the butter chicken. For just about a dollar more you can order from a list of breads perfect for sauce dipping, too.

  • Briciola

    937 North Damen Avenue , Chicago

    With a name that translates to “breadcrumbs,” this Italian BYOB restaurant from Chicago is an experience from start to dessert. Chef Mario and the rest of his staff create a food-loving goodtime vibe with friendly service and romantically set atmosphere. Bruschetta replaces standard bread baskets at Briciola and the menu isn’t huge, so you know each item receive lots of chef attention. House gnocchi with pesto, goat cheese and tomatoes, daily rotating risotto and grilled calamari with peppers are a few dishes to go with YOB. There is a small corkage fee here but don’t be sad – cheer yourself up with some tiramisu or pannacotta.

  • Tango Sur

    3763 North Southport Avenue , Chicago

    Steakhouses (good ones anyway) are notoriously pricy. Instead of jacking up the bill even more with the beer you know you want to pair with that smoky meat, check out Tango Sur, a BYOB restaurant in Chicago with a Latin American twist and no corkage fees. This place serves a wide variety of meats cooked to tender perfection, from fillet mignon to veal, pork chops to salmon, and all served with hearty sides like spinach garlic mashed potatoes and chimichurris. They also serve empanadas customers rave about. For dessert, we suggest going for the flan, a custardy sponge cake.

  • Bite Cafe

    1039 North Western Avenue , Chicago

    This Chicago BYOB café is ideally located next to a bar called the Empty Bottle, which is clearly a sign. Bite is open until midnight or later, and the food here is great for daytime or late night sustenance and hangover cures alike. The menu is super varied, so be sure to check up on daily dinner specials to help yourself choose. They’ve got breakfast poutine with cheese curds, poached eggs and pickled chiles, grilled cheese with tomato fennel soup and gnocchi with tomatoes, basil, lemon and pecorino just to give you an idea. Plus shakes, bread pudding and more sweets to top it off.

  • Inspiration Kitchens (Uptown)

    4715 North Sheridan Road , Chicago

    Time for soulful breakfast foods with alternate lunch and dinner menus too. Serving flawlessly prepared eggs benedict dishes like the cantina benedict with guacamole and black bean salsa or the whole pig breakfast skillet (which is just what it sounds like, plus eggs and potatoes). Inspiration spices its food with creativity. This Chicago BYOB place is small but modernly designed and serviced by super laid back staff. Inspiration Kitchens is a creation of Inspiration Corporation, which employs impoverished individuals to provide skills for success in the food service industry – so not only can you BYOB over a tasty meal but you’re also helping change lives.

  • Coast Sushi Bar (Bucktown)

    2045 North Damen Avenue , Chicago

    Sushi places and Asian restaurants took the lead on incorporating BYOB policies, but that doesn’t mean we can’t offer you one of our favorite BYOB sushi restaurants in Chicago. Coast Sushi made our list for its $0 corkage fee and a few particularly irresistible menu items like the white dragon maki with shrimp tempura, wasabi, cream cheese avocado, eel sauce and more. Their hamachi carpacio (yellow tail sashimi with lime juice, garlic balsamic, jalapeno, cilantro and greens) and spicy miso are also delightful. And don’t leave without checking out their 12 flavors of mochi. Itadakimasu and you’re welcome.

  • Brand Smokehouse & Tap

    2824 West Armitage Avenue , Chicago

    BYOB and a barbecue, anyone? Located in Logan Square and recently remodeled, Brand’s barbecue is both affordable and known for friendly, personable service. Their pulled pork, ribs and wings are some of their best dishes, served with classic, smoky spicy or Brand signature sauce. But it’s actually a signature side item that tends to get the most love here – smoked gouda and cheddar mac and cheese with burnt ends, a smoky crispy finish that you won’t forget any time soon. This Chicago BYOB restaurant is great for dining in, but food quality tends to flail a bit with the delivery option. And if you forget to BYO, they have a full bar waiting for backup.

  • Pleasant House Bakery

    964 West 31 Street , Chicago

    A BYOB restaurant in Chicago with produce straight from their own family owned farms, Pleasant House Bakery serves only the freshest, handmade English meat pies. Super unique, right? Flaky, buttery dough encrusts signature flavor blends like the steak and ale pie and cold pork pie. There are non-pie daily specials and housemade sodas worth checking out as well. The menu is fairly pricy, but the deceitfully stout pies they serve are “pleasantly” filling. Some find the restaurant space cozy, some find it cramped, but most go home with a happy appetite and a sturdy wallet.

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Kelcie Anne
Kelcie Anne

A freelancer by trade and daydreamer by choice.
Kelcie enjoys old books, summer playlists, and creek fishing. She believes in good food and Batman.