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BYOB in San Diego?

I currently live in Chicago where there's an abundance of BYOB restaurants (ethnic, American, fancy, casual...). I'm moving to San Diego soon and wondering if there's any in the area? I tried googling and didn't come up with anything.

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  1. There are a couple I know of off-hand. Dumpling Inn, which is a very good Chinese place on Convoy St., and Bronx Pizza in Hillcrest on Washington St.

    1. Virtually all restaurants in San Diego will let you BYOB. While a handfull are free most charge a corkage fee of $5 to $25. Call ahead for details. (some will not let you bring a wine if that wine is on their list i.e. Thee Bungalow)

      1. No charge at Ba Ren in Clairemont, one of the best Chinese restaurants in town. As well at Thai Village in Pacific Beach, one of my favorites. Mama Mia in Pacific Beach currently does not have a license and will let you bring in tasty beverages…good food too!

        1. it is far more liberal in CA on the legalities of BYOB. there was recently a thread on this involving the French Laundry. generally, it is considered poor form, at best, to bring a bottle on the restaurant's list. other than that, go for it!

          1. Mama's Bakery (Lebanese) is happy to let you bring your own. As ibstatguy mentioned, it is always worth asking.

            1. Hi All-
              Thanks for the recs. I suppose the main difference is that in Chicago, restaurants will purposely open as BYOB. In fact, some restaurants' only redeeming quality is that it is BYOB. It's not that easy for new restaurants to obtain a liquor license in the city, so its become somewhat trendy not to offer alcohol and just let patrons bring their own. Just a different culture I guess! I'll have to check these out.

              1. WE recently jazzed up a cheap dinner at Point Loma Seafood. They are compleatly BYOB, you need to bring your own opener and cups/glasses.

                On a more serious note, we have an extensive wine collection, we will have stuff that is better than most lists, I generally bring my own and pay the corkage. We have done this at Laurel amd otehr fine places.

                1. Many San Diego restaurants have a 'free corkage' night when they waive the fee. Many waiters will also 'forget' to add the corkage fee if you bring a nice bottle and offer them a taste.

                  1. I just was looking for some too and found these two: Cuvee in Del Mar and Stellas on third in Chula Vista. Have you had any luck finding anygood ones?

                    1. The Marine Room. Yes, the Marine Room has repealed its $25-per-bottle corkage fee...but only for the first 2 bottles


                      1 Reply
                      1. re: okletseat

                        I bet you that Lisa Redwine had something to do with that one!!????

                        She was hired to run their sister restaurant and would not be surprised if she has some clout there as well.

                        I could be wrong, but it seems rather coincidental that they changed this policy so soon after they hired her.

                      2. Try Acqua Al 2 - although they don't advertise it much, it's only a $10 corkage fee and REALLY awesome food.

                        1 Reply
                        1. I have found that you can BYOB to jsut about any place, some charge a corkage, while others do not. The Thrid Corner in OB, has a wine store in their place and you can buy it to go, or have with your dinner. They charge a corkage however, but I think it is monimal.

                          1. I think it is illegal to BYOB to a restaurant if you sit on a patio that doesn't have a wall or something silly like that. The ABC is very uptight in this area about you enjoying a drink with your meal.

                            5 Replies
                            1. re: MrKrispy

                              True, it must have some type of an enclosure.

                              1. re: MrKrispy

                                Seems the ABC in now very uptight about any establishment that allows BYOB inside or outside. Apparently it has always been illegal and now they are enforcing it. A restaurant must have a beer and wine license to be able to permit customers to consume wine in the establishment.

                                1. re: schellter

                                  Are there any restaurants without a beer/wine license where one would actually WANT to bring in a bottle of wine? All I can think of are fast food restaurants. Are there any others?

                                  Also, could you elaborate a bit on what you mean by saying the ABC "is now very uptight about any establishment that allows BYOB inside or outside..."? I assume you mean just establishments without b/l licenses?

                                  1. re: mcgrath

                                    Well I don't know about wine but we always enjoyed bringing a couple of beers to our favorite pizza places.

                                    1. re: mcgrath

                                      Apparently it's pretty hard to get a new liquor license these days so there's probably quite a few good new places that I wouldn't mind bringing booze into (i.e. Yakyudori Ramen, The Big Easy)

                                2. Not only will they allow it, they will put it in their refrigerator and bring it out when you're ready. And they have some of the best food in town.



                                  But I suspect this no longer applies for the OP, and this little piece o' history is from 2007.

                                  2405 Ulric Street, San Diego, CA 92111


                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: normalheightsfoodie

                                      lmao I THINK THAT IS CALLED BOGO NOT BYOB

                                      1. re: MrKrispy

                                        they are not giving you a free bottle, they are not charging you corkage on the one that you brought with you.

                                    2. Thai Village on Mission Blvd. in Pacific Beach is BYOB. If you are there in the evening, offer a glass to Nana, the owner, and you will be in like Flynn. She is especially fond of Champagne.

                                      Thai Village
                                      4618 Mission Blvd, San Diego, CA 92109

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Captain Jack

                                        That's a great rec Cap'n. However, the last time I ate at the restaurant - I'm a regular takeout customer, but only sit in to eat 2-3 times a year - they were very nervous about us having beer/wine. Several other clients seemed to have caught on to the BYOB and the staff were asking us to keep our bottles under the table and not to sit directly beside the windows. Mind you, this was a busy Friday night, so maybe during the week it wouldn't be as big a problem. I just love the staff there and would hate the idea that enjoying a bottle with some great Thai might get the owners in trouble...

                                      2. Just read where Big Easy in Hillcrest will allow it.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Fake Name

                                          All the King's Fish Houses and the related Lou & Mickey's in the Gaslamp have abandoned corkage fees.