Finding a decent BYO restaurant in Auckland seems to be a challenge for Google. As Concrete Playground’s handy article is nearing 2 years old, I made my own list and thought I’d share it for all those other slightly-broke, food-loving Aucklanders out there.
Thanya Thai (formerly Jungle Flavour) – Balmoral
Hidden away from the hustle of Dominion Rd and out the back of KFC, not many people realise Thanya Thai’s existence. It is perhaps for this reason that the only time it was ever busy was after a GrabOne promotion. However, that means there is always a table and the food is great. Staff are a little shy but they will bring you free ice cream if they think it’s your birthday. For a slightly classier version, try the Mekong Neua Thai in Kingsland or Sawadee Thai in Ponsonby, equally as good.
For BYO – there’s a couple of liquor stores on Dominion Rd amongst “Chinatown”
Satya Indian – various
A bit of a legend on the Auckland BYO scene, Satya can always be relied upon to produce good Indian food (and multi-coloured chair covers). It’s also great for large groups if you book ahead. Try the Dahi Puri, Masala Dosa and Special Curry. And if you forget your own wine, their glasses are bloody cheap at $6.
Mustard Seed Malaysian – Auckland Central
Hidden away under Auckland City Hotel, this restaurant’s barn-like ceilings wouldn’t lend themselves as intimate. However, the staff are very welcoming and the big round tables are great for groups. A word of warning, don’t try to eat the actual chillis in the chilli dishes.
For BYO – liquor shop across the street
Market Kitchen – Newmarket
Market Kitchen is a more expensive BYO option, but gets high reviews for the standard of food (plus it’s great to find a BYO in the middle of Newmarket). Try the Pork Belly.
For BYO – Superliquor, 17 Crowhurst St
Nishiki Japanese – Freemans Bay
First thing to note – book ahead, it’s always packed. The service skips a beat now and again but cheerful atmosphere and reasonable prices. The location is neither Ponsonby nor the CBD, with the restaurant shoved in beside a doctors, pharmacy and laundromat, but sufficient car parking off and on-street.
For an alternative suggestion, try Genji in Ponsonby.
For BYO – best to get something before arriving, as there aren’t any liquor shops that closeby on foot
Canton Cafe – Kingsland
It’s always a good sign when an Asian restaurant is full of Asians. Canton might be the best cheap Chinese in Auckland. Large tables make it awkward if dining as a couple, so bring some friends.
For BYO – Glengarry Wines, 420 New North Rd
Mutiara Malaysia – Ponsonby
Perhaps yes, the service is slower and it can be a little crammed, but you could also say it’s relaxed and intimate. Variety of table sizes, good food, book ahead.
For BYO – Glengarry Wines, 16 Williamson Ave
Think you know better?
Please leave your own suggestions and comments 🙂