by Chelsea Lin - 273 Reviews - 109 List
It's common knowledge that many of the city's tiny, family-run, ethnic restaurants have a don't-ask-don't-tell BYOB policy, but if the eatery doesn't have a liquor license, it's not exactly legit. And if we told you about all those little hidden gems we'd have a lot of busted restaurateurs knocking on our door. Instead, we recommend saving a few bucks when you're already going big and bringing your own bottle of wine to one of these fine places with no-corkage policies or specials.
Updated: February 22, 2010
This French-Cal bistro in Cole Valley is the ultimate neighborhood joint, and on Tuesdays they give a little back to the local patrons: no corkage all evening or $5 per glass ($18 per bottle) for the house Abel Clement Cotes du Rhone. Enjoy your vino with the $23.50 prix-fixe dinner for an affordable treat.
You could easily spend an entire day eating your way through the breakfast, lunch and dinner options at this Laurel Village comfort food cafe, but if you happen to stop by around dinner for the homemade pastas, sandwiches or specials, pick up a bottle from neighbor Wine Impressions and the corkage is waived (the shop supplies the choices on the wine menu as well).
This Hayes Valley restaurant (upstairs from the popular Opaque - Dining in the Dark dinners) is the go-to spot for those who enjoy a little food with their wine. Not only is there never a corkage fee when you bring your own bottle (or three), but the restaurant serves a prix-fixe dinner for $59 Tue-Sun that includes a choice of appetizer, entree, dessert and all the wine you can drink.
Known more for their ready-to-cook gourmet takeout, this Ferry Building store-and-restaurant also serves breakfast and lunch, with an organic menu that changes daily. They have a few wines on the menu, but you're also welcome to bring your own for no corkage.
With locations around the country, this Embarcadero mainstay has made a name for itself with hefty portions of typical Americana grub like crab cakes and prime rib. While the food isn't what you'd call "cheap," it's worth noting that the restaurant never charges for uncorking--you can spend your few saved dollars on one of the decadent desserts.
Enjoy your own wine with this trendy Marina spot's corn dogs and calamari on Mondays and Tuesdays for no additional costs. On Wednesdays, the restaurant also offers half off their own bottles; if wine's not your thing, they've got a well-stocked full bar.
Most people head to this Financial District bar and restaurant around happy hour to take advantage of the free pizza when you order two drinks, but if you're going for dinner, bring a bottle of wine--there's no corkage when you order the $37 three-course meal.
In addition to offering diners 5 hours of free parking (in Union Square!) with their meal, Urban Tavern also has no corkage on Mondays, including the lunch hour, for those bold enough to pop bottles midday on the first day of the work week.