The Liquor Cabinet

The best BYO restaurants in Canberra (and what to bring)

Want to have your lasagne and eat it, too? The easiest way to save on eating out is to bring your own wine, so let’s do it! Here are the best BYO restaurants in Canberra and what to bring from the closest Liquorland.

best byo restaurants canberra liquorland

BYO restaurants are a great way to have the best of both worlds – a meal out with friends paired with a wine or beer (and the pricepoint) of your choice. It means you get to browse the vastly greater choice in the Liquorland to get the most out of your food and wine pairing. Even better, browse online first, set your store to the nearest Liquorland below, choose Click & Collect on your order and it will be ready for pick up in 30 minutes. Bring it on!

AuLac Vegan Cuisine, Woden

If you’ve jumped on the meat-free trend, it doesn’t mean you have to miss out on your Asian favourites. In this casual and airy Vietnamese restaurant (@aulacroyal), every dish is vegan and they cater for gluten-free diners as well. This popular local outfit does lunch and dinner and you’ll find all your traditional Vietnamese faves here including a fragrant and nourishing pho soup, red soy duck curry with sweet lychees and the standout crunch of a perfect Vietnamese crepe.


Nearest Liquorland: Woden, 0.2km


What to bring: The delicate flavours in Vietnamese cuisine can carry the tropical fruit flavours of Robinsons Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. Its passionfruit notes and lovely acidic minerality will have your food and wine singing in harmony.

Portia’s Place, Kingston

Local treasure Portia’s Place has it all, with over 50 dishes of succulent Chinese goodness. The best thing about Chinese is everyone gets to choose their favourite dish to share. Sit down to a buzzy vibe and study the menu; will it be sizzling beef, mongolian lamb, salt and pepper prawns? Or the rich, stir-fried roast duck and char sui pork? So many great choices. Corkage is $12 per bottle.


Nearest Liquorland: Manuka, 0.6km


What to bring: Go for the smooth acidity of Rapaura Springs Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc to balance the rich flavours of Cantonese cuisine.

Mama’s Trattoria, Canberra

Head to this Canberra favourite when you’re after the comfort food flavours of authentic home-cooked Italian. Housed in the charismatic Melbourne Building with its wide terraces, it gives you the option of nabbing a table outside or pulling up a chair inside the cosy interior. Either way, you’re in for a great traditional feed with homemade lasagne, hearty gnocchi della casa or a perfectly cooked veal scaloppine. The best bit? All mains are served with delicious roast potatoes and seasonal vegetables.


Nearest Liquorland: Canberra Civic, 0.7km


What to bring: Just as the food is like a great big hug from Mama, the robust flavours of the earthy Mildara Limestone Coast Cabernet Shiraz are the right choice to make it a meal to remember.

Okami, Braddon

Who doesn’t love an all-you-can-eat restaurant? Especially one as slick as Okami (@okamirestaurant), a family-friendly outfit in downtown Braddon. For $39.80 per person (plus $10 per bottle corkage), gather up friends and family for a feast that includes crowd-pleasers such as generous sushi and sashimi platters, the virtuous edamame beans and glistening prawn gyozas. If there’s still room, choose the signature green tea ice-cream for dessert.


Nearest Liquorland: Canberra Civic, 0.8km


What to bring: To balance the subtle flavours of the dishes, opt for a McGuigan Zero Dry Rosé for its delicate fruit flavours. It’s alcohol free, so you can enjoy the night without negotiating who’s driving home.

Pizza Gusto, Braddon

The urban vibes of downtown Braddon add a cool edge to this woodfired pizza restaurant (@pizzagustobraddon). There’s whimsy too, with strings of festoon lights swinging above the large outdoor eating area. The artworks and furniture have all been handmade by the owner, so pull up a seat and check out these excellent, crunchy-based, smoky pizzas. Classic margherita or truffle funghi? A sizzling hot arrabbiata with spicy salami and chilli or a supreme (with pineapple!)? Settle in and enjoy the food, the fun atmosphere and your wine.


Nearest Liquorland: Canberra Civic, 1.6km


What to bring: With their premium ingredients, these pizzas deserve a lighter touch, so choose the Liv Lighter Pinot Noir as a gently spicy companion to those bold Italian flavours.

broadburger kingston liquorland

Brodburger, Kingston

Cult Canberra burger joint Brodburger (@brodburger) has grown from its humble rock’n’roll origins of a red gypsy van parked in the grungy Braddon backstreets to the much more ritzy locale of the Kingston Foreshore. Expect the lot – cheeseburgers, chicken, salmon and vegan, all oozing with juicy good-time flavours. There are even two choices of loaded hotdogs with coleslaw, pickles, ketchup and corn sauce. Keep some room for the decadent onion rings and skinny fried chips. 


Nearest Liquorland: Manuka, 1.6km


What to bring: Burgers and bubbles – yes! Take it up a notch with a bottle of Croser NV. The long, clean finish will cut through the big flavours of the burgers and make it all a bit special.

Daana, Curtin

Popular, colourful, buzzy… Indian restaurant Daana (@daanacanberra) veers into fine dining territory with its innovative flavours and use of native Australian bush ingredients, but keeps the crowds happy with a procession of tasty favourites such as aromatic, flame-grilled lamb cutlets and the popular coconut-based Malabar chicken. Fire up your culinary adventure with the Kottayam-style spicy red curry with zingy mustard seeds and fragrant curry leaves. Pro tip: order the flaky and delicious roti, perfect for mopping up the spicy sauces.


Nearest Liquorland: Woden, 1.9km


What to bring: The bold, fruit-forward flavours of the full-flavoured Barossa Peter Lehmann Shoulder to Shoulder Shiraz is your go-to here.

Rama’s Fiji Indian Restaurant, Pearce

This family-run gem (@ramas_restaurant_cbr) has been operating for over 30 years, serving a signature mix of Indian and Fijian inspired dishes. This means you can settle in for a traditional vindaloo or korma curry, crunchy prawn pakoras or delicious roti parcels full of aromatic pumpkin and coconut, or opt for a Fijian pork curry with capsicum, onion and fresh coriander leaves. There are heaps of vegan and gluten-free options and Rama is proud it can manage most dietary requests. The friendly service makes this curry house a well-loved local secret.


Nearest Liquorland: Woden, 2.4km


What to bring: To balance the strong, aromatic flavours of the hearty curries, pick up a bottle of Oyster Bay Sparkling Cuvée Brut and let the acidity cut through the spicy food.

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