Best BYOBs in America: New York, New Orleans, Napa, San Francisco, Chicago

Wine-shop owners on where they love to bring their bottles.


The Benefits of BYOB

The Benefits of BYOB

New York

A Casa Fox

© Britany Westphal

Wine-Shop Owner: Frank Giresi of Bowery & Vine

At his newly relocated shop, Giresi now has more room for affordable bottlings from prestigious regions and a tasting counter.

Favorite BYOB Restaurant: A Casa Fox

Caterer Melissa Fox runs this homey new Lower East Side Latin spot, which makes excellent empanadas with fillings like pulled pork.

Preferred Bottle To Bring: 2006 Durigutti Bonarda ($12)

This earthy Argentinean red is Giresi’s go-to match for A Casa Fox’s beef chimichurri skewers and big-flavored Nicaraguan carne chorizada.

Plus: Big City Value Eats: Where To Eat in New York

New Orleans


© Kirk Dietrich

Wine-Shop Owner: Jon Smith of Cork & Bottle

Smith focuses on eclectic wines from around the world, priced from $7 to $17. He’s opened an adjoining wine bar, Clever.

Favorite BYOB Restaurant: Lola’s

At this tiny, laid-back spot, chef Angel Miranda prepares bold Spanish-Mediterranean dishes, like seafood paella and garlicky shrimp.

Preferred Bottle To Bring: 2006 Bodegas Pirineos Mesache Blanco ($12)

To go with the zesty food at Lola’s, Smith takes this fragrant Spanish blend of Macabeo, Gewürztraminer and Chardonnay.

Plus: A Hedonists’ Weekend in New Orleans: Where To Eat and Drink


Bleaux Magnolia

Courtesy of Philip Schuster

Wine-Shop Owner: Daniel Dawson of Back Room Wines

Dawson’s store is a one-stop source for small-production bottlings from hundreds of boutique California wineries.

Favorite BYOB Restaurant: Bleaux Magnolia

Since this Creole restaurant opened in 2007, chef Matt Mermod’s sassafras-glazed pork belly has become a Valley favorite.

Preferred Bottle To Bring: 2006 Whetstone Jon Boat Pinot Noir ($39)

A concentrated Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir like this zingy one goes particularly well with Bleaux Magnolia’s rich, spicy duck jambalaya.

Plus: Where To Go Next in Napa and Sonoma

San Francisco

Boulettes Larder

Courtesy of

Wine-Shop Owner: Ceri Smith of Biondivino

Smith’s Russian Hill shop has an encyclopedic selection of Italian wines, from famed Barolo to the obscure Schioppettino.

Favorite BYOB Restaurant: Boulettes Larder

Located in the Ferry Building, Boulettes Larder is a terrific retailer of artisanal goods and a breakfast and lunch hot spot.

Preferred Bottle To Bring: NV Bruno de Conciliis Selim ($21)

Smith brings this crisp, sparkling Campania white to brunch to drink with Boulettes’ beignets and lamb’s lettuce–and–tongue salad.

Plus: Where To Go Next in San Francisco



Courtesy of Mado

Wine-Shop Owner: Nathan Adams of Red & White

Adams and Sean Krainik supply the Bucktown area with wines from small producers and lesser-known places.

Favorite BYOB Restaurant: Mado

Just down the street from Red & White, chefs Robert and Allison Levitt butcher their own meat for braises and spit-roasting.

Preferred Bottle To Bring: 2004 Caparone Aglianico ($19)

From a tiny Italian specialist in Paso Robles, California, this Aglianico is lush and fruit-focused—great with Mado’s house-cured guanciale.

Plus: Where To Go Next in Chicago

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