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BYOB

Places you can bring your own drank.

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If you're dining out in Colombo and enjoy a tipple with your meal, you could potentially be faced with two problems:

  1. How pricey drinks are at restaurants here (Rs. 800 for a cocktail is the average price, which could pretty much get you the main course).
  2. A lack of choice/ availability of what you want.

A couple of restaurants have wiggled out of this dilemma, sometimes by lack of choice (liquor licences are tough yo), by letting you bring in your own booze without corkage fees. It's actually enhanced the experience in many cases. Here's a list of some popular BYOB places in the city. Remember to bring along the bill of your alcohol purchase just in case.

August by Mama Aida's
61, Dudley Senanayake Mawatha, Colombo 08

One of our 5 star picks for CMB dining, August does some lovely Mediterranean cuisine for dinner. Set in beautiful premises in Shirohana Atelier, it's the perfect setting for some romance and a nice bottle of champagne. It's a wine only spot, so don't rock up there with a bottle of gal arakku or anything. Book well in advance, they're usually busy. 


Zen (Zylan Boutique Hotel)
115, Rosmead Place, Colombo 7

The Japanese restaurant at the charming Zylan Villas, Zen is a great spot for a bit of lunchtime sushi or late evening romance. They also allow you to bring whatever alcohol you'd like to have with your meal, which cuts down on your meal cost considerably! 


Giovanni's
No. 145, Thimbirigasyaya Road, Colombo 5.

Giovanni's is one of our favourite pizza spots in the city. With quality pies and friendly service, it's a strong option for a casual dinner. To be honest, we do generally get takeout or delivery, but their dine-in experience is pretty good too and they're totally fine with you bringing in some alcohol to offset your meal. 


JoJo's Place
43/6A De Alwis Ave, Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia

JoJo's place is yet another beachside Chinese restaurant where you can go with a bunch of your friends for a weekend tipple, enjoy some good Sri Lankanised Chinese food while enjoying the blissful views of the Mount Lavinia beach and the glorious sunsets. They have some great Hot Butter Cuttlefish and have BYOB for a corkage fee of Rs. 500 per bottle, which is pretty good. 


The Fat Crab
53 Haig Road, Colombo 4

A great place to get some seafood, The Fat Crab down Haig Road is one place you can make a mess while eating and not feel bad about it. They have a BYOB for a corkage fee of Rs. 1000 per bottle. Alors, Mange! Mon ami. 


Breeze Barracuda
10, Galle Face Drive, Colombo

Sister to Barracuda in Wellawatte, Breeze Baracuda is a fairly new resto in Galle Face Green. Almost a breath of fresh air for those of you who don't want kottu or wade, Breeze Barracuda serves both western and eastern fare. You can bring your own bottle, and they don't charge a corkage fee for bills over Rs. 1500. 


Buba Restaurant And Beach Club
42/11 Vihara Road, Mount Lavinia

Found in a pretty secluded part of Mount Lavinia, Buba Restaurant and Beach Club has a corkage fee of Rs 250 per bottle. Compared to some other places, Buba can be a bit steep in terms of pricing. However, the stuff we tried out was pretty tasty and a plus point, you've got the beach at your fingertips. 


Callisto
133/1 , Thimbirigasyaya Road

Callisto is Giovanni's sister restaurant and no surprise there, we loved it. They have no corkage fee, which is great. And they have some fantastic pasta, which is even better. 


Park Street Trattoria
48, Park Street, Colombo 02

Park Street Trattoria is yet another restaurant in Colombo featuring Italian cuisine. A while back when they didn't have a liquor license, they had no corkage fee but now they do have a fee, which "depends." That's all they wanted to tell us. Save for the nervous/ awkward laughter. 


168 Sea Food Palace
8 Sea View Avenue Colombo 3

Colombo has a truckload of Chinese restaurants and 168 Seafood Palace is just another one on the list. While being one of the oldest names in the book, 168 allows you to bring your own booze, and it's corkage-free. 


Chatz
79, Horton Place, Cinnamon Gardens, Colombo 7

Chatz is one of the oldest members in the Colombo cafe scene. Bring all the booze you want, they don't charge a corkage fee. 


Dolce Italia (Rajagiriya)
623 Nawala Road, Rajagiriya

Good pizzas, reasonable food, and friendly service. Dolce Italia's Rajagiriya branch is good for a lunch/dinner, and they let you BYOB too! 


Hansa Coffee
24 Fife Road, Colombo 5

Tucked away in a tiny spot down Fife Road, Hansa does some good coffee and toasties, and it has been praised time and time again by the loyal customers, including the YAMU alumni. Yeah, it's a cafe but, they allow alcohol within their premises if it's past 7 pm and you're a part of the group. For all you loners, we suggest sticking to coffee or even one of their chocolate based drinks.


English Cake Company
2A, Sulaiman Terrace, Jawatte Road, Colombo 5

You can BYOB at the English Cake Company, but only on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 5 - 7 pm. Only wine and beer are allowed, and it's corkage free. 


Upali's
65 CWW Kannangara Mawatha (Town Hall), Colombo 7

Upali's is the go-to place for Lankan food in an upscale setting. It's great food that isn't too pricey, but they're very popular so book ahead. In our experience, they're okay with bringing booze in, but double check when you make your reservation.


M'eat US
Parliament Road, Pellawatte, Battaramulla

There's nothing better than booze and barbecue, and M'eat US delivers both. Also, it's corkage free (yay!). It's all the way in Pelawatte and dishes out some of the best western barbecues we've tried and their meat platters are ideal if you're dining as a group. 


Big Bad Wolf
277, Nawala Road, Nawala

Not to be confused with the world’s biggest book sale with the same name, this all-pork restaurant started as a pop-up store before settling down in their own little den in Nawala. You can bring your own beer and wine without getting entitled to a corkage fee. But no hard liquor, please! 


Box Colony
308 A, Pannipitiya Road, Pelawatta, Battaramulla

Box Colony in Battaramulla has a nice space along with a big garden area as well as a quirky container box based building set up. While their food could use some improvement, it's a good quiet place to BYOB and chill with friends. There's no corkage fee. 


Epicure
65/B R G Senanayake Mawatha, Colombo 00700

Epicure serves “Modern European” cuisine. They don’t have a liquor license yet, so if you want wine with that food you can BYOB, and it's corkage free.


A lot of the old school Chinese spots like 88, Xilaton etc also let you bring booze in, just call ahead and check. Happy tippling, and drink responsibly!

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Dhananjaya

Chatz cafe is also a byob place add that as well :)

S

Sheni

The Bee Hive by RnR at race course

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prabs

Shanghai terrace in Kotte also good

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Keerthiya

It's actually at Shirohana petal guru.

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Hayley

What about Shangdong?

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Tirantha

The four leafed clover is also BYOB at the moment

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Wanderer4311

There's a new place that opened up in Borella called Smokestacks by Licensed to Grill. They allow BYOB and it's a really nice place with great food.