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12 best BYOB restaurants in London

Written by Travel Adventures

Address: Yada’s Green Kitchen, 104 Rye Lane, London SE15 4RZ
Website: No website
Corkage: None

Image may contain Food Food Presentation Beef Meat Mutton and Plate

Singburi, Leytonstone

Singburi, Leytonstone

This astonishingly good neighbourhood haunt is just south of Leytonstone High Road Overground station: in 2023, it even made number 73 in the UK’s Top Restaurants for the first time in its thirty-year history. Chef Sirichai Kularbwong’s daily changing chalkboard menu offers crispy moo krob (pork belly with chilli and basil), fragrant clams with garlic and chill, creamy southern prawn curry, or pea stalks in cashew milk. Other musts? Stir-fried cabbage in pork fat or fermented tofu with pork, prawn and coconut cream: both often nestle at the bottom of the specials list. It’s booked up for months, but a tip is 8.45pm on a Sunday for a chance as a walk-in.

Address: Singburi, 593 High Road Leytonstone, London E11 4PA
Website: instagram.com/singburi_e11
Corkage: None

Kefil Food, Homerton

Next to the candlelit Adam & Eve pub on noisy Homerton High Street is a simply furnished, brightly lit diner dishing up excellent Uyghur cuisine from the autonomous region of Xinjiang (in the northwest of China). This straddling of East and Central Asia is reflected in dishes which include noodle soups, polow (a take on pilaf), lamb skewers, seasoned grilled chicken wings and the signature läghmän, hand-pulled (and hand-cut) wheat noodles. Boiled extra-long to achieve a chewy consistency, they’re topped with stir-fried ultra-tender beef (or lamb) alongside onions, peppers, tomatoes, cabbages, chills and spices. Vegetarian dry-fried noodles are equally flavoursome.

Address: Kefil Food, 151 Homerton High Street, London E9 6AS
Website: No website
Corkage: None

Dars Tandoor  Grill Hampstead

Dar’s Tandoor & Grill, Hampstead

Dar’s Tandoor & Grill, Hampstead

Finally, who would ever have thought that in 2024 a BYOB would thrive in upmarket NW3, just a few minutes’ stroll from Hampstead Heath? In fact, Pakistani Grill Dar’s has existed for many years, so low-key you may even have walked past it without realising. However, sit in one of its simple booths and dine in for beautifully presented food in silver bowls or on earthenware plates. Highlights on our last visit included spit-roasted marinated chicken, its skin crispy and blackened with a wonderfully creamy dhal, and an unexpectedly tasty dish of diced paneer pan-fried with mixed peppers, chilli and onions. Blistered paratha and fluffy pilau are on point, too.

Address: Dar’s, 2 Elm Ter, London NW3 2LL
Website: darsgrill.co.uk
Corkage: None

Paolina, King’s Cross

Back in the early 1990s, this two-floor corner spot, with its sunken rear dining room, was home to an Italian café before a Thai family took it on to serve up Bangkok specialities: they’ve been here ever since. Its wood-panelled interior, with monochrome floor and retro seating, is timelessly stylish, while the central kitchen makes an appealingly hectic focus. On our last visit, we ordered kanom jeeb (chicken dumplings with fried garlic), a superior pad thai jostling with plump, juicy prawns, beansprouts, spring onion and a mound of crushed peanut, as well as a pad khing with ginger, mushrooms, peppers and onions. Be warned that lunchtime service stops at 3pm before resuming at 5pm.

Address: Paolina Thai Cuisine, 181 King’s Cross Road, London WC1X 9BZ
Website: paolinathai.has.restaurant 
Corkage: £5




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