The Ultimate Local’s Guide to Central Jersey BYOB Restaurants

The Ultimate Local’s Guide to Central Jersey BYOB Restaurants


Stepping out to dinner can get expensive, especially when there are cocktails, pints, and bottles of wine involved. However, fear of the alcohol bill shouldn’t deprive you of some of the state’s best cuisine. With our ultimate guide to Central Jersey’s BYOB restaurants, you’ll be able to dine like a king and queen.

These Central Jersey BYOB restaurants cover every cuisine, from classic Italian, to fancy French, to the meat loving Greeks, and even crispy Korean chicken. No matter what you’re craving, our guide will have you dining like a pro (even if you’re not). Oh and don’t worry, these places are worth the drive!

For a list of BYOB restaurants throughout the state, visit our updated local’s guide to Jersey Shore BYOBs. Happy eating (and drinking!)

The Local’s Guide to BYOB Restaurants in Central Jersey

new jersey byob
100 Steps Supper Club, Cranford

Neighborly setting? Check. Small plates to snack on? Check. Big flavor? Check. BYOB? Double check. The 100 Steps Supper Club checked all of our boxes the ultimate night out with friends. 215 Centennial Avenue, Cranford 908-276-6600 100stepsrawbar.com

central jersey byob
Aarzu Modern Indian Bistro, Freehold

If you’re tired of traditional fare, but still looking for an upscale night out, look no further than Aarzu in downtown Freehold. This is not just about curry people. They’ve upped their game, creating unique food combinations, that will ideally pair well with whatever bottle you bring. 30 E. Main Street, Freehold 732-333-0933 https://www.facebook.com/AarzuFreehold/

central jersey byob
Ambeli Greek Taverna, Cranford

It’s pretty much impossible to argue that Ambeli Greek Taverna is one of the top BYOB restaurants, considering any review you read of them paints a picture of dining perfection . We just have one word… Opa! 29 N. Union Avenue, Cranford 908-272-4111 https://www.facebook.com/Ambeli-Greek-Taverna-890716101048812/

central jersey byob
Anemos Greek Cuisine, Manalapan

Turns out, the Greeks know how to make a dinner memorable. At Anemos, Executive Chef Sotirios Kontos (can you tell the food is authentic) turns out exceptional dishes, made with fresh ingredients. All you need to do is bring the ouzo. 333 U.S. 9, Manalapan 732-414-6590 anemosgreekcuisine.com/

central jersey byob
Bistro 1051, Clark

At Bistro 1051, you can (almost) have anything your taste buds are cravings. From Italian dishes, seafood, steaks, and even sushi, they have dishes that cover it all. If you’re lucky, grab a seat in the sunroom for a night out under the stars. 1051 Raritan Road, Clark 732-680-1051 bistro1051.com

central jersey byob
Breezes Cafe, Metuchen

Can’t take a vacation? Yea, we hear you, which is why we’re letting you in on a little secret. Breezes Café and Grill. It’s got the Caribbean vibe, cuisine, and music that you’re craving. You’ll feel like you just spent an evening in Jamaica, especially after a few glasses of Red Stripe that you brought. 567 Middlesex Avenue, Metuchen 732-902-6220 www.breezesgrill.com/

central jersey byob
Cebbellini, Elizabeth

Spice up your evening with dinner at Cebbellini, featuring Peruvian dishes such as mixed seafood cebiche and Peruvian favorites like Chicha Morada. Pisco Sours aren’t served, but that doesn’t mean you can’t shake it up at the table yourself! 860 Newark Avenue, Elizabeth 908-469-8851 www.cebbellini.net/

central jersey byob
Civile Cucina Italiana, Metuchen

Whether you’re going traditional with meatball and ricotta appetizer or not (try the Italian Jambalaya on for size), Civile Cucina Italiana does not disappoint. Just don’t forget to bring the wine! 154 Main Street, Metuchen 732-662-9982 civilecucina.com

central jersey byob
Fiddleheads, Jamesburg

Diners are hesitant to share, but we’re getting the word out. Fiddleheads in Jamesburg is a hidden gem. This small central Jersey BYOB restaurant (reservations are recommended) features a range of dishes. We’ve also heard they have a dynamite burger! 27 E. Railroad Avenue, Jamesburg 732-521-0878 www.fiddleheadsjamesburg.com/

central jersey byob
Galata Turkish and Mediterranean Cuisine, Marlboro Twp.

Authentic Turkish cuisine. There aren’t too many places that not only solely feature Turkish cuisine in central Jersey, but that excels at it! Galata does both and we’ve become quite obsessed with their Tandir (slow roasted lamb). They may be a newbie on the restaurant scene, but we’ve got a feeling they’re staying put. 2 Ryan Rd, Marlboro Township 732-677-3233 www.galatanj.com/

central jersey byob
Harvest, Farmingdale

Local seasonal cuisine. That’s what Harvest is about and has been focusing on ever since they opened. Dine in with a bottle of wine and sample some of the freshest dishes (some gluten free and vegetarian) that change seasonally. 83 Main Street, Farmingdale 732-919-3276 https://mkt.com/harvest2go

central jersey byob
La Cipollina, Freehold

As one diner said, “it’s The Godfather meets The Sopranos!” You can’t get more Italian American than that! This cozy central Jersey BYOB restaurant is tucked into downtown Freehold. If you’re lucky, you’ll reserve yourself a table, pop open a bottle of wine, and order some dishes, because chances are you’re going to want to stay for a while. You won’t want to leave.16 West Main Street, Freehold 732-308-3830 www.lacipollina.com/

central jersey byob
Molto Bene Ristorante & Cicchetti Bar, Cranbury

Molto Bene treats you more than just “Very well” when you dine here. A Venetian-inspired tapas style eatery, diners are encouraged to sample and share a number of dishes on the menu. It’s a communal environment that’s perfectly spent with family and friends. 17 N. Main Street, Cranbury 609-642-6724 moltobeneonline.com/

central jersey byob
Mulberry House Restaurant, Westfield

There’s no need to head to the city for brunch this weekend. Just take your Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas straight to Mulberry House. Favorite dishes include French Toast stuffed with wild-berry cheesecake… yea we’re just going to stop there. Oh, one more thing, think ahead and book a reservation for their monthly dinners. The farm to table cuisine is worth every penny! 415 Westfield Avenue, Westfield 908-233-3562 mulberryhouserestaurant.com/

central jersey byob
Nagoya Sushi, Howell

This contemporary style sushi house is scores on creativity, with expertly plated sushi, dynamite bento boxes, and all of your favorite hibachi treats without the tricks. 4562 U.S. 9 #2, Howell 732-987-5838 www.nagoyahowell.com/

central jersey byob
Old City Cafe and Grill, Cranford

Set on the corner in downtown Cranford, this cozy BYOB restaurant may make you want to hang out a while. Chances are you may make some new friends as you chow down on DISH. 20 N. Union Avenue, Cranford 908-276-2701 www.oldcitycafeandgrill.com/

central jersey byob
Phattra Thai, Metuchen
For those looking for a first class, five star dining experience, look no further than Phattra Thai. This Central Jersey BYOB restaurant may make you bring your own bottle of wine, but they succeed at checking off all the other boxes: excellent service, warm smiles, and delicious dishes (go for the jumbo shrimp wrapped in toasted shredded philo dough… chances are you may want to order seconds!) 426 Main Street, Metuchen 732-515-9333 phattrathai.com

central jersey byob
Pithari Taverna, Highland Park

(Second) to last Greek restaurant, we promise. We just can’t leave out this lively Highland Park BYOB. Seriously. The Greeks are known for their hospitality, their food, and their ability to have a good time. You’ll feel like you’re part of the family here (even if you don’t eat meat). New Athens Corner, 28 Woodbridge Avenue, Highland Park 732-572-0616 www.thepithari.com/

central jersey byob
Romola’s Seafood & Grille, Cranford

Tables covered in white linen, chandeliers, and a bright space are just a few of the reasons we keep going back to Romola’s Seafood & Grille. Try the seafood crepes and the shrimp and scallops over a mushroom rice risotto – it’s a seafood lovers dream! 2 S Avenue W, Cranford 908-272-0045 www.romolasnj.com/

central jersey byob
Sahara, New Brunswick

Located in the center of all things Rutgers, this Central Jersey BYOB stands a part, partly because of its eye-catching structure, and also because of its unique ambience. The menu is filled with Mediterranean dishes that will delight everyone from meat eaters to vegetarians. 165 Easton Avenue, New Brunswick 732-246-3020 saharacafenj.com/

central jersey byob
Tablespoon Cafe, Cranford

Yet another hidden gem in Cranford, Tablespoon Café fuses French and American cuisine into dishes that are perfectly cooked at reasonable prices. One of our favorites is the Caramelized Brie, because you can’t go wrong with melted cheese. 21 N. Union Avenue, Cranford 908-276-1900 tablespooncafeonline.com

central jersey byob
The Greek on Main, Metuchen

The final Greek restaurant and it’s definitely not the one to leave out. Entrees range from whole fish to desserts that will make you forget about those diet resolutions (even just for the night). Start your meal with the Grilled Octopus – it’s like dining on a Greek island (just don’t look out the window). 419 Main Street, Metuchen 732-515-9457 thegreekonmain.com/

central jersey byob
The Smoke-N-Grill, Hamilton

You may do a double take as you look on the map. This authentic BBQ joint may be located in the Garden State, but they’re brisket makes you feel like you’re eating at one of the south’s great pit masters restaurants. You can always pick up and go here, but there’s something about hanging around with a six pack and enjoying the two-meat plate with all the fixings. 2611 Whitehorse Hamilton Square Road, Hamilton 609-438-1053 thesmokengrill.com

central jersey byob
Toast, Montclair

As one of three locations in New Jersey, Toast is easily one of the best places to any number of egg dishes, french toast, and sandwiches. It becomes our favorite location on Saturdays and Sundays, when a boozy friend filled brunch is completely acceptable. 700 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair 973-509-8099 http://toastmontclair.com/