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 foodie royals.

These Central Jersey BYOB restaurants cover every cuisine, from classic Italian, to fancy French, to the meat loving Greeks, and even spicy creole shrimp. 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

central jersey byobYou may have heard of a little dish called VooDoo Shrimp when Chef Drew casually beat Bobby Flay at his own game years ago. Since then, Drew’s Bayshore Bistro continues to deliver on the flavor front again and again. 25 Church St, Keyport (732) 739-9219 http://drewsbayshorebistro.com/

central jersey byob
We have not so quietly sung the praises of Porcini since opening five years ago and as they continue to up their game (we don’t know how they do it, but they do) we’ll continue to do our part in letting everyone know that their Italian inspired dishes are the best of the best. 68 Bay Ave, Highlands (732) 291-3080 https://www.restaurantporcini.com/

central jersey byobTheir huge brick oven may lure you in, or even the idea of uncorking that bottle of cabernet in your cabinet, but it’s the dishes at Patricia’s that will keep you coming back again and again. 1002, 2132 NJ-35, Holmdel (732) 275-0234 https://www.patriciasofholmdel.com/

central jersey byobWhen we’re looking for innovative dishes that let New Jersey ingredients shine, we tend to head straight for Graze. With Chef Junior as the culinary brains behind this small Central Jersey BYOB, you’ll find that every dish turns into a mini taste exploration. 151 Markham Pl, Little Silver (732) 747-9988 http://graze.restaurant/

 central jersey byobWith two locations and plenty of delicious menu choices, Simply Greek is, well, a simple choice when it comes to “what’s for dinner tonight?” Head there with your favorite bottle and break out the opa! 44 Centennial Dr, Long Branch (732) 571-0222 simplygreekeats.com

central jersey byob
The name may have changed, but the restaurant’s dedication to serving homemade pastas and traditional Italian dishes will continue. Neapoli is basically just upping the ante.10 Wallace St, Red Bank  (732) 741-1321
neapolinj.com

central jersey byob
Who doesn’t love Chinese food? While we do adore the ease of delivery, we’d gladly switch our sweats for jeans when it comes to Temple where they add the gourmet to some of your favorite Chinese dishes. 91 Broad St, Red Bank (732) 212-8858 http://templegourmet.com/

central jersey byob
If you’re looking for an experience with your meal, look no further than Siam Garden, where the east meets the west. From vibrant curries to savory pad thais and everything above, between, and beyond will be just the start to your meal as you try and take in all of the decor (including the carved seat you’re sitting on). 2 Bridge Ave, Red Bank (732) 224-1233 siamgardenrestaurant.com

central jersey byobAs 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/

central jersey byob
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 any one of Old City Cafe and Grill‘s delicious dishes. 20 N. Union Avenue, Cranford 908-276-2701 www.oldcitycafeandgrill.com/

central jersey byob
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
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://ambeligreek.com/

central jersey byob
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 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 byobThis 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 byobFor 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
(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 byobTables 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 byobLocated in the center of all things Rutgers, this Central Jersey BYOB stands apart, 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 byobYet 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 byobThe 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

Chef Matthew McElmoyl takes all of those dishes that you wish your mom would make (chicken and waffles, meatloaf, burgers) to the next level at his hit restaurant Oliver- A Bistro. Mom would be proud. 218 Farnsworth Ave, Bordentown (609) 298-7177 http://www.oliverabistro.com/

central jersey byob

They may be known for their buffet and array of Cuban dishes included Camarones Al Ajillo, but your meal will not be complete at Martino’s Cuban Restaurant without one of their desserts. 212 W Main St, Somerville (908) 722-8602 https://martinoscuba.com/

central jersey byob

For those looking to add some flavor into their meal, look no further than Savor where everything from the décor to the vibe and of course the menu is packed with plenty of delectable surprises. 18 W Main St, Somerville (908) 685-1975 savornjrestaurant.com

central jersey byobNestled in the heart of Hopewell is a converted cottage where diners are welcomed into an intimate and cozy dining room and then presented with dishes that will definitely inspire your tastebuds. Do they need us to recommend them with over a decade of five stars? Probably not, but we will anyway. 101 E Broad St, Hopewell (609) 333-1710 thebluebottlecafe.com

central jersey byob
Family owned, a BYOB, and 5 star dishes – it sounds like all of our favorite things. At Jozanna’s Fine Italian Restaurant, you (and the rest of the family, kids included) will love noshing on Italian comfort food classics. 409 Lincoln Blvd, Middlesex (732) 537-9600 jozannas.com

central jersey byob
One of the best BYOB menus around. At LouCas you can’t go wrong, from ordering one of their pastas to their fish dishes, the food is exceptional. 9 Lincoln Highway, Edison (732) 549-8580 loucasrestaurant.com

central jersey byob
Named after the boy king, you’ll be hard pressed to find anything that a king wouldn’t want on this menu. No royal taste testers needed, you’ll find that the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean inspired menu is everything royalty’s dreams are made of. 1271 US-22, Lebanon (908) 840-4668 kingtutnj.com

central jersey byob
The perfect Central Jersey BYOB restaurant to bring the dinner date of your dreams, Zeppoli is that intimate restaurant serving upscale dishes that will turn your dating game into a very easy A. 618 W Collings Avenue, Collingswood 856-854-2670 zeppolirestaurant.com