Home Food + DrinkBars A Guide to the Best BYOB Restaurants in Montclair

A Guide to the Best BYOB Restaurants in Montclair

by Gabriela Lachapel O'Brien
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There’s nothing like being able to enjoy a great meal with a favorite wine, beer, or cocktail. That’s the beauty in BYOB restaurants: the food and drink pairings can really be left to the diner’s choice. These restaurants also happen to be well-known for their great food and vibes. We’ve rounded up a list of the best spots in Montclair to enjoy the BYOB setup. 

Disclaimer: This list is growing, so if you know of one that we missed, email hello@themontclairgirl.com.

best byob restaurants montclair

Bivio Pizzeria Napoletana | 107 Pine Street 

bivio pizzeria napoletana

(Photo credit: @biviopizza)

Getting a spot at this small, Neapolitan pizzeria is no small feat. There are only a handful of tables, no parties greater than five people, and no reservations. Trust us, there is much to celebrate once that pizza makes it to your mouth. The ingredients are imported straight from Italy and come together to bake in a 950-degree brick oven. There are only five pizzas on the menu daily, two specials, and two salads. Montclair local Bobbi Brown, yes that Bobbi Brown, says she loves Bivio for its simplicity and the purity of the ingredients.

Cafe Giotto | 42 Church Street

Cafe Giotto

(Photo credit: @cafegiottomontclair)

Walking into Cafe Giotto feels like an escape to the Italian countryside. The cozy cafe has a window banquette and a handful of tables so seating is always limited but very much worth the wait. There are so many delicious freshly-baked pastries, paninis, homemade pasta, and gelato to choose from, three meals a day might seem restrictive. If pasta is the move, technically twenty combinations can be made by picking one of four shapes to be paired with any one of five sauces, sign me up.

Fascino | 331 Bloomfield Avenue

Fascino

(Photo credit: @fascino_restaurant)

Named one of the 30 Best Restaurants in Jersey by NJ Monthly, Fascino serves modern and seasonal Italian cuisine in an intimate setting. All of the pasta is made in-house and proteins are sourced from local mongers and butchers. The menu is full of so many enticing items, so while it’s difficult to pick only one or two things to try, any choice is sure to be delicious. It’s hard to go wrong with the rosemary-thyme focaccia and crispy cornmeal calamari but don’t knock having one of the pasta as an appetizer as well. The Bronzino and hanger steak are great options for entrees. The star of this meal might come at the end with the flourless chocolate torte. 

Read More: A Guide to Montclair’s Best Coffee Shops

Le Salbuen | 97 Walnut Street

Le Salbuen

Le Salbuen is a farm-to-table eatery where the food is inspired by the two chefs’ unique backgrounds, and influences, which include countries like Portugal, France, and India. All of the produce, meats, and dairy products, and even furniture (the pair own an antique store next door), is seasonally curated from local farms they partner with throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the menu has an abundance of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free items. The pulled duck tacos and black bean burrito are great for any time of day. This husband and wife team’s mission is to “share a local and organic meal with family and friends as you create lasting memories in a warm European setting.”

Samba Montclair | 7 Park Street

Samba Montclair

(Photo credit: Samba Montclair)

There aren’t many Brazilian restaurants on the dining scene where the focus isn’t on rodizio, the all-you-can-eat meat affair, but Samba highlights an entirely new perspective on the culture. If patrons are willing to step outside of their culinary comfort zones, they will be surprised by the tropical ingredients and bold flavors. If dining on the weekend, try the feijoada, which is Brazil’s national dish of stewed black beans and various cuts of pork. The Stroganoff de alcatra, a take on Beef Stroganoff and Moqueca de peixe com pirão,{fish and shrimp coconut milk soup are also fan favorites.

SLA Thai | 596 Valley Road

SLA Thai

(Photo credit: SLA Thai)

Simple, Love, Authentic – SLA Thai teaches diners all about authentic cuisine from Northern Thailand, where both chefs are from. The focus is about balancing salty, sweet, sour, and spice in the dishes, and based on what’s coming out of the kitchen, they must be getting it right. Try the pad thai or pad see ew, which are both made with rice noodles if Thai food is something new. The nam thok pla tod is a whole fish fried until crispy and worth the journey. If it’s in season, finish off with the sticky rice with mango for a perfectly sweet ending.

Turtle + the Wolf | 622 Valley Road

Turtle + the Wolf

(Photo credit: @turtleandthewolf)

When looking for a five-star meal without breaking the bank, check out Turtle + the Wolf. The menu is eclectic and hearty, leaving guests with all the warm and fuzzies. The food highlights local and seasonal ingredients and the hospitality is grade A. The charcuterie meats are cured in-house, the pasta is handmade, and the bread is baked daily on the premises. There are also large format menus for special occasions and holidays, think New Year’s Eve and biscuits. Pay special attention to the dinner menu to the steak tartare, daily pork offering, and duck pot pie.

Zeugma | 44 South Park Street

Zeugma

(Photo credit: @zeugma_grill)

Named after an ancient city in Turkey, this Mediterranean fusion grill features all the beloved flavors from the area straddled between Europe and the Middle East. There are mezzes to share, ‘In the Middle’ plates that can serve as appetizers or even lunch, and entrees that are big enough to eat from twice more. Try the Avoghannush for a trendy take on the traditional smoked eggplant dip, the miso calamari or grilled octopus, the pistachio steak burger, and, of course, the baklava. I For those who couldn’t swing by the wine shop on the way, half and full bottles are sold by the restaurant. Foolproof.

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