A Guide to the Best BYOB Restaurants in Montclair

There’s nothing like being able to enjoy a great meal with your favorite wine, beer, or cocktail. That’s the beauty in BYOB restaurants, you just can’t go wrong. 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 get your BYOB on!

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 reservation 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. If someone suggested eating at Cafe Giotto for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, only the buttons on your skinny jeans might be opposed. 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 a very intimate setting. All of the pasta is made fresh 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 start of this meal might be the flourless chocolate torte though, give me all the salted caramel gelato. 

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

Le Salbuen {97 Walnut Street}

Le Salbuen is a farm-to-table eatery where the food is inspired by the chef’s unique backgrounds, and influences, which includes countries like Portugal, France, and India. All of the produce, meats, and dairy products, and even furniture (they own an antique boutique 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. There is little this husband and wife team has yet to accomplish on their mission for patrons to “share a local and organic meal with family and friends as you create lasting memories in a warm European setting.” 

Mesob {515 Bloomfield Avenue}

Mesob

Mesob Ethiopian Restaurant is a great BYOB spot and go-to for both vegans and meat lovers with its authentic Ethiopian food. All of the food is prepared with imported Ethiopian spices blended daily. MESOB offers lamb, prime beef, tender chicken, fresh vegetables and seafood, and freshly baked Injera {traditional Ethiopian bread}. Mesob also offers gluten-free options with its Injera {give the restaurant at least four hours notice} and with some of its desserts. Don’t forget to have some Ethiopian coffee before you leave!

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, which is an 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 {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 is teaching its 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 very 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 {yum}. 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 loved 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. If you forget to bring your own alcohol, you can also purchase half and full bottles sold by the restaurant. Foolproof.

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Written by:

Gabriela grew up in Bergen County and moved to the Montclair area in 2016 in search of new experiences. She fell in love with the restaurant scene and stayed for the diversity, culture, and entrepreneurial spirit. Outside of her 9-5 as a Construction Operations Manager in Manhattan, you can find her enjoying meals at all her favorite restaurants, jamming out during Nine-Deeez-Nite at Just Jakes, or sitting outside Amanti Vino sipping wine with friends.