2020 Sep 10
Sri Lankan Friday nights are always a battle between “let’s have a small shot” and “can we really afford enough 900 rupee cocktails to get drunk?” The struggle is real when you’re trying to balance your lifestyle with your bank account but we should consider ourselves truly blessed for incredible things like happy hours and BYOB places!
So, the next time you’re looking to get “turnt”, here are all the places you can do it without digging a hole in your wallet.
No corkage charged
Almost everyone’s favourite thin-crust pizza joint is perfect for that laidback bottle of red wine with its rustic decor, great food, friendly service – and no corkage! Giovanni’s in Thimbirigasyaya is a personal favourite and is great for hosting some friends too. As the writing on their wall says, you can BYOB, so long as you don’t leave the empty bottle! Clearly, Giovanni’s is a must-try BYOB spot.
Brewing up authentic Italian dishes, Dolce Italia needs no introduction! The outlet down Skeleton Road is bigger than its previous outlet, being able to accommodate more people with comfortable spacing. The best part about Dolce Italia’s BYOB status is that they charge no corkage! That way you can spend your money on their delicious dishes instead! However, you can only bring wine and beer.
Offering authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, Culture Colombo became wildly popular for what it had to offer! Even though the prices are quite steep, there is no corkage fee; making the dining experience totally worth it!
Offering a healthy option for fast food, Bowl’d focuses primarily on its range of customisable Poké Bowls, inclusive of gluten-free and low-carb ingredients. It has an earthy concept, practising an eco-friendly environment. The vibe at Bowl’d is super laidback with a touch of reggae playing in the background, making it even better because there’s no corkage fee!
Now here’s a pre-drink spot we can get on board with. Being an outdoor area with an absolutely extensive menu, Café 47 simply does not disappoint as it truly caters to everyone. From burgers to pizza, to kottu, and more, Café 47 does not charge for corkage, making it super simple for those in the Thalawathugoda area – specifically – to grab a bite and get a drink.
Standing out from the rest of the spots on the list, and also known to be a popular spot for those who are all about that healthy eating life, Café Nuga does not charge corkage. Super ideal for that chilled drink during Sunday brunch, Café Nuga offers some healthy and delicious dishes which would definitely even out those calories you’ll be consuming thanks to the booze. It’s all about balance guys.
Culinary Craft by Villa Raha
While Culinary Craft by Villa Raha does have a BYOB option, they also have strict policies in terms of their code of conduct, which is completely understandable. So while those who are well-above the legal drinking age are allowed, they do not tolerate misbehaviour which would disrupt the culinary experience of their other customers. Visit Culinary Craft for the most Insta-worthy dishes!
Fire and Ice Pizzeria
Who doesn’t love to pre-game with a slice of pizza? Okay, I meant a whole pizza because who eats just one slice? Fire and Ice Pizzeria is a must-try as they don’t charge corkage and do not have a minimum spending limit either. Try their Quattro Formaggi pizza, which will soak up all that alcohol, and thank us later!
A Korean BYOB spot? Erm, yes please! They aren’t strict about a minimum spending limit and truly, their space is ideal for a cosy date with a homey vibe, complete with a bottle of wine or whatever liquor you prefer to bring. Try their Bibimbap and prepare to be wowed because we absolutely loved it!
Sri Lankan-Chinese restaurants are something else. We crave a good fried rice with Kang Kung, devilled meat, and hot butter anything more often than not, and Xilaton definitely caters to that craving! While they only allow hard liquor and wine, omitting beer and soft drinks, Xilaton should definitely be on your radar if you’re looking for a great BYOB spot to get your Chinese fix!
Great Wall Restaurant
A gorgeous venue, great service and awesome food. If you decide to drop by you have to try their fusion kottu! This is also one the better places on this list to host a large gathering considering they have ample space and seating. However, they would like to avoid customers dining in solely for the purpose of bites and liquor brought in so do try to refrain from doing so.
Well-known for its amazing Indian dishes, Lemongrass also consists of interiors that are reminiscent of an Indian household dining room, surrounded by walls with intricate detail that further heighten the classy look of the restaurant.
PappaRich Sri Lanka
Being a Malaysian franchise that offers both Chinese and Indian cuisine on top of some amazing Malaysian food, PappaRich has a lot to offer and they’re all awesome. The ambience is open and refreshing so it’s worth giving this gem a visit.
No corkage charged – minimum fee applicable
Located on Park Street, with a great modern feel to it, Butlers makes you feel right at home with its quirky and hip vibe. Butlers is a popular dinner and drinks spot and we can see why. Coupled with a BYOB option with a minimum spending limit of LKR 1500 – corkage free – we think this is a pretty sweet deal, considering the filling food available at Butlers. Get the Crispy Batter Fried Cuttlefish!
All Star Sports Lounge
With a menu consisting of bites for days, All Star Sports Lounge is all-star indeed! Perfect for the sports buff, despite their in-house liquor and splendid cocktails, they have a BYOB option – which is pretty rare with bars and pubs that already serve liquor. So long as the bill comes up to LKR 1,500 per person, All Star Sports Lounge should be on your radar to BYOB!
Arcadia Café and Restaurant
Located down 16th Lane, Colombo 3, the Arcadia Café and Restaurant is a lovely eatery consisting of 3 different compartments for dining in. These include the bakery/café upon entering, along with an intimate dining area followed by a garden of greenery. They don’t charge for corkage, but they have a minimum spending limit of LKR 1000 per person.
Aimed a little more at the baila-singing loud crowd, Chatz dishes up Sri Lankan-Chinese and good bites. A typical Friday night here will consist of loud music and large groups of drunk youngsters, perfect to crack open that Old Arrack bottle in true Lankan style. The catch: it’s only after 5 pm and each person’s bill needs to rack up to at least LKR 1000.
With a wide range of mocktails but no alcohol, Barracuda lets you BYOB right to the shores of the Dehiwala beach. They have a separate menu for Sizzlers as well as Chinese so there’s quite a variety of food you can choose from as well. However, each person’s bill needs to add up to LKR 1500.
Located at the end of Peter’s Lane in Dehiwala, The Deck is a slightly dodgy but good joint for a cheaper night out. It has an indoor area as well as an outdoor area so you can wiggle your toes in the sand while you enjoy some Sri Lankanised-Chinese. They charge LKR 500 as a corkage fee per bottle, which is such a steal if you ask me, considering the hefty amounts most places expect you to pay.
Zen (Zylan hotel)
The winning point at Zen is their incredible pool-side ambience that’s both private and chilled out for a small drink with an intimate group of friends. They have a multi-cuisine menu and will guarantee a solid night. They have a corkage fee of LKR 1500 for each bottle of wine and LKR 3500 for anything else.
Park Street Trattoria
Located within the stretch of high-end restaurants down Park Street Mews, it fits the ambience of the Mews perfectly, so if you want good feels, food and company; try ‘em out! Their corkage charges are LKR 3000 for hard liquor and LKR 800 for wine.
A rooftop fine dining restaurant, Il Cielo, specialises in Southern Italian food and offers a wide variety of drinks as well. The mood lighting and cosy atmosphere make it a great spot for an intimate dinner or a date. They have outdoor seating as well and the view is a bonus! It is situated below Berlin Sky Lounge, its German counterpart. They charge LKR 2000 on local liquor and LKR 4000 on foreign liquor.
Serving a wide range of South East Asian cuisine, the theme at Monsoon revolves around the concept of sharing food, as is traditional in most South Asian families. The cuisine is a modern take on South Asian street food, while their décor is rustic and certainly ticks the instagrammable box! They have two corkage fees; LKR 2000 for wine and LKR 4000 for hard liquor.
Sawadee Restaurant at Mount Breeze Hotel
If you are looking to unwind and relax with a few friends the outdoor seating area is one of the best in town. They also boast a quite massive and impressive menu that is all-natural with no artificial colours or flavours like MSG. They charge a super affordable corkage fee of LKR 500, regardless of the make of the liquor.
Gardenia Coffee Shop at Ramada
Overlooking the pool, this classy yet quaint spot would be ideal for your pre-drink session with friends. While the atmosphere attracts the crowd, Gardenia’s stellar food keeps the crowd. Add in their convenient BYOB option, and you’ve got yourself a great night. They charge a corkage fee of LKR 1500 on local liquor and LKR 2500 on imported liquor.
So there you have it, folks. Good company, great food, and boozy nights are awaiting, so go get cracking!