One of the most appreciated concepts in Canada is the ‘Bring Your Own Wine‘ (BYOW) or ‘Bring Your Own Beer‘ (BYOB) restaurant. As the name suggests, these restaurants allow you to bring your own bottle of wine or beer to accompany your meal. The BYOW and BYOB concept bring benefits for both you and for the restaurant. You can choose to bring your favourite wine without worrying if they will have it, and you can save money by buying your wine in a SAQ (or equivalent) or in a supermarket. For the restaurant, allowing clients to bring their own wine is a way to save money too, because they don’t have to buy an alcohol license, which is very expensive. This system can benefit everyone!
Beware that in some provinces, restaurants apply a corkage fee policy; this policy means that you will have to pay a fee for each bottle of wine that you bring. The amount of the fee depends on the province, the restaurant, and the service they provide; for example, a restaurant that brings you an ice bucket, decanter, specific wine glasses, will typically charge you a larger fee, plus tip! Make sure to call the restaurant to check the cost if it isn’t evident on their website or menus.
If you have the chance to eat in a restaurant without any corkage fees, don’t forget to tip $2 per bottle that you bring.
See below links for lists of Bring Your Own Wine restaurants in some cities/provinces: