You go for walks together. You hang out together. You enjoy the park together. You love doing things with your four-legged bestie.
But when you want something to eat or drink, it’s either a drive-through or home.
Or is it?
Communities are starting to adjust health codes to allow restaurants, coffee shops, and bars to cater to their dog-owning clientele. Typically that means a place will have an outdoor patio with access to the street.
An online search reveals that many places now allow a leashed canine on an outdoor patio. But the search also discovered that some places are quite imaginative in how they provide an environment for you and your dog to eat, drink, and enjoy good times together. On their websites and Facebook pages, you’ll typically find doggie menus, dog events, and/or photos of dogs on the patio.
Check out some of our favorite finds:
The Tin Shed Garden Café, Portland, Ore.
Dogs eat free on the enclosed patio Tuesday nights during the cold months, but pooches are welcomed here anytime. There is a separate doggie menu and, if Fido is wearing his Tin Shed doggie bandana, it’s 50 percent off his meal price. Proceeds of bandana sales go to such nonprofits as the Oregon Humane Society. A wall display highlights dogs available for adoption.
Milano Inn, Indianapolis, Ind.
With a bowl of water and dog biscuits, the Milano Inn welcomes canine companions to its large dog-friendly patio, where your pooch might meet one of the owners’ rescue dogs. The restaurant features “Puppies & Pasta” nights in the summer when 10 percent of proceeds go to designated animal rescues.
The Watering Bowl, Denver, Colo.
Billed as Denver’s first dog-friendly tavern, it welcomes dogs to its outdoor, off-leash, 7,000-square-foot, fenced dog park/patio. Space heaters chase away any chill, and dogs are also allowed inside if they are on a leash. Owners can enjoy craft beers and American bistro food. The place can be booked for dog birthday parties, “bark mitzvahs,” and dog reunions.
Boneyard Drinkery, Houston, Texas
Take your dog, but not your kids—it’s a 21-and-older bar—to Houston’s first dog park and bar. It offers a 7,000-square-foot, fenced dog park that is double gated. There are community water bowls, shade trees, and bagging stations to clean up after your dog. Bring your own food or buy something from the mobile food trucks to enjoy with the local Texas brews or wines that are available at the bar. Sit inside or at picnic tables on the wraparound deck.
Community Bark Dog Wash and Coffee Bar, Milwaukee, Wis.
Sip coffee or tea and enjoy tasty baked goods with your human friends while Fido nibbles on healthy dog pastries at the Barker Lounge. Snuggle next to the fireplace if there’s a chill in the air. If you’ve just come in from the local dog park, give Fido a bath, or relax and watch while he is bathed and groomed at the dog wash on the premises.
The Pooch Patio, Dallas, Texas.
Enjoy refreshments from the beer and wine bar or java house with your four-legged pal on the two large, leash-optional outdoor patios. Calling itself the “ulti-Mutt” place to congregate and socialize with your pet, this spot also features outdoor TVs and stereos in addition to wireless Internet. If Fido gets into too much fun, there’s also a self-service dog wash as well as doggie daycare and boarding.
The Brewhouse, Santa Barbara, Calif.
Hmmm, will it be biscuits and gravy, chicken strips, or…? A leashed Fido will need a few minutes to look over the doggie menu as you sit on the outdoor patio here. Make your selection, and enjoy it with a brew handcrafted right on the premises.
Hotel Monaco Alexandria, Alexandria, Va.
Join Old Town neighborhood dogs and those staying at the hotel with their humans for this pet-friendly hotel’s Doggie Yappie Hour. Starting at 5 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays, April through October—barring bad weather or private events—leashed canines and their humans are welcome in the hotel’s courtyard. Canines enjoy complimentary doggie treats and fresh water while humans can take pleasure in selections from Jackson 20's bar menu. Charlie, a bichon frisé, is director of pet relations.
To keep your canine outing copacetic:
- Be sure your dog is health, licensed, and vaccinated.
- Be aware that intact dogs, dogs in heat, and certain breeds may be prohibited.
- Make sure your dog is well-trained and comfortable in a crowded situation.
- Be prepared to clean up after your dog.
- Don't let your dog bother other guests.
- If it's hot and humid, let your dog stay home in air-conditioned comfort.
- Call to learn the business' current rules and offerings before you stop in.
- Be aware that you are liable for any damage or injury inflicted by your dog.
Photo credits: iStock images; The Tin Shed Garden Café