Contributed by Jenna Donleavy, traveler and pet parent of three rescue dogs: Knox, Bear & Harper
My pack and I have a lot in common; we love weekend getaways and the great outdoors, but we also love all the amenities city living has to offer (we especially enjoy a good meal!). A delicious dining experience is even better when we can all eat together at pet-friendly restaurants.
Since we live right in the heart of Boston, Massachusetts, we are super lucky to have a number of dog-friendly restaurants we can dine at during patio season (mostly April–October). As we inch our way out of winter and into spring, I have started to daydream about al fresco dining. Let’s explore some of our favorite dog-friendly restaurants options from around the country.
3 Dog-Friendly Chain Restaurants
Shake Shack is not only fantastic for the humans—I mean the ooey-gooey cheese fries and buttermilk fried chicken sandwich are what dreams are made of—but they also provide satisfying options for pups. For Knox, Bear and Harper, Shake Shack means lots of wagging tails and excitement over the Pooch-ini. It’s their weakness. The Pooch-ini is a scoop of vanilla custard on top of real peanut butter and topped off with a big ol’ bone-shaped cookie. Many Shake Shacks throughout the country have dog-friendly patios and host dog-friendly events, so if you haven’t brought your pups yet, put it on your warm weather to-do list!
For our friends that live in Arizona, California, Texas, Oregon or Utah, you are lucky enough to be close to an In-and-Out Burger, so you can satisfy your craving for “Animal Style” any time you want. For those of you unfamiliar with In-and-Out’s menu options, “Animal Style” is a burger that comes with a mustard-grilled beef patty, extra Thousand Island spread, grilled onions and pickles. With a menu item dubbed “Animal Style,” it must mean they love animals as much as we do, right? Well, you are correct. You can satisfy your pup’s appetite with their dog-friendly Pup Patty, which is a plain unseasoned beef patty grilled to perfection.
I can’t talk about places to take your dog for a treat without mentioning the now famous Starbucks Puppuccino. This cup full of whipped cream makes for the perfect morning wake-up, mid-day treat or afterdinner delight. There is nothing like watching your dog love his Puppuccino as much as you love your Caramel Brulée Frappuccino.
3 Unique Restaurants That Allow Dogs
Chain restaurants aside, there are also countless hidden gems with spectacular dog-friendly menus sprinkled all over the country. I have created my own bucket list of must-try dog-friendly restaurants, and we cannot wait to get to them!
Sea Glass – Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Although we have vacationed at the Inn By The Sea, Bear missed dining with us at Sea Glass, as the weather was less than par during our stay. When we were there, the spectacular oceanfront resort restaurant offered an Angus Beef Tip Doggy Gumbo as the entrée with a K-9 Ice Cream topped with crumbled dog bones for dessert. It looks like we will all be taking another road trip to Cape Elizabeth this summer!
Hamburger Haven – West Palm Beach, Florida
This little slice of heaven is disguised as a “hole in the wall” in a strip mall, but their “Nice Rrrrrrice” with steamed Salmon and baked sweet potato from their dog-friendly menu is off the charts.
Tin Shed Garden Cafe – Portland, Oregon
Portland is said to be a Mecca of pet-friendly restaurants, making it a must on our bucket list. Every Tuesday at Tin Shed Garden Cafe they offer a “Buy a human meal, get a pup meal, free” option. The pup meal menu options include chicken, ground beef or pork mixed with rice or sweet potatoes. There is apparently a dessert option as well: peanut butter-banana ice cream, which is approved for humans, too. Time to book a trip to Portland!
These are just a few of the many options of great places to take your dog when looking to dine out. I know everything’s better when we can do it with our dogs, so take a look around your area for the coolest dog-friendly restaurant options; and don’t forget to brush up on dog-friendly restaurant etiquette beforehand. Bon Appétit!