Check out one of these hot spots next time you're grabbing a bite (or a pint) with your pup.
dog at restaurant patio

When you welcome a pup into your home, they instantly become part of the family. They're around for holidays and celebrations and always game for road trips. In a dream world, pet owners would bring their beloved companions everywhere, like when they dine at their favorite eatery.

If you want to make a reservation for a few people and one four-legged pal, it's essential to know the restrictions and guidelines for your city. Here, we explore what you need to know before heading out the door, along with our picks for some of the best dog-friendly restaurants in the United States.

What to Do Before You Take Your Dog to a Restaurant

Many city and state regulations guide the ability of a restaurant to allow pups on their premises. With this in mind, it's important to research the specific guidelines in your ZIP code before getting your dog excited for the adventure.

If you can't find this information readily available online, reach out to the specific restaurant you're hoping to dine at and ask how they handle furry friends. This way, you can prepare for the meal—and also manage expectations for your family (and your super-excited dog).

Can You Take Service Dogs to Restaurants?

Though all dogs have the critical job of Greatest Fan and Best Cuddler, some pups play a more vital role in their owner's life. Service animals who guide those are differently abled are often allowed in places—like restaurants—where everyday dogs are not permitted. When in doubt, call the restaurant to triple-check your service dog is allowed to dine with you.

Health Tips to Keep in Mind for Dogs at Restaurants

Though there are many dog-friendly restaurants across the country, not all are created equal. Some have gourmet menus specifically for pups, while others simply allow them to lounge next to you. When you're thinking of bringing your dog along for the journey, consider their health needs. If you are having brunch outdoors on the hottest days of summer and the restaurant doesn't have shade, you probably should leave your dog in the air-conditioning at your home.

Or, if your pup thrives on a routine and your dinner may run past their bedtime, consider moving your reservation earlier. To ensure they feel comfortable and calm, you should also pack a favorite toy or chew stick, as well as a travel water bowl in case the restaurant doesn't provide one.

Dog-Friendly Restaurant Chains

No matter which ZIP code you call home, you can probably find one of these nationwide restaurants nearby. Or hit one up next time you're traveling with your pet. Best news, maybe ever? They're dog-friendly! So bring your pup along for the meal. Though it doesn't hurt to call ahead just to double-check that your local franchise allows your pet to tag along.

These are a few dog-friendly restaurant chains you can find pretty much anywhere:

  • Dairy Queen
  • In-N-Out Burger
  • Sonic Drive-In
  • Shake Shack
  • Starbucks
  • Outback Steakhouse
  • Olive Garden
  • Applebee's
  • Panera Bread

Best East Coast Dog-Friendly Restaurants

If you find yourself on the East Coast, you'll want to bring your pup to these fun local restaurants. Not only do they allow dogs, many also provide a special menu for floofs!

Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen in Newark, Del.

No matter when you visit this Delaware dog-friendly restaurant, your pup can join you. How come? They specifically have a climate-controlled patio so that dogs (and their owners, of course) can be comfortable while they wine and dine. Though Grain Craft Bar + Kitchen doesn't have a dog menu per se, they do offer water and 'cookies' for your best friend.

Cambridge Brewing Company in Boston, Mass.

Located in Kendall Square in the heart of Cambridge, this Boston-area brewery offers ample seating and standing room for pets … and their owners. You can down a locally crafted beer, pet your pup, and soak up the sunshine and good vibes.

Best West Region Dog-Friendly Restaurants

In California and much of the West Coast, dogs are welcome nearly everywhere—including eateries. Here are some options the next time you're in town.

The Forge in Carmel, Calif.

Sandwiched between San Jose and Santa Maria on the California coastline, Carmel is a small seaside town known for its surfer-chic eateries. Dog owners can enjoy a fun dining experience at The Forge, complete with options for their pup. Their Canine Cuisine Menu includes New York steaks, hamburger patties, hot dogs, chicken strips, and plain 'ole kibble.

Pub Dog in Colorado Springs, Colo.

As if the name didn't make it clear, this dog-friendly restaurant goes above and beyond to make your dog feel at home. Pub Dog is the first—and only!—eatery in Colorado that offers a play park. Inside, you can eat, drink, and wag your tail, and outside, the real fun begins. The outdoor patio features 1,300 square feet of dining area, including shady spots that protect pups from the summer heat. Last but not least, you can visit the 3,000-square-foot fully fenced, off-leash area where you can let your dog play while you visit with friends. And if they run so much they're hungry, your pup can pick something off their dog menu to finish the experience.

Tin Shed Garden Cafe in Portland, Ore.

Fur babies of all breeds and sizes are welcome to this cute cafe in Oregon's largest city. While sitting outdoors and enjoying the sunshine, your pooch can pick from the canine cuisine menu at Tin Shed Garden Cafe, which includes one dinner and one dessert option. 

The Attic in Palm Beach, Calif.

After a long, tiring week at work, nothing quite hits the spot like a lively brunch with friends. Take it to the next level by dressing up and bringing your dog to this weekly recovery date spot. While dining on the patio at The Attic in Palm Beach, your pup can select whatever they're craving from the dog menu, including filet and veggies, Southern-style bacon, and more.

Portage Bay Cafe in Seattle, Wash.

The whole fam can savor a brunch or breakfast outside in Seattle at this dog-friendly restaurant. Though summer may be the most comfortable season to bring your pooch, Portage Bay Cafe will also provide blankets for the colder days. Talk about a win-win (or is it, woof-woof?).

Best Midwest Dog-Friendly Restaurants

Everyone's friendly in the Midwest, so it makes sense they'd welcome dogs for dinner. Check out these hot spots next time you and your puppy pal are hungry.

Paradise Park in Chicago, Ill. 

If you're team Deep Dish pizza, you'll salivate over this pizza joint. The decor is quirky—think trailer park chic—and the patio is spacious for many doggos. As a fun addition, you have your choice of seating arrangements, including floor cushions, where you can cuddle your dog while you eat. Woof!

Petite Chou by Patachou in Indianapolis, Ind. 

Open daily from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for breakfast, lunch, and brunch, this casual eatery is great for pups and their parents. In addition to a mouthwatering menu for humans, they also offer dog-only options, including cookies and ice cream.

Best Dog-Friendly Restaurants in the South

There's nothing quite as sweet as the Southern region of the United States. And what makes it that much sweeter is being able to bring your dog to brunch.

Rita's on the River in San Antonio, Texas

Though most dog-friendly restaurants only allow pups to be on a patio, Rita's on the River in San Antonio goes a step above by welcoming dogs in their outdoor, air-conditioned courtyard. Since the summer easily sees temperatures above 100 degrees in Texas, this is a safer way to dine with your dog. They have a pup-themed menu, too, including dog-friendly ice cream, white rice with zucchini and carrots, as well as a free dog water 'slushy.'

Yard Bar in Austin, Texas

When an eatery's Instagram is mostly of cute dogs, you know they're fans of four-legged pals. As tourism grows in Austin, more people—and pets!—are relocating to this Texas town. If you call this ZIP code home or you're visiting, you can bring your pup to The Yard, a dog-friendly restaurant with a large outdoor dining patio. Just make sure your dog is at least four months old, spayed or neutered, and current on vaccinations.

The Dog Bar in Charlotte, N.C. 

For those workdays where a cocktail is necessary to release stress, it can be stressful for dog parents to rush home, walk the pup … and muster up the energy to go back into the city. If you're in Charlotte, you don't have to since The Dog Bar allows pups to join their owners. Dogs don't need to be 21 and up, but they should be well-behaved on- and off-leash, have their vaccinations current, and be spayed or neutered.

FUEL Charleston in Charleston, S.C.

With cute picnic tables and an expansive patio, FUEL Charleston will help you soak up vitamin D while nomming on great food. It's a dog-friendly restaurant with patio seating for pet parents and their fur babes for lunch, dinner, and/or happy hour.

Porch Swing Pub in Houston, Texas

For a laid-back dining experience in the heart of Texas, consider visiting Porch Swing Pub. It's casual, cozy, and welcomes leashed dogs of all sizes on their outdoor patio. Think: picnic tables, craft beer—and lots of wagging tails!

Yaga's Cafe in Galveston, Texas

If you're in the mood for good eats and a great atmosphere, Yaga's Cafe in Galveston will be your new favorite go-to. While dogs must be well-behaved, they also must be up for new friends since the staff is eager to meet all pups. In fact, they'll bring out chilled water in a bowl to wet your dog's whistle. Talk about service!

Lazy Dog Cafe, Locations Vary

The name says it all: This restaurant isn't just dog-friendly; it's dog-themed! Upon arrival, your dog will be given their own water bowl, and of course, a menu specialized for their taste buds. Options include grilled chicken and brown rice, hamburger, and other dog-friendly favorite foods. In addition to many locations throughout California, they're also in Texas, Nevada, Virginia, Florida, and other states.