We all like to bring a plus one when we go out, and who better than our closest canine companion?
So we grab the leash and get in the car…only to feel the disappointment of having a waiter point to a “No Dogs Allowed” sign.
In the spirit of National Dog Day, we put together a list of dog-friendly establishments in Marin County to ensure that you don’t run into this problem. At least not in Marin. Our local dog-lovers can rejoice in knowing that their four-legged friends can join them for a nice alfresco meal out.
From burgers to tacos, coffee to beer, and (water bowls for the beloved pooch), we provide the details on the food, ambiance, and offerings that are sure to satisfy humans and dogs alike. National Dog Day or not.
Side Street Kitchen is the ideal place for family gatherings and family-owned dogs, which is why you’ll find many of them eating, laughing, and admiring the beautiful mural on the wall. With an outdoor seating area open to four-legged patrons, dogs can enjoy the warm sunshine while their human enjoys a delicious meal outside. Water bowls provided! Their local, organically sourced, and veggie-friendly menu options will cater to an array of diets whether you’re in the mood for lunch or dinner. They also serve their wine in mason jars and brew coffee in French presses to give you an idea of their major dedication to style, quality, and trendiness. Many visitors can’t get enough of their butterscotch pudding, so make sure to try it!
If you want a dog’s opinion, check out our friend Sadie’s recent visit to Fish, which every seafood lover in Sausalito worth their salt knows about (pictured below). Taking in the smell and sounds of other dynamic dog-human duos, Sadie has zero complaints here. I mean, what sensible dog would when they have their human being, fresh seafood, and spectacular views of the San Francisco Bay right at their paw-tips?
Perfectly situated on the bayfront, Fish provides sunny picnic tables, fresh ocean air, and an endless procession of sailboats that'll entertain any dog that loves vehicle-chasing. With the welcome inclusions of draft beer, wine, and a kids’ menu — yeah, they’ve got one — it comes as no surprise that the cash-only eatery has long been a hot spot for locals and visitors alike. And now, dogs! Whether you’re in the mood for delicious fish and chips or one of their specialty’s, BBQ oysters (I hear the sauce is heavenly!), Fish will not disappoint!
A lifeguard tower converted to an eatery, the Siren Canteen gets the crisp Pacific Ocean breeze passing right through their beachside windows. Your dog will feel like they’ve stuck their head out the car window for the whole afternoon, but the location is one of many perks at this establishment. Their menu includes tacos, burgers, nachos, french fries—all items that are quick and easy to eat shortly after a sun-filled beach day or a hike with your pet. And definitely take part in the creamy Meyer lemon milkshakes.
If the dog-friendly aspect doesn’t bring you to the joint’s sandy shores, then the bring-your-own-wine option with a $10 corkage fee just might. So get that leash tight and ready to make the most of your day for your impending Stinson Beach visit.
4. Sol Food
If you’re in the mood for fantastic Puerto Rican cuisine, you won’t find any place with more authentic flavor than Sol Food. Owner Sol Hernandez makes the mofongo and fried plantains just like how his mother did, but also topped off with his signature hot sauce. Your dog (who is 100% allowed at the outdoor seating area) can attest to the amazing spices when the sniffing process begins upon arrival.
Bring home the sauce and the lemon-garlic salad dressing; they’re on sale by the bottle! The vibrant colors, the warm welcome, the beautifully curated decor, not to mention the trademark bistec sandwich will transport you to the heart of Puerto Rico.
5. State Room
Pubs often get a bad rap for being crowded and small and would not be the ideal place to take your dog out for a walk and a drink—water for the dog, beer for you. But State Room in San Rafael is different. Unlike other pubs, they allow dogs inside. Your pooch can join you for Siesta Happy Hour on Tuesdays through Friday from 3 to 5 P.M., the weekend brunches, offering bottomless mimosas for $15, and your first mouth-watering bite of the Cubano Sammie during regular business hours. Don’t let this pub get away from your to-go list.
6. Coast Cafe
Located at the glittering Bolinas Bay, the quaint Coast Cafe welcomes all dogs on any given day. But some days are more special than others, like Thursdays and Sundays at Coast when they host live bands. Your pup can lounge, listen to music, and pick the freshly caught seafood off your plate. Only locally sourced and caught food makes it onto their menu, and you’ll know it when you taste it. Their coffee kiosk menu is the most underrated part of the establishment. Their mocha, cappuccino, and organic french roast drinks are just as fresh and praiseworthy as their seafood.
Grab your dog and maybe a couple of human friends to visit the cafe before the sun begins to set. The golden hour is the best hour for the perfect Instagram pic.
While some write off National Dog Day as just another pseudo holiday, it’s actually the perfect opportunity to harness memories, connect with friends and family, and meet fellow dog-lovers in your locale or even across the country.
Mark your calendar, set a reminder and celebrate National Dog Day, Sunday, August 26th! Grab your dog and snap a picture of you two spending the day at one of these dog-friendly establishments. Don’t forget to tag it with #nationaldogday.