While most places with outdoor dining areas permit well-behaved, leashed dogs on their restaurant’s patio, it is always best to double-check each restaurant’s pet policy before bringing your pooch. No dog owner wants to get a restaurant in trouble with the health department, right? So here’s your reminder not to bring your dog inside at any restaurant unless it is a certified service dog.
The shaded patio provides sweet relief to furry friends on hot summer days. Humans can relax with an açaí bowl or breakfast tacos, or the house made lentil burger. Dogs need to eat their veggies, too. 464 Ignacio Blvd, Novato; 415.475.1128
Owner Matt Tachis says, yes, his establishment is dog-friend
ly both inside and outside. “We only ask that dogs are kept on leashes,” Tachis confirms. Keep your hands tight on the leash when the Sojuilla Korean-Mexican food truck pops by – pup might like a taste of the bulgogi street tacos. (Humans enjoy them with a Grumpas Scottish ale.) 1016 Railroad Ave, Novato; 415.301.4983
“We are absolutely dog-friendly,” general manager Patrick Odenthal enthused. Local canines know that the team keeps treats by the newspaper stand at the front entrance while the humans know about their ube oat lattes and brioche bacon and egg sandwiches. Keep an eye out for the restaurant’s Dog Day event where the customer with a dog that looks the most like its owner wins a prize.
127 San Marin Dr, 415.493.6902
A stroll with your pet down Fourth Street in downtown San Rafael may lead you to this brewery where a bowl of fresh water and unlimited treats beckon to four-legged friends. The 21 and over crowd can relax with a house brewed beverage (all beer on the menu is brewed onsite) and the house’s impossible to stop eating firecracker green beans and bang bang calamari.
1132 4th St, 415.295.7929
Though the San Rafael location does not permit dogs inside the restaurant (you can sit at one of window tables to keep an eye on your pooch outside) and no longer offers patio seating, the newer Petaluma location’s large patio is dog-friendly and serves up the same coconut milk French toast, Cubano sandwiches and mofongo as the original.
901 Lincoln Ave, San Rafael; 415.451.4765 / 151 Petaluma Blvd South, 707.347.5889
The only outside setup of a beer garden situated between Kohl’s and Century Theaters at Northgate Mall is 100% dog friendly. Yes, there are water bowls, treats, and lots of attention from our staff. “We often have dog-centric events and regularly hold dog adoption events, and dog rescue fundraisers,” says owner Waz Hewerdine. Look for a “paint your dog day” in June and a menu of snacks (local cheese plate, hot soft pretzel) and larger dishes (beer garden brat, Caprese sandwich roll). Plus beer, of course.
5800 Northgate Dr, 877.747.0383
The Lodge’s outdoor, shaded picnic tables set up seems perfectly designed for dogs. Just ask Mortythecorgi and other pups who enjoy hanging out with their owners, enjoying a dog treat and some well-deserved downtime.
1573 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, 415.991.5625
Your dog may very well stare at your plate of beef tartare or Amelie burger with Emmental cheese and griddled onions, quite sure that some of your meal is headed his way. It is, isn’t it?
71 Broadway, 628.253.5161
Brian Back’s restaurant is so popular with pet owners, it can sometimes feel more dog park than beer garden. But the privilege of bringing a pooch along for pet owners to dine on their famous brisket and ribs remains intact. Dogs, however, may have to compete with mountain bikes for space when live music or events are going on.
2001 Sir Francis Drake Blvd, 415.300.3099
Grab a seat on the patio to revel in the music of a live band while your pup picks the freshly caught seafood off your plate. Or get a cappuccino and a grilled stuffed portobello. Mushroom. Unless your dog is a veghead, you’ll have your meal all to yourself.
46 Wharf Rd., 415.868.2298
The outdoor seating area is open to four-legged, leashed patrons who can sample the house dog treats and water from the provided bowls. Order the PLT — pork belly, lettuce and tomato — and apple fritters for dessert for a taste of the good life for you and your four-legged friend.
60 Fourth St, 415.663.0303
Though all locations of Marin’s homegrown oyster restaurants are dog-friendly, the Marshall location on Tomales Bay may be your furry friend’s favorite because of its proximity to water. It’s the OG outdoor dining spot with that day’s oyster selections written on a chalkboard at The Boat Oyster Bar.
20215 Shoreline Hwy, 415.663.9218
Numerous readers wrote in to express their delight in the dog-friendliness on the expanded patios at downtown San Anselmo’s local Italian restaurant whose chair cushions beckon well-behaved dogs. No word on whether dogs prefer the breakfast pizza with fontina, smoked ham and sunny side up eggs at brunch or the carpaccio di zucchini at dinner.
510 San Anselmo Ave, 415.454.2942
Though the patio is not very large at downtown San Anselmo’s Thai restaurant, it is welcoming to friendly, leashed dogs who, like their owners, have a taste for steamed pork dumplings and crab curry.
726 San Anselmo Ave, 415.457.9470
All Equator Coffees locations–Mill Valley and Sausalito, too–welcome dogs. Each café offers treats and water bowls and is fitted with special hooks to secure your dog while you are inside ordering a quinoa grain bowl and double shot latte or using the washroom.
240 Magnolia Ave.
Dogs are welcome on the heated and covered patio at the renamed Roma Antica. Especially well-behaved pooches may even be treated to a meatball, on the house. Whether Fido likes the accompanying tomato sauce could not be confirmed at press time.
286 Magnolia Ave, 415.891.3979
The ever-changing tap list and kid-friendly vibe is part of the appeal of a taproom that also welcomes dogs to its patio. We’re pretty sure you’re here for the pizza. Fido says: “Pepperoni, please, with a side of anchovies.”
107 Corte Madera Town Center, 415.891.8273
Staff here is known to greet human guests by name and that privilege is often extended to regular dog guests, too. Dogs may also be treated to cuddles or puppy love (with permission of the owner, of course). It’s up to you whether or not to share a plate of chile-braised short rib tacos — does Fido like spicy foods?
301 Corte Madera Town Center, 415.500.5145
It’s easy to see why dogs love coming here — the patio faces Corte Madera Town Park and Corte Madera Dog Park, making an afternoon of fetch after a meal of beet salad and a vegetarian calzone a no-brainer.
502 Tamalpais Dr, 415.927.1060
Though adults come to the Manzanita restaurant for the Kill Bill Margarita and Barrel Old Fashioned, dogs are partial to the large, shaded patio where there is plenty of room to spread out. No word whether they enjoy the pan-seared petrale sole with miso butter but the humans seem to like the dish.
152 Shoreline Hwy, 415.843.4545.
With 3,000 sq. ft. of outdoor space, the Tam Junction beer garden is a local hot spot for owners to enjoy with their pups. Water bowls and treats are provided and next-door neighbor Alpha Dog hosts dog obedience and training classes on Sunday mornings at their location. Adjacent to the restaurant is a walking path along Coyote Creek, a great spot for a jaunt before or after a brew and a margherita pizza.
226 Shoreline Hwy, 415.888.3544
The back garden area of the indoor-outdoor restaurant in Tam Junction tends to be dog-friendly, as long as all pets are on a leash and within close range of their owners. The avocado tacos and daily changing menu of goodies pulled from nearby waters are a huge draw for humans, too.
254 Shoreline Hwy
All four locations of the Marin-based bakery and restaurant are dog-friendly in their outdoor spaces. Dogs, however, may be partial to the white picnic tables at the Tiburon location. We’re not sure why.
1550 Tiburon Blvd, 415.797.6123
With views of passing cars and plentiful foot traffic, the outdoor, shaded tables at this downtown café with bumps of caviar, truffled popcorn and grilled cheese bites to go with the champagne is a popular spot for doggie sight-seeing.
46A Main St, 415.889.5168
“We do love well-behaved pooches,” says managing partner Amy Svendberg. “All dogs are welcome outside, but only service dogs are allowed in the interior.” Just be sure not to give a dog any of the restaurant’s famous budino al cioccolato — chocolate is toxic for dogs.
777 Bridgeway, 415.332.7771
Just like their sensible human owners, sensible dogs love the fresh seafood and views of the San Francisco Bay just over the railing of the restaurant’s deck. Grab a seat at one of the many picnic tables and enjoy the fresh ocean air and a platter of oak-grilled fish of the day, sourced locally of course.
350 Harbor Dr, 415.331.3474
Christina Mueller is a long-time Bay Area food writer. She hails from the East Coast and has spent way too much time in South America and Europe. She discovered her talent as a wordsmith in college and her love of all things epicurean in grad school. She has written for Condé Nast Contract Publishing, Sunset, and the Marin Independent Journal, among others. She volunteers with California State Parks and at her childrens’ schools, and supports the Marin Audubon Society, PEN America, and Planned Parenthood. When she is not drinking wine by a fire, she is known to spend time with her extended family.