Two key signs of Boston’s welcoming attitude toward dogs: They’re allowed on the T, the city’s public transit system, and there’s an off-leash dog park in Boston Common. One restaurant even devotes a portion of its patio to dogs and their owners.
Around the corner from Peter’s Park dog run, veteran Boston restaurateur Michela Larson’s latest centers on rustic, Ligurian-inspired dishes like corzetti (coin-shaped pasta) with lamb shoulder ragù and trofie (squiggly hand-rolled pasta) with pesto. A section of its patio is set aside for diners with dogs, lined with water bowls from nearby Polka Dog Bakery.
Star chef Ken Oringer’s superaffordable Mexican taqueria just outside Fenway Park offers tacos filled with pollo pibil (sour-orange-rubbed chicken). On nights the Red Sox aren’t playing, dogs are welcome on the two patios and given water bowls.
Both locations of chef-owner Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery and Café serve freshly-baked breads, pastries, and her renowned sticky buns, as well as daily specials like cucumber-mint soup. Water bowls are set out for dogs at the outdoor bench seating area.
Chicago’s excellent park system includes the 18-mile Lakefront Trail and three dog beaches. Other dog-friendly spots are a classic restaurant run by an F&W Best New Chef (that offers house-made dog biscuits) and a hotel that will arrange for pet food deliveries.
Jean Joho, an F&W Best New Chef 1989, oversees this French brasserie in the River North neighborhood serving traditional dishes like boudin blanc. At its outdoor Terrace Café, house-made dog biscuits are complimentary, but any donations are funneled to the Anti-Cruelty Society.
Specialty sausages like the Salma Hayek are named after celebrities at this hot dog institution, but purists stick to the Chicago-style dog with trimmings like celery salt, along with a side of duck-fat fries. Real dogs are allowed on the outdoor patio.
A food blogger named her dog after this local favorite in Logan Square, a leader in the city’s Slow Food movement. Its French toast, with fillings like brandied cherries and lemon crème, is just one reason why its Sunday brunch is arguably the best in town. Dogs are often spotted at the sidewalk patio’s outermost tables.
Miami prides itself on its dog-friendliness: Most shops on buzzy Lincoln Road Mall put out water bowls, and many local restaurants allow dogs—at one, pastry chefs bake fresh dog treats.GO TO RECIPE
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Dog-Friendly Miami: Pizza Volante
Chef Jonathan Eismann made his name with the Pan-Asian Pacific Time over 15 years ago. At Pizza Volante, he’s turned his attention to perfecting thin-crust pizzas in a wood-fired brick oven. Dogs at the outdoor tables get bowls of water.
Housed in a 1920s-era post office, chef Michelle Bernstein’s new spot focuses on classic and creative Spanish tapas like pan con tomate (toasted bread rubbed with tomato) and lemon-coriander baby artichokes. Oversize umbrellas shade each table on the patio, a favorite spot for diners with dogs.
Miami’s art and design intelligentsia have made chef Michael Schwartz’s bistro their go-to spot for simple dishes like house-made fettucine and whole wood-roasted snapper. Their dogs, meanwhile, feast on pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith’s fresh-baked dog treats.
This beautiful restaurant attached to the Grand Colonial Hotel in La Jolla is acclaimed for its California cuisine inspired by seasonal produce from sources like the famed Chino Farms. The dining staff is especially accommodating to dogs, setting out water bowls and treats, and occasionally hosting dog parties on the patio. (A black lab mix named Gypsy recently celebrated her 10th birthday here with 12 other dogs.)
The white marble counters and traditional French dishes like tarte flambé with caramelized onion and crème fraîche make this cafe and wine bar feel more fifth arrondissement than downtown San Diego. On the wrap-around patio, dogs are given bowls of Trader Joe’s treats. Seventy-five percent of the staff volunteers at animal-rights agencies.
This casual new restaurant from the owners of Whisknladle serves house-cured meats and antipasti, plus dishes for takeout like heirloom tomato lasagna with fresh ricotta. Dogs are welcome at the outdoor tables and given snacks like house-cured Niman Ranch bacon.
The pedestrian walkway on the Golden Gate Bridge and the historic streetcars are a few of the Bay Area’s iconic attractions that allow dogs. So, too, do a stellar pizza joint run by an F&W Best New Chef and a boutique hotel that supports a local dog rescue program.
F&W Best New Chef 2001Craig Stoll sources local ingredients like broccoli raab for his superbly charred thin-crust pizza. The sidewalk tables at both the Mission District and Pacific Heights locations allow dogs.
Dog-Friendly San Francisco: Taylor’s Automatic Refresher
Brothers Joel and Duncan Gott’s original diner on Highway 29 in Napa Valley gained fame for its outrageously good burgers made with Niman Ranch beef, hand-scooped milkshakes and cool retro-styling. Their Ferry Building outpost offers all of the above, plus a dog-friendly patio facing west for superb sunset views off the Bay.
Dogs are a common sight at the 20-seat sidewalk dining area—in part because Tartine Bakery is so close to Dolores Park, where dogs can go off-leash. Husband-and-wife team Chad Robertson and Elisabeth Prueitt prepare buttery scones and luxe pressed sandwiches like the melty Gruyère with ham.