With its fantastic collection of pet-friendly hotels, grooming parlors and pooch-friendly outdoor attractions, San Francisco is a very dog-friendly city destination. If you’re visiting and feeling a little peckish (and you don’t want to leave your furry friend behind) here are some of the best dog-friendly eateries in San Francisco…
Barebottle Brewing Company
If you’re looking for a truly dog and family-friendly place to eat then the Barebottle Brewing Company which is situated at Cortland Avenue in the quiet Bernal Heights neighborhood should be at the top of your list. You and your pooch can sit and watch the fascinating process which goes into brewing beer and you can sample some of that same previously brewed beer. This, as you can imagine, is a very industrialized kind of venue filled with all the barrels and brewing tanks that you would expect to see. It also has a great community feel with huge communal tables where you and your dog –and your family – can all be together enjoying good food which comes from one of the many food trucks which park outside.
Bender’s Bar & Grill
If you prefer quirky and cool surroundings when you dine out then look no further than this Mission neighborhood eatery, social club and dive bar. The whole place screams vintage, with a relaxed style with photos, license plates and vintage signs covering every available wall space – something to look at and maybe reminisce over while you enjoy good beer and delicious food. Sitting at a table made from an old door and listening to punk or heavy metal music played on a real old jukebox you can choose from a menu heavy with sustainably raised meat, line-caught fish and local, organic vegetables. You may like to try the barbeque burgers and fried pickles or fried Oreos, maybe outside on the back patio. And don’t think that you dog is left out of the equation because they can get a specially prepared treat too. If you feel you need a little light exercise after your meal you could always try your hand at the pool table or pinball machine.
You and your furry best friend can enjoy a little French-style cuisine here at Chez Maman West on Gough Street in the Hayes Valley neighborhood. This is one of two Parisian style bistros and it embraces the Gallic style with red-striped awnings, red banquettes and small bistro tables. Inside is a granite and copper bar and on the wall behind is a blackboard where you can find the daily food and drink specials. If you are dining alongside your canine then you’ll be expected to sit at one of the lovely sidewalk patio tables while you enjoy traditional French delicacies such as baked camembert, crepes or escargot de Bourgogne. Wash your food down with one of the 40 red or white wines on offer or maybe a margarita, Bloody Mary or a glass of home-made Sangria.
Another quirky, fun place on Mission Street in the Bernal Heights neighborhood, El Rio Restaurant has been serving food and drinks since 1978 and unusually for a city bar the place can boast a huge outdoor patio for outdoor dining and people watching. Inside you can sit in one of the cozy nooks while you and a friend can listen to music. Live music or karaoke is usually on and you can dance or play a game of ping pong – your choice. Other games available include shuffleboard, dice games and pool if you’re feeling active. If not, you can just sit and chill with your dog. At El Rio the beers are cheap, the atmosphere’s fun and the house special is a Bacon Bloody Mary!
Hops & Hominy
If southern style rustic is your idea of heaven then Hops & Hominy situated in an alleyway just off San Francisco’s Union Square is the place to head for. The place is all reclaimed wine barrel tables and brick walls but don’t let the relaxed décor fool you. Here is where you can enjoy some of the best authentic coastal southern style food anywhere. Here’s a taste of what’s on offer here: crocodile steak, cornbread, rabbit tortellini, black-eyed pea fritters, po’boys of all kinds and fried oysters, shrimp and grits in a tomato-brandy sauce. There’s a good range of craft beers or cocktails on the menu – try the Smoked Bacon Manhattan for a unique drinking experience. Your dog is welcome but you will have to accompany them outside on the patio.
Head to the Castro District in Eureka Valley where you will find one of the best breakfast and brunch eateries in San Francisco. Food here is very much a fusion of California and Asian influences and some of the dishes served here are unique to Kitchen Story. Inside are long communal tables and banquettes where you can order dishes like organic grilled asparagus with pepper, cayenne and brown sugar-sprinkled bacon, or French toast piled high with fruits and stuffed with mascarpone cheese. Kitchen Story is a gourmet’s delight and your dog can join you as well at one of the outdoor sidewalk tables where they will find a water bowl while you wash down your breakfast with a mimosa or two.
North Beach Restaurant
If you prefer something a little more upmarket, the elegant North Beach Restaurant, boasting vaulted ceilings, Carrara marble, Venetian granite and a white-table-clothed dining area should impress. The food here is served by formally dressed waiting staff and is authentic Tuscan fare which means it is simple, honest food which is not covered in heavy sauces but rather the cooking methods using butter and olive oil allows the true flavors of the food to come through. Wines at the North Beach Restaurant are from the owner’s vineyard. As with most eating venues in the area, dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio.
Situated in the Cow Hollow neighborhood, this is the place to go for breakfast or lunch where breads, pizzas, pastries, jams, ice-creams, and desserts are freshly made every day using locally-sourced and seasonal ingredients. The pasta here is hand-made too. Dogs are welcome at any of the sidewalk tables where you and he can sit on a warm day enjoying a coffee and a cool bowl of water.