Dogs frequently get credited as man’s (or woman’s) best buddy, but try to bring Fido into many of your favorite establishments and you’ll be met with a bristling bartender or unfriendly server. But with the Westminster Dog Show in town, plenty of dog fanatics unable to part from their pride pooches will be in search of local havens that welcome their four-legged friends. In honor of the canine equivalent of the Olympics, we’ve rounded up the most dog-friendly places in NYC.
The Barking Dog
As the name might imply, this trio of restaurants caters to pampered pooches and the humans who tote them around. The canine-themed eateries in Midtown, Yorkville and the Upper East Side all feature doggie watering stations on their outdoor patios, and hearty brunch menus tend to draw lines of families on the weekends.
Fetch Bar & Grill
Another dog-themed and –friendly venture, Fetch’s Third Avenue outpost welcomes puppy walkers in need of a break. In addition to offering a menu of comfort food favorites such as Philly cheesesteaks (with the bread brought in daily from Philadelphia), individually baked mac ‘n’ cheese, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, the Upper East Side restaurant frequently posts photos of dogs in need of adoption on its walls and donates a portion of its proceeds to local shelters. Dogs are welcome on the outdoor patio, and those without a furry friend can pickup adoption forms from behind the counter.
While the health department may be trying to crack down on dogs inside of bars, sneaky owners and their four-legged friends have been known to tuck into this Williamsburg beer bar—or at least hang out on its back patio. Water dishes and treats abound (and dog-specific kiddie pools have been known to make an appearance during the warmer months). For the humans, the bar boasts an impressive list of drafts from the likes of Dogfish Head and Ommegang, plus a generous happy and live music.
Another placing giving an under-the-radar finger to “the man,” Von continues to let pups have the run of the place when the health inspector’s not in the neighborhood. Well-behaved pooches are welcome at the bar, where you can score $3 pints during happy hour. Just come early, as the divey atmosphere turns more dance club in the later hours—unless your dog is into that kind of thing.
Brooklyn Ale House
An unusual mix of biker bar and dog-friendly watering hole, Brooklyn Ale House is an ideal spot for the pooch who runs with a ruff crowd. Dogs are known to trot under foot as regulars hit the pool table or sip beers and hot apple cider on wooden benches. Come on the weekends for treats (for the dog) and free bagels (for you…or the dog, if you’re feeling generous).
It may not be one of New York City’s best-kept secrets, but newbies to the city or its dog scene may appreciate learning that a few of the city’s top parks let dogs roam for free during designated hours. Head to Central Park , Randall's Island Park or Prospect Park and let your pup frolic freely in designated areas before 9 a.m. or after 9 p.m. Bonus: Central Park features 15 dog-specific water fountains, and Prospect Park boasts the city’s only man-made dog beach.