Home » Lifestyle » How to Find Dog Friendly Restaurants Near Me

How to Find Dog Friendly Restaurants Near Me

By Molly Weinfurter


Updated on

Where are dog friendly restaurants near me? It’s something every dog parent has wondered at some point. Dogs are a big part of our lives, so they deserve to tag along on some adventures. If you’re on a dog friendly vacation, it’s extra important to find places to eat where your dog can tag along.

So, let’s look at how to find “pet friendly restaurants near me with outdoor seating.” Your dog will be overjoyed to finally be included.

What Makes a Restaurant Dog-Friendly?

How to Find Dog Friendly Restaurants Near Me

Unfortunately, dogs can’t go inside restaurants for health reasons (unless they’re a service dog), but there are other ways restaurants can accommodate dogs.

Outdoor Seating

Many restaurants with outdoor seating welcome dogs on their patios. However, if you’re not sure if dogs are welcome, you should contact the establishment before arriving. Sitting outside allows your dog to relax next to you while you eat, and many restaurants will happily bring out dog water bowls on hot days.

The only downside of dogs being limited to patios is that weather plays a big factor. If you live somewhere that has changing seasons, you won’t be able to go with your dog for all of winter. If it’s a rainy summer day, you’re also out of luck unless the outdoor area is covered.

Before you bring your dog to an outdoor patio, make sure your dog will behave in that type of environment. If your dog regularly barks or doesn’t like to sit still, they may disturb other guests. Dogs that aren’t well-behaved in social settings are expected to stay at home.

Luckily, working with a dog trainer can usually help a dog overcome those types of behavior problems. Even the best family dogs need basic training before visiting public places. However, if your dog has car anxiety, it might be harder to bring them along.

Dog Menu Items

Many restaurants welcome dogs by offering menu items specifically for dogs. These items are usually small servings of plain human food ingredients. While those menu items might not seem interesting to the typical human, canines go crazy for them. Restaurants with outdoor seating will usually serve these special menu items on the patio while places without outdoor seating will happily give them to dogs in the drive-thru.

Finding Dog Friendly Restaurants Near Me

Finding Dog Friendly Restaurants Near Me

The best way to find “restaurants that allow dogs near me” is to search your location on BringFido.com. BringFido is a great source for finding dog friendly destinations, including restaurants, activities, events, and dog friendly stores. Dog parents can rate the restaurants on the website based on how dog-friendly they were, along with other factors.

Not every dog-friendly business is listed on BringFido, so it can’t hurt to do your own research too. If you spot a restaurant with outdoor seating, feel free to ask if they allow dogs on their patio. Most restaurants will happily welcome dogs to be accommodating, but not every business does. If you find a dog friendly restaurant that isn’t on BringFido, you can add it. 

Best Dog Friendly Restaurant Chains

Best Dog Friendly Restaurant Chains

There are many restaurant chains that are known for being dog friendly, and below are some popular ones.

Dairy Queen

Dairy Queen has thousands of locations, and many of which have outdoor seating. Not only is their outdoor seating dog friendly, but many Dairy Queens also have dog menu items. They’re known for their “Pup Cups,” which are a scoop of soft serve with a dog biscuit on top. Ask your local Dairy Queen if they serve Pup Cups! 

Panera Bread

Panera might not have any dog-friendly menu items, but they’re all over the United States, and they almost always have outdoor seating. Dogs are welcome at Panera’s outdoor patios. However, some Paneras require you to go inside to pick up your food, so you’ll need to bring someone along to hold your dog while you go in to grab your order.

In-N-Out Burger

Not all In-N-Outs have outdoor seating, but the ones that do usually allow dogs. One of the reasons this popular burger place is so pet friendly is because they usually offer two secret menu items for dogs. Their Pup Patty is a burger patty without salt or seasoning, and their Flying Dutchman is two plain patties with two slices of cheese. These items aren’t usually on the menu, so you’ll need to ask for them. Many happy pups love going through the In-N-Out drive-thru.

Sonic Drive-In

Sonics are all outdoors, making them perfect for dog parents. You can either eat in your car or at an outdoor table. Every location has different rules for their patio, but most happily welcome dogs. Some might even have dog menu items upon request.

Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar

While the name Lazy Dog has nothing to do with the business’ pet policy, it’s very fitting. Most Lazy Dogs have outdoor patios that dogs are welcome at. Some even have special dog menus that include plain burger patties and chicken breasts. It’s the perfect place for your own lazy dog to lounge beside you while you eat.


Many Applebee’s locations have outdoor patios that welcome dogs. Some locations even host “Yappy Hours,” which may include dog menu items and donations to local dog organizations.

Shake Shack

If your local Shake Shack has a patio, dogs are likely welcome on it. Shake Shack is also known for offering a dog-friendly menu, which includes the Pooch-ini (vanilla custard with dog biscuits). The dog biscuits they use are the company’s own special brand, so you can purchase bags of dog biscuits too if ice cream isn’t your pup’s thing.

Johnny Rockets

Many Johnny Rockets locations have outdoor seating that dogs are welcome at. Some of them even have menu items for dogs. Contact your local Johnny Rockets to find out their pet policies.

Joe’s Crab Shack

Joe’s Crab Shack regularly has outdoor seating available, so of course, they welcome dogs. Their patios are often covered too, making them great for rainy days.

Olive Garden

Not all Olive Gardens have outdoor seating, but if the do, the patio is usually spacious. Before bringing your dog to an Olive Garden patio, contact your location first to make sure dogs are allowed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why Can't Dogs Go Inside Restaurants

If you love traveling with your dog, then here are some common questions about dog friendly dining.

Why Can’t Dogs Go Inside Restaurants?

Dogs aren’t allowed inside restaurants unless they’re service dogs because dogs in food prep areas is a health code violation. Plus, the fur and dander that comes off dogs could harm guests who have allergies.

How Much is a Puppuccino at Starbucks?

Puppuccinos at Starbucks are free! They’re just an espresso cup filled with whipped cream, but most dogs go crazy for them.

What Hotel Chains Allow Dogs?

Here are some popular hotel chains that allow dogs:

  • Marriott Hotels
  • Kimpton Hotels
  • Motel 6
  • Red Roof Inn
  • Best Western
  • La Quinta
  • Four Seasons

These are just a few of the many hotel companies that allow dogs. When in doubt, contact the property to find out their pet policy.

Bring Your Dog to Dinner!

It’s easy to feel bad when you leave your dog alone at home. They likely whine and look up at you with sad puppy dog eyes. Yet, if you search for “dog friendly restaurants near me,” you might be surprised with how many options you find. So, next time you go out to eat, you don’t have to leave your pup behind if you follow the information in this article.

If you’re looking for more travel adventures with dogs, consider flying with a dog or RV camping with dogs.

About Molly Weinfurter

Molly Weinfurter is a freelance writer and editor that specializes in family, travel, and animal-related topics.

Leave a Comment