Hitting the road for a brief hike or a mini vacation can be just the thing you need after a weary week of listening to your co-workers drone on about their exes. Seeing your dog’s smiling face on that Friday afternoon is quite possibly the best feeling in the world for a dog owner. You are each other's favorite part of the weekend, so why not brunch together, too?
There are only a few states that don’t allow dogs to be left in the car alone, without incurring a penalty or punishment. Even so, when you’re taking a short weekend trip with your pup, the last thing you want is to be stuck going through the drive-thru and eating gas station honey-buns (no offense to Honeybuns). Let's face it, brunch and mimosas are just better when your dog is by your side. Luckily, there are a ton of not only dog-friendly, but dog-enthusiastic brunch spots in several city destinations. Here are a few:
- Barking Dog Luncheonette (New York, NY)
New York recently lifted the ban on patrons having pups on the patios of restaurants (about time). The Barking Dog Luncheonette is a quaint little Sunday brunch spot that offers staple American fare and a friendly (and large) patio with shade on those warm mornings. There’s nothing quite as stimulating for your dog as an hour of people watching on NY’s streets.
- The Grove Café and Market (Albuquerque New Mexico)
You might recognize this café from the popular show “Breaking Bad”. And the restaurant is just as good as the show. It’s been voted the best brunch spot for non-dog owners and dog-owners alike. With a large patio and a wait staff that’s always up for bringing out a doggy bowl of water, you can be sure your dog will have a 'Sunday Funday'.
- Big Bad Breakfast (Birmingham, AL)
Birmingham, AL is perhaps one of the best places, both historically and culturally, to visit. While it’s lagged in the past in being pup-friendly, that’s all changing, fast. Big Bad Breakfast might be in the running for the best brunch spot in the U.S., in this humble writer’s opinion (crawfish omelets and beer please)! Plus, the outdoor patio is shaded by trees and away from a bunch of rabble in downtown.
Sundays are BUSY, so get there early for a good patio seat.
- The Barking Dog Alehouse (Seattle, WA)
Seattle may be rainy, but it’s definitely not dreary. This eclectic city is more than just coffeehouses and hipster libraries hidden under staircases. It’s a dog-friendly place with some of the best menus around. The Barking Dog Alehouse offers traditional fare and a slew of smiling faces to greet your dog on the patio.
- Mayfel’s (Asheville, NC)
Mayfel’s is for the art-collecting dog owner who loves spicy food. They offer Louisiana-style fare and promote themselves, heavily, as “dog friendly” (it’s definitely something they want you to know) and have a wonderful reputation in the city. Plus, after brunch, you can take your dog exploring on some of the most beautiful hiking trails in the south.
- Portland Lobster Company (Portland, ME)
Who doesn’t love Lobstuh!? Except for those allergic to shellfish—tough break. If you’re in and around Portland, take in a waterfront view at a picnic table at this joint. The food is nationally recognized and the dog-friendly atmosphere is the cherry on top. There’s plenty of shade and your dog can watch all the waterfront action from above. Tip: It’s open depending on the season, so check before you trek.
- Heist Brewery (Charlotte, NC)
Heist offers a unique brunch menu (along with southern staples like biscuits and gravy) and a lively atmosphere. Keep in mind, it can be a little loud if the Sunday patrons get too deep into mimosas. However, Heist offers a great menu and outdoor seating with large umbrellas for the right amount of cooling shade in the summer. It’s also right down the road from The Dog Bar (yes, a bar for dogs—but you can go too).
- O’Brien’s Riverwalk (Chicago, IL)
Sometimes it’s hard to couple a great view with a dog-friendly patio. Not here. At O’Brien’s Riverwalk you can have your dog on a huge, HUGE patio and take in the river and the architecture. If that wasn’t enough for you, they have one of the best menus in the city!
- Moonshine Patio and Grill (Austin, TX)
Austin is primarily known for music (and maybe cowboy boots), but they are quickly gaining a reputation for their dog friendly establishments. If you’re into seasonal freshness and patio cocktails, then this is your destination.
- Em’s Restaurant (Salt Lake City, UT)
Salt Lake City offers more than just amazing views, hikes and snow; SLC has a small collection of quality restaurants, one of the best being Em’s Restaurant, which happens to be extremely dog-friendly and located near some of the coolest shops in the city. Oh, and they have house-made cinnamon rolls which are just lip-smackingly delicious.
After some patio time with your pup and a good morning cocktail, you’ll feel better about walking back into work on Monday. But it's still not the weekend - all the more reason to plan another brunch trip!