Whilst the pandemic has brought us existential dread and a profound fear of the letters ‘WFH’, dogs have been having a great time. We’re 99% sure we saw a corgi and black lab discussing this in the park the other day, all wag-happy that the humans finally got on board with hanging out 24/7 and that sitting in the sunshine is all you need for a great time. Congrats to good doggos everywhere.
But as we all return to eating out, it’s important to find places where you can bring your four-legged best mate along for the ride. After all, they had to put up with you when you refused to shower for eight days during January so this is the least they deserve. Onwards for great food and good times that both you and your dog can enjoy together.
Pandemic silver linings: you finally had enough time to get a dog, Brat moved into Climpson Arch to serve us al fresco turbot loveliness, and… give us a second. Okay, that’s all we’ve got actually. The rest of it was a sanitizer-scented clusterfuck but back to your pup and Brat. Lovely, achingly cool, fairylight-packed Brat at Climpson’s Arch. At some point during the pandemic, realistically around the time we abandoned hairbrushes, Brat started their residency here. They’ve brought all of their 10/10 signature dishes from their Shoreditch restaurant to this cosy marquee, including the must-order whole turbot, crab with hay butter, and That Bread. Just be aware that it’s an open kitchen so keep an eye on your dog or risk them running off with a turbot. Honestly, it’s so bloody good we wouldn’t even blame them.
Wright Brothers Battersea
If you looked up ‘codependent’ in a dictionary there would just be a picture of your lockdown dog an inch from your face as you wake up. Good morning! Seeing as you’ve both spent a lot of time together - shoutout to them offering you their tennis ball whilst you attempted to have a bath alone - you might as well eat excellent seafood together too. Seafood specialist mini-chain Wright Brothers have a great spot overlooking the river in Battersea, and we know firsthand that having a round of oysters with some proper bubbles here is pretty idyllic. Riviera who?
It’s story time: Head chef Tom Kerridge has a paw print tattoo on his arm that is an exact replica of his dog Georgie’s print from concrete. He got the tattoo after she passed away. If that doesn’t warm the cold bitter little cockles of your heart then nothing will. Now, obviously, our dogs will live forever, but given the tatt’ it should come as no surprise that this sophisticated restaurant is dog-friendly (as long as they’re not the size of a pony or badly behaved of course). Due to the ongoing pandemic they’ve taken over the Corinthia Hotel’s courtyard as Kerridge’s Garden Grill. Prices are high but it’s entirely worth it for a blow-out meal involving whole grilled Cornish lobster, martinis, and sneaking your pup a little glazed chicken under the table.
Right, so you’ve done the hard part - been interrogated by that nice woman at the RSPCA, adopted a puppy, not slept for 36 nights, cleaned up approximately 82,000 happy little accidents, told them to get off the sofa, accepted that they will never get off the sofa, walked at 2MPH whilst doing lead pulling training, regretted calling them Paw Hollywood, spent your entire savings on a grape-eating incident at the vets - and now all you need to do is find somewhere to eat brunch! Easy. Look no further than Vardo, a striking all-day restaurant and coffee spot in Chelsea. Although dogs aren’t allowed on their roof terrace, they’re welcome on their spacious ground-floor terrace. Don’t skip the vanilla pancakes or the golden spiced milk.
Sure, our dogs always want us to invest in a chew toy company but we’re the ones that have to spend 70% of our life in Zoom meetings, so we get to make the executive decision to blow our money on Porthilly oysters. An exceptional pay day restaurant opposite Green Park, Hide is just the place if you want to do fine dining with your four-legged friend. Yes, the prices are high but it’s entirely worth it no matter whether you’re there at 8am for a truffle-topped croque madame or a four-course situation in the evening. Plus, nothing says classy dog-parent like a round of caviar followed by a stroll in the park.
We’re not even joking when we say that we have seriously considered getting a miniature schnauzer and calling it Levan as an ode to our love for this Peckham restaurant. Why a miniature schnauzer? Well, because Levan is a kind of small, slightly moody all-day wine bar and we think the schnauzer would fit in with all the cool ’tached-up clientele you’ll find sipping natural wines here. But one bite into the comte fries with saffron aioli and you’ll completely get why we think this place deserves the high accolade of being our pup’s name. They’re excellent. Although this place is serious about their food, the feel is still laidback and everything from the boudin noir to the caramelised celeriac ravioli should be on your table. It’s a textbook date night restaurant but it’ll also work for a catch-up over a bottle of orange wine, whilst your pooch delivers some serious puppy dog eyes when the jambon de bayonne arrives.
Now that you and your little cutie have got past that point where you thought they were the canine answer to Freddy Krueger for methodically killing every pair of trainers you own, you can enjoy the very cute patio at Minnow together. A pastel neighbourhood spot serving modern British dishes, it’s opposite Clapham Common so it’s ideal for a lunch and walkies one-two punch. Although thanks to the exposed brick and having enough floral vines to make Monty Don jealous, it’ll also work for a lowkey birthday or a sweet little date night situation.
Do you like secrets? We do, they make us feel special. But we’ll let you in on this one because it’s a good’en. Madame Pigg is a great little neighborhood restaurant in Dalston that secretly has one of the best outdoor dining spaces hidden in their back garden. We’re talking six-person private pews, endless foliage, and top negronis in the sunshine. Sorry prolific barkers, this garden is too chill for any of your noisy agg. But as long of your pup is well-behaved, prepare for a great meal involving things like crispy whole sea bass, truffle and pecorino cauliflower cheese, and Hereford rib-eye with bone marrow gravy. You should also know that this place is home to one of London’s best Sunday roasts.
When will the good investors of London give us dog-friendly clubs? No seriously, when? If being at home 24/7 has taught us anything it’s that our pets are much better company on the sesh than most of our friends. But until we’re finally blessed with XOYO 4 DOGGO, there’s The Landor. This huge - we mean huge - pub garden in Clapham is perfect for when you want to have a proper boozy laugh with your dog in tow. We’ve been here for countless birthdays over the years and even if it’s pissing it down, the pub garden always has the energy of a sunny bank holiday. Hungry? Get the buttermilk chicken burger.
You want wine, they want strangers to tell them they’re cute. To be honest, you also want strangers to tell you you’re cute but you’ll settle for a great bottle of Bordeaux. Both of you will find what you’re looking for at aptly-named wine bar, Diogenes The Dog. This cosy little spot in Elephant and Castle has a few pavement-style tables outside where you can enjoy their terrine of the week or some quality cheese and they’ll get plenty of compliments from passers-by, not to mention the ever-friendly servers.
If your pooch is one of those dogs that looks at a tennis ball and thinks ‘why would I bring that to you, what’s in it for me?’ then we have a strong suspicion that they’ll be into Colbert. A faux-Parisian brasserie with boulevard-style seating overlooking Sloane Square, this is a great spot for all the sophisticated dogs out there. Our game plan here is to always go for things on the menu that have an apostrophe, circumflex, or include the word ‘steak’. Follow it up with macarons, the rich chocolate and raspberry gateau, and some exquisite people watching.
A charming old school Italian spot, this place has been serving pasta to the people of Soho since long before your dog’s feud with the Amazon delivery driver started. Whether you opt for a classic margherita, the chicken milanese, or a seafood linguini, know that all the food here is reliably good. They’re one of those places that have ‘dog-friendly’ in their Instagram bio so you can rest assured that there won’t be any side-eye from the servers if your dog offers up the odd pigeon-prompted bark on the terrace. Also, assuming you remember what it’s called, you’ll have no problem remembering where it is. See, charming and practical.
La Poule au Pot
One of our all-time favourite dog-friendly restaurants is Maggie Jones’s, but unfortunately she is an inside-only situation. Luckily for humans and good boys everywhere, their equally charming sister restaurant in Belgravia has a terrace. The menu here is packed full of French classics like boeuf bourguignon, cassoulet, coq au vin, and of course, escargots. It’s an especially good shout if your dog’s a little wary of traffic as their outdoor seating overlooks Orange Square with minimal noise from local streets.