It’s shocking to think that anyone wouldn’t want your dog around. She’s perfect, hypo-allergenic, and mostly well-behaved. But the hard truth is that only some restaurants and bars in NYC are dog-friendly. So the next time you want to drink or eat somewhere with your real best friend, use this list. It has 24 bars and restaurants with patios where four legs are just as good as two.
Mister Dips isn’t really a restaurant. It’s an airstream that’s parked outside the William Vale hotel in Williamsburg. Which means you can really take any sort of animal to Mister Dips: cats on leashes, a captured squirrel, toddlers, etc. The one downside is that it’s seasonal. So enjoy the burgers, chicken tenders, and beautifully dipped soft serve until it gets too cold.
The sidewalk at Bar Primi is the ripest people-watching territory in the East Village mostly because of the fluffy dogs spread out under the outdoor tables and little pups on their owner’s laps. Our favorite time to come to this Italian spot is during brunch, when you can get a breakfast pasta with an egg (and your dog can watch you eat it and plot her eventual revenge involving the shag carpet in your apartment that you love so much).
The buttery French food at Cafe Du Soleil is exactly the kind of thing you’ll want to eat outside on a sidewalk with sunglasses on and a glass of wine in hand, while you and your beagle named Bruce judge everyone who walks by. This UWS bistro is classic and unfussy, and it’s perfect for a casual weeknight date or hang with your family. Another thing of note: they do a mussel night on Mondays where you can get a beer or a glass of wine with your moule frites for $21 (our favorite comes with a dijonnaises sauce).
We once saw a pony-sized Doberman sitting in the front yard at Union Pizza Works in Bushwick. It raised two points. 1) How big is this person’s apartment? 2) Can we feed it pizza? The backyard here is so large, that it could fit the Doberman and all of his Doberman friends and there would still be room for you and a date. We really like the crust on the 12-inch Neapolitan pies here, specifically the one that’s built like a sandwich with melted mozzarella, arugula, and prosciutto di parma between two pies. In addition to your dog, bring a friend or a birthday party. And pray that you see the Doberman.
Mermaid Inn is a seafood spot with a few locations in Manhattan. They do a great oyster Happy Hour from 5-7pm every day, which is why you might walk by the UWS location at 4:45pm and see all of your peers and relatives lining up outside. Follow their example, and get in line. There are $1.25 oysters as well as discounted cocktails and glasses of wine during Happy Hour - as well as the regular dinner menu with things like octopus, crab cakes, and fish tacos. Bring your dog, and sit on the patio out front.
After you’re done convincing yourself that all of those adoring looks from strangers in Domino Park are focused on you rather than your dog, head to The Hive. This casual American spot on Kent Ave has a bunch of sidewalk seating in a cordoned-off area, where you can get brunch or dinner with views of Midtown across the river. Order the burger with gouda and tomato chutney and the espresso-infused fried chicken sandwich, and split them with a friend. Or your dog.
You’ve always said your dog is cuter than the ones in the dog show on ESPN, and while you may never spend thousands of dollars on doggy blowouts and teeth whitening to prove it, you can get a sense of what it’s like at Klein’s. That’s because this all-day spot in the Hoxton Hotel in Williamsburg is slightly below ground, and the outdoor tables are center stage for rows of stadium seating filled with people drinking coffee or mimosas. After you finish eggs benedict with tomato hollandaise or the excellent burger topped with melted blue cheese, take your dog into the stands to meet the fans.
Technically, THEP Thai is our second favorite Thai spot on the Upper East Side (Up Thai is our first) - but this place has something most others don’t. It’s called outdoor seating. Bring your animal, and take advantage. This place is perfect for a casual weeknight dinner when your dog is starting to resent you for always being absent, and you want some quality khao soi, pad see ew, or crab fried rice.
Harlem Tavern is like most neighborhood bars, except for a few key differences. First off, it has a massive food menu with everything from ceviche and gumbo to a bunch of different burgers and salads. And for such an ambitious menu, the food is actually pretty good. There’s also a huge patio out front that’s about the size of a tennis court - and that’s the main thing that sets this place apart. Bring your dog, grab a table outside, and snack on some french fries while you have a frozen drink.
In terms of people-watching opportunities, Lafayette is in the top tier of New York restaurants. It’s a massive French restaurant in Noho with plenty of sidewalk seating where you sit beneath a big blue umbrella and keep an eye on everyone walking down Lafayette Street. And your dog will enjoy this just as much as you do, especially if any of those people have tennis balls or shiny objects. As for the food, it’s French, somewhat expensive (most entrees are over $30), and mostly pretty good. Order some escargot and beef tartare, and use your dog to make friends with someone who has a washing machine or access to a swimming pool.
If you want to drink some really good beers while also expanding your dog’s friend circle beyond Seamless delivery guys, go to DBA. Their long draft beer list includes a bunch of unusual options, and the crowded backyard usually has as many dogs as it has people.
As much as you might think you like eating outside at the Shake Shack in Madison Square Park, the dogs of New York City like it more. Mostly because there are trees, and other dog butts to smell, and something humans eat called cheeseburgers. We’re fairly certain they talk about this place like it’s heaven.
Pig Beach is a huge BBQ spot next to the canal in Gowanus, and the majority of the space here is an outdoor courtyard. Stand by the bar or sit at a picnic table, and see how long you can resist before you start slipping Milo pieces of pulled pork and brisket.
Lavender Lake is about a block away from Pig Beach, and it has a great, dog-friendly backyard full of picnic tables. It also serves better-than-average bar food like burgers, calamari, and fried chicken sandwiches, and there’s always a good crowd here.
Habana Outpost is at its best in the summer, when people come to eat things like Cuban sandwiches under colorful umbrellas. There’s a pretty big outdoor space with picnic tables, and it does get crowded on the weekends - so tell your dog to be cool, or, if that’s not realistic, consider a different place on this list.
Lucky Dog is the premier drinking-with-your-dog destination in Williamsburg. Maybe that’s because of the name, or maybe it’s because this semi-divey bar is on a busy stretch of Bedford Avenue and has a nice backyard. Either way, whether you want to drink a beer with your dog or just pet someone else’s Golden Retriever while they aren’t looking, come here.
You struck up a conversation with some other people in the lobby at doggy daycare, and decided you should all get together. Now you need a place that’s big enough so Koda doesn’t have to sit on your lap while you try to find out if the owner of that dachshund is single. This Greenpoint bar has a huge backyard full of tables, couches, and space to walk around. Also, it’s pretty far north, so it rarely gets too crowded.
You want to have some drinks on the water, but your options are limited - places serving $19 glasses of sparkling rosé to people in white linen pants don’t tend to be dog-friendly. Head to Anable Basin, an outdoor bar in LIC with great views of Manhattan. There are a bunch of picnic tables right on the East River where you can have some drinks and bar food while your canine roommate barks like crazy at the ferry docking nearby.
Typically we’d recommend Brooklyn Cider House for a unique group dinner where you can get an affordable prix fixe meal and “catch cider” from a barrel in your glass. But this Basque cider brewery/restaurant also has an outdoor patio where your dog is welcome. They serve their whole bar menu outside, with food like cheese boards, a banh mi burger, and a steak sandwich.
On weekends, you can stop by this ’80s-themed Williamsburg spot (in the space where Battery Harris used to be) and dance. Or, if you’re with a dog, you can just hang out on the patio. It’s as big as the indoor area, and it’s full of tables that are perfect for when your dog is doing the thing where he likes to hang out under tables and sniff people’s feet. If you get hungry, there’s also some good bar food like a fried chicken sandwich and tacos.
If you’re looking for space, Nowadays has it. This is an indoor/outdoor bar in Ridgewood with an enormous backyard full of trees, picnic tables, and games like ping pong. Your dog technically needs to be on a leash, but will appreciate being outside where it’s at least possible to stare at birds and think about eating them. There’s a bar and a food truck outside, and there’s also a dance party on Sundays called Mister Sunday (dogs are allowed there, too).
The ivy-covered courtyard at LIC Bar is a great place to hang out with your dog. Get a shot and beer special at the bar, and then head out back, where there’s live music every weekend in the summer.
The outside of Forrest Point in Bushwick kind of looks like a park, so don’t be surprised if your dog immediately starts looking for squirrels to chase. On the weekends this is a good place for an affordable brunch, and it becomes more of a party as the day goes on. It also works well for a casual dinner outside during the week.