Now that the days are getting shorter and the nights just that little bit cooler, most of us are more inclined to spend our evenings indoors at our favourite restaurants and cafes (if we’re not snuggled up at home on the couch).
And where ever we are, our four-legged friends are usually never far behind. But the issue that often frustrates the 4.2 million dog owners in Australia is being able to find appropriate venues that will cater to them and their canine companion.
To help ease this burden, and to vastly improve your next brunch date, Mad Paws have compiled a list of their favourite dog-friendly venues, activities and events around the country:
Dog House, Collingwood
Forget dog-friendly, the Dog House is Melbourne’s human-friendly dog cafe! Pooches can dine on doggocinos, pupcorn, raw grass-fed beef, kangaroo, ostrich or emu, whilst humans can munch on sandwiches and sip on top notch coffee.
This doggy heaven offers dog food delivery of premium meats, grooming and an a la carte menu for your pampered pooch.
Gourmet Paw Prints, departs Melbourne
These food and wine tours are the perfect day out for you and your dog. Hop on board the dog-friendly coach and tour Victoria’s food and wine hotspots, stopping to sample the region’s best. Pooches can enjoy a massage and movie over lunch with the professional dog carers.
The next event is on 2nd June and will take you round the Melba Trail, Yarra Valley, and costs $220 for a human and dog.
The Tipsy Cow, Port Melbourne
Melbourne’s newest whisky bar, The Tipsy Cow is complete with a dog-friendly courtyard and resident dog, Nisha. Come here to escape the outside world, relax with your furry friend, and sample the specialty whisky and spirits on offer.
Yatala Drive-in, Stapleton
The drive-in is a fun, retro activity for all the family, including the dog. On 26th and 27th May, families can attend the family fun day, which includes activities, face-painting, crafts and a movie for only $30 a carload.
Brown Dog Cafe, Woolloongabba
The Brown Dog Cafe is a small, arty place with fun, friendly staff. It serves breakfast and lunch from 6am – 3pm and is dog friendly (which is lucky – given its name).
It’s also just a 17 minute walk from the East Brisbane Dog Park on Baines Street, so you can really treat your furry friend.
The Scratch Bar, Milton
The Scratch Bar is a dive bar with a focus on craft ales, great music… and dogs. While it doesn’t serve food, you’re welcome to bring or your own, or order from the nearby pizza joint, Arrivederci Pizza – which even offers a vegan menu (perfect for animal lovers).
Keep an eye out for special tasting and music nights, like its recent psychedelic music evening.
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New South Wales
The Vic on the Park, Marrickville
The Vic on the Park is an iconic home away from home for Sydneysiders and their doggos. It boasts a large back garden with a homely, family friendly vibe. Catch games on the big screen or live bands and DJs, all whilst enjoying some mouth-watering food surrounded by Sydney’s finest families and fur babies.
The Courthouse, Newtown
The ‘Courty’ is a local favourite amongst people and pooches alike. The interior is full of fairy lights and a neon Australian Coat of Arms, whilst the spacious covered and heated courtyard has rainbow stairs, an outside tinny bar and is the hot-spot for canine companions.
The Grand National Hotel, Paddington
The stylishly refurbished Grand National is a boutique pub, serving staples like schnittys, salads and burgers. ‘The Nash’, as it’s lovingly called, welcomes dogs in the front bar – just keep them out of the fancy bistro. Hop along between 5-7pm on a Friday to lap up $5.50 drinks during happy hour.
Bacchus, Henley Beach, Charles Sturt
Bacchus bar and restaurant offers top quality food and drink by the beach with a dedicated pooch park. Help yourself to some amazing platters, burgers, pizza and even a mulled wine as you look out across the stunning views with your four-legged friend.
Houndwave Festival, Adelaide
If you’ve just missed Adelaide’s very own dog-friendly festival, Houndwave (which takes place in early April) be sure to put this in the diary for next autumn. It offers live music throughout the day, pet stalls, dog yoga, agility classes, a kids zone and competitions for the best dressed and best trick.
City East Markets, Adelaide
This treasure chest of vintage gems is open every Saturday and Sunday 10am – 3pm on Flinders Street, Adelaide.
Dogs, particularly with a quirky fashion sense, are most welcome to roam the stalls and offer their humans fashion advice whilst getting lots of attention from shoppers. There’s also the occasional stall dedicated to doggy treats and fashion.
Brighton Jetty Bakery, Brighton
Brighton Jetty Bakery loves dogs so much it even has a dedicated Instagram account, @dogsofbjb. This spot is perfect for a sweet treat or pie and freshly baked dog biscuits after a paddle by the beach.
The bakery is particularly good at creating impressive doughnuts and can even make them into letters or shapes with custom fillings.
The Rosemount Hotel, North Perth
Dogs (and children) are very welcome at the Rosemount – unless it is at one of their live music events. Having been a community hub since 1902, The Rosemount used to have horses tied up outside – now you’re more likely to spot dogs on leads inside.
The Hotel has won a whole host of awards from best entertainment venue to best beer garden and offers free kids’ food 11am – 6.30pm Monday – Thursday.
Henry Summer, Northbridge
Henry Summer is comprised of a whopping five bars and encourages pooches to come and socialise. Dine on Asian-fusion dishes such as chicken and mushroom dumplings with Balinese satay sauce, then find a friend to mind your pet while you get your downward dog on yourself at an in-house yoga class.
Little Creatures, Fremantle
Cuddle up with your pooch at Little Creatures, and indulge with pizza, nachos and most importantly, freshly brewed beer. Huge brewing machinery sets the scene as you enter via the port-side and blankets are on hand in case you (or your dog) get chilly.
Woofs, Wags and Walkies at Woolmers
This family day out for dog lovers will take place on 12 May at Woolmers Lane, Longford, Tasmania. Complete with a dog art competition and food stalls for dogs and humans, visitors can relax with a picnic in the manicured gardens of the historic estate.
Art Farm, Birch’s Bay
Every year between March and June, Art Farm hosts a sculpture trail where you can take your dog for a spot of culture and exercise – just be sure to keep them on a lead. Allow an hour for the walk and wear suitable clothing and shoes so you can be comfortable as you discover the artwork, vegetable gardens and orchards.
Cafe Mondello, Launceston
Pet friendly, Cafe Mondello is open 7am – 2pm every day and serves up tasty breakfast, coffee and lunch dishes in a rather small and cosy venue.
For more Tasmanian information, follow Dog Friendly Tasmania on Facebook.
Australian Capital Territory
Wilbur’s Cafe, Hackett
The owners of Wilbur’s Cafe love dogs so much that they named their cafe after their dog. Feast on your choice of mouthwatering menu options such as smashed avo, feta, mint, lemon and poached eggs, while your dog has a nap and makes new friends.
The Pedlar, Campbell
This stylish pub welcomes dogs with open arms and biscuits in its pocket. The Pedlar was Campbell’s first local pub and has a fabulous menu which includes waffles for breakfast, gingerbread granola, milkshakes, Proud Mary Coffee, Ovvio Organic Tea and many hearty mains.
You’re welcome, dog lovers. You’re welcome.