It’s easy to idealise the long wild walks of a country canine, the beach frolics, and all those strange woolly white ‘dogs’ to bark at... but life as city dog is not to be sniffed at! Parks teaming with squirrels, log fires to curl up next to while snaffling chips in the pub, not to mention the smorgasbord of pongy pavement smells. Urban life often allows greater socialisation with four-legged and two-legged friends, your dog probably as used to being petted on public transport as you are flashing your Oyster or Metro card.
Since the COVID pandemic has allowed many of us to work regularly from home, there’s been an increase in both the dog population and the number of households with dogs, especially new pawrents who have never owned a dog before. That means keeping a dog in the city has become more common and an increasing number of restaurants, cafes and gastropubs are welcoming our furry friends as dinner guests. Forget dry dog biscuits at the local country pub: our city slickers are being offered gourmet meals and even afternoon tea!
Below, we’ve picked out some of our favourite dog-friendly eateries in some of the UK and Ireland’s major cities. Of course, there are many more – but hopefully these will whet your ap-paw-tites!
Capital canines are spoiled for choice in the UK’s major city, with options catering to every pooch’s palate. We love the vibe at Pawsitive Café in Notting Hill, which prides itself on creating a calm community for you and your pup, embracing the mental health benefits our four-legged friends bring. Their official “furry friendly” menu offers a doggy afternoon tea with cucumber sandwiches and a mini fruit tart, as well as an array of lunch options, including a carrot and peanut butter Pupcake! For pawrents, we were delighted to find a wealth of yummy veggie and vegan options to choose from (the miso mushroom ciabatta is a highlight).
For the ultimate treat, take yourselves down the Kings Road and check out Love My Human Townhouse (LMH Townhouse). As the name suggests, this is a townhouse dedicated entirely to dogs. There’s a fur-friendly café and deli, a crèche and doggy daycare and, should your pup fancy a spa day, a suite of complementary therapy rooms! What we’re most excited about though is the full doggy menu, which includes veggie options like the sweet potato, courgette and pea omelette and a coconut cream Puppuccino with goji berries or blueberry powder sprinkles. If your human mouth is watering, you’ll be reassured to hear that there’s a yummy pawrent menu too, so you and your pup can brunch together.
Polish your shoes and faux leather collar and head down to Isaac’s Bar at the Grand Hotel Birmingham for a seriously glamourous evening with your pooch. Dogs are welcome to join pawrents in the New York-style brasserie bar, so you can sip a glass of English sparkling wine while tossing your pup the occasional handful of loaded fries…
For a more casual dining experience, we love Verdo Lounge in Sutton Coldfield. The bar not only has a great vegan menu for you, but a steady supply of treats for your hound, water bowls on hand and a fantastic welcoming atmosphere.
Last but not least, there’s something special on the horizon for Brummie beasts and their besties… coming soon to Solihull is the Snooty Pooch, a luxury canine café, boutique and spa retreat! They’ll be donating their profits to charitable services, like supplying therapy dogs to vulnerable people, helping keep patients and their dogs together, and supplying guide dogs for the visually impaired. Their “canine-centred” café will offer nutritious and wholesome breakfast, lunch and dinner menus while their bistro will provide fine canine dining options for special occasions as well as pop-up breed specific get togethers! We’ve already pencilled it in for our dogs’ 2023 ‘gotcha day’ celebrations…
Who doesn’t love waffles? We’ll bet your dog does… so head over to The Waffler in Dublin for bubble waffles, milkshakes and malts, as well as their special “woofles” for your pup! Unlike many venues that only allow small dogs, The Waffler welcomes hounds of all shapes and sizes, so your Saint Bernard or Great Dane needn’t miss out.
For those of you who want to extend your Irish doggy dining experience, why not purchase the ‘Puppy Love’ package at The Morgan Hotel? Stay in a dog-friendly room and your hound will enjoy welcome treats, a water bowl, a luxurious dog bed and, most exciting, the hotel’s in-room Doggy Dining Menu (which includes a canine sundae!) For those who want to see and be seen, there’s also a pet-friendly heated Courtyard Terrace.
There’s nothing more comforting than a proper Sunday lunch and The Dark Horse in Bristol know how to do it right. Their vegan/veggie option, a smoky Italian ‘meatloaf’ topped with roasted garlic, will entice pawrents while your dog can enjoy their very own canine version! And if you’ve both got room after that, you might want to share a slice of vegan carrot cake…
The Alma Tavern is another Bristol venue who love dogs and, if you’re lucky, your pup might feature as Dog of the Week on their Instagram!
Finally, a firm favourite with pizza lovers, Purezza offers a full dog menu featuring Poochy Pizza Slices (our pups were drooling over the Furentina with peas, linseed butter, mint and spirulina), Pawroni dog beer and even a bowl of Pawsecco for the most discerning doggo. You can also find Purezza in London, Brighton and Manchester, so Northern pups need not miss out!
Another fantastic Sunday lunch venue for you and your pup, Peru Perdu in Manchester offers all-day-dining South American style, with dogs treated to a free chicken or beef roast when two or more humans are dining. The vegan option of chimichurri cauliflower with truffle gravy sounds insane, with optional bottomless Bloody Marys (but maybe don’t share those with your hound!)
A cocktail and sushi restaurant might not seem the most obvious place to bring a dog, but Cottonopolis Food & Liquor begs to differ! This popular dog-friendly Northern Quarter cocktail bar and Japanese restaurant offers yummy meat and vegetarian dishes with extensive vegan and gluten free menus (the crispy tofu bao sounds incredible) while making sure your pup is comfortable with water on hand.
Another classy canine-friendly venue in Manchester is The Anthologist on St. Peter's Square. Go there for the pies by Michelin-starred Great British Menu chef Chris Harrod and take your dog for ‘Yappy Hour’ every Sunday: pawsecco, doggy treats and 15% off your food bill! Being rewarded for taking your pup out for dinner? We’re in!
Glasgow has been ranked the UK’s most dog-friendly city, with over half its properties allowing dogs. So it comes as no surprise that there are some top-notch dog-friendly dining options too. We like Brutti Compadres in the city centre, a renovated tobacco exchange serving excellent tapas for vegetarians and vegans as well as omnivores. The restaurant prides itself on accommodating your four-legged friend, so try the patatas bravas and vegetable paella while slipping your pal a sweet potato chip.
Another stunning venue, Saint Luke’s & The Winged Ox in the East End, serves pub favourites like burgers, pizzas and deep-fried pickles in a former church. Their website features a ‘Dog of the Week’ section celebrating their furry patrons, so make sure your hound is looking his or her best!
Finally, you can’t take your dog out in Glasgow and not visit Van Winkle, a BBQ restaurant with its very own Dog Menu, developed by BBC Scotland’s resident vet Ross Allan from Pets’n’Vets. Try the Moving Mountains burger with a side of Southern Fried Vegan Nuggests while your furry friend tucks into a rice or pasta dish with veg, chicken or fish. We love that the dishes are sized to suit your dog, with small, medium and large options.
At THE PACK, we’re thrilled to see these inventive dining options popping up all over the UK and Ireland, allowing us to spend more quality time with our fur pals. It’s important to remember, though, that not all dogs are social creatures, and some might prefer to stay home with a tasty snack while you dine out. Make sure that you’re not taking your dog into a venue that’s too noisy or busy for them; after all, it’s hard to enjoy your food when the music’s too loud or people have had too many bottomless Bloody Marys and are petting you while you eat…
Of course, for gregarious mutts, the city has never been a more exciting place to be. So let’s raise a glass of Pawsecco and toast all the dog-friendly diners out there!