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Jul 13, 2012 10:14 AM

Visiting downtown Boston with our Labrador. . . dog friendly spots anyone??

My husband and I are going to be in Boston in August for a weekend with a our beloved 9 yr old Labrador Retriever. We are staying at a super dog-friendly hotel, but we are not bringing him along to leave him in the hotel room all day. I have searched for some breakfast and even dinner spots with outdoor seating but I am not coming up with much. My husband and I love to eat good food (he loves seafood, I can take it or leave it / please keep the foie gras places out - I had enough in France to last me a lifetime!). We enjoy fine wine, yummy cocktails and cold brews. We are also big coffee drinkers. I am looking for simple to moderate scale breakfast spots and dinner spots with interesting plate options and a generally well regarded reputation for quality and service. Farm to table is always welcome! We are going to be focusing dog-tag-a-long time in and around the Boston Common area. If there other must-do places, we will have 2 dinners, 2 breakfasts and 2 lunches in Boston and we will venture outside the BC area so I will also take suggestions for just generally good local places that we shouldn't miss (with our without the pooch). Thank you for your comments and recommendations in advance!!

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  1. Can't speak to everywhere, but from our experience Cambridge is much more dog friendly than Boston. Places like Area Four and Cambridge Brewing Company are super dog friendly (and you will see lots of them there on nice days). In Boston, I feel like the South End is the most dog friendly neighborhood - I'm pretty sure they're allowed at the outdoor tables of Tremont 647 and Toro.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mkfisher

      Thanks MK. We will definitely take a look in the South End!

    2. Are you at the Liberty? They have a dog happy hour, I think, on Wednesdays.

      1. If you're in the Back Bay, you might want to check out Catie Copley.

        1. People are often reluctant to mention dog friendly places in print because it will make them targets for those who don't share our love of dogs who might pressure the city powers to crack down on them.

          Grant.cook is right .The Liberty Hotel has it's Yappier Hour in the "Yard" on Wednesday's and the Seaport hotel has copied this and is doing Canines and Cocktails at the same time.

          For the past year we've had a lot of great food trucks hit the streets of Boston and food trucks, because they are curbside are dog friendly places to grab something delicious, pull up a stair or bench and enjoy a meal with your best bud by your side.

          Here's the food truck schedule

          The restored Brewer Fountain Plaza on the Boston Common is a great place to try the Clover Food Lab truck. You can get wonderful coffee nearby at the Thinking Cup on Tremont Street.

          It is possible for a restaurant to be legally dog friendly. There are a bunch of places in Provincetown that have requested and been granted special permits to allow the whole family to dine on their patios. I would love to see this happen in Boston. I'm sure you saw plenty of dogs inside restaurants in France.


          9 Replies
          1. re: BostonZest

            Agree with Penny 100%. That being said, *most* restaurants in the south end with outdoor seating allow your dog to dine with you. Some (many) require the dogs to be on the outer edge of the patio (i.e. if there is a rope or chain they are on the other side, but can still be tied from your side) It really just depends and is so arbitrary, it drives me crazy. A few we have had good experiences with:
            Coppa,Garden of Eden, Tremont 647, Toro, and Stella --all in the south end..Toro is probably my favorite of the bunch. There's a new spot called "Kitchen" that has an outdoor patio too...their predecessor used to allow dogs so I'm assuming they do also.

            You should check out Mike & Patty's too, in Bay Village (not far from the south end) They are a small little shop with awesome breakfast and lunch sandwiches. You can grab a couple and hopefully snag one of their small tables outside (def dog friendly) or just sit on someone's stoop and eat your sandwiches. Really good.

            1. re: twentyoystahs

              Garden of Eden: are you thinking of Stephi's on Tremont, which took over that location? GoE closed in 2008. I have no idea of Stephi's dog-friendliness.

              1. re: Allstonian

                Stephi's on Tremont is ideal for bringing the pooch - they just require them being on the outside of the small gate. They will bring a bowl of water for the dog as well.

                1. re: Allstonian

                  That is so bizarre. I have no recollection of typing "Garden of Eden" -- really weird! But yes, that is Stephi's on Tremont now, and they will let you bring your dog but you need to be sitting along one of the outer tables where the ropes are.
                  And Picco is a good choice too and your dog can sit at any table with you (outside)

                2. re: twentyoystahs

                  Kitchen is dog-friendly, while walking my dog I stopped to peruse their menu and the hostess made a point, without my asking, of letting me know they're happy to accomodate dogs on the patio. Maybe Picco in the South End, too, they have a large outdoor space and great food.

                3. re: BostonZest

                  Penny, do you know of where I can find a list of these p-town restaurants? We will be there for a week in September with our dog and would love visit some of these restaurants.

                  For the OP, this thread ( from last year should be quite helpful. We have an 7 year old lab, and it is always an added bonus when you can take your dog on vacation!

                  1. re: Gabatta

                    Gabatta, this other thread was also very helpful. It seems Boston "health laws" with regard to dogs may be just like Princeton's! At least here at some places the servers just tell you they are not allowed to touch the dogs while others follow the "tie them up off the patio" rule. That makes more sense and is more friendly than having to tie them up 10-12 feet away.

                    1. re: Gabatta

                      The dog park group has some of them but I know of a few more along with other dog friendly resources.


                      Our technique was to walk up to the host and ask for a table for two. If they had a problem with our dog joining us they are quick to say so. But, many places will just lead you to a table where they don't mind if you have your dog with you.

                  2. Not great food, but greatt beers and very dog friendly is the Kinsale on Cambridge St. Picco in the South End for awesome pizza is dog friendly. Myers and Chang in the South End is also dog friendly and right next to the best dog park in the city.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: phatchris

                      The little side patio at Myers+Chang- great suggestion. btw, labpal, the park that runs down the center of Commonwealth Ave (Comm Ave) from the Public Garden -is very popular for dogwalking, on one of the most beautiful streets in our city. I have also seen dogs on the patio outside the cafe on the south corner of Salem St and the Greenway, in the No End.

                      1. re: opinionatedchef

                        the strip of green that runs down comm. ave in the back bay is properly called 'the mall". yes, a very pretty spot to sit and have a bite, or to walk the dog. boston does have leash laws.

                      2. re: phatchris

                        The last I heard Picco was no longer dog friendly...I guess some miserable customer dropped a dime on them one day.

                        1. re: NahantNative

                          I would like to thank the CH staff for removing the non-food related posts regarding whether someone likes or dislikes having a dog on a patio where they are dining. I never intended for this thread to become the debate venue for Dog Lovers vs Dog Dislikers. Thank you, LabPal