Dog-Friendly Restaurant Chains

Dogs are always fun to have around, but sometimes it’s hard to find a place to eat that welcomes them with open arms.

Luckily, there are plenty of dog-friendly restaurant chains across the country that will let you bring your furry friend along.

The good news is that there are quite a few restaurant chains out there that are dog-friendly. Some even have specially dedicated menus for your pet to choose from. That way, whether it is a family celebration or a simple night out on the town, your pooch does not get left out.

We have put together a list of 17 restaurant chains that allow dogs. They include Dairy Queen, In-And-Out, and Lazy Dog Restaurant and Bar. So if you’re looking for somewhere to eat with your furry friend, you’re in luck!

17. Lazy Dog Restaurant And Bar

No, it is not a dog-specific restaurant despite the name. However, it is easily one of the best chains for dog owners. First off, each and every one of their branches features extensive outdoor dining areas where dogs are allowed to sit with their owners.

They also serve a variety of dog-friendly meals. You should definitely give the unseasoned chicken and whole grain rice a try for your dog’s day out.

16. In-And-Out Burger

Image from Instagram:@baginskiyd

In-And-Out Burger is to the West Coast what Shake Shack is to the East Coast. Their burgers are local favorites and despite having to compete with other equally iconic fast-food chains in that side of the country.

Technically speaking, In-And-Out Burger restaurants do not allow dogs into the premises. You would have to go through the drive-through. However, they have special menu items specially formulated for dogs including their unseasoned burgers.

15. Sprinkles Cupcakes

Image from Instagram:@halalfoodiechi

Sprinkles Cupcakes is special in more ways than one and is definitely worth a visit if you are a pet parent with a sweet tooth. Having been opened up in 2005, it is one of the very first cupcake-exclusive bakery chains in the country and easily among the most successful of the bunch.

The pet-friendly establishment takes things a step further with a secret menu with tasty treats for your dog. This includes decadent, sugar-free cupcakes with a yogurt frosting that are made just for dogs.

14. Panera Bread

Image from Instagram:@sharisejohnsonmoore

The best part about Panera Bread’s pet policy is that most branches that have outdoor sitting spaces have no issues with accommodating patrons and their dogs. Furthermore, they have systems in place to protect other diners and maintain their hygiene standards by preventing any form of contamination from the furry buddies.

A fantastic example here is their use of app-based menu and order systems. That way, you do not have to go in with your dog to place the order. Just get a nice spot outside, make your order, and it will be brought to you.

13. La Madeline

Image from Instagram:@lamadeleinecafe

This is probably one of the poshest spots on our list and is perfect for family dinners where you do not want to leave your furry best friend behind. Most locations have large, well-organized outdoor sitting areas that are perfect for these kinds of nights out.

While the French cuisine spot is popular for dinners, it is also worth checking out for breakfast treats. Their baked goods in particular are truly out of this world.

12. Joe’s Crab Shack

Image from Instagram:@officialjoescrabshack

Founded in 1991, Joe’s Crab Shack is one of the oldest sea food chain restaurants in the country. It is perfect for dog owners as they allow the pets to sit outdoors with their families as they dine.

The open air setup in the establishments is ideal for having your dog tag along as they get some fresh air and space to walk around without being an inconvenience to other people in the restaurant.

11. Cracker Barrel

Image from Instagram:@crackerbarrel

Cracker Barrel takes hospitality to the next level by allowing dog owners to bring their furry best friends into most of their branches. You just have to make sure that they have outdoor sitting before you bring your dog along with you.

The best part is without a doubt the swinging porch chairs. These are perfect for your pooch to play with or nap on as you enjoy your meals and some fresh air.

10. Sonic Drive-In

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Sonic Drive-In’s primary business model is built for pet owners and is therefore ideal if you want a meal out with your dog. You don’t even have to leave your vehicle at most establishments so you can just enjoy your meal with your best friend without getting into any trouble.

For those with dine-in services, you will have to call in advance to see whether or not they allow dogs as there is no universal policy governing the franchise in this regard.

9. Noah’s NY Bagels

Image from Instagram:@noahsnybagels

This iconic franchise introduced New York to fresh-baked bagels in 1989 and effectively helped to shape the East Coast’s food culture. It is perfect for breakfast and brunch with all their fantastic bagel creations.

The best part is that you can bring your dog with you to most branches as long as there is sitting available on a patio or porch space. Furthermore, they offer dog treats in the shape of bagels so you and your dog can have your fix of the good stuff together.

8. Baja Fresh Mexican Grill

Image from Instagram:@bajafresh208

Baja Fresh is known for having some of the best grilled Mexican dishes. It is perfect for everything from date nights to family Sunday lunches out. And as long as there is a patio space, most branches will allow you to have your dog with you in the restaurant.

However, a lot of these dog-friendly branches have several conditions for admission. The most important is that the dog has to be well-behaved and on a leash. Any drama and you may end up being politely asked to leave

7. Johnny Rockets

Image from Instagram:@johnnyrocketsoman

Johnny Rockets is a true legend as far as quintessential American fast food cuisine is concerned. The 50s themed restaurant was opened in 1989 in Los Angeles and has since then boomed into a national franchise with more than 300 branches.

Many of these allow dog owners to bring their dogs in with them. However, as with most other restaurant chains on this list, the admission is limited to outdoor sitting spaces.

6. Olive Garden

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Olive Garden is easily one of the most popular restaurant chains in America with more than 800 branches. They are probably best known for their American Italian cuisine including their famous pasta options and breadsticks.

As if all this wasn’t awesome enough, they also allow dogs into most of their establishments. However, if reviews are anything to go by, there is always a risk that other diners might not feel comfortable so try and find outdoor sitting if possible.

5. Applebee’s

Image from Instagram:@siadvance

This casual dining restaurant chain is every dog owner’s dream. It is no secret that they are very pro-dog. And while many branches still don’t let dogs in according to their policies, they do find other ways to support our furry best friends.

One of the most heartwarming is the BARK foundation yappy hour donation. All you have to do is ask your server about yappy hour or BARK and 10% of your bill will be donated to the group.

4. Shake Shack

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This New York-based fast-food chain is known for its amazing burgers, fries, and shakes. They offer casual dining setups and will allow well-behaved dogs to sit with their owners in outdoor dining stations.

In addition to allowing your dog to stay, many Shake Shack branches have dog-friendly menus with specially prepared, dog-friendly treats. That way, your dog does not have to drool and stare longingly at your food as they have their own.

3. Dairy Queen

Image from Instagram:@dairyqueen

Dairy Queen ice cream is one of the largest franchises on this list with more than 4000 branches around the world. Technically speaking, the soft-serve chain does not allow dogs to sit inside the premises. However, they are very dog-friendly in many other ways.

First off, a lot of branches with patio sitting will allow you to enjoy your ice cream outdoors with your dog.

They also offer free ice cream cones to dogs as long as you buy something as the owner.

2. Starbucks

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It is really exciting to know that you could do a coffee run with your pooch after your morning jog or walk together. As with most other restaurants on this list, only Starbucks branches with open, the outdoor settings will allow your dog to hang out with you as you grab your Cup O’ Joe.

There are a few other branches around the country that in addition to letting dogs sit outside also offer beverages for the pooches. So make sure to ask if they have their famous puppuccinos.

1. Outback Steakhouse

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This Australian-themed steakhouse chain would be every dog’s dream with all the meat going around. And while some branches are actually pet-friendly, most are not.

Whether or not they let you bring your dog will depend on two things. The first is whether or not the particular branch has a patio or outdoor sitting space. The second is internal, branch-specific policies. It is, therefore, best to call in advance so you know whether or not they will let your dog in.

What Is A Dog-Friendly Restaurant? 

A dog-friendly restaurant is one where dogs are not only allowed into the premises but also where they are specially catered for. This includes things like special dog menus, play areas, and even toys to keep the furry friends sufficiently occupied and entertained as you continue to enjoy your meal.

What Are The Rules On Dogs In Restaurants? 

Rules on dogs in restaurants depend on the specific restaurant and their policies. Some do not allow dogs in at all. For those that do, there may be restrictions on things like the size and number of dogs. There are also restrictions on the amount of roaming freedom the dog has with most prohibiting entry into food prep areas.

Is It A Health Code Violation To Have A Dog In A Restaurant? 

Having pets, including dogs, in areas of the restaurant where food is prepared or served is more often than not considered a health code violation in most jurisdictions. In many places, it is also considered a violation to have the pooches in other areas of the restaurants including dining stations.

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Pete Decker