Houston, with its dog parks, jogging trails and pockets of green space, is a dog lover’s paradise. But time with one’s canine is no longer reserved for fetch in the park or a walk in the neighborhood. Rather, a number of Houston-area bars not only welcome dogs; they encourage people to bring them. These are the ten best dog-friendly bars in the Bayou City.
10. JIMMY'S ICE HOUSE
An ice house in every sense of the term, this Heights staple is tailor-made for a hot summer day with your pooch. The beer is cheap and cold, the vibe is laid-back and the picnic tables are plentiful. If you’re looking for a good way to spend some time outdoors with your dog, but don’t really feel like doing much of anything at all, Jimmy’s is the place to be. (2803 White Oak, 713-862-7001)
And then there’s Boheme, pretty much the opposite of Jimmy’s in every way imaginable, save for the whole dog-friendly thing. Quietly tucked away in the Montrose area, Boheme offers an array of craft beer and wine, as well as plenty of cocktails (tip: go with the Mojito). It also serves up a number of hand-made pizzas to satisfy an appetite. Plus, this upscale joint allows dogs on its outdoor patio, which ranks among the most eclectic in Houston. (307 Fairview, barboheme.com)
8. SAINT DANE'S BAR & GRILLE
One co-founder owned a St. Bernard. The other owned a Great Dane. Hence the name. Saint Dane’s is the consummate neighborhood bar, which means a ton of regulars and their laid-back dogs sorta just wandering around the joint. This bar isn’t exclusive to dog owners; anyone who likes dogs will quickly find a new furry friend. (502 Elgin, saintdanes.com)
One of the best patios in Houston just so happens to be dog-friendly. Couple that with one of the best beer selections in town, and one of its best burgers, and you have a great spot to hang with your pup on a sunny afternoon. True story – I once saw a line 15 deep waiting to pet a Pomeranian that looked exactly like a stuffed animal. In short, dogs are superstars at Cottonwood. (3422 N. Shepherd, cottonwoodhouston.com)
6. WEST ALABAMA ICE HOUSE
It’s probably the best neighborhood bar in town, so of course West Alabama Ice House allows dogs. How else could it fully replicate the feel of a neighborhood cookout? The joint comes complete with food trucks, bar games, cold beer and even a basketball rim, so load up the dog (and anyone else who enjoys a fun afternoon of beer drinking and good company) and head over. (1919 W. Alabama, twitter.com/the_WAIH)
5. IRISH COWBOY
Not only does the erstwhile Celtic Gardens welcome dogs; bringing your dog can actually save you money. Irish Cowboy currently features a promotion that allows patrons to get a $3 beer of their choice; all you have to do is snap a picture of you and your dog on the patio, then post and tag it on social media. You shouldn’t have trouble finding space to do so; Irish Cowboy ranks among the biggest patios in Houston. (2300 Louisiana, irishcowboy.com)
4. KIRBY ICE HOUSE
Fortunately, there is no age restriction for pups, so no need to worry about your mutt's age in dog years (the bar recently upped the minimum age — for humans — to 23). The patio is perfect for dog lovers, adorned with picnic tables, Adirondack chairs and sports on TV. Plus, servers provide your pet with water bowls and treats, and the patio is among the most spacious in Houston, meaning you and your pooch are free to stretch your legs a bit. (3333 Eastside, facebook.com/KirbyIceHouse)
3. UNDERDOGS SPORTS PUB
It’s right there in the name; of course Underdogs is dog-friendly! Sit back and enjoy one of the most diverse beer and whiskey selections in the city, and do so on Underdogs’ dog-friendly patio. Extra points to the bar for hosting occasional pet- and animal rights-related events. (4212 Washington, underdogspub.com)
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2. GRATIFI KITCHEN + BAR
Gratifi bills itself as being “Houston’s first restaurant with a Paws on Patio permit.” But that’s not what separates it from the pack (no pun intended). Rather, Gratifi not only welcomes dogs; they’ll serve them up some grub as well. Simply ask for a $5 Doggie Dinner, a grain-free, high-protein dog food served with a bacon-infused dog treat. (3202 Fairview, gratifikitchenandbar.com)
Axelrad bills itself as a “community-gathering place,” and they ain’t lying. The bar offers up an array of beer, wine and spirits, Luigi’s Pizza is served up right next door and live music is a constant. Oh yeah, Axelrad also boasts a hammock grove, which makes it an ideal Sunday afternoon drinking spot. Dogs are welcome on the spacious patio, as evidenced by the amount of water bowls and dog treats on display, and the bar routinely hosts events centering on dog rescue and animal rights. (1517 Alabama, axelradbeergarden.com)