Every year since the “Paws On Patios” allowance was passed in 2011, a slew of Houston restaurants have applied for permits and patio inspections to allow dogs coveted entry into the land of human food — the most revered land in all of the dog universe.
In fact, there are a wealth of dining and drinking options these days for folks who wish to dine with their dogs in tow. While many people are already familiar with longtime dog faves such as Barnaby's, Cyclone Anaya's, Giacomo Cibo e Vino and Tila’s Restaurante & Bar, this list includes some great new spots and a few trusty gems that can't be overlooked.
10. Presidio, 911 West 11th
Charles Bishop, formerly of dog-friendly Southern Goods, and chef partner Adam Dorris (formerly of Pax Americana) do allow pups in the backyard at this new eatery in the Heights, which features live music on the weekends and craft drinks, wine and beer as well. The menu is bent toward Texan comfort food and meaty curiosities — giant burgers, peel-and-eat shrimp, and tacos like your granny made along with roasted pig head and even pork collar. The dog is bound to get jealous.
9. Henderson Heights, 908 Henderson
This watering hole with ample outdoor seating, televisions, bar food in the form of huge burgers, spinach dip and nightly specials, including Wednesday steak night, cheap tacos on Sunday afternoons and $5 snacks during weekday happy hour, is totally dog-friendly. Home to ice cold beer and lots of booze, Henderson Heights is a low-key neighborhood gem right off the main drag of Washington.
8. Killen's BBQ, 3613 East Broadway
Not many people are aware that Pearland destination restaurant Killen's BBQ is actually, totally, dog-friendly. Dogs make it more fun to wait in line (as does the restaurant's free-beer-for-the-line policy). Shady outdoor seating and meaty leftovers make this a mecca for hungry dogs. Just don't go spoiling them too much.
7. Balls Out Burger, 1603 North Durham
The newest eatery of the bunch. This Heights restaurant just opened up on June 3. While the name sounds a touch terrifying, the does not. Basically, it's a casual spot with juicy burgers, shoestring or sweet potato fries, milkshakes and ice cold beer, and the added bonus of a huge covered outdoor seating area that's totally dog-friendly.
6. Fusion Taco, 4706 North Main
Tasty, globally influenced, chef-driven tacos inspired by the likes of L.A.'s Roy Choi, a slew of healthy and delicious salads, and potent margaritas make this new outpost of food truck to brick-and-mortar eatery a go-to already, but a front deck that's totally dog-friendly is also a bonus. It's a reliable casual spot for the weekend or after work with your fur babies.
5. Heights Bier Garten, 1433 North Shepherd
This two-in-one watering hole, featuring a great craft beer (and wine) bar along with one of the best craft cocktail destinations (Worcester's Annex) in Houston right now, the Heights Bier Garten has day drinking (and, okay, evening and late-night drinking) down to an art form. Don't worry, there are snacks available from Kirby Group's Brandon Silva, one of the most promising up-and-coming chefs in town.
4. FM Kitchen, 1112 North Shepherd
Burgers, fried chicken and more comfort food from former Triniti chef Ryan Hildebrand await at this indoor/outdoor ode to all things casual in the Heights. Brews and cocktails on tap, reasonable wines by the glass, yard games, and live music on the weekends round out the chill factor.
3. Rico's Morning, Noon & Night, 401 Bagby
Seeing as this Midtown snack emporium from dog lovers Cyclone Anaya's literally butts up against a dog park, you might consider this one of the best spots for your pup in all of Houston. Home to Akaushi beef burgers, hot dogs, breakfast tacos, soft-serve ice cream and booze, including frozen sake cocktails, the restaurant even offers Fluff Bake Bar's dog treats for your furry friends.
2. Cane Rosso, 4306 Yoakum (at Richmond)
This Austin-based pizza hub is all about the dogs, as the restaurant's founder is big on animal rescue, with a nonprofit, Cane Rosso Rescue, that helps raise awareness for dogs in need in Texas. That being said, the Montrose location has a huge covered patio for you and your pups, and the restaurant hosts numerous fundraisers in which guests can get special deals on pizza and drinks while supporting the canine cause.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
1. Axelrad Beer Garden, 1517 Alabama
You know this is a dog-friendly spot when even the person checking IDs at the backyard gate has a pet in tow. On a recent visit, we spotted numerous cool breeds — from an Australian shepherd to a Saint Bernard puppy. Sure, Axelrad is all about the amazing beer selection, the rotating food pop-ups and Luigi's pizza, but we all know it's really for the dogs to see and be seen.
Just don't go telling the snazzy cats of El Gato, the Heights' new cat cafe, about it, thank you very much.