10 Best Dog-Friendly Restaurant Patios for Summer 2017

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.

The backyard at Presidio offers up shade for you and your dog.
The backyard at Presidio offers up shade for you and your dog.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp

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.

Henderson Heights welcomes your mutts.
Henderson Heights welcomes your mutts.
Photo by Gwendolyn Knapp

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.

Made in the shade.EXPAND
Made in the shade.
Photo by Kimberly Park

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.

Dogs allowedEXPAND
Dogs allowed
Photo courtesy of Balls Out Burger

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.

Happy hour just got a lot happier.EXPAND
Happy hour just got a lot happier.
Photo courtesy of Fusion Taco

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.

Dogs are welcome at new boozing compound HBGEXPAND
Dogs are welcome at new boozing compound HBG
Photo by Troy Fields

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.

You going to finish that?EXPAND
You going to finish that?
Photo by Troy Fields

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.

Rico's, suave.
Rico's, suave.
Photo by Cuc Lam

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.

Doggie shrine.
Doggie shrine.
Photo by Jeff Amador

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.

Is hammock time with my humans.EXPAND
Is hammock time with my humans.
Photo by Doogie Roux

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.

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