You love your dog because he brings an immeasurable amount of joy to your family. Although you wish to take the furriest member of the group everywhere, you know that certain rules and regulations prohibit him from going on every family outing. While you can’t take your pet to most family doctor visits, and some amusement parks are off limits, dinner is definitely an option. These restaurants, from exquisite to ordinary, in Orange County gladly make accommodations for dogs.
Lazy Dog Café
Possibly the most prominent pet-friendly restaurant in the area, Lazy Dog Café is known for its eclectic menu, but also for the high level of pet-oriented service on the outdoor patio. The spacious patios in Irvine as well as the Orange, Huntington Beach and Brea locations offers shade for sunny days, fire pits for cool nights and water bowls for your pup to stay hydrated no matter when you visit. With rules that state no biting, barking or begging, diners are invited to bring their pets to enjoy meals like grilled hamburger patties, chicken breast or plain brown rice.
577 South Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
With water bowls set outside local businesses for pups passing by, Laguna Beach is more pet-friendly than most cities in the region, but The Cliff takes it to another level. Welcoming any pet that is on a leash (seriously—they’ve even had pigs visit!), meals on the Precious’s Puppy Plates menu, named for the owner’s late golden chow, are made to order with fresh ingredients and served on a complimentary Frisbee. Choose from chicken breast, oatmeal, a beef patty, salmon or prime rib. They also serve a variety of Grrr8 dog treats in flavors like calamari, peanut butter, apple oat and carrot molasses. During Yappy Hour, enjoy discounts on these special doggy meals too.
Rock & Brews
7777 Beach Boulevard
Buena Park, CA 90620
A laidback spot with so much to offer, the Rock & Brews patio is perfect for families. Dogs are, of course, welcome and fire pits are present for those stopping by in the evening for the late-night specials. Take advantage of games like Scrabble, Uno and Connect Four while you relax outdoors. The dog menu, called Givin’ The Dog a Bone, includes a grilled hot dog, two mini beef patties, four strips of bacon, grilled chicken or a veggie patty. On top of the tasty treats, dogs can even enjoy special “bowser beers,” like the Cock-a-Doodle Brew or the Beefy Brown Ale.
500 Pacific Coast Highway
Huntington Beach, CA 92648
This New American restaurant, housed in the Kimpton Shorebreak Hotel, is inspired by global surf shacks and local surf culture. As such, it definitely has a patio overlooking Pacific Coast Highway and the nearby ocean. The bar menu features an eclectic mix of signature cocktails, specially crafted mocktails for the kids and a happy hour menu for “four-legged friends.” Pet owners can opt to get their pooch the beef with vegetables, chicken and rice or fish with sweet potato. These meals are prepared in-house with fresh ingredients. In addition, stop by on Sit, Stay Sundays, where you can get a free dog meal if you order $15 worth of food between 4 and 10 p.m.
109 South Glassell Street
Orange, CA 92866
With an ever-changing selection of beers and delicious dishes like spaghetti squash, pork belly poutine and short rib tacos, this gastropub in Old Towne Orange is always a favorite. But the fact that their tiny patio is also dog friendly earns them even more points. Partnering with Orange County-based JustFoodForDogs, a dog food company known for its healthy and balanced meals, Haven offers up five different choices for pups. While the beef with russet potato and chicken with white rice are pretty standard, the eatery also offers up lamb with brown rice, fish with sweet potato and turkey with whole wheat macaroni.
Gypsy Den Cafe
125 North Broadway
Santa Ana, CA 92701
If you’re looking for a weekend brunch spot where you can take your pet, be sure to visit the Gypsy Den in Downtown Santa Ana. The popular spot features a spacious patio set back a little ways from the street where diners can enjoy some mimosas and delicious food with their dog by their feet. While the eatery doesn’t have a specific pet menu to offer, they do bring complimentary water to the dogs on the patio. Ask your server if you can get a plain turkey burger or even some scrambled eggs to give to your pooch while you’re there.
Avila’s El Ranchito
With eight dog-friendly restaurants in O.C., there are plenty of options from North to South County where visitors can enjoy Mexican food outdoors with their pets. No matter which of the Avila’s El Ranchito restaurants you stop by, you’re sure to spot at least a few dogs tagging along with their owners. Servers are quick to welcome furry friends with a bowl filled with cool water, and to offer a few meal options for pets as well. The restaurant’s dog menu includes a choice of steak or chicken with rice or beans, keeping the theme of the restaurant intact even in the doggy meals while still offering healthy options.
630 Lido Park Drive
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Though Bluewater Grill has spread to Los Angeles, San Diego, Catalina Island and even Arizona, it got its start here in Newport Beach. No matter which location you visit, you’ll find that the patio is dog friendly, offering a special menu for pooches called the Bluewater Bone Appetit. Furry friends can enjoy a variety of dishes, like chicken or salmon, each served with rice, or the special Meat Roaf, which features beef and rice with diced zucchini. But the pet-friendly benefits don’t end there. Bluewater Grill provides free bowls of water and complimentary treats for animals to enjoy as well.
The Alley Restaurant & Bar
4501 West Coast Highway
Newport Beach, CA 92663
For a more casual Newport Beach hot spot, visit The Alley, located along Coast Highway. In addition to salads, burgers and sandwiches, the eatery offers gourmet dishes like seared ahi wraps, shrimp pasta, lamb shank and more. But don’t forget about your dogs! The restaurant also offers a special menu titled Pups on the Patio, which offers an option of either a burger patty or chicken breast cooked on site. Though they also have rules against barking, biting and begging, and require all dogs to be kept on the leash, they provide water for the pups as well.
3937 East Broadway
Long Beach, CA 90803
While the patio isn’t super extensive, it’s definitely dog friendly—like so many of the patios in Long Beach’s Belmont Heights and the nearby Belmont Shores. Nab one of the small tables here to enjoy some sunshine, cocktails and lunch or dinner, but bring your pet along to enjoy the experience as well. The eatery has launched a monthly Mimosas & Mutts series as well, encouraging diners to bring their dogs for a regular meet up during Saturday brunch. In addition to mimosas, enchiladas, pancakes and more for the human members of the family, furry friends can rejoice with a menu featuring things like beans and rice, in keeping with the southwestern theme of Panxa Cocina.