Alfresco With Fido

Sacramento restaurants welcome canine companions

By Cathryn Rakich
September 2022

Sacramentans love their dogs. With two municipal animal shelters, a state-of-the-art SPCA, 22 off-leash dog parks and dozens of mutt-friendly restaurants, Sacramento canines are living big.

California law authorizes food facilities to allow pet dogs in outdoor dining areas as long as the city or county does not pass an ordinance prohibiting the pooches, and restaurant owners do not object. There must be a separate outdoor entrance and dogs must remain on leash and off chairs.

Here’s a rundown of some popular dog-friendly destinations:

Located in a historic building at 17th and S streets, Hook & Ladder Manufacturing Company rolls out the welcome mat for Max. “Dogs are amazing and vital members of our family,” says Emily Griggs with Hook & Ladder. “Having them around just puts everyone in a better mood.” Max will be happy hanging on the industrial-style patio while his owners nosh on grilled broccolini or a Sicilian pizza with kalamata olives and arugula.

You say you want a Revolution? Bring Rover to Revolution Winery & Kitchen at 28th and S streets and snag a table out front. A vine-laden trellis and potted plants give the courtyard a charming ambience fit for Fifi. Known for its reds and whites, this Midtown winery also serves up culinary creations such as tempura-battered cauliflower and smoked carrot lox.

In addition to four-legged guests, a duck is a regular at Sibling restaurant on Capitol Avenue in Midtown. This brunch destination has a friendly, neighborhood vibe that will make Roco feel right at home while his humans indulge in a portabella Benedict or fried-mushroom calamari on the front patio.

“Water bowls and smiles” are provided at Oak Park Brewing Co., says Rebecca Scott with the brewery. “Dogs are part of the fam and they bring good vibes.” A 2,500-square-foot courtyard along Broadway is the ideal setting for Spot to stretch his legs while social distancing. Long low- and high-top tables encourage comradery between humans and non-humans. In addition to ales, lagers and IPAs, order up a grilled mushroom, pepper and onion Philly or fried eggplant Parmesan on a hoagie roll.

Sacramento’s legendary English pub, the Fox & Goose Public House, has been a Downtown favorite for nearly 50 years. While Buddy lounges under an umbrella-shaded tabletop on the long front patio, order traditional pub grub, including Welsh rarebit, Cornish pasties and scrambles with country potatoes.

SacYard Community Tap House on 33rd Street provides a “family friendly gathering space. (That means dogs, too.)” A 3,800-square-foot outdoor biergarten, complete with fire pits and communal seating, provides ample space for Red to romp and relax. Food is available by food trucks, pop-ups and delivery. While pooches are welcome, SacYard takes its pet policy seriously with 11 rules, such as dogs must be on leash, supervised at all times and never left unattended. Waste receptacles are provided for you-know-what.

Speaking of tap houses, Sac City Brews Neighborhood Tap House is a laidback hangout in the Tallac Village Shopping Center in Tahoe Park. Its slogan: “Beer. Patio. Dogs. Food. Tallac.” While Baily searches out head scratches, dine on chickpea hummus with carrot chips and a veggie slaw with fried leaks.

Fine dining isn’t exclusive to the upright species. Piatti in Pavilions welcomes Sparky in its sun-dappled courtyard. Think Italian villa with canopying tree branches and a river-like water feature. Attentive servers are happy to maneuver around a wagging tail while serving up an arugula strawberry salad or spinach ravioli with lemon cream sauce.
The patio at Danielle’s Creperie at Fair Oaks and Watt is a dog’s best French friend. With plenty of shaded seating and room for Roxy to roll over, patrons can indulge in French onion soup, sandwiches on baguettes and croissants, and a variety of sweet and savory crepes.

Not only does Lido Café & Bakery offer water bowls on its front patio, this Carmichael breakfast-lunch spot has a section on the menu for “doggie meals.” Fluffy can gobble down grilled chicken, two scrambled eggs, a beef patty or a dog bone, served in a frisbee.

Skip’s Kitchen on El Camino Avenue is another casual eatery not to be missed on the doggy diner itinerary. The front patio comes equipped with artificial turf, perfect for pooches, and bright red canopies for shade. In addition to salads, soups and sandwiches, don’t miss the fried macaroni and cheese bites and the rosemary sweet potato fries.

Milagro Centre in Carmichael has a lineup of dining options that allow Daisy to tag along. Mesa Mercado, specializing in Oaxacan urban cuisine, provides outdoor seating with ambient overhead lighting. Chomp on mango tostadas, spinach enchiladas or sauteed plantains with mole. At River City Brewing, Rex has room under the table to wait for a nibble of flatbread pizza.

If Scout needs more room to wag his tail, get food to go and dine in Milagro Centre’s spacious tiled courtyard featuring a Mediterranean-style fireplace flanked by two waterwalls, as well as picnic tables hidden along walkways out front.

When leashing up Bella or Baxter for a night (or day) on the town, remember to bring a blanket or bed, a healthy treat and a water bowl if the restaurant does not provide one.

If Sadie is more of a problem pooch than a mellow mutt, ordering takeout is a better fit. “All dogs should be potty trained, well behaved and friendly toward people and other dogs,” Griggs says. “Dogs showing aggression are not welcome.”

Cathryn Rakich can be reached at Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.

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