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Out and About in SF With Fido

Stomach growling while you’re out and about with your favorite four-legged friend? San Francisco rocks scores of eateries that have patio spaces specifically for dogs and their owners. Here are some favorite spots and suggestions on what to order.

Skool: You’ll find strong seafood dishes at this Design District spot — order any dish with uni, or sea urchin.

Sessions at the Presidio: Brunch is the meal of choice at this low-key spot where easy parking, friendly service, and craft beer reign.

Amitis Deli & Café: This adorable NoPa spot loves dogs so much that a real, live corgi named Choco keeps watch under a photo wall of neighborhood canines. Enjoy sushi burritos, fresh poke bowls, and filling breakfast sandwiches.

The Front Porch: Chicken, chicken, chicken! The fried chicken is addictive and crazy good. Adult beverages and side dishes (think grits, beans, fried okra and pickles) keep things festive and fun.

Aina: Brunch at this Hawaiian spot equals Spam musubi, taro French toast, filling loco moco, and even malasadas, which are Portuguese fried, sugary yeast donuts.

Counter Offer at Bender’s Bar: Burgers and fried Oreos are mainstays, but this Mission dive bar rolls out comforting bowls of soup and tacos as well.

Park Chalet: This coastal beer garden where Golden Gate Park meets Ocean Beach specializes in comfort food such as Parmesan fries and truffled mac and cheese.

Plouf: Head to this French Financial District spot on Belden Alley for warm bowls of clam chowder and mussels with crispy frites.

Zuni Café: The roast chicken and oyster platters rank among the city’s best at this mid-Market restaurant where champagne is often the drink of choice.


Tips for Doggie Dining

• Be sure your pup is licensed and vaccinated. Bringing your dog works best only if your pooch can remain calm, quiet, and controlled during your entire meal. Good behavior means you can stay in the good graces of the restaurant staff, which can become a win-win if you want to build a lasting relationship as a repeat customer.

• Bring along a dog pillow if needed. Doggies cannot be on the restaurant’s chairs or furniture, so bring something along to keep your pup cozy.

• Bring a water bowl. Though many restaurants will offer one, there’s no guarantee, and it’s important to keep your dog hydrated and comfortable.

• Get social. Pets can lead to friendly interactions with other guests and passersby. That might just boost your energy and leave you smiling for the rest of the day.


Mary Ladd is a freelance writer living in her native San Francisco. Her work has appeared on the websites & These tips and SF options appeared on Doorsteps Bay Area ( and is reprinted with the author’s permission.

Main article photo by: Lance Yamamoto