This town loves food and dogs, so it’s only natural that so many places in the area allow us to enjoy both at the same time. We haven’t compiled an exhaustive list by any means, but we’ve rounded up several of the restaurants, wineries and coffee shops that not only share your affection for your pooch, but encourage you to bring your best friend with you.
Is there anything better than sipping on a glass of wine while either playing with your own dog or visiting with other animals, all for a good cause? Every Sunday from May through October, Keswick Vineyards hosts a yappy hour, during which $1 from each bottle purchased goes to a local animal shelter. They partner with a different shelter each week, and sometimes volunteers from those shelters bring cats and dogs to the winery for guests to meet and adopt, according to Wine Club Marketing Manager Jacqueline Rullman, who’s adopted one of those pups herself. Four-legged guests are welcome at Keswick any time, even inside the tasting room, and human guests can let their dogs run around off-leash in the fenced-in dog park on-site.
“We wanted to give back, and we found that once we became dog-friendly, everyone started bringing their dogs,” says Rullman. “It’s kind of like bringing kids to the park, with the parents all hanging out and talking to each other.”
Clifton Inn also hosts yappy hour every Thursday on its dog-friendly terrace, and Threepenny Cafe occasionally does the same on its patio. Threepenny’s events are more sporadic, but dogs are welcome outside all the time, and owner Merope Pavlides says they always keep all-natural dog treats on hand for their furry guests.
Dog days of summer
Now that it’s warm (and sunny, thank all that is holy), outdoor patios are beckoning to human and canine guests. Nearly all of the restaurants with patio space on the Downtown Mall are dog-friendly, such as Mudhouse, Zocalo and Miller’s, just to name a few, and Chaps leaves a giant bowl of water outside to ensure your pup stays hydrated on long downtown walks in the heat.
Off the mall, the patios at Guadalajara, Beer Run, Bang!, Firefly and Brazos Tacos all welcome dogs, as do a few spots on the Corner, such as Boylan Heights and Cafe Caturra. As for the breweries, the list includes Blue Mountain and Champion, and Three Notch’d even allows well-behaved dogs inside the tasting room.
Coffee certainly isn’t recommended for pets, but if you ask for a “puppuccino” at Starbucks you’ll get a little cup of whipped cream just for your pooch (or you, who’s watching?!). Dairy Queen also offers a small cup of vanilla ice cream for dogs called the “pup cup,” and the folks behind the counter at Atlas Coffee keep a jar of dog treats on hand for your pup.
And let’s not forget the local companies dedicated entirely to dog treats. Surprise your pooch on his birthday with a healthy pupcake from Charlottesville Dog Barkery, or pick up some dog (or cat!) treats, such as crumbly peanut butter snackers or sweet, chocolate-esque carob chip snackers from Ancestry Pet Food (formerly known as Sammy Snacks).