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Dogs J.P. Licks
Photograph: Courtesy J.P. Licks

Pet-friendly Boston: The places to bring your dog

These dog-friendly locations around Boston make hanging out with man’s best friend paw-sible

Written by
Cheryl Fenton
Contributor
Gerrish Lopez
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When it comes to taking your pooch around town, it’s a dog-eat-dog world. Although you might want to bring your faithful companion everywhere, it’s not always allowed. Sure, you can play with them at some of the best parks in Boston, but what about those times when you want to bring Fido or Fifi along for food or drinks with your other not-so-furry friends? While most of Boston’s best bars, breweries and restaurants are reserved for humans only, here are some of the best spots that do welcome pets.

RECOMMENDED: Full guide to the best things to do in Boston

Pet-friendly spots in Boston

  • Hotels
  • Boutique hotels
  • West End
  • price 3 of 4

From May-October, bring your pooch to Liberty Hotel’s private outdoor courtyard for Yappier Hour on Mondays and Wednesdays from 5pm-8pm. You’ll enjoy cocktails from Clink, while four-legged friends are welcome to dog treats and “puptails” provided by Fish and Bone. 

  • Bars
  • Breweries
  • price 2 of 4

The patio at Night Shift Brewing in Everett is pet-friendly, so your pooch can join you for a fresh pint of saison, stout or lager. Night Shift hosts weekly Paws + Pints events when beer lovers are encouraged to bring their pets for some brews and fundraising, with proceeds going to a local pet rescue. Unfortunately, its Boston outpost on Lovejoy Wharf does not allow doggos, so you'll have to make the trek from downtown to its OG location to hang with your four-legged friends.

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  • Restaurants
  • Ice cream parlors
  • Jamaica Plain
  • price 1 of 4

You know your pet’s welcome at a restaurant (or at least on its patio) when there’s an actual menu item dedicated to them. All 17 locations of this local ice cream shop offer four-legged customers Peanut Butter and Honey Cow Paws—a lightly flavored peanut butter dairy-free sorbet with a touch of honey. The “cherry” on top? A cute kosher dog bone. Ensure your pooch wins most fashionable at the dog park with a JP Licks doggy bandana.

  • Restaurants
  • South End
  • price 2 of 4

The South End Buttery is the place to be for brunch or just a cup of coffee and a sweet treat on the weekends. Any time of day though it’s a great place to stop by with your furry friend and enjoy a bite at an outdoor table when the weather allows. The staff is very welcoming to dogs; the business donates to several pet rescue charities in the area, and the cafe is adorned with photos of local rescue dogs and cats.

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  • Restaurants
  • Italian
  • South End
  • price 3 of 4

After taking fido for a run around the off-leash dog area at Peters Park, head around the corner to Coppa. The popular South End enoteca has a small patio with umbrellas and water for your companion. The patio is open nightly until 10pm for late-night pups.

  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary European
  • Somerville
  • price 3 of 4

This popular biergarten draws crowds to its patio in good weather. Luckily, fido can come too. But give him or her a warning—you’ll probably want that bratwurst all for yourself, no sharing. You dog can stick to water, while you sample from the lengthy list of European beers. 

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  • Restaurants
  • Mediterranean
  • Downtown
  • price 3 of 4

Trade has a decent sized patio, seating around 70. Tables have umbrellas to shade you and your pooch. They’ll be happy to bring over a bowl of water. It’s the perfect spot to unwind after walkies on the Greenway. Or vice versa—after enjoying a delicious assortment of small plates, you’ve got a great way to walk off the calories, doggie in tow. 

  • Shopping
  • Markets and fairs
  • South End

The South End is particularly dog-friendly, with dog parks, pooch-friendly patios, and canine-tolerant shops. The weekly SoWa Open Market is dog-friendly, so feel free to stroll through the market with your furry friend. Several vendors offer pet-related products, from leashes and collars made from recycled materials to homemade pet treats.

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  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • Jamaica Plain

Harvard University’s free outdoor tree and plant museum is America’s first Arboretum and a great place to stroll with your dog (provided they’re wearing a leash). One of Boston’s lushest green spaces and stretching from Jamaica Plain into Rozzie, the 281-acre landscape has a world-renowned living collection of 15,000 plants to sniff and explore. Bonus: You’re not far from Polka Dog Bakery, so you can stop for a well-deserved snack on your way home.

Kayak or Canoe the Charles River
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. Kayak or Canoe the Charles River

Exploring the Charles River with your four-legged friend is sure to make the adventure even more fun. Paddle Boston welcomes dogs on its boats, as long as you’re OK jumping in the water if your pooch does! 

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It might be trendy with tourists, but fashionable Newbury Street is a great place to take your pet out for a little urban exploration (combined with a little shopping for you). Many of the stores are dog-friendly, such as Urban Outfitters, Lush and The Apple Store, and there are plenty of coffee shops and eateries with dog-friendly patios, such as The Thinking Cup and Stephanie’s on Newbury. Buy your bestie a treat at Fish & Bone or Pawsh Dog Boutique.

  • Attractions
  • Parks and gardens
  • South Boston

While parking in the summer is a battle itself, a visit with your canine companion to Castle Island is worth it any season. Fort Independence, an 1800s pentagonal five-bastioned granite fort, is its centerpiece and is surrounded by a 22-acre park. Visit Castle Island Beach, where leashed dogs are permitted off-season (Labor Day to Memorial Day). The iconic New England seafood shack, Sullivan’s, opens for the 2022 season on February 26, and its patio is a great place to hang out with your pup for fried seafood and, of course, its famous hot dogs.

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  • Things to do

Looking for a new option for taking your daily walks with Fido? Don’t forget the two-and-a-half mile, history-packed Freedom Trail that winds through the city. While the indoor attractions along the trail are not dog-friendly, there’s plenty to see and learn along the way. Just make sure the distracted tourists looking at their maps dont step on your pooch!

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