Is your family canine inclined? Do you consider yourself an honest to goodness dog parent?
Then you probably understand the trials of having that hankering to get out but being trapped by societal norms that prevent you from taking your dog child everywhere you go. If it were up to you and your fur babies, everything would be done together: eating, shopping, working, banking. Sadly, many folks (for reasons we can’t begin to understand) don’t want to hang out with our animal friends as much as we do.
In order to make planning your perfect doggy date a little easier, here is a list of some of the best dog-friendly locations in Portland from restaurants to hikes, parks and bars. There are several categories that provide a handful of great options for a day out with your four-legged companion.
Pick your own adventure!
[half]Laurelhurst Café (East Burnside)
Laurelhurst Café is charming and accessible. It’s good for a quick morning meetup on a mostly sunny day. They have a myriad of breakfast options and assorted drinks to enjoy on a casual morning. The menu consists mostly of bagels, sandwiches and burgers.
Its menu isn’t necessarily wide open to the variety of diets in our community, but the staff is more than willing to work with what you can or can’t consume. Their bagels are vegan (but not gluten free), and they have a gluten free bread option (that isn’t vegan). On my most recent visit, my gluten free vegan friend, after looking over the menu was accommodated with an assortment of hummus, chips and piles of veggies.
There is outside seating in the front and on the side that consists of large picnic tables and a few 2-person tables. While the atmosphere was laid back during my last visit and it wasn’t packed with mid-morning brunchers, the Laurelhurst Cafe seems like a great place to begin a day with a group in mind.[/half]
[half]Tin Shed (Northeast Alberta Street)
This one goes without saying. If you’ve spent any amount of time in Northeast Portland, there’s a good chance you’ve experienced the delights of the Tin Shed (or at least heard talk). If you haven’t had the chance, start here.
Not only do they have a dog menu (squash and your choice of meat), but they sell doggy bandanas, promising 50% off of your pet’s meal when he/she wears it in. So, cheaper food, a cool new accessory and everyone will compliment how cute and great your dog is — what’snot to love?
From personal experience, everything about this place has been top-notch from the minute you walk in. First, coffee and water is self serve so you won’t dehydrate or fall asleep while you wait. And you probably will have to wait, so prepare for it. Second, the menu is long and everything looks way too good. You may experience brief option paralysis, but they do have a couple of options that basically provide you with everything they serve in one compact meal.
And it gets better. Tin Shed caters to multiple diets — carnivores, vegetarians, vegans, gluten free. This makes it the best place to have a pre-outing meal with human and dog friends alike. Everyone’s eating and everyone’s happy![/half]
[half]Mt Tabor (South East 55th Ave)
This volcanic cinder cone has a myriad of amenities for you to choose from. Feeling like taking a stroll down a simple walkway? Up for a bit of hiking up the unpaved trails? Maybe a picnic? Don’t forget to stop at the dog off-leash area before you head out.
Not only could you spend an entire afternoon in and around Mt Tabor, but the convenience of its location is nearly unfair to park goers and dog lovers in other cities. Seriously, how can you not love a city that loves its parks?
Your canine friend will love it too. And that’s what matters most, right?[/half]
[half]Forest Park (West of Downtown)
There are many reasons to love Forest Park and listing them would be so much less thrilling than learning them on your own (especially with your pooch). Following one of the many trails is a great way to make an average day’s walk an enchanting experience.
Forest Park covers more than 8 square miles in Northwest Portland, and it is one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves. Impressive and gorgeous are only a couple of adjectives that could begin to describe it. This landmark is appreciated by people of the Northwest, and its importance becomes more apparent the more you take in.
Once inside of the dense forest, it’s easy to forget that the city is just on the other side. Especially when the fog settles in on the moss-covered trees and you can hear the water running down the countless tiny waterfalls and streams.
This place speaks for itself.[/half]
[half]Green Dog Pet Supply (Northeast Fremont)
Maybe dog people are just naturally friendly. It must have something to do with a dog’s generally friendly disposition that brings the two species together in the first place.
In any case, Green Dog Pet Supply is one of the most rewarding pet shops to ever step foot in. Every question you have will be answered with helpful and energetic responses. The staff is beyond willing to help find toys, food, accessories all while treating your dog like royalty (with your permission of course).
Next time you want to treat your buddy to a day out on the town, stopping in is advisable. Get them something delicious. Chat with the staff and make a few friends while you’re at it.[/half]
[half]Healthy Pets Northwest (Northeast Alberta)
Portland is crazy for its healthy pets and this is a great place to learn nearly anything about your pal that you’re curious about (short of serious medical issues). The staff is as knowledgeable and friendly as any.
On top of their expertise for pet food and supplies, they are happy to give you tips and information about training and simple ways to keep your animals happy and healthy.
The store has two separate locations, the most visited being on Alberta, and each with plenty of character. Buckets of treats, large toy displays and a variety of awesome pet food can be found here.
Next time you’re walking down Alberta, stop here and peruse.[/half]
[half]Prost! (North Mississippi Ave)
German food and beer. Everything good after a long, tiring day in the sun (or rain) can be found at Prost, and they have a great selection.
Also, if you’re not up for the selections provided, they welcome you to bring food in that you’ve gotten from the food carts. This is especially awesome if the group you’re with has an assortment of tastes and preferences.
The atmosphere is comfortable and cabin-like, which makes it a local favorite. Bring your pup and enjoy its accommodating and familial setting.[/half]
[half]Lucky Labrador (Southwest Portland and others)
It’s in the name. What better place to finish off your dog day than at a dog bar with some pizza and beer?
Keep in mind, visiting the Lucky Labrador Public House is best when timed appropriately, especially if your dog is a little on the nervous side. The place gets busy, and for a good reason. It’s a great spot!
During less manic hours, Lucky Lab is a nice place to wind down and hang out. Their outdoor seating helps to organize the chaos, but stopping in on a weeknight may be best if you have an aversion to crowds. If not, party down.
And the best part? While I’ve only been to the Public House, there are multiple other locations that also allow you to bring your pup. So, if you’re not feeling the atmosphere, you still have options.[/half]
These are places to start…
This is just the beginning and there are countless spots to explore. Hopefully this list serves to provide new opportunities to make memories doing what we love: spending time with pets and friends! Life is too short not to share it.
Story/Photos: Alyssa Burkett