15 Best Dog Friendly Restaurants in Central Ohio
As dog owners, we’ve all been there – you plan to go out for happy hour drinks, and then when you’re about to leave, your pup gives you a look; that all too familiar puppy dog look as if to ask why you can’t just stay home or take them with you. Leaving your pup at home like that is the last thing any dog owner wants. If possible, you would take your furry friend to all places you go to, but that’s not always possible. As you know, there aren’t as many dog-friendly establishments to make that possible. It is a different ball game, though, if you live in central Ohio. Columbus is one of the most pet-friendly cities in the US. That’s because years ago, a law was passed that made it possible for dog owners to tag along their four-legged best friends to the outdoor areas of restaurants. Since then, pet-friendly patio options have increased. You’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of dog-friendly restaurants in central Ohio that you can explore with your pup.
Mozart’s has been a part of the Columbus community for nearly three decades. The couple-owned restaurant opened its doors in 1995 when Anand and Doris Saha risked everything to move to Columbus and open their own bakery. Today, Mozart’s has grown in popularity for their authentic European dining experience and an atmosphere that’s hard to find elsewhere. The large, shady patios offer more than enough dog-friendly seating space hence no reason to leave your pup at home whenever you want to indulge in their afternoon tea, happy hour, or the special Sunday menu.
Bodega is located in the Short North Arts District and has become a local favorite for almost a decade. The restaurant serves delicious cuisines and craft beers. On top of that, Bodega has a dog-friendly patio where you can sit with your furry friend and enjoy their “$1 Grilled Cheese Mondays”, Sunday Night Trivia, or their daily happy hour.
Brekkie Shack is a dog-friendly, locally-owned breakfast, lunch, and brunch spot that serves plant-based dishes, local bacon, drip coffee, espresso drinks, in-house stevia lemonade, juices, craft beers, and cocktails. Breakfast is served all day, while lunch hour starts at 11 AM. Their menu includes creative egg dishes, house-made granola, pancakes, tacos, salads, and sandwiches.
Gresso’s is a dog-friendly bar with a spacious outdoor patio where your furry friend can hang out with you. Gresso’s offers typical bar food like pizza, jumbo wings, chicken tenders, Mozzarella sticks, burgers, and authentic Greek gyros. Their recipes are all homemade, and they offer limitless drink specials. The bar is so dog-friendly that they have a special “Pups on the Patio” event every Tuesday.
Smoked on High BBQ
“Homestyle with more style” is all you need to know about this top-notch BBQ restaurant and catering company in the Historic Downtown Columbus Brewery District. Smoked on High BBQ has been operating for nearly a decade, bringing handcrafted barbeque to central Ohio. Their slow-smoked BBQ is to die for and something you will definitely be returning to when you visit for the first time with your pup.
You don’t need to step outside Columbus to indulge in delicious European cuisine. Bistrolino serves Italian and Mediterranean dishes that will make you feel like you are enjoying the real thing. Their Mediterranean comfort food is a cultural lesson for you and your furry friend, thanks to a unique European setting surrounded by the district’s European-style buildings.
After spending the day relaxing in Capitol Square or exploring the outdoor sculptures within the Columbus Museum of Art, head down to the District North with your pet for a delicious Mediterranean meal. It’s always fun interacting with the owner, who is happy to allow pets to dine inside. The long wooden tables give the restaurant a community feel where your dog might make a pal or two.
Rebol is another great dog-friendly restaurant in central Ohio. The organic café only uses non-GMO ingredients and cooking methods to make delicious healthy treats and has become the new face of contemporary American cuisine in Columbus. The downtown foot traffic makes dining on the sidewalk patio with your dog all the more exciting.
The Ohio Tap Room
Head to Northwest Boulevard and Third Avenue and enjoy a pint of Ohio-crafted beer at the Ohio Tap Room. The tap room sells crafted beer in growlers of various sizes and beer freshly canned on-site. They also serve other Ohio-made goodies like pretzels, mead, soda, cider, and BBQ sauce. What’s even better is that you can enjoy your favorite craft beer with your four-legged best friend by your side, being a dog-friendly restaurant and all.
Wolf’s Ridge Brewing
Co-founded by father-son duo Alan and Bob Szuter, Wolf’s Ridge Brewing started in 2013 with a passion for good beer. Since then, it has grown into one of Columbus’ premier dining and drinking establishments, taking home numerous local and national awards for its food and drinks. Their spacious outdoor dining patio has room for pets of all sizes.
Located on Indianola Ave., Columbus, The Crest offers a Modern Appalachian Fare with foods from the central region, stretching from Tennessee through North Carolina, West Virginia, and Ohio. The restaurant makes it their core business to use the best local and global ingredients. On top of that, there is a large outdoor patio where you and your pooch can enjoy your meal.
TownHall is a dog-friendly restaurant in central Ohio that allows leashed dogs to join their owners at the outdoor bar-style or four-top tables. Their menu is extensive, with an array of dietary restrictions that include vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, keto, and organic. They also have an interesting dog menu your pup can order from.
Hofbrauhaus Columbus is a dog-friendly restaurant in Columbus, OH, that serves authentic Bavarian food and beer. Dogs are welcome on a Biergarten-style, pet-friendly patio where bowls of water are in plenty.
BrewDog is a brewery that operates in multiple locations, but the most popular is the one in the Short North Arts District. The establishment boasts of being “the world’s first craft beer hotel,” whereby you can wake up inside the brewery. Besides their fantastic hotel-brewery combo, they also have mini-hotels, popularly referred to as “BrewDog Kennels,” above their other BrewDog locations. With BrewDog, the whole concept is in the name, and they operate one of the best dog-friendly establishments in Columbus, OH.
Los Agaves Taqueria
If you are hungry for delicious tacos, head to one of the best dog-friendly restaurants in Columbus, the Los Agaves Taqueria! The popular food truck is a favorite for many locals due to its wide Mexican varieties and vegetarian options. If that isn’t convincing enough, you would be happy to know that Los Agaves Taqueria has a flexible dog-friendly policy. Enjoy your birria taco with a side of consumé as your pup lounges by your side.
Dining With Your Dog: Things to Consider
Central Ohio isn’t short of dog-friendly restaurants, as you have seen. While dining with your four-legged furry best friend may sound enticing, there are a few considerations you should make. You need to ensure that your dog can handle the environment and noise in a restaurant. The first thing to consider is whether your dog is a frequent barker (friendly or aggressive). Since you won’t be dining alone, a constantly barking dog, even at a dog-friendly restaurant, can be disruptive and may trigger other dogs around.
Next, if your dog gets nervous in public and crowded places, you are better off leaving them at home. There are better ways to socialize your pup than restaurant patios since nervous dogs in crowded places are more likely to get frightened instead of acclimated to the surroundings. Lastly, if your dog has aggression issues, where they snarl or snap at strangers or other dogs, a public restaurant isn’t the best place to take them.
So, does that mean you will never dine with your pup? Certainly not. With proper training, your dog can learn to let go of issues like aggression and nervousness to a point where dining with them becomes bliss. Off Leash K9 Training of Columbus is Columbus, Ohio’s #1 Rated Dog Trainers. We specialize in high-level obedience training under distraction regardless of your dog’s breed, age, or size. We believe 98% of all dogs can achieve high-level obedience with the right training program. Our trainers have extensive experience working with issues like anxiety and aggression in dogs. We also offer specialized training where your dog learns basic commands, whether outside, under distraction, off-leash, or in the presence of other dogs. Our training programs encompass basic and obedience training and an aggression/anxiety package.
We also offer a 1-week freedom board and train where your dog boards with a pro trainer and goes through one-week immersive training and a similar 2-week board & train. At the end of every training program, our Columbus Dog Trainers guarantee a 100% off-leash and obedient pup you can take to any dog-friendly restaurant.