Thursday, March 28, 2013
Doggy date: Dallas’ top 5 dog-friendly patios
Two and four legs welcome.
DALLAS If there’s one thing that Dallas drinkers are passionate about, it’s a good restaurant patio. Whether dining for brunch, toasting over happy hour, or having that long overdue conversation, life is better on a sunny day with a tactful spot for people watching. Fact.
Dallas’ borderline obsession with outdoor seating is due in large part to the few months we are graced “patio perfect” weather. And luckily, that time is now. We scoped out five of the best dog-friendly patios in the city because, let’s be honest, Buster and Kojak are groomed and ready for the season, too.
Rusty Taco — Main Street Garden is one of the largest dog parks in Downtown Dallas, so fittingly there is a haven for pet owners right on-site. The Rusty Taco stand offers quick and easy grub alongside a respectable variety of canned beers, and is situated perfectly for gawking at the different breeds as they meander into the park. This is a great patio for those who work in the surrounding area to decompress from a hard day’s work and mindlessly watch the dogs run the length of the field after a ball. Be sure your canine is on his best behavior, as he will not be short of new acquaintances or smells. Rusty Taco also provides your furry friends with Frisbees and dog bowls, so you can take a souvenir home too.
Barley House – True, there’s no shortage of stilettos at this University Park haunt, but neither is it the type of place that attracts a crowd who would turn up their noses at a bit of fur on the rough-hewn wooden picnic benches. With a solid beer list – including a strong contingency from DFW breweries – and inexpensive eats, it’s not a bad place for pet owners to sit, stay, and snack. The covered patio does get rambunctious on weekends, so socialization is a must and pups with chill personalities do best. Not content just to serve canine customers, Barley House also holds the occasional adoption rally where you can choose the pick of the litter while swigging an Ugly Pug or Doggy Style IPA.
Katy Trail Ice House — After a long run down the Katy Trail with your best four-legged friend, where better to take a load off than a spacious patio right there on the trail? Nestled at the south edge of Uptown, the Ice House creates its own city oasis encased by trees and adorned with fire pits. There’s an entrance from the paved trail to the restaurant’s backyard that boasts more than 30 picnic tables complete with leash hooks -- so your pooch doesn’t spill that goblet of beer over a squirrel sighting. Blame it on the Beer-Ritas, but everyone from athletes to sorority girls seems relaxed beneath the web of hanging colored lights. Even the dogs are here to take a chill pill.
Ginger Man – Pooches aren’t the only ones who benefit from a big backyard, and the Ginger Man offers a mini-nature retreat right in the heart of Uptown. With three outdoor patios – front porch, upstairs deck, and massive backyard – there’s plenty of room for well-mannered pups to roam on leash, as well as soft ground for basking when owners park it at a shady picnic table. With one of the city’s most sophisticated beer lists, as well as delectable solids – including a nod to your best friend in the Jalapeno & Cheddar Twisted Pretzel Dog – Ginger Man boasts a comfy back porch for you and Fido alike.
Lee Harvey’s — Canines living on the South Side are a lucky breed. With access to one of the largest patios in Dallas, owners and pets can absorb the spring and summer weather while enjoying a live band on the outdoor stage. This unique dive bar named after the infamous JFK shooter is a local treasure that may be difficult to spot for first time visitors. Your dog, however, will be nose to the ground from the second you enter the neighborhood, as the aroma of hearty burgers and fish tacos fill the air. Don’t worry, you won’t have to leave Rex solo to go buy the next round — there’s a bar outside for your convenience.
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