Fresh-air activities are major draws on the San Mateo coast, and we all know how ocean-scented breeze and exercise work up an appetite in both man and beast. Fortunately, many eateries along the coast welcome four-legged guests, so long as there’s a two-legged companion on the other end of the leash. Here are four worth barking about.
The Surf Spot: Pacifica doesn’t have a downtown per se (it’s more a collection of neighborhoods), but it does have a standout, dog-friendly restaurant in The Surf Spot, a hillside retreat with ocean views, outdoor seating, fire pits, live music on weekends (fog or shine) and a carefully cultivated surfer/Hawaiian vibe. Not all of the extensive outdoor venues are dog-friendly (diners with dogs have to stick to the picnic-table area), but the minimal restrictions aren’t a deal-breaker. Ask before you set up camp, and all will be copacetic.
Moss Beach Distillery: It’s hard to imagine a more convivial place to dine with a dog than on the Seal Cove Patio at this popular restaurant overlooking the Pacific just a few miles north of Half Moon Bay. Table heaters, fire pits and satisfying food and drink warm spirits as well as bodies, and the doggie menu draws smiles with items such as mini-burger patties and protein-rich scrambled eggs. For humans, the menu features just what you want from an ocean-side eatery: fish tacos, oysters, sea bass, steamers, crab cakes and other seafood specials.
Half Moon Bay Brewing Co.: Set up camp at a heated outdoor table or cozy up around a blazing fire pit; the options are many at this award-winning and passionately dog-friendly restaurant and brewery overlooking the harbor. Within minutes, a server will greet you with a menu and your best friend with a homemade “Maverick bone” treat named for the famous surf break just a few miles away. The California coastal cuisine leans heavily toward seafood, while a half-dozen signature Mavericks beers and ales are on tap year-round. Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. was crowned Best Dog Friendly Restaurant in 2012 and 2013 in Bay Woof’s Beast of the Bay Awards.
Navio at the Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay: Sometimes, it’s nice to dine in the lap of luxury, which is where you and your pup will find yourselves on the stunning patio of the five-star hotel’s Navio restaurant. Regularly scheduled Yappy Hours on the nearby Gazebo Lawn attract lots of people and pups; they include complimentary treats and flavored waters to accompany all that canine schmoozing and sniffing. For people, there are specially priced drinks from the bar along with a warm feeling that comes from knowing a portion of proceeds benefits the Peninsula Humane Society. The next event, a Howl-i-days Yappy Hour from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Dec. 19, features a visit from Santa and a photo session for all those good pups.