Discover dog-friendly Oakland: A canine paradise

By: Roger Coryell
A carved wooden sculpture of a dog's head stands out, showcasing detailed craftsmanship. Behind it, an Oakland street appears blurred but recognizable with trees and parked cars lining the pavement. The sculpture features a collar adorned with intricate patterns.
Cappuccino the Dog is a beloved statue located at the intersection of Alcatraz Avenue and Racine Street in North Oakland. The statue was created by artist Devyon Harrison and represents Cappuccino, a terrier-lab mix.

We moved to Oakland because of dogs. We were looking for a rental in the East Bay that would welcome our two dogs, a runt Rottie and a supernatural big yellow dog. Berkeley? Emeryville? Alameda? No way. Huge pet deposits, “no dogs” policies everywhere. Then we started looking in Oakland. We talked to the rental agent about dogs, and she said, “But you’re required to have a dog in Oakland! Everybody has one. Or two.”

We found an amazing house in Maxwell Park with a big backyard and a balcony where you could see both the Bay Bridge and the Golden Gate on a clear day. The owner said, “Sure. Dogs? Great! You gotta have a dog in Oakland.” So there we were in Oaktown for the next 25 years, always with at least two and sometimes three dogs. Yay for Oakland.

Visiting with your dog

Oakland is also a fantastic place to visit with your dog. It’s sunny when San Francisco is foggy, and it’s dog-friendly when some communities try to discourage dog people. Let’s look at all the reasons Oakland is a great place for dogs.

Oakland outdoor adventures and parks

Oakland offers some fantastic outdoor adventures for dogs and their humans.

Redwood Regional Park: The serene groves of Dr. Aurelia Reinhardt Redwood Regional Park boast towering coast redwoods and scenic trails perfect for peaceful hikes. Dogs are allowed on-leash on most trails, providing a great opportunity to connect with nature.

Joaquin Miller Park: Located in the Oakland Hills, this park offers numerous trails, including designated off-leash areas where dogs must be under voice control. The park’s expansive views of the Bay Area and diverse flora create a picturesque setting for your adventures.

Lake Merritt: Take a leisurely stroll around Lake Merritt, an urban park popular among dog owners. The 3.4-mile path is ideal for a relaxed walk, and the surrounding park areas are perfect for picnicking and people-watching.

Leona Canyon Regional Open Space Preserve: A lesser-known gem, Leona Canyon offers peaceful trails through oak woodlands. It’s a great spot for a quiet hike away from the more crowded parks.

Oakland dog-friendly neighborhoods

Oakland’s neighborhoods are incredibly welcoming to dogs.

Rockridge: This upscale neighborhood is known for its dog-friendly atmosphere. College Avenue is lined with boutique shops, cafes, and restaurants with outdoor seating where dogs are welcome. Rockridge highlights include several dog-friendly spots, though the Golden Squirrel is permanently closed.

Grand Lake: Near Lake Merritt, Grand Lake offers a charming mix of vintage shops, indie bookstores, and eateries. Grand Lake Kitchen is a local favorite with a dog-friendly patio where you can enjoy a meal with your pet.

Temescal: Hip and eclectic, Temescal’s main street, Telegraph Avenue, is dotted with cafes and restaurants that welcome dogs. Aunt Mary’s Cafe and Burma Superstar are excellent spots to grab a bite while your dog relaxes beside you.

Breweries and wineries

For those who enjoy a good drink, Oakland’s breweries and wineries often welcome dogs.

Jack London Square: Embark on a dog-friendly beer crawl in Jack London Square, home to several breweries such as Oakland United Beerworks and Original Pattern Brewing Co. Enjoy a pint with your pup and savor delicious bar bites.

Dog-friendly wineries: Check out Brooklyn West Winery, which is dog-friendly and located in Jack London Square.

Dog-friendly dining

Oakland boasts numerous dog-friendly restaurants where you can enjoy a meal with your canine companion.

Drake’s Dealership: Located in Uptown Oakland, this brewery and beer garden has a spacious outdoor patio that’s perfect for dogs. Drake’s Dealership serves a variety of craft beers and a menu that includes wood-fired pizzas and other pub fare.

Portal Oakland: Near Lake Merritt, Portal features a large outdoor patio that welcomes dogs. Known for its brunch, burgers, and craft beer selection, it’s a favorite among locals.

Lake Chalet Seafood Bar & Grill: Situated on Lake Merritt, Lake Chalet offers beautiful waterfront views and a dog-friendly patio. The menu includes a wide range of seafood dishes, cocktails, and local beers.

Rosamunde Sausage Grill: Located in Temescal, Rosamunde specializes in gourmet sausages and craft beers. Their outdoor seating area is dog-friendly, making it a great place to enjoy a casual meal with your pup.

Sequoia Diner: A cozy spot in the Laurel District, Sequoia Diner offers a dog-friendly outdoor seating area. They are known for their hearty breakfast and brunch options, featuring locally sourced ingredients.

Italian Colors: Italian Colors on Mountain Blvd. is known for its delicious Italian cuisine and dog-friendly outdoor seating. The staff are welcoming to dogs, making it a great spot for a relaxing meal with your furry friend.

Xochi the Dog, Café: This gem in the Bella Vista neighborhood of Oakland offers a unique blend of coffee and canine companionship, with a cozy indoor space and a beautiful garden with outdoor seating. Xochi the Dog, Café is an ideal spot for dog lovers to relax and enjoy a coffee drink while their pups socialize. The café also hosts special events and community gatherings, making it a great place to connect with other pet owners in the heart of Oakland

Oakland’s diverse range of activities ensures that both you and your dog can enjoy a fulfilling and exciting day out. From serene hikes in redwood forests to urban adventures and dog-friendly dining, there’s always something new to discover in this dog-loving city.

Last updated on July 2, 2024.


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