Sacramento’s dog-friendly outdoor dining scene

poodle mix on chair outside restaurant
Photo by Alison Pang.

Sacramento’s restaurant scene, is in full bloom; heated dining tents and patios have sprung up all over town, and with the weather generally mild, dog-friendly patio dining is ramping up for the season. Here’s a sampling of some of our favorites spots to dine with your dog. Pay them a visit with your pup and help save SAC restaurants!

First, a note:
Sacramento, which brands itself  “America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital,” has several “restaurant rows” where dog-friendly dining spots proliferate, even during the pandemic. A previous story on DogTrekker.com lays out the basic geography. And now, at least two “restaurant row” blocks—one on Capitol Avenue between 18th and 19th and one on R Street between 14th and 15th—have been closed to motorized traffic to accommodate all the dining tents that have sprung up in the street.

Burgers & Brew burger

Best burgers to make your dog (and you) lick your chops:
What’s the best burger in Sac? According to a recent story in the Sacramento Bee,  it’s Burgers and Brew, a family-owned enterprise with outlets in Sacramento, and West Sacramento. The Sac location is of course your go-to if visiting America’s Farm-to-Fork Capital; it’s on the portion of the R Street Corridor that has been closed to motorized vehicles to accommodate tented dining venues and expanded patios during the pandemic. Dogs welcome.

Dog-friendly outdoor seating at Sellunds.

The Selland family’s dog-friendly collection:
OK here’s the kicker: All four “market cafes” in this family-owned collection (Selland’s on Broadway, Selland’s on H  Street, Sellands in El Dorado Hills and OBO’ Italian Table in East Sacramento), offer unbeatable Monday-Saturday  specials. At the Broadway location, outdoor seating has been expanded from a generously sized patio into a pair of humongous tents with heated tables where there are always a few dogs chilling with their people.
 
The venue is shared with next-door Bike Dog Brewing Company’s Broadway Taproom (original taproom and brewery is in West Sacramento), a highly popular location for DogTrekking beer lovers. A caveat: the tents consume most of what used to be the parking lot, so you may have to cruise a bit to find a spot to ditch your vehicle.

Barking for locally-owned & casual?
Sacramento’s third locally owned, casual-concept restaurant group includes a trio of Café Bernardo bistros in Sacramento and a fourth in Davis. The newest, at 2730 Capitol in midtown Sacramento, moved from a previous location to make way for the company’s newest venture, the Fort Sutter Hotel (beautiful, but not dog-friendly). Like the others, it’s a popular place for breakfast (try the brioche French toast with grilled banana, toasted coconut, sliced almonds and maple syrup), as well as lunch and dinner.

Just say ole!
Numerous restaurants serving south-of-the-border cuisine offer dog-friendly outdoor seating, but for something different, try Tequila Museo Mayahuel, a fine-dining Mexican restaurant with unusual dishes such as sikil pap, a thick pumpkin-seed dip; many versions of mole; and, as the name implies, an extensive selection of tequilas. The dog-friendly patio is very inviting!

Contemporary casual, with wine:
Try 58 Degrees & Holding Company, popular wine bar and restaurant in the Handle District of Midtown. It’s known not only for its international wine selection, but for pairings with courses ranging from charcuterie plates to pasta dishes. Dog-friendly on patio.

Local craft beer and wood-fired pizza at Federalist Public House.

Brews & grub:
There are many brewpubs and taprooms in Sacramento, but two standouts are Federalist Public House, an open-air (but covered) shipping-container restaurant with communal tables featuring wood-fired pizza, local craft beer, bocce and a dog-friendly atmosphere. Along the same lines (but in a more conventional Midtown location with extensive socially-distanced patio dining) Public House Downtown has an all-day menu featuring everything from giant Bavarian pretzels to soup, salad, pizza and casual entrees. And, of course, lots of local and regional beers on tap!

The Waterboy in Midtown Sacramento.

Mangia, mangia!
Italian is probably the most prominent cuisine in Sacramento. If you’re up for a splurge, The Waterboy, at 2000 Capitol in the heart of Midtown, is a longtime white-tablecloth favorite that has always had dog-friendly outdoor seating. Due to the pandemic, it has expanded into a fairly fancy tented space. Check out the daily specials!

Posted on: June 30, 2022

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