Boulder being the outdoorsy town it is, Boulderites sure do love to jog with dogs. And do almost every other thing with their canine fur babies, too, including going out for pints and snacks, as we always seem to be doing. Because of all this, dog-friendly cafes are a big thing in Boulder.
Of course, it goes without saying (or at least it should) that wherever you want to go out for a bite or a sup with your pup, there are myriad health regulations that prohibit bringing your dogs inside most places that serve food or drink unless of course, it’s a service animal.
However, that’s not stopping Boulder from having tons of gorgeous patios that are pooch-friendly, and many Boulder establishments even keep dog-exclusive treats nearby. We’ve found five of the most fun places to go for a doggy-date, as well as some tips for Pearl Street areas and a couple of not-so-well-kept secret spots to take your best friend for special treatment on your way to or from your next dog-friendly cafes outing in Boulder.
When we’re talking cafes in Boulder, often what we really mean is breweries (Boulder being the beer-thirsty town it is), and Sanitas is one of the best. Located just kitty-corner (sorry doggies) from the Peloton apartment complex on 28th, Sanitas is tucked away by the creek under the trees, near the train tracks (with beer deals every time the train goes by).
Well behaved dogs are welcome on Sanitas’ big game-laden patio, which is open three seasons out of four. Sanitas brews its own delicious beer and also has kombucha on tap, all of which pairs great with McDevitt Taco Supply, which is also located on Sanitas’ patio.
Ever heard of McDevitt Taco Supply? Of course you have: it won this year’s Boulder Weekly Best of Boulder Gold award for best food truck (and it often sweeps the awards in the taco category, too). Well, McDevitt is the resident food truck at Sanitas Brewery, which is even more of a reason to take out the leash and get down there.
The Rayback Collective is Boulder’s favorite backyard party: Best of Boulder Gold winner both for best bar and best place to eat outdoors. Boulderites convene to Rayback’s cavernous multi-bar indoor space, event area, and community room to sip on their favorite beverages of all stripes (from organic coffee, to kombucha, beer, cider, wine and even cocktail competitions).
But the extensive patio is what you’re looking for when you’re bringing your pooch to sample the delicious fun that’s the Rayback. It’s not surprising why Rayback is called Boulder’s Backyard: outdoor games, water for the dogs, and as many as four food trucks all add up to make Rayback the best porch party in town.
The Rayback even won Best of Boulder Silver for best place to go on a first date! Walking your dogs together and then enjoying a beverage under the stars in Boulder’s Backyard? Sounds like a Boulder-style romance to me…
Boulder Brewing Co.
Boulder Brewing Company is Boulder’s first-ever craft brewery—it just recently celebrated its 40th year serving delicious pints of all flavors of beer you can think of, and it’s still going strong.
Boulder Beer’s Pub is located on Wilderness Place, just a bit east of central Boulder, and, like all these stellar breweries I’m describing. It has a robust and dog-friendly patio. It’s a lovely area, too—it’s a pretty place to while away the afternoon enjoying their lunch specials, or rich happy hour selections. Or bring your canine friend with you for a weekend brunch, right after enjoying Boulder Weekly’s staff pick for best dog park: the Valmont Dog Park, located very nearby.
Avery is the gold standard for Boulder craft breweries. Gold level award for Best of Boulder in the craft brewery category, that is. And, located way out in Gunbarrel as it is, it can have an enormous facility (with regular free tours offered), and a giant patio area, which has recently been expanded and renovated to make it even more huge and fun.
Bring your happily leashed pooches to the new Avery patio especially on August 31st—the Avery Patio Jam is a celebration of the extended patio area, with live music, Avery’s delicious food, and over 30 beers on tap. What a party!
Upslope (both locations)
Both the OG North Boulder taproom and the Flatiron office park location of Upslope Brewery are beautiful, comfortable, and boasting patio areas where some of Boulder’s best food trucks can be found parked, ready to pair their foods with Upslope’s famously delicious beer. After all, Upslope won the Best of Boulder bronze award for best craft brewery, and boy do they live up to their prize and more.
Here’s the kicker, though: Upslope LOVES dogs! They love dogs so much that they welcome (leashed, well-behaved) dogs not only on their patio areas but inside the taprooms as well. Lucky day for Fido, getting to join you as you enjoy some of Boulder’s tastiest pints. Truly, one of the best dog-friendly cafes in Boulder.
Honorable Mentions: Just Off the Mall: Laughing Goat, Brasserie TenTen
One thing that’s important to keep in mind: there are no dogs allowed on the Pearl Street Mall. Unless your dog is a service dog, you’ll get ticketed if you try and bring your dog onto the mall. But! Fear not: there are dog-friendly cafe patios further west and east than the pedestrian mall itself, that will welcome your canine friend and still offer some of the best people-watching you can find downtown. These three are the biggies, but there are several more: just be sure you call ahead to make sure before you start rattling that leash and getting your critter all excited.
The Laughing Goat
Coffee shop and bar, the Laughing Goat (down east on Pearl Street past the pedestrian part of the mall) has been sweeping the Best of Boulder awards, Gold, Silver and Bronze, in several categories, including: best place to WiFi, best coffee, best latte, best coffee house, and more. And those of you who follow our weekend roundups know that they’ve got live music all the time—thing is, they’ve got live music going on every day of the week most of the time.
Laughing Goat has a roomy, comfortable patio where you can bring your leashed pup while you enjoy whatever beverage tickles your fancy. And since it’s on Pearl Street, it’s got great people (and dog!) watching out there.
The French small plate mecca of Boulder, Brasserie TenTen also swept the Best of Boulder votes for Silver and Bronze level awards in categories like: best happy hour, overall restaurant, business lunch, and tapas.
Located on the west end of the Pearl Street Mall area, on Walnut and so off the pedestrian dog-forbidden part, Brasserie has a large patio where they welcome leashed doggo friends if they’re well behaved.
The nice thing about being way down on the west end, is that Brasserie is also near Farfel’s Farm, Boulder’s own pet boutique and dog rescue. You can take your dog into Farfel’s for their own amuse-bouche, before or after yours at Brasserie.
Do you have favorite dog-friendly cafes in Boulder that didn’t make it onto this list? Share it right here in the comments!