If you follow me on Instagram, you might notice that I am complete nut-job of a dog mom who loves to lounge in coffee shops. I’d say…pretty accurrate. I used to live in an apartment in downtown San Antonio, smack-dab in the middle of milliennia district—art museums, trendy bars, and coffee shops. There was always a new place I wanted to visit, but at the same time I hated leaving my dog all alone in my small apartment. So, I figured, I have to take her for a walk anyway, so why not just take her with me while I explore the city? That’s exactly what I did. She became my companion, my brunch buddy, my best gal pal.
Senate Bill 476:
Relating to Requirements For and Municipal Regulation of Dogs in an Outdoor Dining Area of a Food Service Establishment.
Since living downtown, I’ve noticed that San Antonio has become a very dog-friendly city. Downown life meant commuting on bike or foot —everything was walking distance to eachother and everyone always had their furry friends by their side. With this, most businesses downtown are usually considered “dog-friendly.”
It may not seem like San Antonio had strict laws regarding pets in restaurants because San Antonio has always felt like a pet-friendly city, but there were actual restrictions. Restaurants and bars were required to get a permit to allow dogs in their establishment. Permits can also be expensive, so it is also not uncommon for an establishment to keep it hush-hush inviting your furry friends.
Senate Bill 476 was passed in 2019. This bill allowed dogs in food service establishments as long as they follow certain guidelines outlined in the bill. Some of these guidelines include:
- must have an outdoor dining area that is accessible from the outside.
- No pet should enter inside the establishment.
- Signs posted that pets are allowed
- No food is prepared in the area where pets are allowed other than food that is being served to the customer.
This bill also means that restaurants do not need a permit and also would not be fined if found without a permit as long as they follow the guidelines. However, a business can still have the right to not allow pets, so I always call and make sure. I also use the site Bring Fido. This site gives you details on where to eat, play and stay with your furry companion.
Favorite Coffee Shops
Now, since the law has passed, practically anywhere allows dogs as long as there is an outdoor patio available for dining. Of course, you can bring your pet when you order coffee at all coffee trucks. Though, I love visiting coffee shops, specifically, not only for the coffee, but also to experience their own character and artistic atmosphere.
Here are my favorite coffee shops to bring my dogs and why I feel like they stand-out more as far as being Fido-Friendly
This is a beautiful coffee shop and wine bar. The front patio is HUGE and has a sturdy metal fence surrounding the house. This is a great area to leash your dogs. What’s even better, is that the tables are comfortably spaced out, that you and your dogs won’t feel cramped together in one space. There is a small area in the patio where water and dog bowls are provided.
I like this place because of its large courtyard. The courtyard is stategically in the center and surrounded by shops. It’s actually a small shopping center with local boutiques and cafes. With the open courtyard under shady trees, this is the perfect place to bring your dog.
Not only does this place have beautiful and colorful lattes, but their outdoor seating is also very charming. I absolutely love cafes with character, especially their patios. Here, I can actually enjoy the atmosphere with my dogs and not just feel like I have to resort to a dreary outdoor setting because of my furry situation. If you think the outside is cute, though, you should check the inside! They have an actual pet station with treats and water bowls. How cute! Check out my post about this coffee shop HERE.
The outdoor back patio is like a secret garden and the front patio has a very Parisian vibe. The back patio is also enclosed, but please still make sure that your dog is secured and on a leash.
The staff always acknowledges my pups. I like that they offer dog treats instead of the whipped cream “puppuccino” you would find at Starbucks. It’s healthier and the fact that they have a jar full of dog treats just shows how dog-friendly this place is.
The outdoor patio is HUGE! It’s very spacious, tables are widely spaced, which is perfect for my big dogs. If you’re not a coffee person, it’s also a wine bar and bring your best fury friend!
They have a shaded patio for dogs and a sign to let you know where you can dine with your furbabies. Places that allow dogs are very accommodating when you ask them for water for your pup, but at Cuppencake, the staff is very attentive to your pup and they will bring water for them even before you ask. The latter statement may appear very snooty, but I don’t expect anyone to give my dogs extra attention just because they are a guest with me, but it is always appreciative when the staff acknowledges your pet. The reason being is that sometimes owners are alone with their pet, and I personally don’t feel comfortable leaving them unattended outside while I go inside and ask for water.
There are two outdoor dining areas. The outdoor dining along Jones St is small, but there is a railing which is perfect to tie your dog’s leash. They also have another outdoor courtyard which they share with the rest of the building and it’s spacious and shady.
The Pearl might as well be called “Dog District,” and it’s a no-brainer, but I feel like it would be a disservice to not even mention it. The Pearl is probably the most dog-friendly area in San Antonio. This place is surrounded by apartments and local coffee shops, restaurants, and boutiques are conveniently all walking distance, so it’s common to see people walking their dogs around. You can even spot some people doing yoga on the grassy courtyard with with dogs!
I categorize these places as my honorable mentions because they are one of my favorite places to lounge and have coffee, pet-friendly, but not necessarily suitable for large dogs.
I would say this is an honorable mention, only because their breakfast and coffee flights are deeeee-licious! They do have an outdoor patio, but is it a little narrow, so space is crunched especially with my big dogs.
This place is right in the middle of downtown San Antonio—heavy car and foot traffic. If you like the busy-downtown vibe, this is the place, but the “outdoor” seating is bare. The staff does acknowledge your dog, which is great because there is literally only a table and 2 chairs and no where to really leash your dog if you have to go inside. With all that said though, I would still come here from time to time because their coffee is delicious and quite honestly, I only go there for their labneh yogurt.
This place feels like you’re literally in Paris. The outdoor seating is chic and elegant, but it is small and cramped. Great vibe, but probably not the best place for large dogs.