by Jodi Panayotov
Puppycino, anyone? Make no bones about it, Brisbane's café scene is waking up to the notion of four-legged dining companions, with savvy operators providing not just permission to have a dog secured in the outdoor dining area but water bowls, dedicated spaces for dogs and owners and even in a couple of cases, puppycinos and one, a doggie food menu.
For those who'd rather not leave their loyal buddies home alone, here are some of the dog friendliest cafés we've found, where owners go the extra mile in canine hospitality:
Java Lounge – Paddington
This bright bustling café fronting the Paddington Antique Centre has a couple of dedicated dog bowls sitting permanently on the footpath and some conveniently placed poles and street furniture to secure the dogs. And no matter how busy it gets Java Lounge can pretty much be relied upon for efficient affable service and to churn out great café nosh.
Brown Dog Café – Woolloongabba
In case of any doubt the name really does say it all – this rustic little café just out of the antique precinct action of Woolloongabba is a welcome spot for man's best friend. Even the menu is a dog-heavy zone with meals such as the Dog's Breakfast, a tasty melee of sour dough, haloumi, spinach, tomato, avo and lemon.With barely enough room to swing a cat inside, most of the seating is outside and plenty of tether opportunities provided for dogs as well as the odd water bowl.
Bean on Dean – Toowong
New kid on the Dean St block is not only a funky spot for a terrific Campos coffee, a side of stencil art and gourmet light meals but has plenty of outdoor seating and tether spots under the wide awning and a tap for filling up dog water bowls.
Our Haus – Hawthorne
Dogs are treated like royalty in this cute little Hawthorne café, with a dedicated pavilion outside where they can sit under the table, puppycinos on order and doggie treats sprinkled on top. The human menu goes the extra mile too, with good Merlo coffee, delicious baked treats, an extensive foodie's breakfast and lunch menu all served with panache and a smile from the friendly owners.
Idea Caffe – Wooloowin
Nestled next door to a vet surgery and only a km or so from the fabulous Kedron Brook dog offleash zone is this little off the beaten track Italian-inspired café which does a good coffee and some great breakfast dishes such as the popular poached egg, kransky and muffin. Out front is plenty of space for dog leashing and permanent bowls of water.
Saabi on Manson – Hendra
With a café that's named after the owner's dog it comes as no surprise that pooches are welcome guests here. And dog or no dog, this is a fantastic gem of a place in an old converted shop in a leafy Hendra street. The owners have created a home away from home, with a cosy dining area inside and an outdoor deck to one side, near which dogs may be secured with a welcome bowl of water. Food is freshly prepared on site with quality (and where possible organic) ingredients, with breakfast and lunch available.
Vanilla Pod – Ascot
A gorgeous little white shop and Ascotian institution, Vanilla Pod is part gourmet providore, part cake and sweet shop, part café. And where it leads, most other Ascot cafes tend to follow, with an outstanding range of sweet treats making it a great drop-in for coffee or tea and cake. Outside under the historic street awning dogs can be tied up in view from inside the shop with a water bowl on hand.
L'Arte Gallery – Hawthorne
This little known treasure of a café come art gallery has a dedicated water bowl and handy awning posts for dogs to be secured while owners keep an eye out from the couches inside while feasting on the German inspired menu. Cakes including the house-baked tarts and rolls that come with a side of rosti are a real treat as is the Vivo coffee and chai tea.
Desmond and Molly Jones – Woolloongabba
This one's about as urban as it gets for city slicker dogs, on busy Stanley St with the Mater hospital around the corner. Yet welcome they are in this funky joint in the heritage listed shop, with the owners providing a bowl of water and plenty of outdoor seating to keep the dog friend company. Food is terrific here too, Greek-influenced and with a signature home made sausage roll.
Milk Bar – Ashgrove
A busy shopping centre coup here at this old world milk bar style café, which is not only a great place to indulge in a bit of nostalgia with malted milks, spider drinks and the like but actually owns the outdoor space adjacent so dogs are most welcome here although water bowl is BYO.
Café La Mer – Manly
By any stretch this café occupies one of the most picturesque waterfront settings to be had, directly on Manly Boat Harbour, with seating on decks over the water and under a shady fig tree. aAnd of course the big bonus is that dogs are totally welcome to join their owners on the deck, with the cafĂ© providing water bowls too.
Canine Comfort – Gumdale
Taking dog friendly to a whole new level – dog rule – here's a café that is more about the dog than the owners. On the footpath outside dogs are not leashed but contained in makeshift pens, served giant bowls of puppycino, offered a help-yourself trolley of dog treats and given a menu with items such as meatloaf stack and meatballs. And on a regular basis doggie dinners are held where owners bring their dogs out to dine on a three course meal.
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