Do you decide where to eat based on where your dog is welcome? We can relate. And here’s the good news: If you’re looking for dog-friendly restaurants in NYC, the odds are in your favor.
“People in New York City really love their dogs and bring them everywhere,” says Alexa Matthews, dog mom to 5-month-old red toy Poodle, Cosmo, and founder of @eatingNYC, a food-focused brand that covers restaurants, travel, fitness and luxury lifestyle around the world. “I find it pretty easy to find a place to eat that allows dogs. If I know I’m going to eat outside, I’ll always bring Cosmo with me.”
Matthews is a self-proclaimed “professional eater” with over 300,000 followers who depend on her to find good eats in the city. And since she got Cosmo three months ago, he’s adapted well to his dog mom’s lifestyle. He even has his own Instagram (@cuddlemcosmo) filled with pictures of him in front of—you guessed it—food!
“He loves eating out with me and seems super content whenever I bring him,” Matthews says. “Plus, it’s fun for me.”
Here are Matthews and Cosmo’s favorite dog-friendly restaurants in NYC.
Shake Shack is a casual food chain that serves American classics like hamburgers, hot dogs and shakes at multiple locations around New York (and the world). Matthews and Cosmo ate at the one in Madison Square Park. She describes the environment as laid back and easygoing. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating area, and Shake Shack even has a special dog menu, which includes their “bag o’ bones” biscuits and pooch-ini sundae. Cosmo gives the pooch-ini sundae two paws up! Even though he had his own P.L.A.Y. burger dog toy from home to play with, he tried to sneak a bite of Mom’s real burger. Maybe next time, Cosmo!
Cookshop is located in Chelsea and offers modern American cuisine with a little bit of everything, from chicken and waffles to fish tacos. The restaurant has a large outdoor seating area where dogs are welcome, complete with water bowls for four-legged diners. During Cosmo’s dining experience, he was treated to bone-shaped bone broth cubes and homemade sweet potato muffins with peanut butter and cream cheese frosting. Matthews says he devoured everything then quickly fell asleep in his pet carrier while she continued to enjoy her own meal.
Located in Brooklyn, Pig Beach is a BBQ hot spot that’s always packed with people—and their pets! Matthews describes the environment as upbeat and lively, with dogs everywhere and plenty of open space for them to walk around. She ordered the sampler platter, which included ribs and a small portion of three other meats from the menu. She also loved the Pig Beach burger, which she says is a locals’ favorite. Although there is no food specifically made for dogs at the restaurant, Cosmo gladly snuck in a few chunks of meat from mom’s plate—after Matthews had made sure they were safe for him to eat, of course.
Bar Primi is a trendy, upscale Italian restaurant located in Noho on Bowery, near great beauty stores, small clothing boutiques and coffee shops. Matthews says some of her favorite menu items are the spaghetti pomodoro, ricotta crostini and a kale salad. Dogs are allowed in the sidewalk seating area. During their meal, Cosmo charmed the restaurant staff, getting lots of pets and attention.
Located on the Upper East Side of NYC, Quality Eats offers a modern take on the classic American steakhouse. Diners can expect innovative menu options, like grilled bacon prepared with peanut butter and jalapeño jelly, all served in a relaxing and low-key environment. Dogs are welcome in the outdoor seating area. While there is no dog menu, Matthews gave Cosmo a bite of vanilla ice cream and brought along a milkshake plush toy from P.L.A.Y. to keep him occupied while she indulged in a selection of sweet treats.
From quick bites to upscale dining, there are so many different places to eat with your dog in NYC.