Dogs are welcome at Occidental's Howard's Station Cafe

Dogs are welcome at Occidental's Howard's Station Cafe

Do you dogatarian? Here in Wine Country, four-legged friends can get downright gourmet at restaurants that not only welcome dogs, but even have specialized menus for your pup. As the weather turns warmer, outside patios are the perfect spot for a nosh with man’s best friend. Want to share a toast? There are plenty of wineries that welcome dogs as well (including one that has a “Yappy Hour”). Here’s a handy list of dog-friendly spots around Sonoma County.

Howard’s Station Cafe
This Occidental breakfast and lunch institution has a pooch-approved menu that includes ham and eggs, the bow-wow burger, kibbles and gravy and even peanut-butter filled squeak toys. “Customers frequently asked for side dishes for their dogs,” said owner Terry Martin. She recently added the specialized menu of canine-friendly foods for dog-owners who are welcomed on the restaurant’s open-air front porch. “We’re a destination restaurant near the coast, and a lot of people have dogs with them,” she said. After a hiker recently showed up with a thirsty dog companion, the idea gelled and will soon expand to include frozen dog pops. Well-behaved furry companions are served their suppers in special dog bowls next to the owners’ tables. For humans, the restaurant’s specialties include eggs Benedict (with fresh eggs from the Martin’s nearby farm), doughnut milkshakes, and a hearty granola bake with fresh bananas, cream and syrup. 3611 Bohemian Highway Occidental, CA 95465 – (707) 874-2838

Not sure about dogging dining rules? In California, health department laws only permit licensed guide animals inside restaurants. However, pet-friendly restaurant owners can legally allow dogs (and other well-tempered pets) to join their owners in certain outdoor areas. Keep in mind that not everyone will be thrilled to see your drooling darling, so it’s important to be respectful of non-pet owners and make sure you animal is well-groomed and well-mannered. You are ultimately responsible for its behavior and clean-up. Keep your dog out of aisles, closely leashed and out of the path of curious children who may inadvertently poke or upset your pup.

Garden Court Cafe and Bakery
This cozy Glen Ellen eatery also has a specialized menu for doggies that includes it’s signature Bleu Plate Special (eggs, ground beef, garlic and zucchini), egg whites with ground turkey, and a Babaloo Pizza (biscuit crust with catsup, jack cheese and fresh herbs). Dog cookies and water bowls are complimentary. 13647 Arnold Dr., Glen Ellen, 935-1565. Closed Tuesdays.

Pet-Friendly Restaurants
These restaurants may not have a special menu, but welcome dogs on the patio and will often have a treat or water bowl ready for Fido.

Barndiva
A quiet outdoor garden is a restful downtown Healdsburg sanctuary for man and beast alike. (231 Center St., Healdsburg, 707.431.0100).

Willi’s Seafood and Raw Bar
The recently-expanded restaurant (403 Healdsburg Ave, Healdsburg, 707.433.9191) has a cozy patio that’s dog friendly. Stop in to Fideaux next door for a menagerie of squeak toys, collars, outfits and other pet-accessories for the well-heeled pet. (43 North Street, Healdsburg, 433-9935.

Five Guys Burgers and Fries
A large outdoor area makes for pet-friendly dining. The wafting smell of cooking meat is sure to drive you both wild. 2280 Mendocino Avenue, Santa Rosa, 528-2507.

Hopmonk Sebastopol
Dogs are allowed in the Beer Garden at the Sebastopol outpost of Gordon Biersch’s plucky brewpub. Keep in mind that while some dogs may dig the taste of beer, it’s probably not a good idea to share your pint. 230 Petaluma Ave,. Sebastopol, 829-7300.

Rosso Pizzeria and Wine Bar
You’ll often find a relaxing dog or two on the small patio of this Santa Rosa pizzeria. A table and chairs are set out on the sidewalk, along with a water bowl or two, to let pet parents know it’s okay to bring along their dog here. 53 Montgomery Drive, Santa Rosa, (707) 544-3221.

Share a toast with Fido: A number of wineries allow dogs on the grounds, and even into the tasting room.
Lambert Bridge Winery
(4085 W. Dry Creek Rd Healdsburg, 800.975.0555) is one of the most welcoming, hosting summertime Yappy Hours and Pizzas from 4:30-6:30pm each month. Owners indulge in wood-fired pizzas and wines while pups can sniff and mingle in the gardens.

Mutt Lynch Winery is all about dogs, from its labels to it’s welcoming stance on dogs. Owners said, “We’ll even do special events for your four legged friend – birthdays, “puppy” showers, even “Bark” Mitzvahs!” 602 Limerick Lane, Healdsburg, .942.6180. Open by appointment only.