787 Rio Del Mar Blvd.
Aptos, CA 95003
No one can deny the hospitable attitude of a café that offers a Doggie Menu. Café Bittersweet, serving breakfast and lunch daily inside or on the outdoor patio, is one such welcoming spot. With the mild caveat of “Good dog owners are always welcome on the patio!” on its Pooches on the Patio Doggie Menu page, the message means all dogs must be on a leash. Dining options for dogs include a burger patty, chicken breast, steak, pure land bison and lamb dry or a combo plate. Humans can enjoy a range of traditional and inventive breakfast fare, lunchtime pizzetas, salads, hot or cold sandwiches, soup and more, plus cocktails, beer and wine, juices and coffee drinks. Visit the website to view menus.
1000 41st Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
For good times and delicious spins on the classic burger, and a whole lot more, head over to Betty Burgers with three locations in Santa Cruz. Betty’s lets you customize your burger or hot dog, including making that burger a chicken, salmon or veggie patty as well. Also on the menu are sandwiches, soups and chili, salads, shakes and heartier entrée plates too. Dogs are welcome on the large patios at the 41st Avenue and Seabright locations. They must be leashed and well behaved so other diners can enjoy their dining experience too, but you already know that. Betty’s offers a single 1/3-pound “never-ever” beef patty (no hormones or antibiotics ever) cooked to the pup’s liking ($3.95) for a special dog treat, plus the restaurants are happy to provide a dish for water during warm weather. Check the website for additional locations and to view the menu options.
1115 Willow St.
San Jose, CA 95125
Bill’s Café says, “Daytime dining is our specialty,” and has the all-encompassing breakfast, lunch and cocktails menu to prove it. The menu here covers just about everything you could want, and breakfast choices in particular are extensive. Bill’s has been a San Jose breakfast tradition since 1977, and with five locations in the area, getting over to Bill’s should be easy. But don’t forget the pooch, since all of Bill’s Cafés are dog friendly in the outdoor patios. The only location with a small, semi-enclosed patio room is the Alameda café, so Bill’s asks only smaller dogs here please. Visit the website for locations and to download the menu.
538 Ramona St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
If you are looking for something a bit different, in an area already sparkling with an expansive variety of cafes and specialty dining options, then stop in to Coupa Café. Set in a 1930s historical building in downtown Palo Alto, Coupa Café is a cozy and inviting spot to experience Venezuelan and Coupa Café specialties, such as pabellon, arepas, empanadas and wild salmon, plus a global menu of panini, pizza, pasta, crepes and more. Coupa Café also is known for its organic, fair-trade, Venezuelan coffee, considered to be “among the best coffees in the world.” This lively café has a lot to offer, as it presents excellent quality, creativity and diversity in a welcoming environment. Bring your canine friend along too, as Coupa Café is pet friendly and allows dogs in the patio area, and will provide dog bowls for water to keep them hydrated. While pets are prohibited inside the café, certified, trained pets or guide dogs for the blind are welcome inside the five Palo Alto and Stanford Coupa Café locations. Visit the website for additional information on the coffees, menu options and locations.
417 S. California Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
Dine with Fido on the big patio at Spalti Ristorante where dogs are welcomed, and the restaurant will even provide a bowl of water for your dog, when asked. Of course, service dogs are exempted and allowed inside. The restaurant presents authentic Northern Italian cuisine, served in a casual yet classy and comfortable setting. Friendly and professional service adds to the enjoyment of Italian favorites at lunch and dinner; traditional dishes include antipasti, insalata, panini, pastas and a variety of entrees. Check the website for full menu choices.
Melanie Graysmith is a writer, artist and educator based in San Francisco. She writes on adult education, art and lifestyle topics, and enjoys writing short stories and poetry. She is also a member of an independent filmmaking group. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.