Best Pet-Friendly Restaurants In The South Bay

Best Pet-Friendly Restaurants In The South Bay
In August 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown officially signed Bill 1965 into law, allowing pets and their owners to dine together at restaurants outdoors when patio seating is available. Governor Brown is the devoted pet parent of Sutter, a Welsh corgi who is the official California First Dog. The new law makes officially legal a practice that some people in the state thought had already been legal. The law fully goes into effect in January 2015, when restaurant owners may — although are not obligated to — accommodate diners with dogs safely, without fear of being cited. Read on for five pet-friendly dining spots in the South Bay.

Café Bittersweet
787 Rio Del Mar Blvd.
Aptos, CA 95003
(831) 662-9899

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.

Betty Burgers
1000 41st Ave.
Santa Cruz, CA 95062
(831) 475-5901

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.

Related: Best Parks To Walk Your Dog In The North Bay

Bill’s Café
1115 Willow St.
San Jose, CA 95125
(408) 294-1125

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.

Coupa Café
538 Ramona St.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
(650) 322-6872

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.

Spalti Ristorante
417 S. California Ave.
Palo Alto, CA 94306
(650) 327-9390

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.

Related: Best Pet Friendly Bars In The East Bay

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