Dog-Friendly San Francisco: The Best Beaches, Parks, Restaurants, Events + More


By Michelle Klug and Matt Charnock


Dogs live the good life in San Francisco. Walk down any street and you'll see a pooch happily trotting along, catching crumbs under cafe tables, or chasing tennis balls in one of the many off-leash neighborhood parks.

In addition to plentiful outdoor spaces for the four-legged to roam, many local restaurants and businesses welcome furry patrons. Pair that with miles of canine-friendly beach and tons of pet-friendly workplaces, and it's no wonder we rank as one of the best cities for dogs every year. Yearning to take dog baby out on the town for a bit of shopping or a patio drink? Scroll through our favorite dog-friendly spots in and around the city.

Have we left out your favorite spot? Post pics of your pup in his or her favorite Bay Area locale with the hashtag #dogsof7x7.

EVENTS + MEETUPS


Three Legged Dog Party

Each year, the Tri Pawed Dogs brings three-legged dogs from across the Bay Area together at Duboce Park for a party. Prizes are given simply for simply showing up, but the event is strictly BYOF (Bring Your Own Food). // facebook.com/TriPawedDogs.

Corgi Con

Each June, costumed corgis take Ocean Beach (and Instagram) by storm, delighting the masses with their cute AF plump rumps and all the attitude. In 2018, some 27,000 humans showed up for the spectacle with 950 fur babies. Attendance is free, but you may feel compelled to buy some Corgi Con merch. // corgicon.com

Dog Days of Summer Meetup

Enjoy game night at AT&T Park with you fur-friend right by your side. Costume contests, races, and other canine happenings will take place before and after the Giants take the field. A portion of the benefits go to the San Francisco SPCA, and your pup must be older than six months to attend. // August 26, 2018, mlb.com

San Francisco SPCA

The SF SPCA is pretty much the mothership when it comes to fab fur baby gatherings, with regular programming at two locations including story times, kitten showers, and playgroups, as well as larger annual block parties for Halloween and more. On August 16, look for the SPCA's Furry Nightlife bash at California Academy of Sciences in Golden Gate Park. // Mission Campus, 201 Alabama St. (Mission), sfspca.org

Wiener Dog Races

Little legs, big dreams, as they say at Wienerschnitzel, which hosts multiple dachshund races each year. See the fastest wieners in the West compete at the California State Fair in Sacramento (July 28, 2018) and at the Santa Clara County Fair (Aug. 5, 2018). Wieners who dash to the finish line in the top 10 will qualify for nationals. // wienerschnitzel.com

World's Ugliest Dog Competition

Now something of a national spectacle, the Sonoma-Marin Fair's annual World's Ugliest Dog Competition pairs dog show judges with canines only an owner could love. A $1,500 cash prize is given to the crowned winner, not to mention the national media attention that ensues. Come for the subjectively pretty pups, stay for the fair food. // June 23, 2018 at Sonoma-Fair, sonoma-marinfair.com.

BEACHES


Baker Beach

Enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge and watch the waves roll in. Dogs are allowed on all of Baker Beach, and are allowed to roam off leash north of Lobos Creek. On a sunny day, your pup will have lots of companions to play with. Note: With all beaches west of the Golden Gate Bridge, riptides can be dangerous, so it's best to use your judgment and keep dogs close to shore. // 1504 Pershing Dr. (Presidio), parksconservancy.org

Crissy Field

Crissy Field offers a close-up view of the GGB and an off-leash beach area where dogs and kids play in the water. Bring a blanket, a book, your camera, and a picnic, and plan to stay for awhile. Within the safety of the SF Bay, the calm waters allow dogs to swim out far to fetch toys. // 1199 E Beach (Marina), parksconservancy.org

Ocean Beach

Three-and-a-half miles of uncrowded space await active dogs who love to run, dig, and splash around. They can go off leash between stairwells one and 21, but are supposed to be on leash south of that (though, you'll see dogs off leash everywhere regardless). Note: Even on calm days, the current can be unpredictable. // Point Lobos Avenue (Outer Sunset), parksconservancy.org

Mile Rock Beach

Tucked away in a small cove below the Land's End Viewpoint, you'll find, as you'd imagine, a mile or so of somewhat rocky beach. It's one of only a handful of off-leash beaches in SF, so your BFF can embrace his unshackled freedom. Word to the wise: The waters that sit outside the beach are notoriously rough, so it's best to keep the fetching on land. // Lands End Trail (Outer Richmond), californiabeaches.com

Candlestick Point Recreation Area

Pack a picnic and bring a dog bowl to Candlestick Point Recreation Area, situated just outside the AT&T Park. The views are sublime, the waters are glassy, and, because it's an on-leash area, you can rest easy knowing your dog-aggressive pup won't get provoked. // 1150 Carroll Ave. (Bayview), parks.ca.gov

Muir Beach

Savor the IG-worthy views of the Pacific-facing sea cliffs while your four-legged-friend rumages up and down the beach for bits of driftwood. Muir Beach, too, is off-leash friendly; however, some pockets along the beach do have "on-leash only" signage. Take note that come late-spring and early-summer, Muir beach doubles as both a recreational beach...and seal pupping colony. // Highway One and Franks Valley Rd. (Marin), nps.gov

Fort Funston

Fort Funston is the best place you can go with an active dog. Enjoy beautiful views of the Pacific from the cliffs, then veer right and hike down through the forest to the beach. Turn left when you reach the beach and walk until you hit the stairs. The full loop is 2.2 miles and quite the workout (the climb back up is steep). It's a fun place to watch hang gliders take off from the cliffs, and you can see whales off the shore during migration season. // Fort Funston Rd., nps.gov

PARKS + HIKES


Bernal Hill

Bernal Heights Park (aka Bernal Hill) is basically a giant dog park. It's completely off leash and a great place to go for a short hike on a clear day with panoramic views of the bay and downtown. There's plenty of dogs, kids, and picnickers to keep you company. // Bernal Heights Blvd. (Bernal Heights), sfrecpark.org

John McLaren Park

This 312-acre park in Excelsior features seven miles of trails that run through wispy tall grass and green hills. Enjoy a nature hike with your pup or let him run wild with the pack in one of the two designated dog play areas. They can even swim in the duck pond. McLaren is the second largest park in the city, but far less crowded. // 100 John F Shelley Dr. (Portola), sfrecpark.org

Marin Headlands

While dogs are allowed on leash or under voice control in some areas of the Marin Headlands, it's important to note they are prohibited in other areas. The general rule of thumb is that dogs are allowed off-leash north of Tennessee Valley Road, starting on the Miwok Trail, and running up and over the hill to Muir Beach. // Along Conzelman Rd. (Marin), nps.gov

Mt. Davidson

Mt. Davison Park is one of the best hikes in the city. It's also the highest natural point in San Francisco, and has great panoramic views. It's know for its large, dead tree and a gigantic metal cross. Most people stop at the tree, but if you continue on, there are smaller dirt trails that wind through the forest with much less people on then While it's not an off leash park, you'll see dogs walking the trails sans leash. // Myra Way (Sunnyside), sfrecpark.org

Dolores Park

On a sunny day, Dolores Park is packed with dogs, hipsters, and pot-smokers. It's a great place to people watch and let your dog make friends. Bring a picnic and a blanket, and some tennis balls for your canine. Dogs are allowed to go off leash—hooray. // 19th & Dolores St. (Mission), sfrecpark.org

BARS + RESTAURANTS


Outerlands

Dogs like fancy Sunday brunches, too. Or at least, hanging out under one of Outerland's sidewalk tables. Dine on eggs in jail or a (sweet or savory) Dutch baby pancake, then walk it all off on Ocean Beach just a few blocks away. // 4001 Judah St. (Outer Sunset), outerlandssf.com

Harmonic Brewery

Drinking beer with your best friend is encouraged at Harmonic Brewery. Regulars frequently bring their dogs, and the chill brewery even provides water bowls for them. They're not restricted to a patio or outdoor area either; they have full run of the place (since it doesn't serve food). Would you expect any less from a brewery in the Dogpatch? // 1050 26th St. (Dogpatch), harmonicbrewing.com

Toronado

A wide selection of craft beer (at affordable prices), laid-back atmosphere, and the option to bring your dog make Toronado a favorite watering hole for many. Enjoy a Pliny the Elder at this no-BS bar in the Lower Haight, while your companion chills under one of the pub tables. The bartenders may be surly to you, but generally like dogs just fine. // 547 Haight St. (Lower Haight), toronado.com

The Sycamore

Enjoy your bottomless mimosa brunch with your dog in tow. Sycamore has a large back patio where dogs and humans are both welcome. Come to this Mission dive bar for brunch, stay for their great beer selection. // 2140 Mission St. (Mission), thesycamoresf.com

Kitchen Story

Kitchen Story is, in fact, pet friendly even if they're admittedly not too vocal about it. Small water bowls are available for pets to enjoy along the seated sidewalk section. Because brunch and dinner can be hella crowded, be sure to call in advance to secure a patio seat if you're looking to bring your canine companion; seating inside is strictly humans only. // 3499 16th St. (Castro), kitchenstorysf.com

Chloe's Cafe

If you're willing to brave the lines, this no-frills breakfast place in Noe Valley has plentiful dog-friendly outdoor seating, so you'll never have to enjoy your omelettes without your dog by your side ever again. // 1399 Church St. (Noe Valley), facebook.com/ChloesCafeSF

21st Amendment Brewery & Restaurant

Breweries and dogs go together so well. When the weather is warm, enjoy a Hell or High Watermelon out in the beer garden. // 563 2nd St. (South Park), 21st-amendment.com

Hops & Hominy

Bring the hounds—this deep-South-meets-California restaurant has a quaint patio where you can enjoy one of their handpicked microbrews and mac and cheese to start, followed by Southern classics such as shrimp and grits, chicken and dumplings, or a pulled pork sandwich. // 1 Tillman Pl. (Union Square), hopsandhominy.com

Zazie

The iconic Cole Valley is well-loved haunt among neighborhood dog lovers thanks to its Monday night's Zazie's Goes to the Dogs, when you and Fido can sit together on the small heated patio in the back (or at front sidewalk tables any old day of the week). You'll nosh Cal-Frenchie fare and take advantage of $10 off bottles of wine; pup will get her own treat as well. // 941 Cole St. (Cole Valley), zaziesf.com

7 Mile House Sports Bar and Grill

Beloved by Bay Area dog lovers for its Yappy Hours and Paws on the Patio menu, 7 Miles House is, perhaps, the most dog-friendly restaurant in all of the SF Bay Area—you just have to get to Brisbane. But it will be worth the trip: Dogs are treated to their own entrees including naturally smoked pigs ears and turkey patties. // 2800 Bayshore Blvd. (Brisbane), 7milehouse.com

Bender's Bar and Grill

Ping-pong, pool tables, and the '70s-era jukebox are all selling points of this chill Mission watering hole. But once you find out that dogs are allowed inside and offered homemade dog treats, you'll know this place is the total package. The bar can get a bit crazy at night, so be sure your puppy is comfortable in crowds. If not, aim to go for a drink around 5 or 6pm. // 806 S. Van Ness Ave (Mission), bendersbarandgrill.com

Holy Water

Holly Water is just that: a heavenly place to grab a worship-worthy cocktail and spend some quality time with the pup. Dogs are allowed on the outside patio. // 309 Cortland Ave. (Bernal Heights), holywatersf.com

Spike/s Coffee & Tea

This coffee shop has a bulldog for its logo, so that tells you most of what you need to know. Locals get their morning dose at sidewalk tables; the canines at their feet wait for crumbs of croissant. // 4117 19th St. (Castro), spikescoffee.com

Tartine Bakery

If you ever do manage to snag a table on the sidewalk outside SF's most iconic bakery, your on-leash pup will delight in whatever happens to fall their way. // 600 Guerrero St. (Mission), tartinebakery.com

PET SHOPS


Pet's Corner

This much-loved neighborhood pet shop in the Richmond is family-owned with the friendliest dog-loving staff around. In addition to a variety of healthy food—raw, freeze dried, canned, and kibble—they also have Warriors gear for pups, as well as toys, grooming supplies, and leashes. // 3701 Geary Blvd. (Inner Richmond), petscornershop.com

Mission Critter

This small shop curates the best quality ingredients, and the staff is always willing to make recommendations. It's a go-to food, toy, and treat shop for Mission doggies and their owners who are looking to avoid big-box pet stores. // 2959 Mission St. (Mission), facebook.com/Mission-Critter

Fit Local Fit

Codependent much? It's ok, they won't judge you at Fit Local Fit's family-owned, dog-friendly gyms in Bernal Heights and Glen Park. The gyms offers doggie playtime in an outdoor space, as well as dog walking service for gym members. So while you get your sweat on, your pal will be playing with friends and getting properly worn out so you can both chill when you get home. // 701 Cortland Ave. (Bernal Heights), and 666 Chenery St. (Glen Park), fitlocalfit.com

Best in Show

Dogs are treated like the divas they are at Best in Show, a one-stop shop (food, clothes, leashes, accessories) where you can also pick up a little something for yourself like, say, a "Sleep with Dogs" tee. They also have the cutest canine toys you've ever seen—our pups love the squeaky puppets! // 545 Castro St. (The Castro), bestinshowsf.com

GETTING AROUND


Muni

For dog owners without cars, Muni is your best bet for getting to places not on the BART line, including most of the beaches and parks. Pets are allowed outside the peak hours of Monday through Friday, 5-9am and 3-7pm. During non-peak hours, dogs have to be leashed or in a closed carrier and require the same fare as their owners. // sfmta.com

BART

Dogs in transport carriers are allowed on BART for no charge at anytime. However, this pretty much limits you to only bringing small dogs onboard. // bart.gov

Uber and Lyft

Both car services have the same policy: It's completely up to the driver. Once you request a car, you can call the driver and ask if they allow dogs in their car. Lyft will refund any charges if you have to cancel the ride. // uber.com, lyft.com

Zipcar

Critters of all kinds are allowed in this car sharing service, as long as they're in carriers. The car must be clean upon return. // zipcar.com

Blue and Gold Fleet

Take in views of the San Francisco Bay, Alcatraz, and the Golden Gate Bridge with your best friend. Blue and Gold Fleet allows on-leash dogs to board to vessel for their one-hour Bay Cruise. // blueandgoldfleet.com

This article has been updated since it was originally published in April 2016.


1699 Van Ness Ave San Francisco, CA 94109

Office: 415-345-3100 • Cell: 415-608-2233

DRE: 00843865

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