Here’s a list of the best dog-friendly bars and restaurants around Tacoma and Puyallup

There was a time when the notion of a “pet-friendly” bar or restaurant was a clandestine operation. Those brave enough to ask the question on local online forums were met with protest: “Don’t let the health department know our secrets!”

Thanks to a welcome — at least for the 65 million dog-owning households across America — change of heart (or rather, policy) from the Federal Drug and Administration, eating and drinking destinations that want to allow pups no longer have to fill water bowls in the shadows.

The FDA updated the rules in 2020, saying yes to dogs in food-service establishments so long as they adhere to certain parameters. Washington followed suit: the state Department of Health adopted new criteria in 2022.

Service animals, belonging to both staff (outside of food-prep areas) and customers, have been permitted in food-service settings since 1992, DOH confirmed in an email this month.

Now, leashed dogs can hang out in many outdoor areas and in spaces like brewery taprooms or taverns that don’t make food on site.

Importantly, noted DOH spokesperson Frank Ameduri, “The provisions allowing pet dogs are voluntary for the operator, and many may elect not to allow pet dogs on their premises.”

Grape, who enjoys sneaking laps of domestic lagers, enjoys the warmer weather on the patio of Beer Star on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Tacoma, Wash.
Grape, who enjoys sneaking laps of domestic lagers, enjoys the warmer weather on the patio of Beer Star on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Tacoma, Wash.

DOGS AT TACOMA RESTAURANTS

Breweries or similar taproom environments can welcome pups with prior approval from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Restaurants, or any business that does significant food preparation, can also request approval to allow dogs but only outside, through an outdoor entrance.

Prior to the 2022 change, said spokesperson Kenny Via, the health department had approved exceptions to “a couple breweries.” Since the change, “only a few facilities have requested approval to have dogs in outdoor areas.”

We asked readers to share their favorite places to hang with their best pal. One respondent, who said he has two dogs, various fish and a 37-year-old turtle (!!), loves the family pets but doesn’t think they need to careen around town.

“They have a nice setup at home and that’s where they stay,” this reader wrote in our survey. “I personally don’t think they need to go to Home Depot, the farmers market or most of the places people take their dogs.”

A few disagreed. Here are some of their suggestions — yes, a lot of breweries! We’ve also collected a few places that regularly express affection for customers’ doggos. Always consider calling ahead to double-check the business’s policy.

ACORN BREWING

2105 Meridian Ave. E., Edgewood, 253-517-8899, acornbeer.com

What to know: dogs on patio only; in-house sandwiches and frequent food trucks; all ages in main taproom (adjacent cocktail bar 21+)

TOP DOWN BREWING

15355 Main St. E., Sumner, 253-447-8632, topdownbrewing.com

What to know: dogs in taproom, front and side patios; frequent food trucks

Dogs are welcome indoors and out at Top Down Brewing Co. in Sumner. Lucy the golden retriever gets pets from owner Marty Brown of Bonney Lake on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.
Dogs are welcome indoors and out at Top Down Brewing Co. in Sumner. Lucy the golden retriever gets pets from owner Marty Brown of Bonney Lake on Wednesday, April 5, 2023.

CAMP COLVOS BREWING & PIZZA

2104 Commerce St., Tacoma, 253-314-5704, campcolvos.com

What to know: dogs on patio only; in-house pizza, sandwiches and salad; all ages

E9 BREWING & TAPROOM

2506 Fawcett Ave., Tacoma, 253-383-7707, e9brewingco.com

What to know: dogs in taproom and patio; in-house pizza and apps; 21+

ROCK THE DOCK PUB & GRILL

535 Dock St., Tacoma, 253-272-5004, rockthedockpub.com

What to know: dogs on patio only; in-house pub menu and full bar; 21+

UPTOWN KOFFEE & KAFE

2700 Milton Way, Milton, 253-922-5760, uptownkoffeeandkafe.com

What to know: dogs outside only; ring drive-thru doorbell, order and staff will deliver your drinks (and maybe a pup-accino!) to you out front

OTHER PLACES TO DRINK BEER (& COFFEE) WITH YOUR DOG!

Pogie basks in the sunshine at owner Justin Everman’s Lux Perpetua Coffee in McKinley. She’s locally famous to the point that people recognize her on the streets as “the Lux dog.”
Pogie basks in the sunshine at owner Justin Everman’s Lux Perpetua Coffee in McKinley. She’s locally famous to the point that people recognize her on the streets as “the Lux dog.”

LUX COFFEE

3535 McKinley Ave., Tacoma, instagram.com/luxcoffeetacoma

Why we love it: wonderful neighborhood coffee shop brewing Manifesto beans and stocked with local pastries by Spilled Butter Desserts; owner loves pups!

DUSTY’S HIDEAWAY

723 E. 34th St., Tacoma, 253-292-0106, dustyshideaway.com

Why we love it: menu, including great cocktails, offers something for everyone; dogs welcome on spacious deck or yard patio; all ages

DAHLMAN CELLARS

113 N. Tacoma Ave., Tacoma, 253-342-9455, dahlmancellars.com

Why we love it: locally owned and operated winery with award-winning bottles; small but Euro-style sidewalk patio where even a pet cat has visited; 21+

BEER STAR

4328 6th Ave., Tacoma, 253-300-7747, beerstarusa.com

Why we love it: extensive tap list, spacious indoor and outdoor areas where pups are always welcome; snacks available, frequent food trucks and BYOfood a great option; all ages

Grape and owner BJ enjoy the warmer weather on the patio of Beer Star on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Tacoma. The bar has ample indoor and outdoor space for people and pups.
Grape and owner BJ enjoy the warmer weather on the patio of Beer Star on Thursday, June 13, 2024, in Tacoma. The bar has ample indoor and outdoor space for people and pups.

THE LIVING TAPROOM

2101 S. C St. (Brewery Blocks), Tacoma, 253-331-3399, thelivingtaproom.com

Why we love it: extensive tap list (U-Pour), spacious seating options; BYOfood encouraged; 21+

THE REDD DOG - PUYALLUP

10305 156TH St. E., Puyallup, theredddog.com

Why we love it: dog-themed pub with extensive tap list (U-Pour) and tons of televisions; in-house pizza and pub fare; dogs on patio only, dog treats and swag also available; all ages