Elaine Christensen & Michael Jensen + Harold (Lab/Bullmastiff mix)
Restaurant choice: Tryst Gastro Lounge
What do you like best about this pup friendly space? The spacious area and welcoming staff puts Tryst at the top of the list for our little family!
What is your favorite thing on the menu? I love the Korean beef bulgogi as an appetizer or a meal. The lettuce wraps are tangy and refreshing, it is always my go-to!
Why would you recommend this destination to other dog-loving families? Tryst has such an inviting outdoor space, but the fact that it is dog friendly made it that much more appealing to us. They have wonderful, comfortable seating, and new adorable dog beds that Harold loves to cozy up on while we have dinner. Plus the food is pretty awesome.
Tell us a little about you: Michael and I absolutely love going out in downtown St. Pete, and finding a dog friendly restaurant is extremely important to us. Harold loves to be out and about on the town just as much as we do! If we can have cocktails outside with our sweet pup, it does not get much better than that.
Jessica & Tom Tanner + Olin (White Labradoodle) & Pep (Black Labradoodle)
Bar/Restaurant choice: POUR HOUSE with delivery from TAMPA PIZZA COMPANY
What do you like best about this pup friendly space? We love the relaxed atmosphere, good beer selection and the option for outdoor or indoor seating. It’s nice that we can enjoy the outside patio when the weather is good, but have the option to bring the dogs inside as well. They love making themselves comfortable on the couches.
What is your favorite thing on the menu? Since the Pour House doesn’t have a kitchen or serve food, we typically order delivery pizza from Tampa Pizza Company from down the road. My [Jessica’s] favorite is the bruschetta pizza chopped tomatoes, onions, basil and roasted garlic with balsamic vinegar on an olive-oil base. Tom likes the backyard BBQ pizza with roasted BBQ chicken, fresh garlic, roasted red onions and basil on a BBQ-sauce base. We order both and take home the extras for leftovers.
Why would you recommend this destination to other dog-loving families? This spot works out so well for a doggie date night because of the great dog park about a block away (we like to wear them out before going for food and drinks). The Pour House is so welcoming to the dogs—on any given day there are at least a handful of dogs at the bar. After a while everyone gets to know each other and it becomes a doggie play date. It’s also great that they let you bring in food from anywhere you like; so if pizza isn’t your thing, bring something else—there are a few restaurant options in the same building.
Tell us a little about you: We are a craft beer family. Tom brews his own beer and we love the selection offered at the Pour House. Plus, we like supporting local Tampa owned restaurants. We have two awesome boys Barrett (4) and River (2). With young kids it’s hard to get out often, but we don’t want to forget about our fur babies so we try to take them out for their own special date nights.
Richard Hughes + Rupert (Longhaired Dachshund)
Restaurant choice: INTERMEZZO COFEE AND COCKTAILS
What do you like best about this pup friendly space? I come on weekend mornings for coffee and can easily walk with Rupert from my residence in the Edge District. I also love that on evenings I can pop down for a glass of wine and a tray of amazing oysters at their oyster pop-up, Empire Oyster.
What is your favorite thing on the menu? The owners (Johnathan and Jarret) have done an amazing job integrating cocktails and oysters into the coffee bar space. From Empire Oyster, I love the “fat boy” oysters from Maine.
Why would you recommend this destination to other dog-loving families? They have easy outdoor seating where you can post up and read the paper, while watching the bustling St. Pete world go by. But the fact that the dogs are welcome inside makes it very appealing.
Tell us a little about you: I am the Chief Creative Officer/Owner of ClearpH, one of the oldest standing ad agencies in downtown St. Pete. I am also an Englishman, living in St. Pete since 1998.
Note: Empire Oyster is a popup restaurant only available for a limited time.
Audrey Prior + Oakley (Black Lab mix)
Restaurant choice: IRISH 31 in Hyde Park Village
What do you like best about this pup friendly space? For me it’s a combination of all the elements—food, location and atmosphere! The location is fantastic—within walking distance of where I live. Oakley and I often walk there to meet friends for a drink and bite to eat.
What is your favorite thing on the menu? The fried zucchini appetizer—it’s fried, need I say more? Oh and it comes with ranch dip! The Cuke n Blue with cucumber slices and blue cheese crumbles is usually a hit with our table of friends as well.
Why would you recommend this destination to other dog-loving families? It’s a great place to bring your pup, enjoy Florida’s amazing weather and just relax! They have awesome food and plenty of TVs to enjoy watching sports.
Tell us a little about you: I work in media at a food service ad agency. I was born in Tampa and consider it home even though my family has since moved to Tallahassee. I am a die-hard Florida State Seminoles fan and can never wait until football season. We love doing anything outside; Oakley especially loves activities that involve chasing squirrels or birds.
Topher Morrison + Macie (Brittany Spaniel/Beagle mix)
Restaurant choice: SONO CAFE at the Tampa Museum of Art
What do you like best about this pup friendly space? Living and working in downtown Tampa has provided many opportunities to meet the locals. When I’m sitting at Sono Café I’m bound to see someone I know and all of a sudden I have someone to keep Macie and me company.
What is your favorite thing on the menu? I don’t have a favorite, I try to change it up and try new things every time. But the smoked salmon is great and so is the avocado toast.
Why would you recommend this destination to other dog-loving families? The views are amazing, and being right next to the dog park makes it the perfect place to enjoy a quick bite while letting the dogs have a drink from one of the water bowls the restaurant happily provides.
Tell us a little about you: I live and work in downtown Tampa. Many of the local restaurants know me—and if they don’t remember my name, they always remember Macie’s. Frankly, she’s far more popular than I am! Tampa is becoming increasingly dog friendly as more residents find themselves caving into the puppy peer pressure and getting a dog of their own.
Harry Martin & Chase Moore + Jack (2 year old Chocolate Lab) & Drake (14 year old Husky/German Shepard mix)
Restaurant choice: OLD KEY WEST BAR & GRILL
What do you like best about this pup friendly space? Old Key West has an excellent energy; not only are they open to us bringing our pups, they also have a diverse group of clientele and staff who always make all feel welcome. It is also very walkable to the adjacent Kenwood neighborhood, where we live.
What is your favorite thing on the menu? The loaded tots are the perfect indulgent dish to accompany a hungry belly (especially after a couple of their drinks). The fried tots are covered in nacho and queso cheese, lettuce, tomato, jalapenos, and olives. We always add their house-smoked pork to make us not feel so bad about making this a meal. Why would you recommend this destination to other dog-loving families? They have an abundance of outdoor space, whether it’s on their new expansion of outdoor tables toward Central Ave., or their fun and kitschy enclosed back patio area.
Tell us a little about you: We spoil the dogs. When they aren’t lounging on the furniture or taking a dip in the pool, we’re taking them to Fort DeSoto’s beachfront dog park.
Fido approved TAMPA HOT SPOTS
- The Wine Exchange. The outside patio situated across from dog boutique, Downtown Dogs, is well equipped with shade and fans. If you find yourself in dog-friendly Hyde Park Village, pop into the Wine Exchange for a delicious bite.
- Holy Hog. Open until 9pm Monday through Saturday, this hometown smokehouse offers a great outdoor space to dine alongside your pup in downtown Tampa.
- Soho Saloon. Located on South Howard Avenue, this spot is located in a very walkable neighborhood and has a large covered and uncovered patio right in the middle of the action.
- The Sail Pavilion. This waterfront bar along Tampa’s Riverwalk is the perfect pit stop for a snack during your dog walk/run.
Fido approved ST. PETERSBURG HOT SPOTS
- The Chattaway. Enjoy award-winning burgers alongside your pup in the large garden oasis nestled in Old Town St. Petersburg.
- The Dog Bar. Dogs are encouraged at The Dog Bar in St. Pete’s Grand Central District. Sit, stay and drink at this “private dog park” and full liquor, beer, wine bar hybrid.
- Three Birds Tavern. Relax and linger with your fur baby as long as you’d like at this St. Pete staple.
- Bella Brava & Stillwaters Tavern. The covered patios on Beach Drive offered at these sister restaurants provide plenty of shade and comfort for your dog. As soon as you sit, the staff welcomes your pup with a pat and cold, refreshing water.
- Sea Critters Cafe. The casual ambiance and décor coupled with outdoor dining along Pass-A-Grille’s waterfront makes this a no brainer for a getaway with your pet.