15 Best Dog Friendly Restaurants in Carmel-by-the-Sea

For more of my self-guided walks of Carmel

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Conde Nast Traveler awarded Carmel-by-the Sea the #2 position for Best Small City in the U.S., the #6 spot for Travel Destination in the U.S. and #7 for Best Restaurants in U.S. Cities.  Those are all amazing awards for a town that takes up only one square mile on the map. Though no national awards have been issued on the matter, without a doubt one of the things Carmel may be best known for is being the most dog friendly town in the United States.

Our furry Carmelites run downtown businesses 

. . . and wine rooms. 

They do our banking with us . . . 

 . . . help us run our errands, 

. . . show off their vintage cars . . .

. . . and are seen at all the happening places. 

They dress up in their Sunday best . . . 

 . . . hit the town 

with their people parents and 

 . . . get loose and run off-leash on Carmel Beach. 

But what dogs really love to do, above all else,  . . . is go out to eat in one of Carmel-by-the-Sea's many dog friendly restaurants!! 

We have done an exhaustive survey (with the help of our very own Brandy Beagle) and have come up with our take of the 15 Best Dog Friendly Restaurants in Carmel (including both Carmel-by-the-Sea and the Barnyard Shopping Village). Each restaurant has its own unique charm, but all have great food, fun atmosphere, and cater enthusiastically to our little four legged friends.  We had planned to rank them in order, but quite frankly it was just too difficult a task. Brandy loves them all, and frankly we can't blame her.  So we've taken the easy way out and instead present to you our alphabetical list of Carmel's 15 Best Dog Friendly Restaurants - mangia

The Barnyard

Nina and Jeano opened Allegro Gourmet Pizzeria in 1988 with the desire to “capture that elusive dream; the soulful pizzeria that exists in every Italian neighborhood.”  They have achieved just that with Allegro, tucked into the northwest corner of Carmel Barnyard Shopping Village.  

Besides pizza, Allegro serves antipasti, soups, salads, and pasta. Happy hour is 4 to 6pm, Monday through Friday where beer is $4 andwine is $5. On Thursday from 4 to 6pm, Allegro has free wine tasting and antipasti. As a bonus Fido always eats for free with his/her pack leader.

Court of the Fountains
Mission Street between Ocean and 7th
European Cuisine 

For over 30 years Tony Salameh has nurtured his “child,” Anton & Michel.  A graduate of the Hotel School of Lausanne in Switzerland, Salameh was inducted into the restaurateur Hall of Fame (the Monterey County chapter of the California Restaurant Association) in 2002. 

Anton & Michel has received the prestigious Wine Spectator’s “Best of Award of Excellence” for having one of the most outstanding restaurant wine lists in the world. In 2013 they remodeled their restaurant and updated their menu. Chef Mark Simpson creates daily special that augment the small/bite, lunch, sunset dinner, and dinner menu.

Enjoy Anton & Michel with your pet in one of Carmel's romantic courts, the Court of the Fountains. There are no heaters in the courtyard, so on cool nights dress appropriately or ask for a table by the fire pit.  

Carmel Plaza Courtyard
Junipero & Ocean Avenue
International Cuisine 

Firok Shield and his restaurant family operates three restaurants in Carmel, da Giovanni (Ristorante Mediterraneo), Bistro Giovanni (famous $10 Bottomless Mimosas at Breakfast), 

and Bistro Beaujolais (next to the Fountain of Woof on the First Level of Carmel Plaza).  

Though each has a pet friendly venue, Bistro Beaujolais has the largest.  

With numerous outdoor heaters, along with a fire pit, patio setting is perfect even on cool evenings.

Bistro Beaujolais opens at 10am serving breakfast. Lunch is served from 10am to 4pm and dinner until close.  Burgers are served all day.  They even have gluten free buns; just ask.

5th Avenue between Mission and San Carlos
French Cuisine 

It is safe to say that the restaurant business is what the Georis brothers, Walter and Gaston, do and what they stand for.  The Georis family emigrated from Belgium to Southern California in 1956 and in 1977 the brothers opened Casanova in Carmel. Walter and Gaston were the team behind Casanova and its sister restaurant La Bicyclette for years.  As their families grew and the brothers each took on other projects, they decided to amicably end their partnership in 2014. 

Gaston took over La Bicyclette and works with his son Gabe, who owns Mundaka and Barmel; while Walter runs Casanova with his son Klaus as chef.  Walter also owns Corkscrew Bistro, Cowgirl Winery and Georis Winery in Carmel Valley.

Casanova is called the most romantic restaurant in Carmel and is modeled after the style of Walter’s grandmother’s home in Belgium with a number of private rooms woven together in the back and a charming outdoor dining courtyard in front. It's here you will find dogs sitting quietly underfoot while their people enjoy lunch or dinner.

SW Corner of 5th Avenue & Junipero
American Cuisine 

In 1944, Hugh Comstock (builder of the fairy tale homes in Carmel’s Historic Hill District) constructed a forge for artist and master blacksmith Francis Whitaker on the southwest corner of Junipero and Fifth. It was at this forge that Whitaker produced many of the sign holders, door latches, fireplace grates and fence post accents that can still be found all over Carmel.  After Whitaker left Carmel in the '60s, The Forge became an artist’s studio and in 1970 was converted into a restaurant called the Forge in the Forest.

In 2013, the Profeta Family - long time Carmelites - purchased the restaurant and shortened the name to The Forge;  Greg Profeta runs the day to day operations and is responsible for the restaurant's physical and culinary rejuvenation.

There are two outdoor patios where your furry friends can join you for brunch, lunch, or dinner.  The lower Dog Pound patio is the primary dining area, with murals reminiscent of a European village, a toasty fire pit, and heaters; perfect to allow you to enjoy our cool summer evenings. 

During the off season (non-summer months) the lower patio is closed and the upper patio is open for our canine friends.  With its charming garden, two fire pits, numerous heaters, and subtle lighting in the trees overhead, the upper patio is packed in the winter months and is one of Brandy's favorites. 

Doggie diners have their own menu with choices so tempting my father-in-law once tried to order off it.  Ever happy to serve the great waiters here cheerfully responded that it was no problem, as long as he'd be OK with it being served in a dog bowl.  Happy Hour is split – 3 to 5pm and 9pm to close.  

Hog's Breath Inn

San Carlos between 5th and 6th Avenues
American Cuisine 

Clint Eastwood discovered the Carmel area in 1950 (more specifically Mission Ranch) when he was stationed at Fort Ord during the Korean War. Twenty years later, during the filming of Play Misty for Me, director Clint Eastwood and his friend, accomplished writer, and actor Paul Lippman (1931-2004) dreamed about opening their own bar.  

In 1972, Eastwood, Lippman, and Walter Becker, an established Carmel restaurateur (Sans Souci and The Marquis Restaurant), formed a partnership and opened Hog's Breath Inn. Together they would run this establishment for 27 years. 

Though Mr. Eastwood doesn't own the restaurant anymore, you can still find his portrait on the wall of the old-world style pub complete with a wild boars head.

Stop by with your pet during Happy Hour 3:30 to 5:30pm Monday through Friday and enjoy some of the best bar food around.

Or order a "Dirty Harry Burger" off the lunch or  the early bird menus while you enjoy one of the many fire pits.

Ocean Avenue at Monte Verde Street
At the Pine Inn

In 1889, Delos Goldsmith erected the first hotel in Carmel on the northeast corner of Ocean Avenue and Broadway (now Junipero).  Called the Hotel Carmelo this two story wooden hotel had eight guest rooms.  In 1903 the hotel was purchased by Frank Devendorf and Frank Powers (Carmel-by-the-Sea’s co-founders).  They decided that the hotel should be closer to the beach, so they partially dismantled it, hoisted the rest on to pine logs and pulled it by mule down Ocean Avenue to its present site.  On July 4, 1903 the hotel reopened as the Pine Inn.  

The Pine Inn has been remodeled and expanded over the years to its present size, which encompasses a full city block. When you enter the Il Fornaio restaruant off Monte Verde Street you are entering the 1889 portion of the original Hotel Carmelo. This restaurant is a gathering place for locals. The menu created by Executive Chef Maurizio Mazzon is all Italian including pranzo, cena or dolci. Recently, Il Fornaio added heaters to their outdoor patio which is now open for dining with your pet. The view from the patio is west toward the beach and it is amazing at sunset. The outdoor heaters don't always work - so best save this venue for warmer days and evenings.

El Paseo Courtyard
NE Corner of Dolores Street and 7th Avenue

The Spanish Eclectic style El Paseo Building was constructed in 1928.  Little Napoli, owned by Chef Pepe, takes up the second in a trilogy of buildings in the Historic Downtown area of Carmel, designed by Oakland architects Blaine & Olsen.   

You and your pet will enjoy eating lunch or dinner on the patio of Little Napoli. It is here you will also find the Terra Cotta sculpture entitled “El Paseo” by artist Jo Mora (1876-1947).

Chef Pepe also owns Vesuvio, Carmel Bakery, and Vino Napoli Wine Bar and can often been seen riding between restaurants on his Pepe-A-Go-Go.

Carmel Barnyard
Modern European Restaurant

Lugano's Swiss Bistro is owned by our dear friends, Andre and Nargis Lengacher. You and Fido can sit out in their cozy Alpine-style covered porch and enjoy live polka music while you sample the culinary magic of Chef Andre as he prepares some of the the best Schnitzel and fondue dishes this side of the Swiss Alps. And you aren't the only one who can enjoy their award winning Swiss, German, French and Italian cuisine at lunch or dinner as Lugano's also offers your furry friend their very own Doggie Menu. Our Brandy Beagle gives it two paws way up!        

Did we mention they offer fondue?  Oh yes they do. Original cheese, Chicken, beef, seafood and of course Swiss chocolate.  As they say "It's hip to dip", and we might add, "tasty too"!  Just remember though, its a popular Swiss custom that if a lady loses her morsel in the fondue, she pays with a kiss to the gentlemen on her right.  If a gentlemen loses, he buys a bottle of wine.

Nargis and Andre love to say that when you come to Lugano's you "Arrive as a guest and leave as a friend". Truer words were never spoken. Very active in the community, Nargis and Andre are also the major movers and shakers behind the annual Monterey Bay Oktoberfest and Mayfest Monterey, two great must see events.

Lugano's is located on the east end of the Barnyard Village just off Highway 1 near Carmel Valley Road. The Barnyard is made up of seven rustic barns surrounded by gardens filled with trumpet vine, bougainvillea and an assortment of beautiful roses.

Historic Court of the Golden Bough
Ocean Avenue between Lincoln and Monte Verde

In 2008 friends Faisal Nimri and Bashar Sneeh opened Dametra Cafe on Ocean Avenue specializing in Mediterranean and Greek cuisine. Their restaurant became so popular that many times they would have to turn away numerous people who lined up outside the restaurant down the street hoping for a table. To help alleviate the problem Nimri and Sneeh purchased the PortaBella restaurant down the street and have recently completed interior renovations and a menu change, now featuring specialty dishes rich in color and flavor from France, Italy and Spain.

The building that today is home to PortaBella began life as Sade’s, a restaurant and bar that for fifty years was a popular meeting place for actors, artists and musicians in Carmel-by-the-Sea. It was built in 1925 by Lee Gottfried for magazine editor, Harry Leon Wilson, in part to house his wife’s flower shop, “The Bloomin Basement,” and became the eastern most building in the historic Court of the Golden Bough. Designed in the Tudor Revival style, this building gave this court its medieval European style. 

There are two pleasant patios for pooches. One in front on Ocean Avenue and a covered heated patio in the back.  Both are perfect places for a pleasurable lunch or dinner with your pet.   

Carmel Barnyard

Located in the Carmel Barnyard under the windmill next door to Lugano Swiss Bistro, pet friendly Robata Grill and Sake Bar has a lovely heated patio lit by Japanese lanterns and a warm fire pit. 

They feature an excellent sushi menu, including always fresh Nigiri and Sashimi and such favorites as their delicious Robata Maki, Philly Roll and Rock-N-Roll. But they also have options for non-sushi lovers like their fabulous Teriyaki Chicken and Filet Mignon. Brandy Beagle is particularly fond of the Nikumaki (that is when she can get us to share).

Lincoln and 7th Avenue
American Cuisine 

Dr. Kocher commissioned the architect firm of Blaine and Olsen to build a structure on the former site of what was called the Lincoln Inn,  At its opening, the Monterey Peninsula Herald called the La Ribera "One of the show places of the peninsula," as it offered its hotel guests high tea and wine tasting, In the 1960's the property was called Cypress West. In the mid 1980's local businessman Dennis LeVett took over ownership of Cypress West and in partnership with local actress and animal activist, Doris Day (yes, THAT Doris Day) they opened the original pet-friendly boutique hotel in Carmel, Cypress Inn. 

Terry's menu serves traditional American classics at lunch, dinner, and for lite bites.  Your four legged friends are welcome to join you for a meal or cocktail just about anywhere on property. Top Hat Optional. 

Terry's has brought back the classic cocktail of  Hollywood's Golden Age so stop by during "Yappy Hour" between 4:30 and 6pm Monday through Friday and enjoy 15% off these special drinks.  Don't forget to order a "muttini" (bowl of water) for your friend.  

Be sure to make your reservations early if you plan on afternoon tea served Friday and Saturday between 12 and 3pm.  This very popular event includes homemade scones, tea sandwiches and petit fours from Terry's kitchen.  Sniffs optional (though pretty much guaranteed). 

Treehouse Cafe Carmel
Stonehouse Terrace
San Carlos Street between 7th and 8th Avenues

The Treehouse Cafe is located on the second floor of the Stonehouse Terrace, sandwiched in between Wittpenn's Antiques and The Pasta Palate.  

The creation of friends restaurateur Fadi Alminiri and dentist Robert Zemicke, the Treehouse specializes in international food from the Middle East, Greece, Thailand, Asia, and Italy.  You and your pet can eat outside on the upper patio that has plenty of heaters, fire pits and umbrellas to take care of just about any kind of cool evening in Carmel.  

At night the subtle lighting on the terrace gives the patio a European flavor. 

NE Corner of Dolores Street and 6th Avenue

The Village Corner opened in the mid 1950's. In 1976, the restaurant was threatened with a loss of their lease as the owners of the building had other plans for the property.   Frustrated and angered over the possibility of losing their cherished restaurant local Carmelites sprang into action and formed a group called Old Carmel. Concerned with the proliferation of tourism in Carmel, this organization established themselves as a powerful political movement of 300 residents and through their actions were able to save the Village Corner from eviction.   

Thankful to Old Carmel for their efforts, the Village Corner has been serving Carmelites for over 60 years - serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner  to locals and visitors alike.  Here our friend Franklin poses pensively above as he waits for his name to be called to be seated. Franklin party of eight....

 . . . including, of course, his best girl, Brandy Beagle.

Their dog friendly outdoor patio features a retractable roof that makes it possible to enjoy your delicious american style meals with your best bud just about any time of year.  

Honorable Mention

We admit, we're terrible when it comes to narrowing down our list of favorites. They're just all so good.  In fact Brandy Beagle insisted that we share the following additional dog friendly restaurants for your dining pleasure. Please enjoy.  Trust us, we do whenever we can.  

Basil Seasonal Dining
California Cuisine
Outdoor covered and heated patio in the Paseo San Carlos Courtyard. 

Carmel Belle
Located inside the Doud Arcade
San Carlos Street between Ocean and 7th Avenues

Carmel Belle practices sustainability by providing high quality hormone-free meats and uses local ingredients from local farmers.  Order inside then enjoy your breakfast, lunch, or dinner on the patio.  

Cucina  Toscana
Junipero Street between 5th and 6th Avenues

Rustic Italian menu featuring local produce, hand-crafted pasta and slow cooked meats by executive Chef Brad Briske. Voted best new restaurant in Monterey County Weekly. Small number of tables on a heated patio in the front of the restaurant.  

Carmel Coffee House

Located under the Las Tiendas Archway
Perfect for a coffee and snack with your pet. 

Irish-American Pub
Carmel Barnyard 

Located upstairs in the Carmel Barnyard the only place to enjoy a Banger or Fish n Chips and Guinness with your Irish Wolfhound or Setter.  


Seafood Grill and Oyster Bar
6th Avenue between Dolores and San Carlos

The original "Sustainability Restaurant" featuring fresh fish, caught wild, served in a small town, family atmosphere.  Just about four tables located in Cinderella Lane (the alley next to Flaherty's). 

Grasing's Coastal Cuisine
NW Corner of 6th Avenue and Mission


Chef Grasing's namesake restaurant has justifiably garnered numerous awards over the including being voted Best Restaurant in Carmel by the readers of the Monterey County Weekly. Quite patio out back with heaters and large umbrella makes this a classy place to dine with your pet. 

Katy's Place

Mission Street between 5th and 6th Avenues

Extremely popular visitors and local alike. Expect a line out the door - but worth the wait to dine on the patio with your pet.  

Dolores between Fifth and Sixth

With their bakery in the Barnyard such a success, Lafayette teamed up with Yafa and opened a new place in the village.  Currently there are only two outdoor tables.  

Nico Ristorante Europeo
San Carlos between Ocean and 7th Avenue

Cozy outdoor patio in front - perfect for dining with Fido. 

Le St. Tropez 
Dolores between Ocean and 7th Avenues
Modern and Classic French 

Family owned and operated, many of their menu items may be ordered gluten free. Dine in their new Jardin des Artistes - parfait!

Dolores Street between Ocean and 7th Avenues

Dine in the patio of the historic Tuck Box, built by Hugh Comstock in his classic Storybook style in 1927. 

Thank you for visiting! Happy Adventures.

For an interactive map and guided walking tour covering this and many of our other tours please be sure to download the GPSmyCity App from the iTunes store. The App covers an extensive library of articles and walking tours from over 470 cities worldwide, and now features articles from Adventures of a Home Town Tourist covering Carmel and Monterey (with more cities on the way). Click the City Walks logo below to get your free App today.

*The App is free, though a small fee will apply to activate some enhanced features.
Photography by L.A. Momboisse and R.M. Momboisse unless listed below or noted above;

Picture of Dog at Allegro Pizza - courtesy of Allegro Pizza

Picture of Clint Eastwood under the Hog Breath sign from Pinterest 

Dog Menu at Lugano Swiss Bistro - courtesy of Lugano Swiss Bistro

Night picture of the Treehouse Restaurant - courtesy of Treehouse Cafe

Picture of Carmel Coffee House from Pinterest 

Picture of back patio of Grasings - courtesy of Grasings 


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