Weekends are for friends, family and fluffy four-legged buddies. Next time you’re venturing out and can’t say no to those wide puppy eyes, head to a spot where your tail-wagging friend will be welcomed with open pats. Never leave a pup behind with Melbourne’s best dog-friendly cafes and bars.
Vertue Coffee Roasters
One of Melbourne’s best-looking cafes also happens to love creatures of all sizes, because they’re obviously over-achievers. Next time your furry best friend is having a ruff day, grab the leash and head towards Vertue Coffee Roasters. Tucked behind unassuming red timber doors, the cosy outdoor alleyway is perfect for a lazy Sunday brunch complete with espresso French toast, quality coffee and your eager four-legged friend who is guaranteed to beg for a bite. Remember, real friends always share.
Vincent The Dog
When a café is named after your favourite creature on four legs, you know you’ve come to the right place. Along with excellent coffee and an innovative brunch menu, the Vincent The Dog team take their pup patting seriously. Friendly and impeccably hospitable, order the Chinese Donut filled with melted cheese and topped with shredded pork floss and pickled veggies. Extra bacon is a necessity for you and your sniffy friend. Enter via the back lane for the grassy dog-friendly outdoor seating.
Arbory Bar and Eatery
Kick back at Melbourne’s longest bar with a double cheeseburger and a pet that’s determined to grab a bite. Layered with bacon, pickles, tomato relish and served with salty crinkle cut chips, you can pretty much assume that some will need to be sacrificed to those sad eyes and drooping ears. If you’re looking for something a little fancier (perhaps you’re on a double doggy date?), Arbory‘s trademark dishes like the prawn and preserved lemon risotto pair perfectly with a glass of wine.
The staff at Madame Brussels love a happy pooch, assuming they’re well behaved and you’re happy to visit during the day. Nothing beats high tea with a side of puppy patting. From chocolate fondue to giant cheese plates, Madame Brussels’ outdoor terrace is ideal for a lazy gossip.
Drinks are available all day (because they know what we need on Sunday morning), including Bloody Marys, Espresso Martinis and Sangria. Don’t let your excited wet nosed companion sneak a sip.
City Wine Shop
Ideal for a 10 out of 10 first date impression, expect the compliments to keep coming when you rock up with your favourite four-legged wing-man. Between chatting about the best puppy preschools, order a glass from one of Melbourne’s best wine lists at City Wine Shop. Classic Parisian breakfast options, tapas and counter meals are also on offer in case you and your paw-ful friend are feeling peckish.
Let your four-legged friend off leash at Fawkner Park. This laid-back doggy hot spot is the perfect place to relax while your companion enjoys a run around. If you’d prefer to stay active, the paths are lined with Moreton Bag figs and oak trees and are the perfect place for an inner-city stroll. Enter from Commercial Rd or St Kilda Rd for the off-leash area.
Take your pooch out to stretch their legs in one of Melbourne’s iconic inner-city parks. Chasing tennis balls, play-fighting with other dogs and running through the grass are just some of the fun-filled activities happening down at Princes Park. Mingle with other dog lovers and enjoy the city skyline from this prime doggy location in Melbourne.
Some dogs may not like water, but they’re bound to enjoy sitting by the Yarra at Pilgrim Bar. Offering an impressive range of Australian cold meats and cheeses, this waterfront bar will have you and your pooch’s mouths watering. Their cocktail list boasts an Australian twist on the classics, like the Australian botanical spiced Bloody Mary.
Punting on the Lake
Cruise around Melbourne’s Royal Botanical Gardens with your furry friend. Punting on the Lake offer tours through the garden and professional punters that share history and information on surrounding flora and fauna. With such a stunning backdrop, it’s the ultimate photo opportunity for you and your pup.
If you’ve ever wanted to take your four-legged friend out on the high seas, this could be the next best thing. Hire a boat with Goboat Melbourne and cruise along the Yarra with up to eight friends. No boat license or experience required, and it’s BYO food, drink and puppy.
Finally, your furry friend has a chance to watch all the latest blockbusters and cult classics. Settle in on a picnic rug and cushion at Moonlight Cinema, the ever-popular (and pup friendly!) outdoor event in the Royal Botanic Gardens. On until 31 March.