Dog Friendly London – where do we go?
Updated July 2023
Ages ago I came across a fun and comprehensive post by blogger LibertyLondon on dog friendly venues across Central and North London. This spurred me on to write a similar post but covering of course, South London. A few years ago, a few months after Amber joined our family, I wrote an article for Identita’ Golose, with a bunch of places we had managed to visit. Since then, a few things have changed and we’ve discovered more places to visit with her.
I keep this post as up to date as I can, but things change quickly and thankfully, there are more and more places which are dog friendly. A great group worth joining to keep up to date is on Facebook.
Yet as a rule of thumb, is always important to ask if the dog is allowed, as often it depends on the size and temperament of the dog whether they are welcome or not.
Not that we visit the west end very often, but indeed small dogs are allowed in Liberty’s, the Apple Store and Selfridges. In Marylebone, the lovely people at La Fromagerie will allow small and calm dogs.
In Soho, the famous pizza haunt run by Pizza Pilgrims is only dog friendly on the terrace now and thanks to reader Ellen (see detailed comment below), we know the Dean Street says all branches are dog friendly but not all staff are aware and turn people with small dogs down. She says she goes to Detox Kitchen in Carnaby which doesn’t have a problem with a small dog. The Good Egg in Kingly Court will also welcome dogs. New arrival elegant Nessa by chef Tom Cenci is dog friendly in the lovely bar area and does great food.
Other good spots in the neighborhood are Duck and Rice (downstairs in Pub only), Sun and 13 Cantons (go for the rotating kitchen residencies), Gelupo for Gelato says small dogs are OK and Tsujiri Matcha House. Polpo and Vinoteca should be dog friendly across London, they are for sure in their Soho branch. We also had dinner at Mele e Pere in Soho years ago, with Amber.
PictureHouse Central cinema on Piccadilly periodically hosts dog friendly sunday screenings. I took Amber a few years ago and she loved the foyer full of other doggies but the movie itself, she hated. She spent the entire time cuddled up under my chair. I felt the volume was a little too high too but they are very popular events so worth checking out.
In Covent Garden, cute dog store Bow Wow is a posh boutique for your beloved pooch (yes, £70 for a leather harness). Dr Marten’s store on Neal Street allows dogs inside, while Zara on Long Acre and Mango (with a very unfriendly store manager) on Neal St do not (however Zara Kings Road branch does). Elegant hotel Rosewood is also dog friendly (in High Holborn) and so is Bakery Arome. Next door, the wonderful bookshop Stamfords has a terrace area and makes fab hot and iced chocolates.
Upmarket steak restaurants M (one in Victoria, one in the City) are dog friendly and often organise Doggy brunches too, but we have yet to try them.
The Yards, a new area tucked off Long Acre, is dog friendly too: within their space, you can dine at 28-50 WIne bar, Bill’s in St Martin’s courtyard and one of my favourite spots, Stanfords bookshop (their cafe has indoor and outdoor seating and makes a fab iced chocolate).
South East London
Southbank / Bankside
On the South Bank chains Giraffe, Pain Quotidien and others will only allow you to dine with your dog on their outside terrace. Not many establishments here are sadly dog friendly but the area itself is a nice place for a walk. The reopened Green Room and Marsha will allow dogs indoor too and so does The Mulberry Bush, a really good pub on Upper Ground. Or try the new space at Brewdog (for an in depth review see my recent post). Forget chain Gail’s which is not dog friendly, while some Caffe Nero and Costa might allow furry friends.
Lower Marsh / The Cut / Blackfriars
On Lower Marsh, there’s a great choice if one wants a proper coffee: Scooter Café, Little Bread Pedlar and Balance all allow dogs inside. Bar and vegan restaurant Vaulty Towers (managed by The Vaults theatre company) and the Glitch are also very dog friendly. Boutique hotel Ruby Sofie might allow dogs in the entrance area after breakfast (we’re not quite sure yet!). We have yet to try newly opened Juice Bar V&V (in what used to be Four Corners Cafe).
Unfortunately grocery store Greensmiths does not allow dogs inside which means we barely shop there but they have outdoor tables; Rivers Remedies is a wonderful ethical store of all things British (from body lotions to washing up liquid) and is dog friendly; other shops which allows dogs are Rymans, Twice the Siren and plant cafe the Travel Cafe. Local pub the Hercules on Westminster Bridge road is dog friendly but food is so-so.
Around Waterloo, the White Hart and famous Anchor & Hope (on the Cut) are dog friendly, the Duke of Sussex gastro pub by Millenium Green does great food and allows dogs. The Young Vic cafe & restaurant allows dogs too, and a lot of the coffee chains on the Cut have outdoor terraces. Origins Coffee Roasters behind Blackfriars road do great brunches and fab coffee. The ground floor bar area (Albie) in the plush Hoxton Hotel will let you have a drink with your furry friend too!
On London road, latin american restaurant Paladar and smoothie cafe Raw Press welcome dogs, just like nearby gastro pub the Albert Arms .
Further up on Blackfriars Road FCB coffee by Blackfriars station entrance (south side) has a jar of dog biscuits.
Borough / London Bridge
Mercato Metropolitano, which opened a few years ago in Borough, allows dogs on a lead within their grocery store, which is fantastic, and their food courts, so well done to them.Just south of them by the E&C roundabout, is new cafe Old Spike Roastery with dog treats at the ready and fab coffee.
Flatiron Square, another street food location recently opened, allow dogs although it’s busy on some nights so might not be the ideal place for four legged shorties like Amber. O’ver pizzeria is another great option. Reopened italian gourmet deli Prezzemolo & Vitale allows you do some grocery shopping with your pooch while the Whisky Shop is an essential shop which stayed open during lock down and welcomes dogs too.
We enjoyed a great breakfast at permanent pancake house Where the Pancakes Are who welcomed Amber. Quirky coffee shop Gentlemen’s Baristas does a good brunches and is dog friendly as well (branches all around SE1). We always visit their Union Street shop (the original) and Amber loooooves coming over, as they always give her some treats and lots of fuss and she meets other doggies (Zelda the labrador, Monday the staffie).
Not far from there, Great Guns Social (Southwark Bridge Road) is a renovated foodie heaven, with on going residencies. They love dogs and Amber has already been photographed by their resident photographer. Caravan Rosters only allows dogs on their outdoor terrace sadly.
Nearby Borough Market finally allows dogs on a lead; Italian owned (seems like a fil rouge?) Gelateria 3 Bis is where we often now stop for a coffee or a proper ice cream with Amber. Pulia also used to allow small, well behaved dogs but we have not been since their reopening; vegan fine dining Mallow is a great place to eat and will let you bring your pooch.
Not a single one of the other chainy places in the market area allow dogs, so don’t even bother, but on Borough Road, Neapolitan deli Flavours of Naples welcomed us with open arms.
Nearby Union Street Arches have two restaurants who are both dog friendly with small pooches if no other customer complains, Bala Baya (israeli grill) and Macellaio RC (Italian steak house); the Theatre Cafe’ is also dog friendly.
Bermondsey Street is the well-known dog friendly mecca of South London: all or almost all shops and restaurants here allow you to bring your dog in, including high end Pizzarro, the Garrison, Cafe Murano and the Woolpack where there is a water fountain and treat dispenser in their spacious outdoor area. Make sure you stop by in pet boutique Holly & Lil!
Nearby Maltby St Market is the perfect place to replace ‘Borough’ as foodie market, where most restaurants allows you to eat or drink with a dog including Bar Tozino and 40 Maltby on Maltby Street deserves a shout out too as, as Ellen confirms, they love dogs and they strongly encourage you to bring him/her. The Table Cafe in Southwark also is dog friendly, we used to visit very often but have not done so for ages, and they do a good brunch. Caravan Bankside will only allow dogs on their very attractive terrace.
Elephant & Castle / Kennington
Near the Imperial War Museum, the local pubs are very dog friendly: the Three Stags, which is also sustainable and member of the SRA; nearby the newly reopened The Tankard also allows dogs and does decent food including Sunday roasts, and further down on Kennington Road, the Tommyfield and the Ship are decent dog friendly, gastro pubs. Vanilla Black near Kennington Cross offers great coffee and allows dogs.
Near the famed Elephant & Castle roundabout, recently opened Neapolitan pizzeria Theo’s will allow dogs in their bar area; the Elephant Works complex is also dog friendly and Tupi London in the Castle Square allows small dogs too. Incredibly, Pret by the Castle Centre is also dog friendly!
In Vauxhall, we sometimes visit the quaint Tea House Theatre, where brunch is great, cakes are amazing and the tea menu is fab; across the road the Black Dog does a good Sunday roast, both of course, dog friendly while Brunswick House was a fantastic place for a candle lit dinner with Amber in tow a few years ago.
Further South East
Further south, in Streatham Common I hear the Railway is a lovely gastropub with a garden too and Dog and Fox as well as the Hand in Hand in Wimbledon are also great spots to take a dog. We recently dined at the renovated the Talbot in Brockley which is great and do check out Tila in Deptford (owned by chef Dan Doherty).
City of London / East London
Not an area I know too well, but markets Netil and Broadway are dog friendly, as well as Columbia Road Flower Market. When we visit, we usually have breakfast at the Motorbike Shed, which is a great, spacious venue which is dog and baby friendly. Ellen adds that Le Merlin (crepes) and p Franco (wine bar) on lower Clapton road in Shoreditch are dog friendly. Pangea Coffee on Commercial Street is a place for an aussie coffee / brunch and has a resident basset fauve! We also recently dined at Lebanese wine bar Sohaila, great wines and very tolerant of two dogs bang in the middle of the dining room floor. On Hackney Road we love newly opened Brags & Brams, fabulous brunches and breakfast, aperitivo for you and your dog.
Shad Thames / St Katherine’s dock
Coffee shop White Mulberries and french fine dining Le Melusine [read our review on the Dogvine blog] in St Katherine’s dock also welcomes dog. Further, recent additions (thanks Ellen) are Pique-nique from the casse croute team inside tanner park, a more casual French bistro, with a chicken rotisserie and a changing menu. Watch House coffee shop in Shad Thames is doing small plates at dinner and a few breakfast/brunch items in addition to the usual sandwiches
West / South West London
Quite a random selection, but worth a mention are Michelin starred the Harwood Arms and gastro pub the Imperial in Fulham as well as Megan’s (so are their branches in Balham and Clapham too) . On the King’s Road, Italian grocery Prezzemolo & Vitale is a fantastic place to buy milk and cheese and more with your dog! Further up from here, stop by in posh pet boutique Love My Human and their restaurant which is the best for dogs in the area. The bar area at the smart Cadogan Hotel nearby does a fab afternoon tea.
Things change quickly and surely this list is not exhaustive so anyone with more suggestions particularly in these areas of London, feel free to mention in comments.
Please always ask first…
And I am quoting the below bullet point by my fellow blogger and dog owner Miss Darcy from her really comprehensive post (which I’d recommend reading):
- Keep your dog on a leash
- Keep them out of the way of waiters and other diners (preferably under the table)
- Don’t let them get near the food on the table (I am sometimes guilty of this but I only do so at more casual eateries)
- Make sure they don’t bark. Nothing like having an intimate conversation over dinner and be interrupted by a bark.
And of course, thank you to those shop owners and managers who are open minded enough to allow Amber to come in with us; it’s business and it’s money, and we find ourselves shopping or dining regularly where we can take her with us.