10 We Tried: The Most Pet-Friendly Bars and Restaurants on O‘ahu to Grab a Drink With Your Dog
Saturdays were made for day drinking with all the good boys and girls.
This article was originally published on June 20, 2019. The list was updated on March 18, 2021.
Every year we seek out the best food, shopping, services and more for our Best of Honolulu feature. Here are some of the top contenders for Best Place to Grab a Drink With Your Dog—find out who won here! Available on newsstands in July, or purchase the issue at shop.honolulumagazine.com. Subscribe to the print and digital editions now.
Editor’s note: Bars and restaurants in Hawai‘i are only allowed to accept service animals, so we ask that all pet owners be responsible and respectful.
ALOHA BEER CO.
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When breweries in the area reopened, Aloha Beer Co. flexed its outdoor seating. The street level parking area once used for private gatherings is now a beautifully socially distanced lānai with low tops, high tops and adorable tables for four in front of the purple houses in the back. What else has it changed? The menu. Now guests can order thin crust pizzas from the popular Saturday morning market pie guy Fatto a Mano (@fattoamanohi), who has set up shop at the dog-friendly local brewery with six delicious options. One of our favorites is the From the Garden vegan pizza, which comes with tomato sauce, spinach, marinated artichoke hearts and roasted mushrooms (we add a sneaky bit of cheese too). It pairs so nicely with the Waimānalo Farmhouse Ale (a Belgian-style brew) and the Red Zeppelin (a deep red, old-school IPA). The human menu isn’t the only thing that’s changed: ask your server about their dog meals. My pup is a fan of the chicken plate.
Happy hour at this popular pizza place boasts great deals on a selection of both food and booze. Head here after a long day at the office (while you were away from your lonely pup), grab an outdoor table and order a whole margherita pizza ($12) or a steak frites with garlic sauce ($12), and a couple of house wines ($5 each) for a budget-friendly $22.
ARTIZEN BY MW
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To the delight of Kaka‘ako dwellers and fans of MW Restaurant, owners (and winners of the 2020 Hale ‘Aina Award for Restaurateurs of the Year) Michelle Karr-Ueoka and Wade Ueoka have taken over two floors of the Symphony Honolulu building. And while I’m excited about getting my regular dose of mochi-crusted fish with somen noodles, soy yuzu kosho vinaigrette and greens again (Artizen used to be within walking distance of my office on Bishop Street when it was at Hawai‘i State Art Museum) I can safely say the puppers is stoked on the dog-friendly outdoor seating on Ward Avenue and new dog menu. That’s right: Michelle and Wade have created Echigo’s Four-Legged Menu—after their Chihuahua Pomeranian, of course—which includes a chicken or pork dinner of the week. The $8.50 dish is filled with all the locally farmed goodness necessary for the goodest boys and girls: Mountain View Farms pork or J. Ludovico chicken is served with an OK Farms egg, a MA‘O Farms carrot, sweet potato, Ho Farms kale and broccoli. This is definitely a well-deserving place to splurge on your wine and your dog’s meal.
Technically this alfresco eatery along Queen’s Surf Beach shouldn’t be on the list since it does not have any alcohol on the menu. But the favorite casual beachfront hangout of locals and visitors alike allows BYOB, so we think that counts. After a pleasant morning dog walk through the park and along the sand (maybe even a dip in the shallow water), grab a seat at one of the large picnic-style tables for pancakes and a fruit smoothie. And with weekly live music, oceanfront views, delicious beach eats, the fact that it’s just far enough away from the craziness of Waikīkī and that there’s ample shade for the dogs, Barefoot Café presents a solid argument for being named Top Dog.
Taco Tuesdays at this Chinatown hot spot serves great vibes, stellar discounted soft tacos and a tasty range of tequila tipples. Looking to turn it into a proper pawty? Just add dog. The enclosed outdoor courtyard is a perfect place for you and your dog to take a break from your evening walk. Give your pup a break from the heat while you cram as many tacos into your mouth as you can.
I’ve only been here once but here’s what I learned: The outdoor seating is prime for dog owners with ample shade, space between tables and limited pedestrian traffic (is it just my dog who becomes protective of my food and I at our table?), and the delicious food is more affordable at lunch. The little miss and I enjoyed an afternoon of wine, humus ($10), saganaki ($15) because I’m obsessed with pan-fried halloumi and a lamb doner pita wrap ($17). All shared with girlfriends of course (I ate most of it).
MERRIMAN’S HONOLULU & STREET BURGER AND BEER GARDEN
On July 5, Merriman’s Honolulu announced a new pop-up concept. It promised burgers, hot dogs, Mexican street corn ($5), Caesar salad ($7), New England clam chowder with bacon ($8), a Beyond vegan bratwurst ($10), wine ($9 per glass), and local brews from Waikīkī Brewing Co. ($6) and Paradise Ciders ($9). It didn’t take long for the (socially distant) lines to form on its V-shaped lānai along Auahi and Kamakeʻe streets. Right at the point of that V is a huge barbecue filled with various juicy meats. My prayers have been answered. Maybe it was the social post; maybe it was the drool-worthy smells wafting through the streets that pulled the masses back to the Ward neighborhood spot. The restaurant has since reopened, dogs are allowed on the lānai, live music is back and the Street Burger and Beer Garden is still a pop-up.
Open daily 11 a.m.–8 p.m., 1108 Auahi St., (808) 215-0022, @merrimanshonolulu
Did you think a Hale ‘Aina Award-winning restaurant would make the list? Not only does this seafood spot have a lively bar, live music, spacious dining areas for groups and a famously fresh menu, it also invites dog owners to take a seat out on the outdoor terrace. With views of the harbor and a Kona’s Big Wave Golden Ale in hand, you won’t even feel bad for not sharing any of your furikake pan-seared ‘ahi with your hungry-eyed doggy.
UNCLE BO’S HALE‘IWA
When we’re up on the North Shore exploring the dog-friendly (and sufficiently shady) beaches and hikes, we always end up at one of Uncle Bo’s outdoor tables. With an extensive menu, ample space for your dog to sniff, nap and beg for cheesy bread, this is just an easy go-to for dog owners. Plus, if you pick the right table outside, you’ll have a nice view of the game playing inside by the bar.
66-111 Kamehameha Highway, #101, Hale‘iwa, (808) 797-9649, unclebosrestaurant.com
Thanks to the alfresco and spacious setup, outdoor area and pup-approved dog menu, the Kaka‘ako location of this local brewery is dog and owner heaven. While you and your human friends enjoy the more extensive (than it’s Waikīkī counterpart) barbecue menu paired with one of the many delicious beers brewed on-site, your furry friends have their pick of either grilled chicken strips or ground beef, both served with white rice ($7 each).
Two places we were looking forward to trying pre-pandemic …
We hear that the local distillery, which hosts tours and tastings, is also dog-friendly. We like the sound this and are scheduling a taste test and dog date right now. Stay tuned!
577 Pakala St., (808) 492-4632, islanddistillers.com
PUKA’S BAR AT KĀHALA WHOLE FOODS
When HONOLULU’s fearless fashionista Brie Thalmann alerted me to a dog menu at Whole Foods’ Kāhala location, I tried my best to internalize my screech of excitement. I have always preferred to end my food shopping experience with a refreshing pint of local lager and now that I can make it a doggy date, I’m in love. It’s tough picking between the grilled hot dog ($4), two mini burgers ($5) and the bacon slices ($4) but such is a lucky dog’s life.
4211 Wai‘alae Ave., (808) 738-0820, wholefoodsmarket.com
These places are no longer open (or dog-friendly) but were included on the original list
OFF THE WALL
Update: Off the Wall is no longer a dog-friendly spot.
For the do-it-yourself kinda owner, and anyone who is looking for the best chicken wings in town, there’s no better place than South Shore Market’s newish self-serve bar. Grab a touch card, fill up your glass to the desired amount to sample some (or all!) of the local beers, ciders and wines, and relax with the pooch in the quiet outdoor area. Is the pup feeling hot? Grab a doggie ice cream ($2) from Lucy’s Lab Creamery next door when they have a batch in stock.
1170 Auahi St., (808) 593-BEER (2337), offthewallhawaii.com
ENCORE POP-UP BAR AT KAKA‘AKO SUNSET MARKET
The cocktail crafters at the very same Chinatown saloon mentioned above have recently set up shop at the hottest new farmers market on O‘ahu. Every Wednesday night between 4 and 8 p.m., a small market pops up along Ala Moana Boulevard. Dog owners who have been to the Saturday morning markets at the same location know that carrying your fur baby comes with the experience (the black top gets too hot for their paws). So, the Sunset Market is not only more fur-friendly but 100% better now that it is cocktail-fueled.