14 We Tried: The Most Pet-Friendly Bars and Restaurants on O‘ahu to Grab a Drink With Your Dog
National Love Your Pet Day (Feb. 20) is the perfect excuse to drink outside with all the good boys and girls.
This article was originally published on June 20, 2019. It was updated in February 2022 for National Love Your Pet Day on Feb. 20.
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 2019, 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 dog owners be responsible and respectful.
Aloha Beer Co.
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When breweries in Kaka‘ako 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: for both humans and pets. Now guests can order thin crust pizzas from the popular Saturday morning farmers 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: the dog meals are veggie- and protein-packed, and come in a take-home dog bowl for $3. The “bibim-pup” bowl is layered with chopped chicken, various veggies, broken up bacon and topped with a bright yellow yolk.
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.
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
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).
The gorgeous half-lānai and half-indoor restaurant and bar in Ward Village’s Anaha complex simplified its happy hour in 2021. Now it’s daily, an hour long and full of popular dishes and drinks. I can often be found on the lānai—with the pooch right by my side—after either a little shopping trip around the ‘hood to beat when it comes to outdoor dining or an afternoon at Ala Moana Beach Park. I can’t resist a quiet moment with a happy hour-priced glass of crisp white wine or a signature mai tai while taking a break with my four-legged bestie. If I’m feeling peckish, I make a beeline for the tako and country bread ($18). Since everything is so decently priced for one hour, I am well within my pandemic dining budget, so I go ahead and add a full-priced item to the bill.
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 pet 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.
Off the Wall
For the do-it-yourself kinda owner, and anyone who is looking for some of the best chicken wings in town, there’s no better place than South Shore Market’s 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.
1170 Auahi St., (808) 593-BEER (2337), offthewallhawaii.com
Remember when we said Off the Wall has some of the best wings in town? That’s because The Pig and the Lady’s LFC Wings (which are also served at Piggy Smalls) wet up against Off the Wall in the finals of our 2019 Lord of the Wings March Madness bracket. What makes both of these spots even better than their wings? Their outdoor spaces, ever-changing drink selection and, well the rest of their menus. Especially Piggy Smalls. If I’m not available for mommy-and-me brunch with the doggo then you bet I’m there for their noodle bowl special on Thursdays because I am all about that Cao Lau goodness from Hoi An in Central Vietnam (thick noodles with a five spice pork leg, soy and all of the usual tasty Vietnamese suspects, $17) with a monthly slushy mixed with tequila ($12). As if you need another reason to check out their pet-friendly outdoor space, take a look at their “fur-babies” Story Highlights on Instagram.
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
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 pet 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).
Places on our list to try:
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