Being drunk with your dog is a blissful symbiosis where an owner's disposition finally approaches his pet's. Truthfully, the best place to accomplish this mind meld is on your porch or in your yard, but when the two of you actually do venture out into the city, the setting needs to be perfect.
Sidewalk Dog lists 119 dog-friendly restaurants in the Twin Cities, and Bring Fido notes 39 in just Minneapolis, but both these directories are listed in the interest of your canine. And that's great if the only thing you care about is the fact that your pup can tag along, but what about you?
If you're trying to get a solid buzz going and aren't interested in paying a dogsitter, where's the best place to go? Of those 119 (or is it 39?) restaurants, which have the best happy hours, drink specials, and location all while being accessible to the four-legged spectator you're towing along?
The Hot Dish was created to answer questions just like these.
10) Bryant-Lake Bowl
Outdoor spots at Bryant-Lake Bowl come at a premium since the bar/bowling alley/theater hybrid only offers bench seating on one side of the street, but if you can snag a seat with your leashed buddy, it's a great place to post up and people-watch with your hound. The atmosphere of Bryant is always a bit rowdy, so being outside is really preferable. As your gut fills with beer and cocktails, you'll feel your pride swell while drunken passersby ask for permission to tousle your dog's ears.
9) Brasa Premium Rotisserie
Brasa was named the Best Restaurant to Take Out-of-Towners by us in 2014, but it's also a premier destination for your dog. The sangria is exceptional, and chef Alex Roberts is a James Beard nominee, so the food is unpredictable and adventurous. There's a sister location in St. Paul for Silver City denizens, but there's plenty of room at the converted auto garage location in northeast Minneapolis for everyone to come get a little shitty in the audience of their pooch.
Nightingale has the easily the best happy hour on this list, and unlike several other entries herein, it's open past midnight, so if you feel like dragging your sleepy pup to the pub with you, there's no better bet. The patio is a favorite for cheap drinks and great food. There are only eight two-top tables, but they're fenced off from the street, so your pooch won't lunge at every passing dog that goes down Lyndale -- one less thing to worry about when you're sipping the $5 cocktail of the day.
7) Lucia's Restaurant
In the Calhoun neighborhood, it's hard to find a place with the real estate to host your dog. Luckily, Lucia's narrow streetside dining is extremely dog-friendly. Servers will gladly hand out star-shaped biscuits to your dining partner, who also gets his own water dish to lap from. Tables are a bit too flimsy to affix a leash, especially if you have a larger breed, so it's best to secure a bench seat. The major downfall of Lucia's is that waiters have to step over dogs to bring drinks, which might weigh on your conscience a bit while you're trying to prop your buzz up on Lucia's expertly crafted cocktails.6) Pizzeria Lola
Pizzeria Lola is actually named after Ann Kim's Weimaraner (see the video above), so it's obviously a great location for dog-human revelry. Her signature 'zas (Korean BBQ is the crowd favorite) pair well with Pizzeria Lola's tap selection, and every meal ends with a complimentary treat for your drinking buddy. And this Southwest joint has a photobooth, so you can coax your dog into taking some boozed-up selfies.
5) Town Hall Brewery
Sitting immediately across from the equally spacious Republic in Minneapolis's West Bank, Town Hall Brewery sells A-tier beer in an environment that welcomes all pups. They also sell a full list of alcohol, wine, ciders, and perry on the patio, where you can kick back at a high-top with your fur baby in your lap.
Minneapolis doesn't have a dog cafe (yet), but North Loop brewpub Freehouse is about as close as you can get. In fact, they host dog mixers in conjunction with Sidewalk Dog where owners can let their pets mingle just like real drunkards. They have a chihuahua fiesta coming up for Cinco de Mayo. It's a bit obsessive (for example, the owner has been known to come out to the patio and snap pics of visiting dogs for the restaurant's Facebook page), but if you leave Freehouse with a solid buzz and a celebridog, everyone wins.
3) Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge
It's for good reason that Psycho Suzi's tops Bring Fido's list for the most popular doggie destinations in the Twin Cities. The Polynesian-themed dive boasts a recently expanded patio nicknamed the Forbidden Cover Lounge that sits right on the Mississippi, offering you and your pooch a gorgeous view while you take in rum drinks and Fido sips from his personal staff-provided bowl. Plus, Suzi's is just under three miles from the severely underrated St. Anthony off-leash dog park, meaning your dog can get in a cathartic jaunt before retiring to the floor under the table for the evening.
2) Sociable Cider Werks
Also in Northeast, Sociable is only two miles from the St. Anthony dog park, but it's also piggybacked on softball and soccer fields that could double as a run for your dog. The picnic tables at Sociable are huge and offer great shade. The cidery is set back from busy streets that can be distracting for your hound, and there's plenty on tap (including beer) to keep you busy while your dog enjoys the calm surroundings. That is, until you get too drunk, knock over the Jenga tower, and wake him up.
1) Tin Fish
Tin Fish is a chain, but it feels like it was made specifically for Minnesota dog owners. Sitting on the shores of Lake Calhoun less than a mile from the Lake of the Isles dog park, Tin Fish is a nearly mandatory stop on a Saturday by the lake. The food is cheap, and the window ordering system makes for a stress-free entry/exit. Tin Fish is closed October through April, and is only permitted to serve beer and wine, but the space on the boardwalk at Calhoun trumps any naysayers. Toss a few back while your pooch dries her fur in the sun.
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