It's no secret that Austin loves its dogs—with the most dog-friendly restaurants per capita in one of the most dog-enthusiastic cities in the world, it would probably be harder to find a restaurant that doesn't allow dogs than those that do.
That said, with so many options to choose from, it can be hard to narrow the search down to a few. From dog-themed restaurants to doggy food trucks, here are nine dog-friendly local businesses to try out.
Yard Bar, 6700 Burnet Road
Although this bar has plenty of options for humans to eat and drink, Yard Bar is a cafe made to please Austin pups. With its massive off-leash dog park front and center, Yard Bar aims to make going to the bar just as fun for dogs as it is for people. The doggy playground offers plenty of shade, a cold drink of water, a chance to make new canine friends and obstacles to challenge your pups while you sip on some on-draft cocktails.
Austin Terrier, 3435 Greystone Drive
Though this friendly neighborhood bistro is best known for its American food, specialty pizzas and rotating cocktail menu, your furry friend will remember it for its dog-friendly patio. Order the Spicy Terrier pizza and Pink Poodle Martini if you want to be festive—bonus points if you bring a terrier to match the mascot! 🐶
The Original Dog Treat Truck Company, 1720 Barton Springs Road
Don't visit this truck in hopes of grabbing a bite for yourself because you won't find any—this truck is only for man's best friend. With three locations touting healthy, artisan and organic treats for dogs, The Original Dog Treat Truck Company offers Woof Waffles, which aid digestion and coat health; Breath Bones, which are mint and berry-filled to help smelly breath over time; and the Nutripooch Pouch, a lickable smoothie that boosts the immune system. All three locations are in food parks, so not to worry, you won't go hungry.
Ani's Day and Night, 7107 E. Riverside Drive.
Popping up in a historic 1930s-era Victorian home, the very same house owner Freddy Fernandez grew up in, Ani's Day and Night is a brand-new all-day cafe that serves up coffee, cocktails and local brews. The new cafe has a sprawling outdoor space, perfect for your four-legged friend, and is also home to two permanent food trucks: Mexican food at Las Alegres Comadres and Caribbean at Nyam Sunshine Cuisine.
Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar, 1400 S. Congress Ave.
Located on South Congress, Perla's Seafood and Oyster Bar's fairy-lit front patio is a bougie spot for your posh pup to nosh. For you and your fellow humans, Perla's is a seafood lover's dream with its fresh oysters, raw bar and array of fancy cocktails. There's no room for your pups to roam though, so make sure they will be content sitting down amid the busy city.
Fresa's, 1703 S. 1st Street
This wood-grilled Mexican restaurant is famous for its avocado margaritas (a must-try!) and its South 1st location not only offers week-long happy hour prices, it also has a huge open patio that is perfect for Fido. The patio is not only dog-friendly but dog-loving, so you're likely to run into some other puppies when you visit.
Better Half, 406 Walsh Street
Between Better Half and Hold Out Brewing, which sits right next door, the two establishments boast a well-spaced, natural patio that is happy to seat you with your pooch. As for the patrons, Better Half's menu is stocked with new takes on classic staples, like cauliflower tots and blue corn snickerdoodles, gourmet coffee drinks and a large wine list to work your way through.
Radio Coffee & Beer, 4204 Manchaca Road
With indoor seating plus an expansive outdoor patio, Radio is another great place to enjoy Austin with your best friend. The garden gives dogs plenty of room to stretch out and flexibility for their owners—Radio opens early, 6:30 a.m. most days, and closes late at midnight. Between the coffee, local beers, food trucks on-site and frequent live music, the coffee shop has a little something for everyone.
Cosmic Coffee + Beer Garden, 121 Pickle Road
With lush greenery, food trucks to choose from and coffee all day, Cosmic is undoubtedly fun for humans, but its massive dog-friendly garden is what attracts so many doggos. The open space is shady and cooled by fans, so there's no need to worry about your hound's health, and lots of exciting sights for two- and four-legged friends to see, like the chicken coop, pond and nature preserve on the property.
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If you are a committed, grunge-wearing resident of the Pacific Northwest, it is easy–almost automatic–to look at Texas as an extraordinarily dry, hot and culturally oppressive place that is better to avoid, especially in the summer. Our two granddaughters live with their parents in Portland.
Recently we decided to take the older girl, who is 15, to Dallas. Setting aside the summer heat, a Portlander can adjust to the vibes of Austin without effort. So let’s take Texas with all of its excesses straight up. Dallas, here we come.
Our 15-year-old granddaughter and her sister, 12, have spent summer weeks with us, usually separately so that we could better get to know each individually. In visits focused on Austin and Port Aransas, the girls seemed to be developing an affection for Texas.
Houston and Dallas are two great American cities, the 4th and 9th largest, each loaded with cultural treasures, each standing in glittering and starchy contrast to Austin’s more louche, T-shirts and shorts ways.
Three hours up I-35, Dallas loomed before us as a set of gray skyscrapers in a filmy haze, accessed only through a concrete mixmaster of freeways, ramps and exits. I drove with false confidence. Be calm, I said to myself, it will all end in 10 minutes under the hotel entrance canopy. And it did.
The pool at the Crescent Court Hotel in Dallas. (Crescent Court Hotel)
We stayed three nights at the Crescent Court Hotel ($622 a night for two queens), a high-end hotel in Uptown, patronized by women in white blazers, business people in suits, and tall, lean professional athletes, their shiny Escalades and Corvettes darting in and out, and other celebrities like Bill Barr, the former attorney general who shoe-horned his ample self into a Toyota.
Each morning as I walked to Whole Foods for a cappuccino, a fellow identified by a bellman as Billy the Oilman arrived in his Rolls Royce Phantom. Where does he park? “Wherever he wants to. He likes the Starbucks here.”
We garaged our more modest set of wheels for the visit. We were chauffeured for tips by Matt Cooney and Alfonza “The Rev” Scott in the hotel’s black Audi sedan. They drove us to museums, restaurants and past the enclaves of the rich and famous. In Highland Park, The Rev pointed out the homes of the Dallas Cowboys' Jerry Jones and Troy Aikman along with the family compound of the Hunts, oil and gas tycoons.
The Dallas Museum of Art’s “Cartier and Islam” exhibit (until Sept. 18) attracted an older crowd; the nearby Perot Museum of Nature and Science was a powerful whirlpool of kids’ groups ricocheting from the Tyrannosaurus Rex to the oil fracking exhibit. Watch your shins.
A Geogia O'Keeffe oil painting called "Ranchos Church, New Mexico" at the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art. (Rich Oppel)
For us, the best museum was the Amon Carter Museum of Modern Art in Fort Worth, a 50-minute, madcap drive away via a 75 mph toll lane along I-30. Don’t try it during rush hour. The Carter has an exquisite collection of Remington paintings and sculptures and an excellent array of 19th and 20th-century paintings as well. Pick one museum? The Amon Carter. Peaceful, beautiful, uncrowded, free admission and small enough to manage in two hours.
The Fort Worth Stockyards, a place of history (with a dab of schmaltz), fun and good shopping, filled one of our mornings. The 98 acres brand the city as Cowboy Town, with a rodeo and a twice-daily (11:30 a.m. and 4 p.m.) cattle drive. We shopped for boots, drank coffee and watched the “herd” of 18 longhorns. So languid was their progress that if this were a real market drive the beef would have been very tough and leathery before it hit the steakhouse dinner plate.
The cattle drive at the Fort Worth Stockyards. (Rich Oppel)
But we could identify: the temperature was 97. “I saw a dog chasing a cat today,” said the emcee, deploying a very old joke. “It was so hot that both were walking.”
With limited time, we chose three very different restaurants:
- Nobu, in the Crescent Court Hotel; Jia, a modern Chinese restaurant in Highland Park; and Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth. Nobu’s exotic Japanese menu set us back $480, with tip, for four (we had a guest), but it was worth it.
- Jia was an ordinary suburban strip mall restaurant, but with good food and a reasonable tab of $110 for four.
- Joe T.’s is an 85-year-old Fort Worth institution (think Matt’s El Rancho but larger), a fine Mexican restaurant where a meal with two drinks was $115.
Sushi at high-end restaurant Nobu. (Crescent Hotel)
It was all a splurge for a grandchild’s visit. Now we will get back to our ordinary road trips of Hampton Inns, where a room rate is closer to the Crescent Court’s overnight parking rate of $52. And to corner cafes in small towns.
Did Dallas change our 15-year-old’s view of Texas? “Yes. I think it’s a lot cooler than I did. The fashion, the food.” So, not only Austin is cool. Take Texas as a whole. It’s a big, complex, diverse and wonderful state.
Giga Texas, the massive Tesla factory in southeast Travis County is getting even bigger.
The company filed with the city of Austin this week to expand its headquarters with a new 500,000-square-foot building. The permit application notes “GA 2 and 3 expansion,” which indicates the company will make two general assembly lines in the building.
More details about the plans for the building are unclear. The gigafactory has been focused on Model Y production since it opened in April, but the company is also aiming for Cybertruck production to kick off in mid-2023.
While there is room for expansion on the 3.3 square miles of land Tesla has, this move comes after CEO Elon Musk’s recent comments about the state of the economy and its impact on Tesla.
In a May interview with Tesla Owners Silicon Valley, Musk said the gigafactories in Berlin and Austin are “gigantic money furnaces” and said Giga Texas had manufactured only a small number of cars.
And in June, Musk sent a company wide email saying Tesla will be reducing salaried headcount by 10%, then later tweeted salaried headcount should be fairly flat.
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