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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Austin is in for an early start to what is threatening to be an unseasonably hot summer.
So far, this month has been the hottest May on record with Camp Mabry reporting an average temperature of 82 degrees, compared to the National Weather Service’s recorded average of 74 degrees from May 1-10.
Austin has been an average of 8 degrees hotter than normal this month—the hottest May since 1898. NWS meteorologist Keith White told Austonia that Austinites have La Niña to thank for this sweaty summer.
What is causing the heatwave?
A phenomenon characterized by cooling waters across the central and eastern pacific oceans, La Niña tends to cause cooler and wetter conditions in the northern U.S. but warmer and drier conditions across Central Texas. We would typically be on our way out of La Niña at this time of year, according to White, but the heat can be turned around with a little rain.
White explained that the sun is able to heat dry ground—due to the drought and La Niña—more efficiently than wet ground. West Austinites might be feeling more of the heat, as the drought has been worse west of town.
Austin is entering its rainy season, which tends to fall between May and October. The last 30 days have seen about 2-4 inches of rain, which is just a touch below average, but White said the end of May is looking rainy, which could quell the heat.
“There will be some dependency on if we're able to pick up some more beneficial rains here,” White said. “While at least over the course of the next week it looks likely to remain dry, there may be some rain chances returning toward the end of May.”
Does a record-breaking May mean a record-breaking summer?
Not necessarily, though in part due to climate change, all of the top five hottest summers have been recorded since 2008 with the hottest to date in 2011. Meanwhile, 2021 was only the 38th hottest summer on record.
White said that means climate variability is superimposed against climate change, meaning temperatures are gradually rising, but the amount of rain we receive could make a huge difference.
While 2011 saw more than 90 100-degree days, 2021 only saw 12 100-degree days.
“As our climate warms, the risk of excessive heat will increase because you're taking the average temperature and moving it up,” White said.
How to stay safe and cool
With rising temperatures, there is always a risk of heat-related illness. In fact, White said last weekend there were 29 heat-related illness calls to Austin EMS.
The best way to avoid getting sick in the hot Texas summer is to wear light clothing, drink lots of water, take breaks in air-conditioned areas and familiarize yourself with symptoms of hyperthermia.
And prepare yourself for the first half of August, which is traditionally the hottest time of year.
Austin's summertime tradition is returning to Zilker Park this summer.
Blues on the Green is bringing free live music to the park June 14-15 and July 19-20, Austin City Limits Radio announced Wednesday. Performing artists have not been announced yet.
Blues on the Green 2022 is coming your way this summer! 🌞 Mark those calendars and join ACL Radio at Zilker Park on June 14th-15th and July 19th-20th. 😎 Stay tuned for the #BOTG lineup coming soon! 🎶
Presented by @HEB, Benefiting @austinparksfdn: https://t.co/MdzBGHzlvgpic.twitter.com/soNZyqYze0
— Austin City Limits Radio (@ACL_RADIO) May 11, 2022
The concert series has been taking place for 30 years. It entails a sea of people lounging in Zilker Park with one stage featuring usually local musicians. Recent shows have included Gary Clark Jr. and Shakey Graves.
For the past two years, Blues on the Green has faced postponements due to COVID surges.