Food & Drink

Houston's Best Dog-Friendly Places to Eat & Drink

Backstreet Cafe
Backstreet Cafe
Backstreet Cafe

Houston is an amazing place to eat and drink if you’re a human being. It’s also an amazing place to eat and drink if you’re a dog, thanks to the Paws on Patios movement that fought to give Houston’s restaurants and bars the option to become dog-friendly without breaking the law. These days, there are plenty of patio bars and restaurants where you can bring your hound, from a burger joint with puppy shakes to ice houses with beer for you and water for Beethoven.

Backstreet Cafe

River Oaks
Thanks to that Paws on the Patio movement, locals are able to dine with their dogs at one of the city’s most beautiful restaurants from one of the city’s most prominent chefs, the venerable Hugo Ortega. Sit out on the back patio (it has its own entrance) and dig into wild mushroom risotto and red corn chicken enchiladas, or pop by for happy hour for roasted oysters and “Hugoritas.”

Shannon O'Hara
Shannon O’Hara
Shannon O’Hara

Monkey’s Tail

Northside Village
Hit the pup-friendly front patio at this Mexican-American haunt over in Lindale Park, and you can enjoy bacon-wrapped sonoran dogs and mezcal tacos with El Perro. More great news? Last fall, the fun-loving spot rolled out specials like Weekend Brunch, Monday Steak Night, and Taco Tuesday, too.

Better Luck Tomorrow

Heights
You’re welcome to sip Salty Cats with your furry pal at this cocktail bar & kitchen, you’ll just have to do so on the patio. The chill neighborhood haunt comes from a whole bunch of notable industry folk (including Anvil’s Bobby Heugel and Theodore Rex’s Justin Yu), which means your cocktails are going to be seriously good, and plates push the boundaries on everyday bar food, from schmaltz fried chicken to a crunchy sweet-and-sour lamb belly that your dog is totally going to want to get in on.

Truck Yard Houston
Truck Yard Houston
Truck Yard Houston

Truck Yard

EaDo
Your furry friends can hang all day and night at this kitschy outdoor spot, a monster truck-sized beer garden that rocks live music, flat screens, food trucks and cheesesteaks, and trash can punch. There’s also a boozy ferris wheel where you’ll pay $10, get a drink, and ride around for a few spins, but note that you’ll need someone to watch Waffles while you’re gone.

Courtesy of Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Courtesy of Saint Arnold Brewing Company
Courtesy of Saint Arnold Brewing Company

Saint Arnold Brewery

Warehouse District
The OG Texas brewery is one of Houston’s greatest, and after getting a major facelift (which included the addition of an outdoor beer garden) in 2018, you are now free to enjoy it with your dog. Bring Furnando along while you geek out over barrel-aged brews, bites like brisket pizza and “fire emoji” wings, and Insta-worthy views of the Downtown skyline.

West Alabama Ice House

Montrose
With a next-door taco truck, frosty beer, and fresh water buckets for the pups, this longtime Houston watering hole is a winner. In true ice house fashion, it serves strictly beer, wine, and cider (plus non-boozy stuff like water and soda), and its sprawling patio sports TVs, a basketball hoop, corn hole, and ping pong.

Cottonwood Houston
Cottonwood Houston
Cottonwood Houston

Cottonwood

Garden Oaks/Oak Forest
True story: There may be more dogs at this quintessential Texas bar than people. With a colossal patio bar that hosts everything from live music and crawfish boils to late-night fireside chats, the indoor/outdoor bar is the epitome of easy livin’. Sip from 42 beers on tap, work your way through its lineup of bourbon, and fill the tank with Gulf fish tacos and green chile burgers.

The Burger Joint

Montrose, The Heights
Burgers and dogs unite at this cult favorite burger joint, which features a pups-welcome, wrap-around patio at its Montrose location (and an even bigger one at its soon-to-open Heights spot). While you’re smashing a kimchi burger and craft beer, Jabba the Mutt can hit up the dog water station and get in on some organic dog treats and puppy shakes.

8th Wonder Brewery

EaDo
This Astrodome-inspired brewhouse has a fresh vibe and a big ol’ dog-friendly yard to boot. Sip on standbys like the Dome Faux’m Cream Ale and Haterade Gose, or try seasonal offerings like the pineapple wheat Bo$$ Beer. But back to that dog-friendly yard: it’s where you’ll find an array of local art and sculptures, the Eatsie Boys food truck, and a series of pop-up events.

The Dunlavy
The Dunlavy
The Dunlavy

The Dunlavy

Buffalo Bayou
Take Señor Woof on a nice, long walk along the Buffalo Bayou, let him run free along with the other pups at Johnny Steele Dog Park, and then head over to The Dunlavy to treat yourself to some breakfast tacos and mimosas for being an A+ companion. In August 2020, the beautiful indoor-outdoor space is transitioning into a full-service restaurant, offering breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Kirby Ice House
Kirby Ice House
Kirby Ice House

Kirby Ice House

Upper Kirby
With a one-acre backyard that is totally canine-friendly (and limits the humans to ages 23-and-up), this sprawling ice house is a no-brainer on days when the weather’s nice. Snag one of the many patio seats and settle in to partake in its selection of 51 taps, house craft cocktails, and rotating food trucks.

Carla Gomez
Carla Gomez
Carla Gomez

Eight Row Flint

Heights
This modern Texas ice house throws a Dog Halloween Costume Contest every year, but you don’t have to wait until October to show Madam Pomfrey off. Bring her to the patio to play with the other pups as you enjoy whiskey from proprietary barrels, cold beers and frozen drinks, and tacos filled with Berkshire pork, 44 Farms beef cheek, and even Brussels sprouts.

The Patio at The Pit Room
The Patio at The Pit Room
The Patio at The Pit Room

The Pit Room

Montrose
Not only does this barbecue joint have eats like beef ribs, smoked chicken and brisket tacos, and chicharrones with house hot sauce, but it also boasts a next-door patio bar, dubbed The Patio at the Pit Room. This is where you can dig into the aforementioned, and your dog can happily beg for scraps.

King's BierHaus
King’s BierHaus
King’s BierHaus

King’s BierHaus

Shady Acres
This 9,000-square-foot indoor/outdoor watering hole is a German Disneyland for both you and your dog. Score an outdoor table and partake in the bar’s signature liters, schnapps, and wursts; and enjoy corn hole, pingpong, live bands, and a bunch of hammocks for when those steins and sausage skewers really hit you.

Little Woodrow’s

Midtown
While most Little Woody’s locations have a pretty solid outdoor space, Midtown’s jumbo-sized patio is hard to beat. Lord Sniffington will love having so many other dogs to make friends with, just as much as he loves the fact that you finally let him sit on a couch. Settle in for cheap beers, house cocktails, trivia and steak nights, in-season turtle racing, and rotating food trucks.

Heights Bier Garten
Heights Bier Garten
Heights Bier Garten

Heights Bier Garten

Heights
There are lots of panting patrons at this oh-so popular 94-tap beer and wine garden and adjacent craft cocktail bar and whiskey den. That’s because in between the two, you’ll find a nice-sized patio, complete with picnic tables and swings, shaded sections, and the occasional food truck parked out front. There’s also inhouse food like burgers, grilled chicken salads, and meat and cheese plates all day and night.

FM Kitchen and Bar
FM Kitchen and Bar
FM Kitchen and Bar

FM Kitchen & Bar

Washington
Snag a paw-friendly outdoor table at this neighborhood kitchen & bar and you can dig into flawlessly executed shack-style burgers, with loaded tots and over-the-top shakes to boot. Or go for Texas-sized plates like the black pepper bacon gravy-smothered CFS and buttermilk battered fried chicken. All of it pairs wonderfully with frozen margs and craft brews.

Axelrad
Axelrad
Axelrad

Axelrad

Midtown
A bar where you can drink beer, eat pizza, swing in a hammock, and bring Bertolt Barkt along for the ride might sound too good to be true, but it’s not. This super-chill beer garden offers all of that, plus bar games, picnic tables, food trucks, the occasional live music, pop-up events from markets to movie nights, and watering stations for the pup.

Petrol Station

Garden Oaks/Oak Forest
This no-frills converted gas station was one of the first full-fledged craft beer bars in Houston, sporting a solid rotation of exciting and hard-to-score brews and the cult favorite Rancor Burger, a ten-napkin beef bomb that has gained fans far and wide. You’re welcome to bring Luke along to the low-key patio space, so long as he promises to leave your Rancor alone.Sign up here for our daily Houston email and be the first to get all the food/drink/fun in town.

Brooke Viggiano is a Houston-based writer who kinda wants to bring her cat to these bars, but she doesn’t want the looks. See if she does it on IG @brookiefafa or on Twitter @brookeviggiano.

Food & Drink

How to Make the Perfect Milo

We've done the hard work so you don't have to.

Milo: The breakfast, lunch, and dinner of legends. This top-tier powder creates a malty, chocolate crust that’ll make any milk slap. It’s somehow crunchy yet soft. And when you pop open that can with your spoon, a smell of primary school nostalgia just crests over your entire bod. Seriously, if scientists can outline 5000 reasons about what makes Milo so magical, then they should win every single Nobel prize.

However, there’s one Milo-based question that’s been hotly contested since this drink’s inception. And that question is, “How much Milo should you spoon into your milk?” Some say that just a teaspoon is enough, whilst others believe that you require at least half of a glass of this goodness. According to Nestle’s own packaging, the perfect Milo requires three teaspoons of the stuff in 200mL of skim milk. But is Nestle even correct?

Well, I decided that enough is enough and that I should be the ultimate arbiter of such an important decision. So I went out, got some milk, some Milo, a measuring cup, and made a whack of different Milos to discover which amount of it is the best. And this is what I discovered:

Three Teaspoons of Milo in 200mL of Skim Milk | 2/10

Okay, who’s Nestle trying to fool? Because they cannot believe that anyone is actually making a Milo this way. This drink was just plain garbage. There was only a hint of malt, no chocolatey notes, and worst of all, not enough Milo floating atop to chew on. If you grew up having Milos in such a manner, then I pity your existence.

Three Teaspoons of Milo in 200mL of Full Cream Milk | 1/10

I know that Nestle recommends using skim milk when making a Milo, okay? But I refuse to be a sadist. If you’re going to have some classic milk, why not have the fullest and the creamiest liquid that’s known to humankind?

But unfortunately, I was the fool in this instance. Full cream milk wasn’t as sweet as this skimmed stuff, so there was no flavour of Milo in this beverage whatsoever. I may as well have been drinking full cream milk straight from the bottle.

Three Tablespoons of Milo in 200mL of Full Cream Milk | 3/10

Truthfully, this was only a marginal improvement on the skim milk situation. I craved a bigger hit of that Miloy goodness. I wanted to ramp this highly scientific experiment up to 11.

200mL of Milo in 200mL of Full Cream Milk | 9/10

Having this drink is like drowning in Willy Wonka’s chocolate river and loving every second of it. It’s equivalent to having a mud facial made out of malt consuming your face. It was fudgy, chewy, and decadent. Crumbs of the Milo danced with goops of the Milo. They waltzed on a bed made out of full cream milk. If you want to be a dessert gremlin, then this is the drink for you.

200mL of Milo in 300mL of Full Cream Milk | 10/10

While the previous drink was yummy, this one is delicious while not being a monstrosity. The sweetness of Milo complimented the beverage’s full cream vibes perfectly. There was an undercurrent of malt in each sip. Its chocolate taste melted into every molecule of the milk. If you were to make this drink today, you’d taste something better than 99% of milkshakes that are  made in Australia.

Just a Spoonful of Milo Followed By a Chaser of Milk | 5/10

While the Milo was crunchy, chocolate-full, and scrumptious, it was also way too dry. In fact, it tried to choke me. Furthermore, the chaser of milk did help me not get killed by some chocolate-flavoured malted powder today, but it was a disappointing taste to end this experiment on. 

Get the latest from Thrillist Australia delivered straight to your inbox, subscribe here.

Related