Melbourne is brimming with some of the best cafes this country has to offer, so it seems unfair that a predisposition to walking on all fours should rule you out of getting in on the action.
We’ve put together a range of the city’s finest that will welcome your furry companion with open paws - er - arms.
If you’re looking to give your pooch a well-appreciated day out (let’s be real: dogs appreciate everything) and score some home-style cooking while you’re at it, look no further than The Farm Cafe. Nestled away in the Collingwood Children’s Farm, you can kickstart the day with a ‘farmer’s breakfast’ of poached eggs and Berkshire bacon with pork sausage, potato cake, roasted tomato, mushrooms, spiced relish and toast before wandering through the grounds together. With a small menagerie of lambs, hamsters and goats on site, your dog can have a chance to catch up with some other animals too.
18 St Heliers St, Abbotsford.
Step into Argos Loves Company and one thing becomes immediately apparent - These guys really like dogs. Books titled How To Keep A Dog, The Book of Dogs and Games Dogs Play (poker, right?) line the shelves while a large portrait of a white canine bounding through a field hangs proudly above the coffee machine. There’s astroturf lined outside areas for you and your four legged mate to hang out in, capped off with a commitment to RSPCA approved produce throughout.
149 Brunswick St, Fitzroy.
While more of an afternoon and late-night option, The Flying Duck hosts once week ‘Mad Dog Mondays’ where you can enjoy a pint or a cocktail while your companion bounces around their tented beer hall making friends. Seeing it in person, it’s almost like speed-dating for dogs. And even if you don’t have a pet, pulled pork sliders just seem to taste better when you’re patting a pug in between entrée and main.
67 Bendigo St, Prahran.
With pavement seating and a dog friendly courtyard, Fitzrovia is welcoming punters big and small into its world of all day dining and provincial comfort food. Overlooking Albert Park, you’ll be fighting off your dog when their thick cut bacon with gruyere potato cake lands on the table.
2/155 Fitzroy St, St Kilda.
The Abbotsford Convent is a fantastic place to kick back on a Sunday. Dogs are allowed to enjoy the grassy haven too, as long as they’re kept on a lead. Take a seat outside the bakery, make a choice from their hand crafted selection of baguettes, pies and cakes before taking in the Convent’s astounding Gothic architecture. They’re also churning out wood fired pizzas, cooked in ovens first built in the early 1900s.
1 Saint Heliers St, Abbotsford.
Priscilla Jones welcomes dogs with open arms. Their menu is all about wholesome and fresh takes on the tried and tested classics, adding an ingenious twist while they’re at it. Apricot pancakes served with vanilla mascarpone, fresh apple and candied almonds makes for a very tempting choice, and they’ll even serve up doggy snacks so ol’ Rover can join in on your brunch action too.
21 Graham St, Albert Park.
Is your dog a particularly cultured pooch? Then perhaps he’d enjoy a trip down to Cafe Vue at the Heide Museum of Modern Art. If you call with 24 hours notice the staff can prepare a picnic hamper to wander out into the Heide gardens with. It’s well worth walking into the sculpture park, featuring outdoor works from Anish Kapoor, Anthony Caro and Neil Taylor.
7 Templestowe Rd, Bulleen.
Perched over a bend in the Yarra, the riverside Kanteen cafe is a hybrid between indoor and outdoor dining. They’ll serve up a water bowl for dogs, while you can go for a rye melt or musli with fresh yoghurt and fruit. Covered with large sticks, it kind of looks like an oversized nest. Well worth a look in when you’re after an open space with some well cooked, unfussy food.
150 Alexandra Ave, South Yarra.
With a leafy courtyard out the back, Richmond hot-spot Pillar of Salt is the place to go for top quality food and coffee while your four legged friend gets comfortable underneath the table. Perpetually busy, the wait is worth it just to try the kimchi, corn and sweet potato fritters alone.
541 Church St, Richmond.
Welcome to Thornbury is Melbourne’s first permanent bar and food truck stop, featuring 40 different food trucks rotating on a daily basis with up to six trucks onsite at once. All of these food trucks are going to need some space, so it should come as no surprise then that Welcome to Thornbury arrives as Melbourne’s second largest beer garden - in which dogs are completely welcome. Just keep him on a lead and you’ll be free to sample the best of Melbourne’s food truck culture in one place, dog in tow.
520 High St, Northcote.