In autumn, with the weather this wonderful, you don’t want to leave Fido at home when you go out for an al fresco lunch or dinner. Fido certainly doesn’t want to stay home alone, either.
More and more Napa Valley restaurants are realizing, if they’re dog friendly, they can draw more customers, of the dog loving kind. So it’s a win-win.
No, pooch can’t perch at the table in the dining room, but patios are perfect for lounging and licking.
Not only are the ribs mouthwatering joy for the humans, the bones are straight-from-heaven for the dogs. That’s Buster himself manning the oak-fired grill in the parking lot, slow cooking and patiently basting gorgeous meats like tri-tip, pork and chicken, or tossing hot links ‘til they sizzle, then piling them on crunchy garlic toast. Grab a picnic table, spread a blanket for the pup, and let the feasting begin.
1207 Foothills Blvd., Calistoga, 707-942-5605, busterssouthernbbq.com.
Taylor’s Automatic Refresher/Gott’s Roadside
You can spread out on the spacious lawn at the St. Helena store, and all dining is outdoors, anyway, at picnic tables in the shade. The Oxbow Public Market location has patio seating, too. Wherever you sit, Spot can get fresh water service, and no doubt he will be delighted to help with any leftovers from that double Niman Ranch bacon cheeseburger smothered in secret sauce, too. An all beef chili dog sounds pretty tasty, too.
933 Main St., St. Helena, 707-963-3486, gotts.com. Also at 644 1st St., Napa, 707-224-6900.
Dogs are welcome guests just outside the front door at this tiny bakery, café, and pastry palace next to Napa River Inn (where, by the way, you can get Cab-Bone-Nay or Char-Dog-Nay dog biscuits spiked with real wine). Score one of the handful of seats on the sidewalk, then get yourself a panini or pizzetta, plus an elaborate ganache-enrobed mini cake or seasonal treat like fresh-from-the-oven strawberry-rhubarb pie. Sometimes there are handcrafted dog biscuits for sale, too. Or, take your meal to-go and enjoy it at one of the benches overlooking the Napa River.
520 Main St., Napa, (707) 257-7280, sweetiepies.com.
The pooches can groove to the live music on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, from the patio overlooking the Napa River. Grab a beer and bouillabaisse for mom or dad, and a pub steak sandwich for the pet.
902 Main St., Napa, 707-258-2337, downtownjoes.com.
Will it be steak tartare, or the bone from the roasted marrow Bordelaise? There are plenty of great French dishes for the human customers, too, and the patio is lovely for everyone. Set to the side of the eatery, it’s elegant, nicely landscaped and a quiet, sidewalk oasis.
6510 Washington St., Yountville, 707-944-0103, bistrojeanty.com.
Tip: It’s fun to walk the dog, but he likes a sweet ride, too. Has Fido ever ridden in his own limo?