Lockdown had us all a little stir-crazy as we stayed at home, working or baking batches of banana bread. Your dog, however, probably loved having more me time.
Now that the restrictions are eased, before you dash to pubs and cafés, think about bringing your pooch with you to the best dog-friendly hot spots across Northern Ireland.
The appearance of dogs in bars and cafes is increasing significantly, with some even offering their doggie menu. Not only does this allow you to spend more time with your doggo, but it also helps spark social connections between you and your dog. It also creates a wholesome atmosphere for everyone. And, you can be sure your pet will receive lots of extra attention.
Not ready for separation from your fluffy best friend just yet? Here are nine cafes/bars you can bring your dog to that will guarantee to keep their tails wagging.
Robert Stewart’s Spirit Grocer, Drumbeg
Located a 10-minute drive from Lisburn, Bob Stewart’s is the oldest trading bar in the greater Belfast area dating back 400 years. Serving traditional Irish food and drink, everyone is welcome here seven days a week. This is a wonderful place to bring friends and family, furry children included.
Visit their website for more information
The Sunflower, Belfast
Located on the site of one of the oldest and most historical public houses in Belfast, The Sunflower Pub is proud to call itself pet-friendly. Showing off rustic memorabilia of difficult times during The Troubles in Belfast in the 1980s, the security cage at the front door also welcomes your four-legged friends. Fetch your dog and see what all the fuss is about in this traditional Irish pub.
To read more about The Sunflower, Belfast, check out their website here
The Harbour Bar, Portrush
Situated along the picturesque Causeway Coast, The Harbour Bar is the perfect place for you and your pooch to relax after an exhausting day at the beach. Once your dog is puffed out after chasing waves and barking at birds, check out one of the oldest bars on the North Coast adored by locals and tourists alike.
Have a look at their website for more details
The Dirty Onion, Belfast
Conveniently located in The Cathedral Quarter and renowned as one of the most dog-friendly establishments in Belfast, The Dirty Onion is equipped with Northern Ireland’s first menu created solely for dogs. The menu is conveniently categorised by age range and lists a variety of doggy meals that your pooch will be sure to dance at. They even have their own ‘Snuffle Dog Beer’ (non-alcoholic and suitable for your furry friend). The bar also boasts a dog day three times a year in the venue named ‘Pooch Social’ which is set up to raise money for local animal charities.
To find out more about The Dirty Onion, click here
The Hillside Bar, Hillsborough
Opening its doors in 1752, The Hillside Bar is renowned for its excellent food and friendly service. Located in the quaint Georgian village of Hillsborough, The Hillside is in a prime location for an impromptu visit whilst exploring the area with your pooch. At present, dogs are only allowed in the bar area, but they will receive a fond greeting from friendly staff.
Read more about The Hillside here
The Lamppost Cafe, Belfast
The Lamppost Cafe boasts a C.S Lewis theme in the heart of East Belfast. Their vintage crockery and music create a welcoming and cosy atmosphere in this family-run business. Their quiet room located on the second floor acts as a perfect location for you to enjoy some homely food with your furry friend, as you both can relax and unwind.
For more information on The Lamppost Cafe, click here
Gowdy’s of Down Royal, Lisburn
Situated next to the Down Royal Racecourse, all of the family are welcome at Gowdy’s. This dog-friendly country pub offers a children’s play area including 2 bouncy castles, a football net, swings, and a life-sized chessboard.
For more information, check out their website
The Spaniard, Belfast
Home to resident Jack Russell, Charlie, The Spaniard proudly shares photos of all of their four-legged friends and visitors over their social media channels. Famous for their selection of rum and rock music, The Spaniard is in a central location in Belfast’s Cathedral Quarter. The perfect place for Givin’ The Dog A Bone, and providing cocktails Snoopy could only dream of.
Click here for more information about The Spaniard
Ellie May’s, Dunadry
Located between Antrim and Templepatrick in the beautiful hamlet of Dunadry, Ellie May’s serves homely meals in a traditional Irish pub setting. Equipped with an open fire and vintage signs and paintings, Ellie May’s is the perfect place for a quiet and peaceful evening with your furry friend.
To read more about Ellie May’s, click here here