10 Must Visit Dog Friendly Restaurants in Michigan
In this post I’ve rounded up some of the best dog friendly restaurants to try, not just because they allow dogs but because of their amazing food and atmosphere!
In Michigan, dogs are welcome at most restaurants that have outdoor patios and some even have puppy menus! You’ll mostly find dog friendly restaurants in larger cities or popular destinations like Traverse City.
Always call and make sure any restaurant you plan to go to has not changed their dog friendly policy. Better to be safe than show up and then have to find a different place to eat.
If you’ve never gone out to eat before with your dog, read my tips for dining out with your dog to be fully prepared.
The Shed Beer Garden – Traverse City, Mi
Out of all the dog friendly restaurant choices in Traverse City, The Shed takes the cake. Not only is their menu great, (try the mac and cheese and brisket), but they have a dog menu and you get to keep the bowl that the food comes in.
Since it’s a beer garden,( located behind another restaurant called Blue Tractor) it’s technically all outdoors with live music, a lively atmosphere, some lawn games and a lot of dogs.
Kirby loved his time there and particularly enjoyed the apples and peanut butter.
honcho – clarkston, mi
Honcho is a Latin street food restaurant that is located in downtown Clarkston. While you may be like: where the heck is Clarkston? This restaurant is not only an aesthetic gem, the outdoor patio is huge, making the dog friendliness an awesome perk. What isn’t so great is that their patio is POPULAR. If you want to eat here you need to reserve a patio table well in advance on the weekends. Otherwise you won’t be able to just pop in (speaking from experience).
If that happens to you, try your luck at their sister restaurant called Union Woodshop. They have a neat little hidden patio with around 4 tables. Since we weren’t able to sit with the cool kids at Honcho, we enjoyed a lovely meal at Union Woodshop.
Both would be excellent choices in Clarkston.
dark horse brewing – Marshall, mi
Alright, this one is on the list because they had one of the best Cuban sandwiches I’ve ever had. Dark Horse Brewing has a ton of outdoor seating randomly placed everywhere. It kind of seems like their restaurant never ends, if you go, you’ll see what I mean.
When we went, it was a little odd, since there aren’t really servers outdoors. You sort of just pick an empty table and then go up to the outdoor bar / counter and order your food and tell them what table you are sitting at. (We went in August 2021, so this could have been a Covid thing)
Now, the weird thing about it is that if there aren’t any open tables, you just stalk people until one opens up. A bit disorderly, but very dog friendly and very good food.
Waverly Stone Gastro Pub – Holland, mi
Waverly Stone is a father/son chef duo restaurant in a historic Holland building made of Waverly stone that was quarried locally in Holland. You can find Waverly stone on other buildings along 8th street (where the restaurant is located) as well.
The restaurant has a smaller eclectic menu that strives for “globally inspired” dishes and flavors.
Their patio out front is dog friendly and overlooks historic buildings along 8th street.
kruse paint creek tavern – rOCHESTER, mi
Kruse Paint Creek Tavern is a cool little spot in downtown Rochester. It’s right off the Rochester River-walk where it meets the Paint Creek Trail, so it’s a great spot to get some food after a hike. Their patio overlooks Paint Creek, which adds to the charm. Waiting for a dog friendly table shouldn’t take too long since they have plenty of outdoor tables.
They also have an awesome happy hour menu during the week and serve more than just your average bar food. I loved the Chopped Rib-eye Sliders.
Detroit shipping container – midtown detroit
You are in for an experience here. Detroit Shipping Company is located in Midtown Detroit and is made out of 21 refurbished shipping containers. It houses a number of restaurants, bars, and even 2 art galleries.
They welcome dogs in their outdoor courtyard and around the upper track.
detroit fleat – ferndale, mi
Ferndale is an interesting little town off Woodward Ave. with a lot of great restaurants. Detroit Fleat is an outdoor food truck park home to some of “Metro Detroit’s most popular food trucks.” They are open seasonally May – October.
The food truck park is dog friendly with plenty of food options and plenty of outdoor seating for you and your pup!
portside inn – marquette, mi
Portside Inn is located in Marquette in the UP and is famous for their bread sticks. I’d also suggest ordering the White Fish cakes since you are in the UP and it would be a shame to not get whitefish when in the upper peninsula of Michigan.
Their outdoor deck is dog friendly, but there is limited seating so you may need to wait.
grizzly peak brewing – ann arbor, mi
Grizzly Peak Brewing is another dog friendly restaurant that has a doggy menu! They have a “Pups on the Patio” menu with items like Pup Patty, PB Dog, and Poochy Ice Cream. We aren’t huge fans of Ann Arbor (the parking is kind of a nightmare), so we haven’t trekked out here with Kirby yet.
From looking at their menu and reading their reviews, there are a lot of positive ones from those that have brought their dogs with them. It looks as though they have a decent amount of outdoor tables as well.
nonna’s – ada, mi
If you are looking for a dog friendly restaurant that isn’t a brewery or tavern, then go to Nonna’s. Nonna’s is an Italian restaurant with European inspired cuisine. They offer brunch, lunch and dinner and their outdoor deck and porch are dog friendly.
The pictures of their food look amazing and the outdoor deck looks very welcoming and picturesque. I can’t wait to visit to try it out for myself.
The Delft Bistro – Marquette, mi
Not that you will be able to partake in experiencing eating in an adapted reuse movie theater with your dog, but they are pet friendly with a few outdoor tables out front under the massive lit up theater sign.
Delft Bistro is on this list because of the history and the awesomeness of turning a historic landmark like a movie theater into a bistro. Inside, you can catch a film while you eat! I can’t get over this brilliant idea.
Their food looks delicious and the description from the website is intriguing:
“Every plate achieves that elusive, cuisine-defining balance of sweet, salty, and sour — even dessert.”
zehnder’s – frankenmuth, mi
You may not know this, but yes, the home of the WORLD FAMOUS CHICKEN DINNER is seasonally dog friendly. It is well worth a visit regardless if you bring your dog with you or not.
If you have no idea what I am talking about, then let me explain. Zehnder’s is famous for their chicken. When you order a chicken dinner, you get an all you can eat full course meal including cheese spreads with bread, chicken noodle soup, cottage cheese, coleslaw, cranberry chutney, and then the famous chicken, butter noodles, mashed potatoes, gravy, and ice cream for dessert.
If you sign up for their rewards, you get a FREE chicken dinner in your birthday month. (why yes we do go every year.)
I highly recommend spending a day in Frankenmuth and enjoying your chicken dinner on the covered patio with your pup during the months of May-October.
TIP: World famous, meaning they get about a million visitors a year, so make reservations and make sure you ask for a table on the patio. (This year they had an issue with bees, so they closed their patio early)
Have you gone to any of these dog friendly restaurants? Are there others in Michigan that you would consider “must visit”? Let me know in the comments below!