I’ve been to Traverse City plenty but when I started writing this entire list it made me realize just how many dog friendly Traverse City restaurants there are! You will not be going hungry in this city with over 25 establishments to choose from.
Over the years, Traverse City has made quite a name for itself past the cherries and for its delicious food and eclectic restaurants. If you are interested in a “foodie” themed getaway, make sure to go to Traverse City during Restaurant Week in February (wouldn’t recommend bringing your dog at that time though).
If you’ve traveled with your dog before, you are probably used to it by now that most dog friendly restaurants tend to be brewpubs or taverns. In this extensive list, I’ve also listed restaurants that I would highly recommend getting carryout from, so you don’t have to miss out on some of the best restaurants in town while with your dog, but even then I think you will be surprised at how many different dog friendly Traverse City restaurants you’ll be able to enjoy on the patio.
Note: Always make sure to confirm with the restaurant that they are dog friendly. Policies change! Because Traverse City is a popular town, be prepared to wait for patio seating and it’s always worth calling to see if you can reserve a patio table ahead of time.
Red Spire Brunch House – Indoors with tables in the hallway of the Village Commons. Great for pancakes and french toast. Dog friendly seating is limited, so expect long wait times.
The Omelette Shoppe – Two locations, one downtown with a few outdoor tables and a larger location with more outdoor seating. They have fantastic omelets!
Frenchie’s Famous – an eclectic little local spot with a few outdoor tables. Get the pastrami hash!
The Towne Plaza – a great spot for brunch. Has a decent amount of outdoor seating on their patio. Known for their Benedicts.
For A Quick Bite To-Go
Folgarelli’s Market & Wine Shop – 1945 old-world market with a fine selection of wines, housemade cannolis, and deli sandwiches. There are outdoor tables but this would be a perfect place to grab a picnic spread to-go.
Cousin Jenny’s Cornish Pasties: When in Northern Michigan, trying a pastie is a must! Grab the handpies to-go or enjoy them at one of their outdoor tables.
Bad Dog Deli – Located on Old Mission Peninsula. Great to grab a few sandwiches to-go on your way to the beach.
Bay Bread Company – Artisan bread, sandwiches, and an espresso bar. Great for a quick bite to-go or sit at one of the few outdoor tables.
Don’s Drive In – local drive-in that’s been around since the 50s. Perfect for a burger, fries, and milkshake.
For Lunch And Dinner on a Patio:
The Filling Station – Great spot in a renovated train depot. The covered platform has been transformed into outdoor dining with picnic tables. They have great pizza and beer.
The Shed Beer Garden – We love this restaurant, not only for the doggy menu but the vibe and the BBQ!
The Coin Slot – Awesome spot for outdoor dining with seasonal food trucks. If you don’t have your dog with you, head inside and play some arcade games.
Little Fleet: A good amount of picnic-style outdoor seating with seasonal food trucks to choose from.
Red Mesa Grill: covered patio with live music. Awesome place for Latin American food.
Jolly Pumpkin: local chain with fresh ales crafted on site. Also serves fresh fish, wood-fired steaks, and artisan pizza.
Grand Traverse Pie Company – kind of like a local Panera, but better. The tomato soup is amazing. I would also recommend the Michigan Chicken Cherry Salad, too. Get a slice of Cherry Crumble pie to go or a whole pie! Both locations have outdoor seating, but you will find more tables at the location outside of downtown.
Slabtown Burgers: touted as the best affordable burgers and fries in TC!
Firefly: Cool spot on the river serving up small plates, sushi, steaks, and burgers.
Pangea’s Pizza: Has a rooftop deck that is dog friendly. Awesome pizzeria using housemade dough & sauce.
For Coffee and Dessert:
Bardon’s Wonder Freeze: Bardon’s has been serving Traverse City ice cream for over 50 years! They have limited outdoor seating, but you order at a walk-up window, so it’s easy to keep your dog with you while you order.
Brew: I adore this coffee shop. You’ll find a few outdoor tables out front, but honestly just grab an iced mocha to go and continue your stroll downtown. (You’ll need to order inside)
Higher Grounds Coffee – located at the Village Commons. Has a nice secluded outdoor patio.
Milk and Honey Ice cream – homemade ice cream using local fresh ingredients. They have vegan and sugar-free options too. There are a few outdoor tables, but you will need to order inside.
Doug Murdick’s Fudge – Originated in TC in 1964. Fudge is housemade with over 16 flavors. If you are traveling with someone, have them grab a slice for you, since you can’t bring your dog inside.
Moomers Homemade Ice Cream – a local dairy farm and ice cream shop that has outdoor seating for you to enjoy your ice cream with your dog. You’ll have to order inside though, so it’s easier to do if someone else is with you.
For Awesome Carry-out
These restaurants are not dog friendly, but are definitely worth experiencing!
Apache Trout Grill – one of my favorite restaurants in Traverse City. Beautiful restaurant on the water. Unfortunately, they are not dog friendly, but you should definitely get their Whitefish sandwich or blackened salmon salad to go with a slice of their homemade key lime pie. Or just get the slice of pie, it’s to die for.
Mama Lu’s Taco Shop – If you are feeling tacos, Mama Lu’s is the way to go. Don’t bother taking them back to your hotel. Find a bench and enjoy them while they are fresh and hot.
Bubba’s – a popular spot for their unique burgers and boozy shakes.
The Good Bowl – Awesome place for Vietnamese food. Very good service for take-out.
check out the restaurants all mapped out for you HEre!
Phew! We’ve reached the end of this really long list. I’m extremely hungry now and craving a handful of items from the various restaurants listed. I hope this helped you realize that you’ll need about two weeks to experience all the dog friendly Traverse City restaurants. Have fun!