The Dog-Friendly Chicago Guide For the Windy City Pooches · The Wildest

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The Dog-Friendly Chicago Guide For Windy City Pooches

From lounging at pup-friendly breweries to chowing down at pet bakeries, there are countless ways to enjoy this Midwest playground with your dog.

by Alicia Kort
May 3, 2023
collage: woman with dog on purple background, Chicago sights, a boat, a train, a tunnel, a Dalmation
Collage: Blake Cale

Chicago is famous for many things: Its history, its architecture, its sports teams, Lake Michigan, and its residents’ hatred of ketchup on hot dogs. Chicago supposedly has as many as 200 neighborhoods, though Chicagoans share a lot in common — a love of pizza and cheap coffee likely at the top of the list. Although Chicagoans are historically friendly, if you catch anyone smiling at you and your dog is with you, they’re actually smiling at your dog. Dogs help make the frigid, all-around-terrible winters more bearable — even if you do have to walk them outside in sub-zero temperatures. 

That alone is proof that Chicagoans will go through great lengths to make sure their dogs are happy and healthy. They organize dog parent outings at sports bars, make sure their dog’s Dog-Friendly Area (DFA) registration tag is up-to-date for beach season, and find ridiculously oversized tote bags to put their dogs in so they can bring them on the L train. Luckily, this dog-forward energy has pervaded plenty of city establishments that love celebrating all things canine. We found the places and services that not only tolerate your dog but go the extra (Magnificent) mile to make them feel welcome. 

Cafe & Eateries

Chicago-style pizza (the real one, not Deep Dish), hot dogs, Italian beef, brunch — these are all staples of the Windy City. Your pup shouldn’t have to stay home while you get your requisite “hair of the dog” at Sunday brunch. The only thing you should worry about is if you can get a last-minute spot on Resy. The restaurants and cafes below not only allow dogs on their patios — and sometimes inside, shhh; it’s not exactly legal — some even have menus specifically tailored to your pooch’s palate.

an orange dog at a table at Barrio
Courtesy of @thejacksoncage


65 W Kinzie St

If you’ve always felt a little guilty about your pup staring wistfully up at you (and your meal) while you chow down at brunch, Barrio, a popular Mexican spot located in River North, gives you the opportunity to enjoy a meal together. Order breakfast tacos from the human menu and help your pup choose from the Bark-io Puppy menu, which boasts three entrees and one dessert. Some of the proceeds from your pet’s meal gets donated to PAWs Chicago. Bottomless bloody marys for you and a skirt steak for your best friend — what more can you ask for?

a dog licking a rainbow cupcake
Courtesy of @winifredandlouie

Cosmicos Pet Bakery


Instead of trying to attempt to make your dog’s birthday cake this year, support a local business and get a stunning, custom, preservative-free treat instead. Offering colorful cakes, “barkuterie” boards, “dawgnuts,” seasonal goodies, and everyday staples like beef liver treats, Cosmico’s Pet Bakery has endless options for spoiling your pup. You can opt for pick-up in Pilsen or delivery within the city limits or suburbs.

Fido to Go dog food truck
Courtesy of @fidotogo

Fido To Go — Dog Food Truck


Claiming to be the first dog-treat truck in the world, Fido To Go offers a bevy of cookies and frozen treats for your fido. All the treats are corn, egg, gluten, soy, grain, and sugar-free. The truck, which has been operating for 12 years, shares where it’ll be posting up on Instagram every week. Just a warning: Your pup won’t want to pass by this bright yellow truck without getting a little something.

assortment of Le Barkrey treats; cupcakes, birthday cake
Courtesy of @exploreuptownchi

Le Barkrey

4151 N Broadway

Located near the Montrose Dog Beach (which also earned a spot on this list), Le Barkrey is a one-stop spot for your pup. It’s a bakery, a boutique, and a self-spa, so basically, it’s the post-beach frolic spot to pamper your pooch after zooming around Lake Michigan. Coax them into the bath with a treat or use one as an apology after. Bonus: You won’t have to scrub the sand out of your apartment or hotel tub later. 

a small dog sits at a chair at Park and Field
Courtesy of @parkandfield

Park & Field

3509 W Fullerton Ave

Vintage sports club-inspired, this Logan Square spot boasts a 6,000-square-foot dog-friendly patio, an outdoor bocce ball court, popular lawn games like cornhole, boozy brunch, and a menu for your dog. They can choose from the Bird Dog or Pooch Patty for their main and enjoy a Perfect Pup Cup for dessert.

a dog standing in a dog pool
Courtesy of @pbjwestloop

Pizza, Beer & Jukebox (PB&J)

205 N Peoria St

If your dog’s love language is quality time, then go down to PB&J in the West Loop on Wednesdays for Doggy Date Night on their outdoor patio. Your pup can get one pupwich, which is made of Wonder Bread and peanut butter, for free, and you can enjoy half-off on select drinks. What a cheap date!

two dogs sit outside at The Rambler
Courtesy of @nuggetchicagocorgi

The Rambler

4128 N Lincoln Ave

Watch the game, watch The Bachelor, or celebrate a holiday on The Rambler’s patio with your dog. Get your best friend something from the Howlin’ Ramblers Dog Menu, which consists of a beef patty, chicken breast, and large milk bone. Your dog will be howling with happiness. 

a dog in front of a Red June Cafe menu
Courtesy of @goodestboyhudson

Red June Cafe

2020 N Leavitt St

It’s a given that you’re going to take your pup on your coffee run. It’s a much-needed caffeine boost for you and an opportunity for them to stretch their little legs, but wouldn’t it be great if they could propel your tired or hungover body to the coffee shop a little faster? Well, Red June Cafe makes that possible by providing your pal with a treat. Motivation! 

a dog licking an icecream cone
Courtesy of @zola_the_aussiedoodle_

Scooter’s Frozen Custard

1658 W Belmont Ave

Move over Starbucks Puppuccinos; there’s a local option that you and your dog will want to check out when warmer weather finally hits Chicago. Claiming to be Chicago’s oldest frozen custard shop, Scooter’s Frozen Custard has many tasty treats for you to choose from, including shakes, malts, and custard, of course. When you purchase a human cone for yourself, you get a free pup cone. Ice cream for all — the way life should be. 

a woman and a small white dog
Courtesy of @ninalaski

Siena Tavern

51 W Kinzie St

If you’re on the hunt for a more upscale meal for you and your pup, this Italian eatery is the perfect option. Boasting the largest dog menu (adorably dubbed “Puppy Ciao”) we’ve seen, your hungry buddy can pick from two entrees and a whopping four desserts, including dairy-free gelato and “Pawsibly the Best Sundae Ever.”

small dog at Taureaux Tavern
Courtesy of @coevalapts

Taureaux Tavern

155 W Van Buren St

While you’re chomping down on “Le Cheeseburger Royale” at Taureaux Tavern in the Loop, your pup has the option of scoring three scrambled eggs, chopped chicken breast, or their very own chopped hamburger patty from the Canine Menu. Saturdays are for the dogs, after all. 


Dogs are technically allowed inside bars, but it is up to the bar owner’s discretion. Instead of taking your dog on the world’s longest walk to find a spot that will allow you and your pup inside or on the patio, we’ve found them for you. Soon, everyone will know your dog’s name at these pup-loving bars. 

a dog at Archie’s Iowa Rockwell Tavern
Courtesy of @archies.chicago

Archie’s Iowa Rockwell Tavern

2600 W Iowa St

Founded in 1943, this Chicago dive bar is helpfully named after its cross streets, and it’s one of the only bars in the city that allows four-legged friends indoors. Choose from a selection of beers, shoot some pool, and hang out with your dog and the bar’s regulars. 

dog outdoors at Big Star
Courtesy of @thedonfiascone

Big Star Chicago

1531 N Damen Ave

Hanging out on an outdoor patio any time other than the summer can be a little bit of a gamble. That infamous lake effect can make things quite chilly, but luckily, you and your pup can stay comfortable in Big Star Chicago’s Wicker Park location. Dogs are welcome to escape the wind, rain, and snow in the bar’s covered, heated tent.

dog outdoors at Chicago in Recess
Courtesy of @chicagoinrecess

Chicago in Recess

838 W Kinzie St

Chicago in Recess is basically a playground for adults, which we think both dogs and humans can get behind. They claim to have Chicago’s largest patio, so there’s plenty of space to play nostalgic board games both indoors and outdoors. If indulging your inner child happens to bring out your competitive side and if you think your pup is so awesome that they deserve city-wide acclaim, you can enter your pooch in Recess’ Best in Show competition. There is a $25 entry fee, but 100 percent of the fee goes to the MCP Rescue. This event is the precursor to the bar’s “ Pup of the Year” competition, which kicks off Labor Day weekend. 

a black dog in front of Cody's bar
Courtesy of @boomer_the_sooner

Cody’s Public House

1658 W Barry Ave

A beer for you and a treat for your sweet pup. Cody’s Public House is another one of those rare gems that lets your pupper inside (though they do also have a beer garden). For holidays, such as the Super Bowl and Valentine’s Day, they often set up a photo booth, so you can fill your phone camera with even more dog photos. They also have a Dog of the Month contest. 

a dog in front of a "dogs welcome" sign at Corner Bar
Courtesy of @bygeorgethedog

The Corner Bar

2224 N Leavitt St

Located in Bucktown, The Corner Bar is a reliable spot with staff who will greet your pup like a regular. This dive is a friendly neighborhood spot that won’t hurt your wallet. 

a dog at a table at Machine
Courtesy of @matcha_creampuff


1846 W Division St

This place has bespoke cocktails and a fancy food menu to match. Although your buddy might not know why you are pointing your phone and squealing at a shimmery cocktail in a diamond-shaped glass, they’ll probably be happy for you anyway (or give you some sassy side-eye) on Machine’s heated patio. We can also personally confirm that these drinks are delicious. 

dog with a Midwest Coast Brewing can
Courtesy of @midwestcoastbrewing 

Midwest Coast Brewing

2137 W Walnut St

Have your next doggie social hour at Midwest Coast Brewing. The furry friends can sniff each other while you catch up with your human friends over IPAs. It’s the 2023 (Chicago) version of Friends. Midwest Coast Brewing also hosts Dog-Friendly Markets, where your dog can beg you to pick up some treats and cute outfits. 

a dog in front of Paradise Park Chicago
Courtesy of @misterfredrogers

Paradise Park

1913 W North Ave

Must love dogs (and pizza). Assuming you can answer “yes” to both, you’ll want to check out Paradise Park in Wicker Park. This heated patio will keep you and your creature warm, so it’s a great place to post up. Don’t leave without snapping a pic of your pet underneath the “@ pizza I heart u” sign. 

a dog looking at someone drinking at Pilot Project Brewing
Courtesy of @pilotprojectbrewing

Pilot Project Brewing

2140 N Milwaukee Ave

If you go to a brewery’s patio on a balmy Saturday afternoon, you will see people drinking beer, at least one dog, and at least one baby. Pilot Project, located in Logan Square, is a little more unique in concept (though it still has all of the above). Pilot Project is a brewery incubator, which helps launch small brewers in an increasingly competitive industry. 

dog on seat at River Shannon
Courtesy of @lildoodbrooks

River Shannon

425 W Armitage Ave

The River Shannon, established in 1946, is “Chicago’s Dog-Friendly Irish Pub.” Pop your pup up on a barstool at happy hour, mute Slack on your phone, and let the day’s worries wash away with the help of a beer. Your dog will turn you into a River Shannon regular when they realize that the bartenders have treats.

a dog in front of the exterior of Rizzo
Courtesy of @chicagofrenchbulldogrescue

Rizzo’s Bar and Inn

3658 N Clark St

You (and even your pet) likely know what to expect at this long-standing Wrigleyville sports bar. Rizzo’s Bar and Inn also hosts a number of seasonal dog-friendly events, but there’s one that you absolutely will want to mark your calendars for: The Chicago French Bulldog Rescue’s Pup Prom. Just follow the theme and make sure they’re dressed to the nines — they’ll have, to quote an ’80s prom hit, “the time of their lives.” 

a small Chihuahua at the bar of Sofo Tap
Courtesy of @thesofotap

The SoFo Tap

4923 N Clark St

Go on doggie dates at SoFo Tap on Saturdays afternoons. You can discuss your mutual grievances (not enough walks, too much barking at squirrels) or meet other dog and human friends over free treats and half-off drafts.  

Places to Play

Who says dogs can’t appreciate new experiences? The smells alone in the Windy City are incredibly compelling. On a more serious note, if you want to take your dog to any beach or dog park in the city, they will need a DFA permit tag from a participating Chicago veterinarian’s office.

a dog plays with a tennis ball at the beach
Courtesy of @adventuresoffinnandruepaul

Belmont Harbor Dog Beach

Watch your dog frolic through the sand and surf of Lake Michigan. This freshwater dog beach, which is located in Lincoln Park, is fenced in, so you can relax a little on a beach towel while your pup explores the shallow water. 

a wet dog by the pool
Courtesy of @chitown_teddy

Doggie Paddle

1430 W Willow St

Send your best friend to Doggie Paddle to become the Katie Ledecky of dogs. This doggie daycare also offers swimming classes for beginners, for fitness, and for wellness for pups of all ages. Just prepare yourself for the wet-dog smell.

a dog on a ship with a city view
Courtesy @coco_theaussiegirl

Mercury Canine Cruises

Cruise around Chicago’s rivers and waterways with Mercury Canine Cruises while getting the best possible view of the city skyline — with your pup, of course. While you learn about the city’s varied architectural styles and famous buildings, like the Tribune Tower, Willis (ahem, Sears, for the real Chicagoans) Tower, and the Wrigley Building, your dog can enjoy all of the sights and smells. 

2 dogs on a beach
Courtesy of @mondogbeach

Montrose Dog Beach


Zoomies on the beach? That’s guaranteed to happen when you let your pup off-leash and allow them to temporarily escape from life as a city dog. Just keep in mind that this beach is busy during the summer, so sometimes it’s better to go during odd hours and weekdays. 

a dog by the water at Navy Pier Boardwalk
Courtesy of @pumpkininlondon

Navy Pier Boardwalk


Pretend to be a tourist for the day by hitting Navy Pier with your pup. Dogs are allowed on most parts of the boardwalk — but not inside. Navy Pier also has Dog Days of Summer and dog-friendly cruises through Seadog Cruises.

2 dogs outdoors at Wiggly Field
Courtesy of @pennyandthetramp

Noethling (Grace) Park, a.k.a. Wiggly Field

“Wiggly Field” is the informal name of this dog park, but no one would complain if they officially changed it (certainly not us!). In the summers, there are a plethora of mini pools for cooling off after a long round of fetch. 

4 dogs at a play space at Rockstar Pets
Courtesy of @rockstarpets

Rockstar Pets


Get your pup some enrichment time or training at Rockstar Pets. Pet parents will feel like they’re sending their pupper off to school, thanks to Rockstar Pets classes: preschool, puppy kindergarten, and enrichment program. 


You might not spend much money on yourself, but you can’t walk out of a pet store without getting an extra special treat for your pup — especially when they’re pleading with you using those very effective puppy-dog eyes. Lean into it, and support Chicago’s local pet-centric businesses. There are also stores for humans on this list that allow your dog inside, so they can politely sniff around while you browse.

a dog receiving a "happy birthday" bone at Aeslin
Courtesy of @aeslinpuphub

Aeslin Pup Hub

1448 W Chicago Ave

If you come into this pet boutique, expect for your dog to leave with a toy in their mouth and a few treats in their bellies. You won’t be able to resist going on a shopping spree. The Ukrainian Village location is just for shopping (for now), while the Noble Square spot provides grooming and daycare services, and the Bucktown location provides daycare and boarding. 

a dog in a sweater at Doggy Style
Courtesy of @dsps_chicago

Doggy Style

2023 W Division St

Support a small business while your dog begs for some seasonal treats. Doggy Style has everything you need to look dog park-ready, including grooming services. 

two people walk two dogs outdoors at Magnificent Mile

The Magnificent Mile

If it’s your goal to hit the iconic Chicago spots, the Magnificent Mile should be on the list. Many stores are dog-friendly, including Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Patagonia, and Tails in the City. 

a dog in Tails in the City
Courtesy of @tailsinthecity

Tails in the City

55 Leroy St

Do you think your pup is the next Tika the Iggy? Well, if they want to get anywhere close to her icon status, they should hit up Tails in the City, Chicago’s purveyor of doggy designer goods. 

a dog in a black jacket inside Unabridged Books
Courtesy of @good.little.bean

Unabridged Books

3251 N Broadway

Founded in 1980, this bookstore is known for its thorough staff book recommendations and large selection of LGBTQ+ literature. They also will let your leashed pup accompany you around the store while you browse for your next read. 

dog inside Wigglyville
Courtesy of @wigglysville


3337 N Broadway

Get your pup essentials from Wigglyville, which has been around since 2005. If you’re lucky, you’ll be greeted by Braith the Bengal cat at the original location in Lakeview. 


Sometimes, you just need to take a break from your apartment (and job) and have a relaxing staycation. Delete the email app from your phone, pretend Zoom doesn’t exist, play tourist in your own city, and take advantage of all of the hotel of your choice’s amenities — without having to leave your pup with a dog sitter. Hey, they must want a change of pace, too, right? 

Or, if you’re visiting town, you want the option of bringing your pup so you can play frisbee by Lake Michigan (a dog’s dream come true). After they’re all tuckered out, they’ll want a comfy place to sleep — preferably beside you. Here are some options.

dog on a bed at Claridge House
Courtesy of @claridge_house

Claridge House

201 E 87th St

Your pup will get the royal treatment at chic boutique hotel Claridge House. This hotel has a “Pampered Pup” package, which includes a late check-out at 2 p.m. for your sleepyhead, a pup cup at check-in, a gift bag, and a Claridge House bandana. We always knew our dogs’ lives were better than ours, but Claridge House really confirms it.

large dog in lobby of Kimton the Gray
Courtesy of @thegraychi

Kimpton The Gray

122 W Monroe St

“Kimpton the Gray” might sound like a wandering knight from the middle ages, but this hotel provides a bespoke experience that the hotel compares to a Saville Row suit. Ask and your pup shall receive. Upon check-in, dogs receive a loaner water bowl, mat, a plush dog bed, and an invitation to the nightly wine reception. You’ll get complimentary waste bags and a list of pet-friendly places to go in Chicago. That’s all the convincing you’ll need to come back as a dog in your next life. 

a guest and a black dog on a staircase at the Pendry Hotel
Courtesy of @pendrychicago

Pendry Chicago

230 N Michigan Ave

If you’re a fan of Art Deco style, you can’t miss the chance to stay in the 1929 Art Deco Carbide & Carbon building, which is now Pendry Chicago. The green-and-gold opulence of this 37-story building is reminiscent of a champagne bottle and the last gasp of a booming decade. Your pup might not appreciate the building’s history, but they will love Executive Chef Jeff Vucko’s homemade treats and the “doggy dining” menu. 

a dog in bed at The Talbott hotel
Courtesy of @thetalbott

The Talbott Hotel

20 E Delaware Pl

Within walking distance of Oak Street Beach, the Talbott Hotel’s location is ideal for beach bums during the summer. Soak up the sun, admire Lake Michigan, and do some retail therapy in the Gold Coast district. It’s right across the street from the doggie-designer store Tails in the City, so your pup could have an entirely new wardrobe by the end of your stay.

a large orange dog on a bed at the Freehand Hotel
Courtesy of @freehandhotels


19 E Ohio St

If you can’t get enough of swanky hotels, then you’re going to want to add Freehand to your list. Located in River North in a 1927 Art Deco-inspired building, this lushly decorated hotel will welcome both you and your pup for a staycation. For a fee of $75 per private room, the hotel allows guests to bring one dog, as long as they weigh 75 pounds or less. 

two dogs in the lobby of The Guesthouse
Courtesy of @guesthousehotelCHI

The Guesthouse Hotel

4872 N Clark St

Find your home away from home at The Guesthouse Hotel, which is located in the Andersonville neighborhood. Your pup is treated like family here — dogs of all shapes and sizes are allowed, and there’s no extra fee. Soak up the sun on the Rooftop or feel fancy in the Clubhouse. This boutique hotel offers extended stays, so you might be tempted to move in. 

a dog in bed at Staypineapple
Courtesy of @staypineapple


1 W Washington St

This whimsical and fun hotel will provide some much-needed rest, relaxation, and fun for you and your four-legged companion. If you’ve always been all about the amenities, Staypineapple boasts a fitness center, pineapple (human) treats, bikes, and unlimited bottled water for excursions. Some of these perks are only available if you pay the daily amenities fee of $15, but they seem worth it. The boutique hotel also offers a Pineapple Pup Package. You can bring up to two dogs for an additional fee of $25 per night. There is no weight restriction, but per BringFido, dogs must not be left unattended in the room.

a dog on a bed in Chicago Athletic Association
Courtesy of @chicagoathletichotel

Chicago Athletic Association

12 S Michigan Ave

Big Chicago history buffs need to hit up this hotel, which used to be a private club, with your pup. The building is circa 1893 and in Venetian Gothic style. It operated as an exclusive playground for Chicago’s celebrities for 122 years before it was transformed into a hotel. Revel in the history, get beautiful views of Lake Michigan, check out Milk Room (which used to be a speakeasy), dine at Cindy’s, and relax with your pup in this pet-friendly establishment. There are a few rules: only two pets per room (but they can be any size), and guests must sign an animal-waiver form upon check-in. All service animals are exempt from those rules.

Alicia Kort with cat

Alicia Kort

Alicia Kort is a writer and editor living in Brooklyn. She’s currently the senior commerce editor at Apartment Therapy. She’s been published in StyleCaster, Electric Literature, Newsweek, Interview, Brooklyn magazine and more. In her free time, she runs, reads, and spends time with her dog-nieces, Maya and Lady, and her cat-niece, Pepper.

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