7 Dog-friendly Restaurants in 3 Maine Cities
Dine out with your furry best friend.
Story and photos by Julia Bayly
While state law does prohibit canines other than registered service animals from indoor table service, many eateries do open their patio seating areas to man’s best friend.
Because dogs are only allowed in the outdoor seating areas, this does mean pet-friendly options are seasonal and reserved for those sunny warm days between Memorial Day and late September or early October, depending when the weather turns colder.
Still, if you want to dine with your pampered pooch a number of options exist. Here are seven of my favorite places that are happy to host people and pups alike.
162 Main Street
The open air patio at Freeport’s historic Harraseeket Inn provides outdoor, pet-friendly seating for diners at the Broad Arrow Tavern. Food is prepared using a wood-fired oven and grill. The chefs specialize in steaks, pizza and fresh seafood. I recommend the brick oven macaroni and cheese (available with lobster) or the (locally) famous lobster roll. To get a sampling of menu items, check out the daily lunch buffet (not available Sundays). According to innkeeper Penny Gray, herself a dog lover, “It isn’t unusual to have eight or ten dogs on the property every night. I think more and more folks are traveling with their four-legged family members and most dogs seem to really enjoy it.”
Broad Arrow Tavern is open from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily and reservations are not accepted.
88 Main Street
Freeport is one of the state’s more pet-friendly cities, so it’s no accident two of the restaurants on my list are located here. One of Linda Bean’s “Perfect Maine”restaurants, Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern, is right across the street from her family’s iconic Maine shopping destination L.L. Bean. Open seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner the restaurant offers a full menu on its shady outdoor terrace from 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. all summer. I recommend anything lobster—and there are so many options! Lobster rolls, lobster stew, lobster bisque, lobster salad, lobster stuffed mushrooms, grilled cheese and lobster or a steamed whole lobster. You can’t go wrong with lobster here.
Open year round. 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. January 1-May 27 and 7:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Memorial Day through Labor Day.
26 Main Street
A longtime Bangor landmark, “Paddy’s” as it is known among locals, offers a diverse menu, full bar with local craft brews, and live music. In the summer pooches are welcome to enjoy all of it on the patio. “We absolutely welcome dogs,” says server Samantha. “We love the patio puppies.” It’s hard to go wrong at Paddy’s, but if pressed I’d recommend The Guinness Burger which tops Angus beef with Gouda cheese, bacon and a special Guinness Beer BBQ sauce. Don’t be afraid to ask for extra napkins.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
18 Broad Street
Another Bangor hotspot sits across the street from Paddy’s: Blaze is where craft beer and wood-fired flavors meet. Whenever a server spots a diner with a dog on the patio, a glass of bottled water is delivered to the human while fresh water in a bowl is served to the pooch. “It’s definitely great to have the dogs here,” says manager Liz. “The owners can get out and don’t have to leave their dogs at home and it’s nice for the dogs as well when they meet other dogs here.” I heartily recommend the Reuben Sandwich with the perfect ratio of corned beef, sauerkraut, gruyere cheese and dressing on fresh rye bread.
Open daily from 11 a.m. to 1 a.m.
1 Main Street
This dog-friendly stop in Bangor is a traditional Japanese noodle bar that lets you create your own bowl of noodle-y goodness from an impressive array of broth, vegetable, noodle and protein options. It would be a long time before you exhausted all the variations, so don’t be afraid to get creative for lunch or dinner. My favorite combination starts with a base of the yellow curry and combines it with the rice noodles. Then I toss in tofu, broccoli, snow peas and shiitake mushrooms. Dogs are welcome on the patio; in fact, before even placing an order chilled water will be offered to pooches and can be taken to-go, too.
Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
80 Columbia Street
Don’t let the name fool you: Four-footed friends are welcome on this small outdoor patio area. Dogs are treated to refreshing bowls of water while humans can sample some of the unique brews created by Cory Ricker and Jerry Robichaud. How unique? How about a ghost pepper/roasted jalapeño saison? Or a banana bread ale? Or the new Margarita Gose, an ancient-style German wheat beer made with coriander and lime. If you can’t decide, go for a flight and don’t forget to ask about seasonal brews. My favorite is a spiced saison that goes by the name “Barn Burner.” To nosh, I highly recommend the house wings, arguably the best chicken wings in Maine. I favor the sticky, sweet and spicy Sriracha brown sugar sauce. A boneless, baked chicken breast version is also available and just as lip-licking good.
Open Mondays through Thursdays 3-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 3-11 p.m. and Sundays Noon to 6 p.m.
6 Mill Street
With a name like The Family Dog, you know it’s a dog-friendly place. Four-legged dogs are welcome on the terrace. The menu boasts an impressive and eclectic selection of hotdog options as well as lots of burger and vegetarian options. But dogs rule. In fact, the folks at The Family Dog have told me there is nothing they are unwilling to put on a hot dog. The Vienna beef dogs come with toppings like goat cheese, bacon, avocado salsa, grilled pineapple, sun dried tomatoes, macaroni and cheese, sauerkraut and of course ketchup, mustard and relish. While I do dabble in some of the more creative toppings—including, once, a dog topped with lobster salad on it—I most heartily recommend The Bad Dog, a deep-fried Vienna hot dog wrapped in bacon smothered in cheese and topped with diced tomatoes.
Open Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.