As a new adoptive family of a 3 year old rescue Dalmatian, we suddenly find ourselves with a little more planning and consideration needed for day outings, and so we are ever on the search for dog-friendly restaurants, trails and activities.
Brody came to us 5 months ago after we decided to adopt a dog to train as my son, Damian’s service dog. Damian is 19 years old and uses a wheelchair for mobility, and a tablet with communication software. We applied for a service dog but it was declined due to Damian’s speech limitations, hence adopting. Our previous dog was a Dalmatian, and we love the breed which is why we chose another instead of the typical Labrador for this type of work.
Little did we know that Brody came from an abusive home, and so we very quickly realised that he came with a variety of issues that need working through before he can take on his service dog role. He is very intelligent, and learns tasks very quickly, but because of his history he is quite highly strung and nervous in certain situations, so we’re focusing on basic training, building his confidence in public and then we will start with Damian-specific tasks.
These are some dog-friendly restaurants we have loved so far!
Muriel’s Munchies – Hout Bay
While visiting the Hout Bay Harbour and wandering about, we happened to pass Muriel’s Munchies, which we had only previously noticed as an ice-cream shop, though this time the owner was outside and got our attention – or should I say Brody got his attention! We decided to give their fish a try and I must say this has become our favourite place when at the Hout Bay harbour. We were welcomed in with Brody and he was immediately given a bowl of water. This was our first ever restaurant visit with him, and we were made to feel so at ease and welcome, that my initial apprehension soon faded and I was able to relax and enjoy our meal. As Brody was still a newly-adopted rescue with a host of issues, I sat near the side entrance, away from passing traffic and with an easy exit point if necessary. The fish and chips is exceptional quality (I am a very recent pescatarian after many years of being a vegetarian, so I am particularly fussy about fish).
Vista Marina – V&A Waterfront
This was one of our early visits to a restaurant as dog owners, so we were pleasantly surprised when we were welcomed in. Dogs are allowed in the outside section, and we had a quiet corner table with lots of space for Brody.
As it was still a new experience for him, he was quite restless and didn’t lie down during our visit. Our waiter brought him a bowl of water which is always welcome as he is quite a thirsty dog. We ordered tapas and were very pleased with our friendly waiter and his great sense of humour.
Jonkershuis – Constantia
How lovely to see all the dogs and kids on a sunny spring weekend. Dogs are allowed in the outdoor area, and as soon as we were seated, our waitress brought a peanut butter dog biscuit for Brody – a lovely touch! We enjoyed delicious pastas and the lovely vibe of Jonkershuis.
It is also one of the stops for the City Sightseeing Bus wine route, so we used the opportunity for a bit of Brody training, and satisfying Damian’s obsession with the “big red bus” and did a short return trip to Harbour House and back aboard the bus.
The setting is really beautiful, and the service and food selection great, so definitely a recommendation for anyone whose furry friends are part of their weekend outings.
The Company’s Garden Restaurant – Cape Town
It is always a lovely weekend activity to visit the Company’s Garden for a stroll among the squirrels, pigeons and trees. Sunshine and fresh air work up an appetite, so the lovely restaurant is ideal for a lunch stop – and dogs are welcome in the outdoor section! We picked a quiet table, and I laid out Brody’s blanket, food, water and toys so that (hopefully) we’d be able to relax over our meal – probably wishful thinking, but it does help somewhat! Our waiter was fantastic, especially in interacting with my son, and our service was efficient and quick. I just enjoyed a hot drink, while Damian ordered a favourite of fish and chips, which was an ample serving for a kiddies meal.
Chart Farm Restaurant – Wynberg
This was a lovely visit, both as the restaurant is wheelchair accessible and dog-friendly. As soon as we arrived the manager/owner greeted us at the door and asked if we needed help. She took over pushing the wheelchair while I followed with Brody to a lovely shaded table outside under the trees. There was one other dog at our neighbouring table, and another arrived soon after. All dogs were immediately brought a bowl of water.
The menu is extensive, the service quick and friendly, and the food delicious. I ordered a croissant with preserves and cheese, while Damian ordered a chicken mayonnaise toasted sandwich which came with a side salad and potato crisps. On leaving, we were again helped to our car with our waiter pushing the wheelchair up the ramp, while I followed with Brody.
You are also able to wander through the rose gardens and pick your own roses for purchase.
Definitely worth repeat visits.
Tea in the Park by Reliance – Green Point
The Tea in the Park Restaurant is both wheelchair-accessible and dog-friendly with some delectable menu items to tantalise your taste buds. The menu includes sandwiches, wraps, quiche and some yummy desserts. The staff are friendly, welcoming us and our dog, and service quick and efficient. Visit for breakfast or lunch while enjoying the diverse features of the Green Point Urban Park. There is something for every family member. The park has water fountains that are accessible for walkers, wheelchair-users and dogs also have their own fountains to have a sip of water on a hot day.
Castella Amare – Melkbosstrand
This was our second visit to Castella Amare, but our first with the Brody-pup. What a gorgeous way to enjoy a summer day at the sea. Dogs are welcome, but need to be on a leash and only in the outdoor area. When we arrived, there weren’t any tables available outside, but this wasn’t a problem as we went for a lovely walk first, and when we returned there was a table for us, alongside another couple of dog-owners, so Brody had some entertainment. Water bowls are provided for pooches. Food and service are fantastic! Serving sizes are ample – I ordered a vegetarian pizza, and Damian ordered the kiddies fish and chips – both meals we could have shared between us as the portions were huge.