The Dogs’ Dish: Your Guide to Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Santa Cruz County

dog friendly restaurants in santa cruz, ca

There was a long period of time when dogs weren’t allowed in downtown Santa Cruz.

Those dog days are over.

Not only are dogs now welcome downtown, but many restaurants invite them too. The dog friendliness doesn’t stop there.

We’ve compiled the Dogs’ Dish, a guide to over 100 dog-friendly restaurants where you can bring your dog as your +1 in Santa Cruz County.

This list is compiled by neighborhood, town and city.

We’ve also included a map so you can easily find each dog-friendly establishment.

If you know of any dog-friendly restaurants in Santa Cruz County that aren’t listed, please feel free to let us know in the comments. Tell us where you like to go! Include a pic of your pup if you like!

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Why You’ll Want To Be Climbing Instead of Clubbing Thanks To Pacific Edge Climbing Gym

Pacific Edge Climbing Gym

High on psyche, low on attitude. That’s the vibe at Pacific Edge, Santa Cruz’s climbing gym.

Where else can you find people ages 6 to 60, communalizing at one sport?

What other sport has your life directly tied to someone else?

Where else can you find world-class athletes and budding newbies cheering each other on?

These are a few of things you can expect to see at Pacific Edge Climbing Gym.  The atmosphere that Pacific Edge cultivates is one of community and connection.  Egos are checked at the door.

It’s no wonder the gym is pumping, given all it has to offer. Popular for many reasons, in addition to the the community, here’s what you’ll find at Pacific Edge Climbing Gym: [Read more…]

Law of the Leash: Where to (Legally) Exercise Your Dog in Santa Cruz

Olive Springs Trail Soquel
Imagine 51,000 dogs crowded onto Mitchell’s Cove Beach on West Cliff.

That’s what would happen if every dog in Santa Cruz County gathered at the only off-leash beach in Santa Cruz.

Mitchell’s Cove is the only beach in Santa Cruz County where dogs are allowed to play, fetch, swim and run off-leash.  Another startling fact to throw at you…off-leash romp time is limited to before 10:00 am and after 4:00 pm.

Just east of Mitchell’s Cove is Its Beach. This beach is ironically referred to by some (including Google Maps) as “Dog Beach,” even though dogs are not allowed off-leash. Once upon a time Its beach did have legal off-leash hours.

“Our off-leash beach areas are minimal and few for the tens of thousands of dogs in this county,” says Karen Simmons, Chair of the Friends of Lighthouse Field (FOLF).  FOLF would like to see Its Beach allow dogs off-leash, “We are a beach community, and as a community, designating less than two percent of county beaches for dog recreation seems reasonable,” says Simmons.

Eastside pups face the same conundrum. Most people think of the beaches from 20th to 26th Avenue as being dog beaches, since we’re used to seeing happy pups frolic there. But nope, not legal.

Ted M. Coopman, Live Oak Off Leash Advocates (LOOLA) spokesperson, says, “It is the tale of two cities – it is the best of places and worst of places. On the upside, most locals are very dog-friendly, and if you do not mind the technical off-leash violation there are plenty of open spaces and beaches. However, compared to Carmel, San Francisco, or other bay area cities, we are way behind the curve.”

On visual cues alone, it’s confusing where you can legally exercise your dog in Santa Cruz. To help set things straight, we’ve gone on a dog park crawl and put together the following lists of dog-friendly recreation areas. If the curve changes, we’ll be sure to let you know. Paws crossed!


How to Use This Post

This is a long post, featuring 40 places you can take your dog (and 13 places dogs aren’t allowed), so to make it easy to navigate we created these handy little buttons below. Click on any of the four buttons to jump to the section of your choice:


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