Food & Drink

The 8 Best Dog-Friendly Bars and Restaurants in Milwaukee

Published On 08/18/2015 Published On 08/18/2015

We know your shih tzu is a furry little angel, but not all food and drink establishments can contain the glory of your freshly groomed pet. When it comes time to party without leaving your dog at home, turn to any of these eight bars and restaurants where they’ll be treated like a VIP -- Very Important Pooch.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist

Club Charlies

Walker’s Point
Dogs are welcome on the large, street-side patio of this bar and restaurant. There’s a stack of red dog bowls to keep your pooch hydrated and the friendly servers may even offer Fido a big old treat. It’ll keep him distracted enough to ignore the people walking through the patio on the public sidewalk, so you don’t have to keep tugging at his leash.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist

The Backyard

Bay View
Humans like The Backyard because it’s got fire pits, cook-your-own-meat grills, and a giant projection screen, but dogs like it because it looks like a doggie wonderland. The big fenced-in grassy yard and presence of other dogs may make it seem like a dog park to your four-legged friend. A dog park that serves beer is a beautiful thing.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist

Camp Bar

A trip up north wouldn’t be complete without your dog, so naturally your dog should come hang with you on Camp Bar’s two-story patio. He’ll get ear rubs and dog treats from the staff, but if he’s really lucky you’ll share the garnish from your old fashioned or Bloody Mary.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist

Colectivo Lakefront

Lake Park
Hanging out on the lakefront in the sun can be tiring for both dogs and their humans. Take a break on the lush patio at Colectivo, a locally loved coffee shop that offers substantial sandwiches along with the usual baked goods and caffeine.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist


Art*Bar is the embodiment of Riverwest: it’s eclectic, it supports local artists, it’s kitschy, and it’s got beer. It’s also one of the few bars that allows dogs inside, where they get tons of love and attention from the staff and other customers. It’s so well known as a dog friendly bar that perhaps they should considering renaming the place Dog*Bar.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist

Cafe Hollander

Hollander, right in the heart of the Tosa Village, has an idyllic patio on a bridge over the Menomonee River. Because it’s such a busy pedestrian thoroughfare, it’d be hard to ban dogs, so instead Hollander embraces them. Pooches get a water dish so they can relax while mom munches on a banana coconut pancake brunch.

Lacey Muszynski/Thrillist

The Roman Coin

Lower East Side
Dogs are treated like regulars at this bar on Brady Street -- some even sit on barstools. Bartenders are quick with treats and there’s a communal dog bowl of water in a corner near the neon sign touting Miller High Life specials. I can only imagine how many dogs have had their first taste of beer here, lapping a spill up off the floor.

Courtesy of the Iron Horse Hotel

The Yard

Walker’s Point
The Iron Horse is a pet-friendly hotel, so it only makes sense that dogs are also welcome in the lobby and the outdoor patio area, The Yard. Treats and bowls are readily available for parched pooches. And if you’re staying in a room, your doggie can get VIP treatment complete with fluffy dog beds and a room service menu just for pups.

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Lacey Muszynski is a Milwaukee writer who would like to thank models Lexi and Scarlett (and their humans), and Leah at Roman Coin for entertaining Lexi. Follow her on Twitter @worthhersalt.

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1. Club Charlies 320 E Menomonee St, Milwaukee, WI 53202 (Third Ward)

This little bar and restaurant often flies under the radar, but it's got a loyal following. In addition to its tasty mix with lots of horseradish, it infuses its vodka with veggies and spices for extra oomph. Garnishes are simple to let the drink shine, and include a piece of beef stick, pepper jack cheese, a pickle, and blue cheese-stuffed olives.

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2. The Backyard 2155 S Kinnickinnic Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53207 (Bay View)

This bar is in on the whole "B.Y.O" thing, except for them its "B.Y.O-meat," and they provide the grill. Their menu include fine dining specialties like mozzarella sticks, beef jerky, and snickers, so maybe consider the B.Y.O option. Other than that, this is literally a huge yard covered in games, screens for movies, chairs, and umbrellas -- and everyone is welcome.

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3. Camp Bar 4044 N Oakland Ave, Milwaukee, WI 53211 (Shorewood)

There’s no reason to drive seven hours when a real life Northwoods tavern just happens to be on the near North side of Milwaukee. Camp's appropriate hunting lodge setup includes an abundance of woodwork, a fair amount of taxidermy, and the occasional light fixture made out of antlers. The Old Fashioned is the drink of choice here and during the football season it’s hard to find a better place in town to watch the Packers. Ya der hey.

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4. Colectivo Lakefront 1701 N Lincoln Memorial Dr, Milwaukee, WI 53202

The undisputed reigning champ of the Milwaukee craft coffee scene, this been around the block since the 90s' (and every cafe wanted to be Central Perk from Friends) kind of spot has outposts all over the city, but their Lakefront locale is the crown jewel. On sunny days, it's the perfect place to cozy up in one of the colorful patio seats and enjoy blended espresso drinks, smoothies, and light cafe fare. Bonus: it's dog-friendly.

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5. Art*Bar 722 E Burleigh St, Milwaukee, WI 53212 (Riverwest)

This eclectic, kitschy spot supports local artists, has plenty of beer choices to choose from, and is known for its dog-friendliness.

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6. Cafe Hollander 7677 W State St, Wauwatosa, WI 53213 (Wauwatosa)

This Tosa Village spot has an idyllic patio on a bridge over the Menomonee River, great beer, and is dog friendly!

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7. The Roman Coin 1004 E Brady St, Milwaukee, WI 53202

This casual local joint has Miller High Life specials and is super-dog friendly.

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8. The Yard 500 W Florida St, Milwaukee, WI 53204 (Milwaukee)

Located at the Iron Horse Hotel, this outdoor spot is decked out with comfy couches, fire pits and a fancy cocktail menu. Look out for live bands playing eclectic mixes in nice weather.



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