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Canberra’s dog friendliest cafés

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Canberra is a great place to own a dog.

There are beautiful places to walk with extensive off leash areas, dog friendly strata title laws, and (most importantly!) some great dog friendly cafés.

We’re long-term Canberra locals who love stopping at a café for a coffee at the end of an energetic walk with our dogs. Since the Australian Food Standards Code was amended in 2012, ‘companion’ dogs (not just guide dogs) are allowed ‘in the outdoor dining area of a food premises, provided that the outdoor dining area can be entered by the public without passing through an enclosed area’. This has led to a proliferation of Canberra café and restaurant owners who are happy to welcome well-behaved dogs (with their equally well-behaved owners).

After a year of careful and enjoyable research we’ve compiled a list of our favourite Canberra canine cafés. Most also have good coffee! These cafés make our favourites list because they have suitable outdoor spaces (that means both sunny and shady options and sufficient space around tables), they have a welcoming vibe, and their staff are even happy to bring out water for your dog. They are also in great dog walking neighbourhoods featuring off leash areas so you can go for a good walk and tire out your dog first.

Of course your dog should also be ‘café friendly’. We provide advice on appropriate dog cafe etiquette and how to cafe train your dog to be the perfect four-legged patron at training your cafe friendly dog.

Here are our favourite Canberra dog friendly cafés in alphabetical order according to suburb location (see our location map):


Red Brick Espresso

Red Brick Espresso, cnr Carruthers and Theodore Streets, Curtin, is a delight. This very popular hole-in-the wall brims with enthusiasm about life, the universe – and coffee. There are only a small number of outside tables but milk crates provide for overflow customers. Dogs (and kids) love the grassy outdoor space. Open every day with simple breakfast and lunch offerings. See our free directions for two dog friendly walks in Curtin – Curtin playing fields and Curtin horse paddock walks – that start and end at the Curtin shops.

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210 Degrees Bakery and Patisserie

210 Degrees Bakery and Patisserie, on Hughes Place at the Hughes shops, has a pleasant and comfortable outdoor seating area for dogs. The chocolate croissants are delicious and front-of-house man, Tim, makes a nice coffee. Open early for fresh bakery goods and simple lunches Monday to Saturday plus breakfast options on Saturday. See our free directions for a dog friendly in Hughes – Hughes walk – that starts and ends at the Hughes shops.

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BitterSweet, in Green Square, cnr Jardine and Eyre Streets, Kingston, is right in the centre of Green Square with plenty of generously spaced outdoor tables in a very pretty paved and lawn setting. Serves very good coffee and breakfast/lunch every day from around 7.30. See our free directions for a dog friendly walk through Kingston and Griffith – Kingston-Griffith walk – that starts and ends at the Kingston shops.

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The Front Gallery and Café

The Front Gallery and Café, on Wattle Street at the Lyneham shops, is an über-cool, Newtown-Essenden-inspired café. The Front boasts ancient outdoor sofas utilised by both two-legged and four-legged patrons. Usually has good coffee and an eclectic neighbourhood vibe. Open every day for breakfast and lunch – except when it isn’t. See our free directions for a dog friendly walk through Lyneham and O-Connor – Lyneham-O’Connor walk – that starts and ends at the Lyneham shops.

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Beess & Co

Beess & Co on the corner of Hutchins and Bentham Streets at the Yarralumla shops boasts a spacious, shady location under an enormous plane tree. Outdoor tables provide ample space for four-legged friends. It’s very popular with locals so you may need to arrive early or book a table to ensure a spot. We’re not a fan of the coffee but many people love its food. Open every day from 7.00 am (8.00 on Sundays) for breakfast and lunch. See our free directions for a dog friendly walk in Yarralumla – Yarralumla walk – that starts and ends at the Yarralumla shops.

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 What do YOU think is Canberra’s dog-friendliest cafe?

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6 Responses to Canberra’s dog friendliest cafés

Esther says: 27 June, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Another dog friendly place to dine is out at Iron Bar @ Goolabri. While not technically in Canberra, it’s only about 10 minutes north of Dickson. They have an outdoor terrace area where you can sit with your four legged friend, with a superb view over the manicured gardens and natural bushland, and heaps of space to take your pup for a walk around the grounds. Good coffee. Yummy food. Friendly staff. Highly recommend!

Pam says: 29 July, 2014 at 11:39 am

Great article. My dog, Molly, and I also enjoy hanging out in the back garden of Yarralumla Brasserie, near the nursery, after a leisurely stroll through Westbourne Woods.

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