Enjoying Alexandria’s Dog-Friendly Patios

PawsGo and Lu’s Labs team up at HopsNShine’s Yappy Hour. (Photo: Victoria Barnes)

By Karen Johnson, PawsGo

ALEXANDRIA,VA- Fall is the best time to enjoy Alexandria’s many dog friendly patios. The weather is cool, but still comfortable enough to enjoy a glass of wine, a craft beer, or a meal with your BFF.

As any dog owner will tell you, there is “dog friendly” and then there is DOG FRIENDLY!! Those are the establishments that have taken extra steps to ensure that both owners and dogs are comfortable and welcome.

After a walk through Old Town or Del Ray, the following stops will be enjoyable for both you and your dog.

PawsGo and Lu’s Labs team up at HopsNShine’s Yappy Hour. (Photo: Victoria Barnes)

Old Town

Jackson 20 is located in the Alexandrian Hotel, and while the name has changed over the years, it’s been the site of a doggie happy hour for a couple of decades! Every Thursday from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., it’s Barks, Brews and Bites in the Jackson 20 Courtyard. Dogs and humans are invited to enjoy Yappy Hour specials. Jackson 20 supports local rescues and animal welfare foundations, so check their website for special events. The Alexandrian is a dog friendly hotel, so your pup might make a friend from out of town!

Sonoma Cellar’s back patio is always dog friendly and a quiet oasis hidden from the bustle of King Street. To reach the patio, go down Lee Street and enter behind the building. Owners can relax with a glass of wine from a wonderfully curated wine list, while dogs get their pick of $4 entrees from the doggie menu.

Rescues like Lu’s Labs take advantage of HopsNShine’s weekly Yappy Hour to benefit area rescues. (Photo: Karen Johnson)

Del Ray

HopsNShine is a newcomer to the area food scene and has become a favorite with dog owners and rescue groups. While dogs are always welcome on the back patio, HopsNShine hosts Tuesday Yappy Hours each week to benefit area rescues. It’s a great place to grab a beer, one of their now famous grilled cheese sandwiches, and maybe meet your new best friend. The patio is casual, with outdoor games and communal picnic tables.

The Garden is another new hot spot in the area. It’s 100 percent outdoors and 100 percent dog friendly. There are plenty of drinks and snacks for humans and tie-ups for the dogs. The Garden has a variety of outdoor games, tables, and communal seating. On your Saturday morning dog walk, stop by for a beignet and mimosa (or coffee).

Boomer enjoys his dessert at Lena’s in Del Ray. (Photo: Karen Johnson)

Lena’s Wood-Fired Pizza and Tap has it all: pizza, pasta, salads, an extensive beer and wine list, and a doggie menu. Their servers are unflappable when it comes to serving or serving around a happy dog. Don’t be surprised to see several dogs dining on Lena’s beautiful patio, as it’s a very comfortable and civilized experience for dogs and owners.

Karen Johnson is the founder of PawsGo the Alexandria-based online community for humans and their dogs, promoting an active lifestyle for both! PawsGo merchandise can be found online and locally at From Head to Tail Grooming and Spa, Bon Vivant Café and Farm Market, Reunions, and at Art on the Avenue Saturday October 5th in Del Ray