Need to get out of the house but don't want to leave your best friend behind? Don't worry — there's no shortage of dog-friendly establishments in the Los Angeles area. The spacious, off-leash parks around town are just the start of the fun.
These days, you can take your dog shopping at an outdoor mall that offers water and treats or hang out at a pooch-themed bar with an outdoor patio. When summer rolls around, you'll even be able to take your dog to the movies. Check out our 10 picks below.
1. The Village at Topanga
The Village is a hyperreal shopping destination designed to make you feel as if you're in a quaint small town instead of a traffic-prone corner of the San Fernando Valley. You'll need to leave your Costco shopping cart behind before you enter the “stroll zone,” but your dog is more than welcome. In the few minutes I spent here, I saw no fewer than five dogs — including big, fluffy suburban pets — walking through the courtyard with their companions. If your canine pal gets thirsty, stop by a water station shaped like a fire hydrant. You can also grab treats here before you play a game of boccie ball or window-shop along the stretch of high-end boutiques. 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Canoga Park. (818) 594-8731, westfield.com/topanga/the-village/home.
2. The Standard Downtown L.A.
The Standard is a pet-friendly hotel, with no extra charge for bringing your dog with you. We called the downtown location to check on dog-related rules and were advised that dogs are welcome throughout much of the hotel, save for the restaurant (service dogs exempt). They are even allowed to chill by the rooftop pool, provided that it's not crowded. 550 S. Flower St., downtown. (213) 892-8080, standardhotels.com/la/properties/downtown-la.
3. The BoneYard
Uphill inside Culver City Park is off-leash dog hangout the BoneYard. The large space is divided for small and large dogs, and there's a small, gated area for pooches that need a time out. Come here on a Sunday afternoon and you'll find a fairly large crowd of pets and people enjoying their time in the outdoors; take a moment to check out the view while you're here. The big benefit of The BoneYard, though, is its hours. The park is open from sunrise until 10 p.m., so even if you get stuck late at work, you'll have a chance to bring your pal out for a little nighttime fun. Duquesne Ave., Culver City. (310) 390-9114, culvercitydogpark.org.
4. Amoeba Music
Maybe you need your dog's opinion on those records you're thinking of buying. That's cool at Amoeba, where pets are welcome. One employee told me that the store's staff might just have a treat for your little buddy, which he or she will probably want after waiting while you spent two hours sifting through the vinyl bins. Maybe you should get your pup some music, too. Try Pet Sounds. 6400 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood. (323) 245-6400, amoeba.com.
5. Blue Dog Beer Tavern
Ask around and you'll find bars and restaurants that are cool with canine guests. At this Sherman Oaks spot, which was suggested by my cousin, the love of dogs is obvious. There are photos of adorable pets all along the wood walls near the entrance. I stopped by early on a cold evening, not prime time for outdoor dining, but there were two people and one good-size dog hanging out in the pet-friendly patio dining area. While dogs are welcome to chill at this watering hole, there are rules: Keep him or her off the table and chairs. 4524 Saugus Ave., Sherman Oaks. (818) 990-2583, bluedogbeertavern.com.
6. Sepulveda Basin Off-Leash Dog Park
Located on the northern edge of Encino, Sepulveda Basin Off-Leach Dog Park is a go-to spot for pet parents in the 818. You'll probably have a harder time finding a parking space than a place to play at this 6.5-acre park. Lots of chairs and picnic tables are scattered throughout the grassy areas, perfect for you to watch as your dogs run and play. While you can't bring food inside the off-leash areas, there are designated picnic zones nearby. The park is divided into big and little dog areas. and it's open until sunset. In the midst of winter, locals will use up whatever little daylight is available. I saw plenty of people arriving as the sun faded. 17550 Victory Blvd, Encino. (818) 756-7667, laparks.org/dos/parks/facility/dogparks/sepulvedabasindogpk.htm.
7. Leanna Lin's Wonderland
Leanna Lin's Wonderland is an adorable boutique and gallery in Eagle Rock, where the love for dogs is obvious. The shop has hosted charitable events, like the 2014 art show “Doggie Wonderland” that benefited Ken-Mar Rescue. Amongst the items stocked here you'll find cute pieces of dog-themed art and jewelry. Plus, they have a selection of geeky bow ties for your pup. When I called the store, I was told that dogs are welcome, just make sure they're on their best behavior. 5024 Eagle Rock Blvd., Eagle Rock. (323) 550-1332, leannalinswonderland.com.
8. Just Food For Dogs
Just Food For Dogs is a Southern California chain of high-end dog-food shops, where, in certain locations, the meals are made on-site. I stopped by the Sherman Oaks location, where a bowl of water and a treats dispenser stood outside the door and a salesperson explained to me that the company's goal is to create human-style meals for dogs. Just Food For Dogs isn't a restaurant, but you can bring your dog inside and get a canine-friendly meal to take home. Your beloved fur baby can indulge in dishes like beef and russet potato or lamb and brown rice. There's even Turducken for the holidays. There's also a wide variety of treats, from peanut butter and pumpkin to venison. In addition to the Sherman Oaks location, there are Just Food For Dogs Kitchens in West Hollywood and Manhattan Beach, plus the Just Food For Dogs Pantry downtown. Various locations, justfoodfordogs.com.
9. Muddy Paw
Silver Lake coffee house Muddy Paw has a mission: a portion of the proceeds from purchases here benefits animal charities. Their coffee blends come with names like Happy Tail, Growler and Spot, and you can pick up Rescue Chocolate candy bars with cup of Joe. Muddy Paw's love of animals extends to the art inside the shop, as well as the events that they host, like regular pet adoptions. Moreover, you can bring your dog with you. 3320 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake. (323) 300-8734, muddypawcoffee.com.
10. Eat See Hear
Throughout the summer, Eat See Hear hosts regular movie screenings in a variety of outdoor spots, from Santa Monica High School to Pasadena City Hall. If your dogs happen to have an itch to see Zoolander or Reservoir Dogs on the big screen, you can bring them. Not only are dogs welcome at the outdoor screenings, they'll also get free biscuits on entry. You won't have to worry about your pooch getting into your food-truck dinner. Various Locations, eatseehear.com.