By Cheryl Pruett
Dog days of summer. It refers to the hottest days of summer, officially mid-July through August. However, every day is dog day for restaurant owners who cater to pooches and dog owners that treat their furry friends.
In the dining world, it’s appropriate to spend time with your favorite furry friend. Enjoy the food and socialization. Keep in mind, you don’t have to own a dog to benefit from dog watching instead of people watching.
Here’s a tiny sampling of dog-friendly restaurants in Dana Point, San Clemente and San Juan Capistrano.
Harpoon Henry’s Seafood Restaurant
34555 Golden Lantern, Dana Point. 949.493.2933. harpoonhenrys.com.
An extended patio with 20 tables is designated for dogs. Each table with a dog guest gets a bowl of water.
“A lot of people take advantage of this,” said Sandra Brown, hostess. “It’s a ‘dogdom,’ and it’s up to the pet parent if they want to order for their dog off the regular menu.”
Enjoy pet companionship, harbor/ocean views and select from Harpoon Henry’s seafood menu and variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches and more.
The Coffee Importers Scoop Deck & Deli
34531 Golden Lantern, Dana Point. 949.493.7773. coffeeimporters.com.
Next door to Harpoon Henry’s, Coffee Importers is another hangout for dogs and their owners. The patio for the coffee and café draws crowds and makes great dog watching while you eat or sip a cup.
Dog owners have been known to order lox or a side of turkey off the menu for their furry pals. People take advantage of specialty coffees, pastries, bagels, salads, traditional sandwiches, smoothies and more.
24040 Camino del Avion (Monarch Beach Promenade), Dana Point. 949.424.2288. projectsocial.us.
Yes, to the dog.
“We have dog-friendly areas all along the frontside of the patio,” said Kortney Jones, general manager.
Coming soon, she added, is a pup cup and Project Social dog bandanas.
While dining with your pooch, the “people” menu will make your mouth drool with offers of brioche French toast, a breakfast 50/50 burger of sausage and brisket, a variety of flatbreads, salads and veggie options.
Cassano’s Italian Restaurant
818 S. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.388.7611. cassanos.net.
“Dogs are family, too,” said Joe Marquez, server. He noted that dogs are welcome, and bowls of water and dog treats are available at the six-table patio dining area.
Menu items to enjoy while dining with your dog range from a variety of pizzas and Italian pasta specialties.
701 N. El Camino Real, San Clemente. 949.498.6379. thesunrisecafesc.com.
It’s patio dining all the way, with bowls of water on request. Dog treats are available. The regular menu is packed with breakfast items from eggs Benedict to omelets.
SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO
31761 Camino Capistrano, San Juan Capistrano. 949.441.4777. hennesseystavern.com.
A trifecta of patios—all winners—awaits pooches. Choose from three patios—front, middle or back.
“The back patio with umbrellas is really popular,” said Leah Porth, a server, who sees a lot of dogs drop in with owners.
Doggie water bowls are available. While dogs lap it up, owners can order from breakfast, lunch and dinner menus.
The Dog Pawrk Brewing Company
27122 Paseo Espada (off Ortega Hwy), San Juan Capistrano, 949.652.3379. thedogpawrk.beer.
The mere name and dog logo says a mouthful. On-leash and well-behaved dogs welcomed. Enjoy a “beer” with your dog. The “best buds beer,” aka bone broth. You’ll find self-serve water station with bowls for dogs.
Dog “menu” purchases includes cookies, bully sticks, non-rawhide (beef cheek) bones, and sweet pawtatoe treats. Other pet items include dog hoodies and leashes. The beer-centric Dog Pawrk Brewing offers special food nights, food trucks and music.
Cheryl Pruett is an award-winning journalist and editor, having covered Orange County city and county topics to the food scene for Orange County Register, Patch.com and local magazines. She has called Dana Point/Capistrano Beach home for more than 30 years.