Considering that you’re about to read a post on my food & drinks blog, it should come as no surprise that I enjoy dining out. A lesser known fact about me however is that I love dogs. My TikTok feed is full of dogs being funny, adorable or both and I am definitely that person who would rather make friends with the dog than you at parties (sorry not sorry).
So, when it comes to the best places in Nottingham to enjoy lunch, dinner and every meal in between, I love any establishment where furry friends are welcome. Unfortunately, finding dog-friendly venues in the past has proven to be a bit of a faff so I’ve made a list of my favourite pup-approved places to save you the hassle of a long-winded search on Google.
Although I do mention some walking spots, the focus of this blog is very much on the food rather than dog walks. If your priority is finding somewhere scenic to walk your dog, Nottingham is home to a variety of parks and nature reserves with onsite cafés — you can find out more about these on the Visit Nottinghamshire website.
Their ‘coffee, cake, conversation’ window sign definitely needs the words ‘and canines’ adding to it — less catchy perhaps, but the friendly dogs I seem to meet on every visit to this café are a definite selling point! As a charity-run, alcohol-free café , Café Sobar not only offers tasty food but a family-friendly place to socialise and spend time. Read my latest ‘Spotlight on’ blog for more reasons why you should pay this fantastic business a visit.
Homemade Café has been a favourite brunch spot of mine for several years and it’s my number one choice for hanging out with pup pals (such as the lovely Ruby, pictured above with her owner Nina!) You’ll find Homemade in the Pavilion building at Forest Recreation Ground, a beautiful green space on the outskirts of the city centre. My food order is never the same but it always includes a scrumptious slice from Homemade’s cake counter. With a generous outdoor seating area, there’s plenty of room for dog owners to enjoy a bite to eat.
The Bakehouse is a newer addition to Hockley’s enviable collection of food and drink spots, and it has already become a firm favourite of mine. Sherwood locals may recognise the name of this artisan café, as its sister store is located on Mansfield Road. At first glance, the menu may look limited but the taste and quality of the food served proves that less is always more! Choose from topped sourdough toast and generously filled sandwiches, all freshly baked in The Bakehouse bakery.
I’ve only had the pleasure of eating at Fox Café once before and the sole reason for that is an empty table is a rare sight at weekends! One of the most popular cafés in Nottingham, this is another excellent choice for vegan food and for lunching with canine company. As well as tasty breakfast and lunch dishes, Fox Café is the perfect place for a coffee and cake date.
Built in 1877 as a Victorian Music Hall, this stunning venue is part of Nottingham’s rich history. Malt Cross serves delicious pub grub and, true to its entertainment venue origins, hosts a range of popular weekly events including live music nights and pub quizzes. This bar and kitchen is also run by a local charity with all profits going to the Nottinghamshire YMCA.
The folk over at Prickly Pear are the vegan food gurus of Notts. All their food is plant-based and if you’re still holding any outdated assumptions that vegan food is lacking in flavour, this café will definitely prove you wrong! The mac ‘n’ cheese is to die for and you just can’t beat one of their indulgent milkshakes on a sunny day. This café is a short walk from both the Arboretum and Forest Recreation Ground, two excellent dog-walking locations.
Head down to Sneinton market, a short stroll from Hockley, to visit grilled cheese and coffee connoisseurs Blend. This local indie business has been busy expanding across the city over the last few years but their original coffee house will always have my heart. Full of natural light and bold colours, Blend in Sneinton is a lovely setting for food and I visit regularly with or without a dog in tow! It’s also laptop-friendly, making it ideal for those working from home days where you fancy a change of scenery.
Tucked away on Bridlesmith Walk, Junkyard is best known for its craft beers but the food at this hidden game is also worth knowing about. Their paddleboards are great for sharing and are a good light lunch option. Stop by on a Tuesday night and you’ll catch local business Slice ‘n’ Brew serving up hot fresh pizzas in the kitchen.
Cured is a bar and lounge on Carrington Street with heaps of character. Aside from an instagrammable interior, the highlight of this venue is its canal-side seating where customers can sip something cold and soak up the sun on a summer’s day. I love treating myself to one of Cured’s trademark crispy bagels on my lunch break, and cheese boards and charcuterie platters are also on the menu. Why not enjoy a dog walk along the canal and make Cured a pit stop?
Oscar & Rosie’s is one of the best pizza joints in Notts, serving award-winning pizza and equally amazing side dishes. Anyone who knows me personally has had to endure my enthusiastic ramblings about the mac ‘n’ cheese at Oscar & Rosie’s and I make no apologies for this because it is the best mac ‘n’ cheese I’ve ever had and everyone should try it! Did I mention that this restaurant also has its own hashtag dedicated to doggy visitors? (#dogsofoscarandrosies) It doesn’t get more dog-friendly than that!
Which foodie destination will you and your dog be visiting first? Do you know a great dog-friendly place to eat in Notts that didn’t make my list? Share your recommendations in the comments!