If you're COVID-cautious when it comes to dining out, the following venues offer open spaces and outdoor tables, and an added bonus: you can bring your dog along, too.
Public House Petersham
It's not every neighbourhood pub that has a microbrewery attached, but the appeal at this inner-west watering hole extends much further from the shed housing Batch Brewing Company out the back. Especially if you bring an animal companion along. Craft beers are on tap, pizza is wood-fired, pinball machines fire, mist cools the courtyard, and every man and his dog can soak it up.
292 Stanmore Road, Petersham, 02 9568 3703, publichousepetersham.com.au
The Public House, Petersham. Photo: Supplied
It's pretty in keeping with the rustic, from-scratch philosophy at this stalwart of the city's café scene that you can bring your pooch along. In fact it sits so well with the community-focused ethos here that you'd be more surprised if you couldn't. Perch at tables out on the street for farm plates, sambos and killer ferments while your furry friend meets the neighbours.
88 View Street, Annandale, 02 9660 4346, cornersmith.com.au
The Cornersmith Cafe in Annandale. Photo: Brook Mitchell
This sprawling, roving waterside Merivale venue has oodles of open spaces for you and your pup to soak up the sun and a bit of live music. They need to be on a lead, of course, but all the better for keeping them close while you share Spritzes and prawn buckets among friends.
2 Kalinya Street, Newport, 02 9114 7337, merivale.com/venues/thenewport
The Grifter Brewing Co.
One of Marrickville's finest breweries, with one of its most revered taco stands (that's Ricos Tacos) on food, has even greater mass appeal with the option to roll up with Susan or Rex in tow. What better way to commit to an afternoon of watermelon sours and tacos al pastor than bringing your best friend along with you?
1/391-397 Enmore Road, Marrickville, 02 9550 5742, thegrifter.com.au
Could Rollers be any more appealing? First there's the prospect of bottomless filter coffee complementing the signature flaky croissants (which come in all manner of variations), then there's the sense of freedom in wandering by on your daily constitutional, dog by your side, and still being able to sit and enjoy it as much as everyone else.
19 Rialto Lane, Manly Beach, rollersbakehouse.com
Enmore's own cowboy-themed pub not only loves live music and good times, they love to please a pooch. And while the ambitious dog-only food menu has been put on hold, you can still bring your best mate to sit with you, inside or out, while you take in some tunes and chow down on bone-marrow flatbreads. (And hey, slip some under the table while you're at it.)
148 Enmore Road, Enmore, 02 8317 3057, oddculture.group/venue/the-duke-of-enmore
Golden, fluffy and crowned with a pat of Pepe Saya butter, you'll be hard-pressed to find a more handsome pancake stack than the one they dole out at Happyfield. And with their policy that lets you take Fido along, the only question is savoury, sweet or a short stack?
96 Ramsay Street, Haberfield, 02 9716 5168, happyfield.com.au
Happyfield cafe in Haberfield. Photo: Janie Barrett
While Ben Sears is busy cooking some of the sharpest Middle Eastern in town, the owners behind Ezra are making sure that your pup can enjoy it as much as you. Not only is Rupert, their adorable French bulldog, their unofficial mascot, if you call ahead they'll let you BYO pooch to join in either courtyard you as you pass around hummus, Jerusalem bagels and lamb shoulder pastrami to share.
3 Kellett Street, Potts Point, 02 8322 0929, ezrarestaurant.com.au
The Grounds of Alexandria
An oldie but a goodie, with plenty of green space and outdoor tables to let you and your canine companion muck in and have a good time. All bases are covered here, too, with the full gamut of classics that make Australian café culture what it is, from eggs to corn fritters to avocado on toast. Pro tip if you're bringing a pooch? It always pays to ring ahead.
Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria, 02 9699 2225, thegrounds.com.au
The Old Fitzroy Hotel
The kitchen might have had a refresh, with former Josephine Pignolet Young Chef winner Anna Ugarte-Carral launching her Spanish-edged brasserie menu upstairs, but down in the pub and out the front this remains a friendly local to bring your puppy (or big old Lab) along to. Add good beer and a cracking wine list and it's wins all round.
129 Dowling Street, Wolloomooloo, 02 8317 3057, oddculture.group/venue/the-old-fitzroy-hotel
The Old Fitzroy Hotel. Photo: Wolter Peeters