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Dog Cafes in Sydney

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by Tricia Duffield (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer for a range of lifestyle magazines, Executive Producer of the John Laws Show on Radio 2SM Sydney and a busy personal trainer.
Published May 2nd 2011
The bond between us and our tongue-lolling friends has always been the closest of humans and any animal. Dogs are neither our beasts of burden or our casual companions. They are our true and honest friends, so why shouldn't we share some of our most intimate social events with them?

Having a quiet coffee out in the open air of the park, watching your dog enjoying time with his four legged friends– what could be better than that?

Sydney is one of the most dog-friendly cities in the world, and the fact that Cafe Bones in Leichhardt has enjoyed such success since it opened more than a decade ago is testament to our compassion for canines.

Cafe Bones, on Hawthorne Parade, isn't just tolerant of dogs. It actually caters primarily to them. They have priority, from the original menu of trademarked goodies like Puppacinos and the homemade Bone Bix selection, to the rules of the cafe – dogs first, humans second.

Even if you don't own a dog, Cafe Bones is worth a visit, just to watch the fun of sometimes more than a hundred canines enjoying weekend obedience classes or just having a game of ball or frisbee. For details on classes with the Leichhardt Dog Training Club, go to

The huge park area runs alongside a canal. Café Bones has tables and chairs and there's always a crowd at the window for their excellent coffee and treats.

The human menu includes great breakfasts, light cafe meals and a great range of coffees, teas and chai blends. The cafe has plenty of outdoor tables and comfortable seating. Hours of opening vary during the year, but the park is open rain, hail or shine and usually the cafe is too. You can visit the website here.

Cafe Bones, Leichhardt

There's plenty of room for parking either on Hawthorne Parade or on Foster Street, but be prepared – on a busy day you will definitely feel like you are in a two legged minority.

Most cafes in nearby Norton Street and Darling Street in Rozelle and Balmain are also dog friendly, so make a day of it for the both of you.

Chew Chew on Railway Walk, at Wollstonecraft Station on the lower North Shore has become a meeting place for dogs and their owners. It even has a head chef who has created a mouth-watering menu – but only for dogs. It includes beef steak and mushrooms, fish soup, chicken wings and treats like goat's yoghurt jelly and lamb bones.

For the shy or not so social animals, or owners in a hurry, there is take-away and home delivery. Check the menu and opening times for the PET restaurant here.

Chew Chew only caters for dogs and cats, but their owners can bring in a coffee or something to eat from the cafe next door and join their pet at the table.

There are many cafes which have a dog-friendly policy around Sydney, and loads of websites giving you some helpful guidelines, so grab the leash and the frisbee and let your dog take you out for a change.
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Why? Fun with four legged friends
When: Check the opening times at the respective establishment
Where: Leichhardt and Wollstonecraft
Cost: However much you wish to spend
I have to give a massive thumbs up to Cafe Bones. I've only been there a couple of times but it has been great on both occasions. There's not many better ways to enjoy an hour or two than sitting back with a cup of coffee and just watching dogs run, play and explore. Sydney needs more places like this.
By Tim Falk - senior reviewer
Thursday, 26th of May @ 12:11 am
Absoolutely, James. Thanks for reading it!
By Tricia Duffield - senior reviewer
Thursday, 26th of May @ 07:11 am
Absolutely, James. Thanks for reading it!
By Tricia Duffield - senior reviewer
Thursday, 26th of May @ 07:11 am
I went there thinking it would be great I love having my Dog with me but on arrival and while being there for lunch I found it to be unhygienic and a bit smelly, they defiantly need to have a boundary fence around the cafe for all the dogs weeed on the building you order food from and the smell is not nice I had a burger there and so did my mum and after eating it we both felt sick. While letting your dog run around free is good some people's Dogs are out of control and if you have bought your dog a drink etc be sure that, that dog will barge it's way on in and drink or eat what you have purchased for your dog with no restraint from there owners. It would be good to have a new cafe open were it is small dogs only and make sure that your dog has gone to the toilet first and is clean... Having it in a park like this cafe is dogs just go to the toilet were ever they want. Eating there is very unpleasant the hole atmosphere is quite unpleasant. This is my opinion any way. So if you go there any way... ENJOY!

By leepo - reader
Saturday, 11th of June @ 05:03 am
Nice ideas but it sounds like it would end up like so many places in Sydney - ruined by regulations, people getting cranky about who should be where, who is more important, and so it goes, It is a dog park first and foremost. If you are going somewhere for a meal, choose a restuarant! If you are going for an enjoyable time with your dog, to meet other dogs and their owners, be grateful you get the luxury of burgers and coffee at the same time. As the signs say, Dogs First!
By Tricia Duffield - senior reviewer
Tuesday, 14th of June @ 11:52 pm
I went for the first time today with my pup.
I enjoyed my time & I found the owners there very friendly. From what I can see, all dogs there had great temperament. I only had one hiccup, which resulted in me being an Alpha over a dog that annoyed my pup.
In all, I enjoyed the atmosphere, & I wish that there were more places like this!! I would deffinately be going again, as it's a great place for dogs to socialise, providing they have the right temperament.
Big thumps up!!
By Anonymous
Saturday, 10th of November @ 06:57 am
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