There’s been a lot of discussion recently about whether people should be allowed to take their dogs with them to cafes.
As a relatively new dog owner I was interested in this as I love being able to take my wee pup with me when I am meeting people for coffee or lunch (Any by this I mean to sit outside as we would never dream of crossing the line to be inside an eating or food service area)
This set me to finding out just where in Hawke’s Bay we could go which led me to visiting some old favourite haunts and the discovery of some new little gems.
One of those is the newly opened Little Blackbird Cafe in Market St, Hastings. Open Monday-Friday 7:30am-4pm and Saturday 8am-2pm. I’d heard great things about this place so when they confirmed I could sit outside with my dog, I got straight along and am pleased to say it lived up to all its hype. It is bright, shiny and new on in the inside with a shop front that opens up so you can sit outside and enjoy the sunshine. They offer cabinet food and a Black Board menu (try the lime and chilli soft shell crab salad) as well as great selection of fresh juices.
Napier’s latest editions Adoro and Albion Canteen are also happy to have you and your pooch sit outside. Adoro has been a long time favourite in Napier CBD and has recently moved to the old Post office building and is now three times the size of their old location. In addition to their usual array of fresh French pastries, salads and cabinet food they are now serving an a la carte menu for breakfast and lunch. My tip is the bacon and egg sandwiches which I think are without doubt the world’s best. The cafe has a great vibe and has an extra element of cool with owner Paul Greave’s beloved Ducati motorcycle taking pride of place as a feature.
Albion Canteen, corner of Hastings St and Albion Lane is the latest offering from the masterminds behind Opera Kitchen and F.G.Smiths. Bright and relaxed, they offer great simple food in super quick time, making it perfect for lunch time dates.
Mister D is another old favourite who will welcome your four legged friend to their courtyard-just make sure you enter from the side entrance and not through the restaurant. A particularly nice touch as the silver dog bowl filled with water for us when we arrived.
Dog bowls are also readily available when you dine at Milk and Honey on Hardinge Road in Ahuriri. Open from 7am for breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can enjoy great food, wine and coffee before wandering across the road to walk your dog beside the sea.
Last but not least is St.George’s Restaurant on Havelock Road. This has become a real local for me over the Summer as the food is always superb ( the rosemary battered fish and chips are divine), the garden is gorgeous and they always make a fuss of my dog when we arrive, which includes bringing her water and treats. Best of all, the way the garden is designed we can enjoy our lunch without encroaching on other diners. Adjacent to the courtyard is their huge expansive field where kids and families are welcome to utilise in between their meal. Owners Francky and Kathryn have also collected an array of games for people to use such as Frisbees, Kubb and giant Pick-up-Sticks.
I’m looking forward to continuing my search for other places that cater for four legged friends but in the meantime, enjoy!