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A Weekend in Dog-Friendly San Jose

Posted by Erin Ballinger

Download the BringFido app and head to dog-friendly San Jose, the “Capital of Silicon Valley,” for a weekend touring the city while spending quality time with your pup. San Jose is home to more than 6,600 technology companies, including Adobe, Netflix, eBay and PayPal, and neighbors with the headquarters of Apple, Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Intel and more. Each September, more than 15,000 people and 3,900 canines convene at William Street Park for Bark in the Park, the largest dog festival in the United States. So pack Fido’s hippest collar and get ready for some fun in San Jo!


Welcome to the historic Westin San Jose. Photo by @westinsanjose

3 p.m. The Westin San Jose

Start off the weekend by checking in to The Westin San Jose. This historic hotel welcomes dogs up to 45 pounds (exceptions for larger dogs might be made with prior approval) for no additional fee and provides loaner Heavenly Dog Beds and bowls. The Westin is conveniently located across the street from a park and within walking distance of pet-friendly restaurants and shops.

Pups in a row, on The Row. Photo by @simbathepomapooch

5 p.m. The Row

Once you’ve unpacked, step out and indulge in a shopping spree at Santana Row. The Silicon Valley shopping and entertainment district has more than 70 shops and 20 restaurants, many of which are pet friendly. Pop into Peet’s Coffee for a cuppa joe and a puppuccino for Fido before getting some retail therapy with your furry companion at Anthropologie, The Container Store, Free People, Lululemon, Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Z Gallerie and other stores.

Dine on the pub patio with your pups. Photo by @ rambotherambunctiouspup

7 p.m. Dinner at LB Steak or Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub and Restaurant

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, refuel at one of Santana Row’s dog-friendly eateries. If you’re looking for an upscale dining experience, LB Steak fits the bill. The modern American steakhouse has a covered pup-friendly patio with misters to keep you cool while you dine on USDA Prime meats and fresh-caught seafood. Looking for a more casual and budget-friendly dinner with drinks? Head to the patio at Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub & Restaurant where your dog will be welcomed with water while you nosh on Irish nachos, grass-fed burgers, fish and chips, corned beef with cabbage or a crisp salad.

Ciao bella! And the chardonnay isn’t bad, either. Photo by @teddy.chow.chow

9 p.m. Drinks and Dessert With Your Dog at Vintage Wine Bar

After your meal, walk over to Vintage Wine Bar for a glass of Port paired with gourmet chocolates. Wine flights, beer and soft drinks are also on offer. Enjoy prime people-watching from the patio while you sip, savor and snuggle with Fido.


Pups in the Plaza! Photo by @little_wolf_pet_care

8 a.m. Plaza de Cesar Chavez

Wake up and take your dog for a walk in Plaza de Cesar Chavez, also known Cesar Chavez Park, which is conveniently located across the street from The Westin. The park spans two acres in the middle of downtown San Jose. It actually dates back to 1797, when it was the plaza mayor of the Spanish Pueblo de San José de Guadalupe, making it the oldest public space in California. As you stroll, imagine its history while you smell the beautiful flowers and let Fido splash in the water fountains. The park is a hub of activity and you might get to experience one of the festivals and live music performances frequently held here.

I smell bacon. Photo by @mark.pffft

9 a.m. Breakfast at Cafe San Jose

Enjoy the fresh morning air on the pretty, pet-friendly patio surrounded by plants at Cafe San Jose. This popular breakfast spot offers omelets, a variety of eggs Benedict dishes, Belgian waffles, pancakes, French toast and scrambles. For some local flavor, try the San Jose Scramble, which is eggs scrambled with chorizo, diced ribeye, onions, tomatoes, jalapenos and Monterey Jack cheese topped with salsa. Order a side of bacon to reward Fido for being such a good boy.

“Does this make me a work of art?” Photo by @little_miss_turtle

10 a.m. Check Out Local Art With Your Pup

After breakfast, walk off some of those calories and give your canine some art appreciation on a self-guided art walk from Public Art San Jose. Explore downtown with a downloadable map and visit 36 stops with more than 60 public artworks on display.

Ludwig’s loves pups big and small. Photo by @pepper.the.velociraptor

12 p.m. Lunch at Ludwig’s German Table

Bring Fido for lunch in the Biergarten at Ludwig’s German Table and he’ll be given a snazzy bandana and water. Daily specials are available in addition to a small regular menu featuring chicken schnitzel, weisswurst sausages and German pancakes. Pair your meal with a Weizen beer or an Afri-Cola, a German soda.

Pawty on the patio! Photo by @remyraiburn

3 p.m. Hapa’s Brewing Company

Sample local brews at the taproom of Hapa’s Brewing Company, which came onto the San Jose beer scene in 2017. Dogs are welcome to join their owners while they sip on an IPA or stout and play games of cornhole. If you get hungry, check out the food trucks parked outside.

You gotta risk it if you want the biscuit. Photo by @smilingwithpoodles

5 p.m. Treat Time

Before going back to the hotel to freshen up for dinner, stop by Biscuits - Give a Dog a Bone to shop for a souvenir from San Jose for Fido. The pet boutique sells organic treats and dog food in addition to stylish collars, bandanas, clothing and leashes. Let your pup pick out a new toy, too!

“You know you’ve gotta share, right?” Photo by Facebook.com/matthewmeinert1

7 p.m. Dinner at Naglee Park Garage

Eat supper with your pupper on the patio at Naglee Park Garage. The restaurant has a laid-back vibe and was featured on “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.” Try the half-pound Garage Burger topped with caramelized onions and white cheddar on an Acme bun, or sample the pan-fried local Brussels sprouts with pancetta, shallots and honey. Be sure to save room for dessert at your next stop!

It’s important to make time for milk and cookies. Photo by Facebook.com/Napatheyorkie

9 p.m. Milk and Cookies at Nox Cookie Bar

End the day on a sweet note at Nox Cookie Bar. Choose from a variety of gourmet cookies like Chocolate Chip N’ Chunk, Snickerdoodle, Cookie Con Candy or Sugar Sugar. Wash your selection down with an ice-cold jar of milk. Ice cream treats are also available to satisfy your sweet tooth. If you don’t feel like stopping by the pet-friendly shop downtown, you can also get your dessert delivered to your room until 2:30 a.m.!


It’s mine! No, it’s Miyuki! Photo by @chronicles__of_charlotte

7 a.m. Miyuki Dog Park

Start off the day at Miyuki Dog Park where Fido can run off-leash and play with new friends. The fenced-in park has turf and gravel-covered areas for your pup to stretch his legs and bright red benches where you can sit and watch all the action. BYOW (bring your own water)!

"I'll have one of everything, please!"

8 a.m. A Bite at Bill’s Cafe

Save room for a big brunch later and enjoy a light breakfast at Bill’s Cafe on the dog-friendly patio. Your pup will be greeted with a water bowl and a smile while you choose from healthy menu items like organic steel-cut oatmeal with bananas, raisins and brown sugar or Greek yogurt topped with strawberries, walnuts and honey.

Four-legged history buffs are welcome on these tours. Photo by Facebook.com/sanjosewalksandtalks

10 a.m. San Jose Walks and Talks Tour

Learn how San Jose transformed from a sleepy Spanish pueblo to a global center of technology during a historical tour from San Jose Walks and Talks. Well-behaved pups are allowed on public tours which last an hour-and-a-half and cost $15 per person. Private tours also are available.

“That better be shaken, not stirred.” Photo by @poorhousebistro

12 p.m. Sunday Brunch at Poor House Bistro and Depart San Jose with a Dog-Tired Fido

Stop for brunch at Poor House Bistro before heading out of town. The restaurant serves Cajun fare and features live music on Sundays. Sit on the porch with your pup while you munch on beignets, Pain Perdu (New Orleans-style French toast), biscuits and spicy Tasso ham gravy, or a ham and cheese omelet. Reflect on the fun weekend in San Jose over a cup of chicory coffee before leaving Silicon Valley with one pooped pup.

What is your favorite dog-friendly activity in San Jose? Leave a comment or tweet us @BringFido!