Back in January, when I celebrated 10 years of Pop.Bop.Shop., several readers suggested I share a series of Top 10 lists with my best discoveries of the past decade. I loved the idea so much, I made it one of my 2019 New Year's resolutions.
In case you missed any of the earlier lists:
- January - Top 10 Brunch Spots
- February - Top 10 Viewing Party Moments
- March - Top 10 Favorite Books
- April - Top 10 Outdoor Dining Spots
This month, I'm excited to continue the series with a list of the best dog-friendly places in and around Boston. I am coming up on my four year anniversary with Scout (June 12) and in that time we've found lots of great places that not only allow dogs, but welcome them with glee.
We're going to do this David Letterman-style, staring with #10 and working our way up to #1.
10. Dog Beach (Nahant, MA)
Most New England beaches do not allow dogs between Memorial Day and Labor Day, but there is one exception - Dog Beach in Nahant, MA. I know Nahant well because as a kid, when it was snowing, I would watch the news to see if school was going to be canceled, and by the time they got to Nahant, I knew Newton was coming up next!
Nahant is just 10 miles north of Boston, and there's a stretch of the town beach that allows dogs all summer long.
If your pup plays well with others, this is a great way to enjoy the sun.
9. Polka Dog Bakery (multiple locations - Boston, Lynnfield, Newton)
Scout's favorite thing in the world is the Wonder Nugget treats (peanut butter flavor) from Polka Dog Bakery. All of the company's five Massachusetts locations are adorable, and the staff is always thrilled to see you and your pup.
I visit the Chestnut Hill location most often, and I always leave with way more than I expect to - treats, toys, I even found Scout's red winter jacket there!
Bring your pups in and let them smell their way to their new favorite treat or toy. Also, if you don't live locally, you can order their treats on Amazon!
8. Olives & Grace (Boston, MA)
Olives & Grace is a beautiful store in Boston's South End, that celebrates artists and makers. The owner, Sofi Madison, does an amazing job running the shop's Instagram account, which makes you feel like you're there every day. Sofi and her team love dogs, and often feature them on Instagram Stories.
I hope some day Scout makes the feed!
7. JP Licks (multiple locations - Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Dedham, Lynnfield, Newton, Somerville, Wellesley)
Growing up, my entire family loved JP Licks. We were regulars at the Newton Centre and Coolidge Corner locations. When I adopted Scout, I was excited to learn they offer a dog dessert called Cow Paws. It's a peanut butter and honey sorbet topped with a Milk Bone cookie.
Any time I see pups licking one of these, they look like it's the best moment of their life!
6. Porter Square Books (Cambridge, MA)
I have been incredibly lucky to live near wonderful, independent bookstores my whole life. First, Newtonville Books. Then, Brookline Booksmith. Now, Porter Square Books.
Once Scout was in my life, I started noticing businesses that had signs like "dogs welcome" and Porter Square Books was one of them. I brought Scout in, and the entire staff was so sweet to him. Unfortunately, he was more interested in sniffing his way to the muffins they sell at the cafe in the front.
If you're planning to pop in to stock up on summer reading, bring your pooch!
5. Shake Shack (multiple locations - Boston, Cambridge, Dedham, Newton)
Y'all know I love me a Shake Shack. The 'shroom burger, the crinkle-cut fries, the shakes - I crave it all. After Scout came into my life, the very next time I was standing in line at the Shack, I noticed they had a menu item called the Pooch-ini.
It's peanut butter sauce, vanilla frozen custard, and two Shackburger biscuits, which are made at Bocce's Bakery in New York City.
The dog food is just as decadent as the human food!
4. Christopher's (Cambridge, MA)
Christopher's in Porter Square in Cambridge is one of my favorite restaurants. In the summer, they have an outdoor patio right on Massachusetts Avenue, which is excellent for people watching.
About two years ago they started welcoming dogs onto the patio, and it's so nice to be able to bring your pup to brunch or dinner there.
I brought Scout once, and he promptly puked under the table. I am sure your dog will be better behaved!
3. Aloft Hotel (Boston, MA)
Aloft made Scout feel right at home. They left treat bags for him in the room, they laid out food and water bowls, they even had a dog bed made with his name stitched into it!
As you can see, the tennis balls were a big hit.
Aloft has locations all over the country and they love hosting dogs as much as people.
2. Short Path Distillery (Everett, MA)
What's better than enjoying a craft cocktail on an outdoor patio on a beautiful summer day? Getting to do that with your dog!
Short Path Distillery has always been dog-friendly, but they've taken it one step further with a weekly happy hour called Canines & Cocktails. It's every Wednesday from 5pm - 11pm.
I'll toast to that!
1. Liberty Hotel (Boston, MA)
The Liberty Hotel in Beacon Hill is the OG dog-friendly spot in Boston. For years they have been hosting the Yappier Hour, an outdoor happy hour for locals and their pups.
Even before I had Scout, I dreamed about going to these events (and meeting my dream man while I was at one).
Woof! We're at the end of the list.
I have a few themes planned for upcoming Top 10 lists, but if there's one you'd really like to see, please let me know in the comments below or shoot me an email at molly(at)popbopshopblog(dot)com. I love hearing from you!
*Nahant Beach photo via BringFido, Polka Dog Bakery photo via Boston Voyager, Olives & Grace photo via @olivesandgrace on Instagram, JP Licks photo via Market Street Lynnfield, Porter Square Books photo via Improper Bostonian, Shake Shack photo via Newsday, Christopher's photo via @christopherscambridge on Instagram, Short Path photo via @spdistillery on Instagram, Liberty Hotel photo via Eater Boston.