Planning a trip to Estes Park? The gateway to the rocky mountains, Estes Park is an idyllic town with loads of attractions and dining options.
Luckily, there are many that are dog-friendly as well, so you won’t have to leave your furry pal behind!
It’s sometimes difficult to strike the right balance between bringing your pup and still getting to enjoy great grub.
But when it comes to dog-friendly restaurants, Estes Park has many well-known dining spots (and a few hidden gems) that are sure to do the trick.
Today, we’ll cover a range of restaurants in this list so that there’s something for everyone! We’ll explore:
- Our top six choices for the best dog-friendly restaurants Estes Park has on offer
- Several handy tips to remember the next time you’re dining outside with your dog.
Let’s dig in!
If you’re after some classic American fare, you’ve got to stop in at the Grubsteak!
They’ve got all the favorites — hearty burgers and steaks, sandwiches, and a range of scrumptious appetizers.
You can get a beef patty for your burger of course, but they also offer elk, yak, and buffalo if you’re feeling more adventurous! There’s also a veggie burger (and other vegetarian options) available if you’re looking for something filling and healthy.
While the chili-cheese dog is a popular option at the grub house, it’s not the only dog allowed!
You can bring your pups for dining on the patio, but you may want to call ahead to make sure there’s room. There’s also a kids’ (or, as they call it, little prospectors’) menu, so everyone is sure to feel included.
The Grubsteak Restaurant is open from 11 AM to around 8 PM, so it’s the perfect place to grab a meal after a late afternoon or early evening with your pooch!
You can also fill up for under $20, so it’s excellent if you’re not interested in spending too much.
The Rock Inn Mountain Tavern has a warm and homey vibe, and it becomes even cozier after you find out just how dog-friendly the restaurant is!
Your pups are welcome on their patio, which is also covered and heated. Servers bring out a water dish for dogs, so no one has to stay thirsty!
Human guests can sip on a range of alpine-themed cocktails made with fresh, local ingredients, or choose from an extensive selection of draft beer. Plenty of non-alcoholic drinks are also available, of course.
Food options include pizzas, pasta and grain bowls, sandwiches, steaks, and fish. Their menu also has several gluten-free and vegan options for those with dietary requirements.
The restaurant is also pretty easy on the wallet! Salads and sandwiches run for under $20, while entrees cost up to $40 each. If you’re interested in a drink, draft beers are available for $10 or less, while cocktails can set you back by up to $15.
The Rock Inn Mountain Tavern is completely peanut-free, so it’s a particularly great find for those with a severe allergy to these nuts!
The tavern frequently hosts live music events and enjoys stunning views as well, so you’re certainly in for a treat. All these and more are reasons why the restaurant enjoys such high ratings online!
Rock Inn Mountain Tavern opens at 4 PM each day, with closing times dependent on the season and weather. Make sure to call ahead!
Craving a slice? Head over to Poppy’s!
This pizzeria offers both customizable and specialty pies, along with burgers, sandwiches, and so much more. They’re known for their delicious homemade tomato sauce that makes their pizzas shine.
After dinner, why not treat yourself to a rich brownie sundae or pecan pie a la mode? They also feature a harder-to-find dessert: the adult root beer float. This is made using alcoholic brewed root beer, so it’s not something you’ll see every day!
Dogs are welcome on the patio at Poppy’s Pizza & Grill. While you’re there, you can even treat your pup to a Poppy’s branded chew toy!
The restaurant is known for its specialty pizzas, which you can get for as low as $10. Burgers, salads, and sandwiches cost only a little more as well.
Open from 11 AM to 9 PM, Poppy’s Pizza & Grill is a fantastic location for a relaxing afternoon with your fur pal.
If you’re after something a little fancier, stop in at Claire’s!
They offer premium steaks, pasta, and salads that are still reasonably priced (plenty of full meal options for just under $20). There are vegan and vegetarian options as well, including an impossible burger with sauteed tomato and wild mushroom — yum!
The best time at Claire’s might be during weekend mornings, however; that’s because they have an incredible breakfast menu!
Start your day with something sweet like a strawberry cheesecake waffle or blueberry lemon pancakes, or pack in the protein with country fried steak or crab cake benedict.
Pups are welcome at Claire’s on the patio (and occasionally inside). You’re also overlooking Estes Park, which is a great spot for a walk with your dog before or after your meal.
With an average rating of 4 stars across TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Google, you can rest assured that you’ll have a blast during your visit. Outside of weekends, the restaurant opens at 11 AM and remains closed on Wednesdays. Plan your visit accordingly!
Be sure to check out the charming Latitude 105 and warm things up a little with one of their themed cocktails! This quaint location specializes in handhelds (burgers and sandwiches) with your choice of chicken, beef, or elk, and there’s also a range of delicious topping combos on offer!
If you’re not in the mood for burgers, they also do customizable pizzas and numerous diverse small plates. The restaurant’s dinner menu typically costs less than $20, while their pizzas are available for under $30.
If you’re wanting to check out the breakfast buffet, you’ll have to be a guest at the Ridgeline Hotel. But don’t worry, fido can stay as well! The Ridgeline has multiple pet-friendly rooms, and leashed dogs are more than welcome around the property.
A well-loved food spot, Latitude 105 enjoys a 4-star rating at TripAdvisor — so you know that you and your dogs are in good hands!
Smokin’ Dave’s is a personal top pick for dog-friendly restaurants in Estes Park! Your pup can chill with you on the patio or even inside next to your booth (depending on the day).
Plus, their Southern-style barbecue is simply incredible with juicy pulled pork, brisket, and ribs slathered in a signature homemade sauce. You can get straight-up meat, burgers, or a combo platter to try a bit of everything.
Even if you’re not much of a carnivore, you can still indulge in the authentic Southern sides at Smokin’ Daves such as red beans and rice, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, or jalapeno hushpuppies.
The food options are pretty cheap too — less than $5 for side dishes, and around $15 for mains.
Smokin’ Dave’s is open from 11 AM to 8 PM, so you have plenty of time to walk in with your pooch! It’s also very popular among customers and has gained plenty of 5-star reviews online.
Tips for Dining with Your Dog in Estes Park
Having your dog with you is always sure to be an exciting time, especially when you’re out dining.
But to make sure you have a fun, stress-free time together, here are a few tips you can follow:
Check the Restaurant’s Pet Policy Beforehand
This is the first thing you should do!
While the restaurants on this list are pet-friendly at the time of writing, things can change quickly.
Therefore, it’s always best to check before your visit! The best option is to call or reach out to the establishment online if you can.
Other things to look for are pictures of happy pups on social media, as well as the availability of outside seating.
Bring a Leash and Keep Your Dog under Control
It’s important to keep even the best-behaved dogs leashed when dining — you never know whether your neighbor’s juicy burger might just be a little bit too tempting!
Keeping your dog leashed also puts other diners at ease. Bringing a disruptive dog to a restaurant might mean they stop being pet-friendly in the future, which really is the worst-case scenario.
Choose Outdoor Seating When Available
Accidents happen, and they’re a lot easier to deal with if you’re outside. At the same time, sitting outside is also a show of respect to other guests who may have allergies, food safety concerns, or just don’t like dogs in general (hard to imagine, but it happens!).
Be Mindful of Your Dog’s Behavior and Noise
When you’re in a public space, it’s even more important to make sure your dog is on its best behavior.
Pay attention to your pup and make sure they have what they need to remain comfortable. No one wants to eat with a barking dog right next to them!
Avoid Busy Dining Hours If Possible
Avoiding peak times increases the chances of getting a dog-friendly seat and minimizes disruption to other diners.
It also means the waitstaff will be less rushed on their feet and will likely be able to provide extra amenities (or even just to stop and say hi to your pupper!).
Have Water and Treats for Your Dog
Your dog deserves a nice dining experience as well!
While some restaurants might have water and treats on hand, it’s not expected of them. Therefore, it’s good practice to bring your own supplies to keep everyone happy and comfortable.
Respect Other Diners’ Space and Comfort
Try to leave some room between yourselves and other diners, and be courteous if they ask you to move or control your dog’s behavior.
Clean Up after Your Dog If Needed
If your dog makes a mess, needs to use the bathroom, or sheds excessively, be a responsible pet owner and clean up after it!
It’s not the establishment’s job to tidy up after you or your dog.
Be Prepared to Leave If Your Dog Becomes Disruptive
If your dog is being overly loud, starts bothering others, or is unable to sit calmly, you should leave the restaurant. It’s best to do this before you’re asked to!
Enjoy a Pet-Friendly Dining Experience!
Most of all, have fun! It’s a treat to get to eat out with your dog, especially somewhere as beautiful as Estes Park.
Enjoy your meal and make sure to leave a good review for places that were accommodating so other dog lovers can become happy customers too!