When our web editor, Colby Rogers, stopped by Citizen Burger Bar to check out its RVA Burger Week special, he was told there would be a 10-minute dog wait for the patio, but seating inside sans fur could happen right away.
As the owner of dogs who jump away from an open car instead of into it, I wondered where the more social dogs in town were hanging with their human pals. Although this list is by no means comprehensive, I'm betting that your dog doesn't care.
Citizen Burger Bar, 2907 W Cary St. The obvious first choice, given that humans aren’t even mentioned on the wait list for the patio. Its rustic deck is a prime viewing spot to see who decided to go see, say, “Batman vs. Superman,” at the Byrd Theatre, plus all the other consistently interesting denizens of Carytown. Burgers are made from local, grass-fed beef, and you can feel good about the other ingredients, too — both local and organic are watchwords at this Charlottesville-based spot. Bonus dog points for the trace of smokiness still embedded in the timber from the old Double T’s Real Smoked Barbecue that used to occupy the space. citizenburgerbar.com.
Foo Dog, 1537 W. Main St. Dogs love other dogs, and if they hate them, the Chinese dogs they might glimpse here aren’t even real. Got that Lassie? Not real. While you’re talking to your dog about this, you can order one of four different Asian beers or go local with a rotating selection. Noodles such as the Malaysian-style ramen with coconut curry broth and lemongrass, galangal root, fresh ginger, tamarind and bean sprouts are hot but can paradoxically cool you down because they make you sweat. How much do you love your dog? The heat-index sacrifice is worth it. foodogrva.com.
Fresca on Addison, 22 S. Addison St. Just because that hound of yours is a bloodthirsty carnivore doesn’t mean you can’t take the high road and stop by this charming vegan cafe. It’s a meet-and-greet spot for Fan folks who want to wear flip-flops when they crave a side of green with their meal. The pizza is wood-fired, the hummus is ignited with garlic and tacos with avocado-white bean spread, jalapeño slaw, chunked avocados, pickled red onions and chipotle mayo will remind you that although carnitas may sing a siren song, you can’t hear it at Fresca. frescaonaddison.com.
Mosaic Restaurant, 6229-A River Road. These folks love some dogs here, as evidenced by the enthusiasm the staff evinced when asked if canines were welcome. At this West End go-to, you can feel the breeze caressing both you and the tip of your dog’s wet nose while sipping the River Road, a cocktail made with cucumber vodka, St. Germaine, pineapple juice and lime simple syrup. Maybe a rosé is more your style — it would go well with Mosaic’s warm, smoked gouda dip to share or the parmesan cavatappi with sundried tomatoes, spinach, roasted peppers and ricotta. And lapdogs need to chill — humans will think twice before sharing. mosaicedibles.com.
Siné Irish Pub and Restaurant, 1327 E. Cary St. Hey, did you forget that this place had a patio? It’s right out back and bumps up against East Canal Street that’s lined with entertaining cobblestones that seem to confound drivers so. This place is a pub, and it doesn’t pretend to be anything else. Grab a brew and snack on Siné’s Irish nachos — fried potatoes topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, jalapeños, tomatoes, ranch and scallions. Then take your dog for a long, long walk. You can say it’s for them, but you, my friend, are the one who will really need it. sineirishpub.com.
Pomegranate, 3321 W. Cary St. I saved the best for last and I just want to prepare you for what you’re about to read: Pomegranate not only has a patio that welcomes dogs, they have a dog menu. Your soon-to-be crazed dog can choose from things such as ground chicken liver, salmon or beef with risotto ($6). Or you can have a mix of all three ($10), and you can add a fried egg to the dish for an additional $2. To end the meal on a sultry summer evening, your satiated pup probably could rouse himself to lazily lick a frozen watermelon cube garnished with frozen cantelope chunks ($3). My mind is a little blown right now and I’m having trouble focusing on the people options at Pomegranate, but you can’t go wrong with the house-made edamame pasta, oyster mushrooms, tomato, ricotta whey and corn shoots — you can get a single serving or order it family-style. pomegranaterva.com.