Even dogs like to rock. SXSW can be dog-friendly if you plan ahead. Photo Credit: Dogs With Sunglasses

Adrianne Gallatin, Global Animal

As you read this, hundreds of thousands of people are flooding into Austin, TX for the largest music industry gathering in the world, South By Southwest. It’s infamous for plastering the entire city with badge-toting, music-hungry, Lone-Star-drinking hipsters, along with movie buffs and tech geeks galore. 

Austin is known as one of the most pet-friendly cities in the United States, but crowds can make taking your pooch with you a bit of a hassle. People watching and hippie smelling are great puppy pastimes, but if your dog can’t go to dinner or a show with you, there’s no point in leaving the house or hotel this week. 

Keep in mind that the farther away from the city center you get, the less crowded it will be. There are still a lot of places on the east side of I35 that won’t be as insane as downtown, and they are still close enough to the action.

For the most part, if a restaurant has an outdoor space, you’re pretty much guaranteed it’s pet-friendly, and lots of restaurants cater to dogs with water bowls and pet treats. Food trailer parks are also very popular, BYOB, and definitely pet-friendly. 

Here are some of our favorite pet-friendly Austin spaces. (Calling ahead is always a good idea.)**

Puppy love and rock and roll go hand in hand. Photo Credit: TCM Enterprises


  • Opal Divine’s (not on St. Patrick’s Day)
  • Moonshine Patio & Grill
  • Crown & Anchor 
  • Max’s Wine Dive
  • The Tavern
  • Easy Tiger

South Congress

  • Snack Bar
  • Guero’s


  • Bouldin Creek Coffee House
  • South Austin Trailer Park & Eatery
  • Green Mesquite BBQ
  • Upper Decks

East Side

  • Franklin BBQ
  • East Side Drive-In
  • Justine’s
  • Thunderbird Coffee House
  • Cherrywood Coffee House
  • Vivo Cocina
  • Butterfly Bar


  • Draught House Pub

Pet Friendly Hotels

  • Wyndham Austin and Woodward Conference Center
  • Clarion Inn And Suites
  • Four Seasons

Best Dog Park

  • Redbud Isle

**During SXSW in Austin, every building with electricity becomes a venue. If you can hear music, and it has a patio, you can most likely take your dog there. (The exception being Auditorium Shores. Although it is normally a dog park, they do not allow pets during SXSW.)