According to a report by People Dispensary for Sick Animals (PSDA), 16% of adults living in London own a dog. That amounts to around 700,000 dogs.
Owners consider dogs a part of their family, according to findings from Ancestry.co.uk around 90% of owners think so. A third of those even say they prefer pets to human members of their family.
So why exclude a member of a family when eating out? We’ve been out to sample some potential dog-friendly eateries.
They made numerous stops on their six-week journey from Reggio Calabria to Turin on a pizza pilgrimage, where they learned the secrets of great pizza making. The two brothers opened their first bricks and mortar establishment in August 2013 on Dean Street in Soho. In the following years, eight more locations were opened across London, and one in Oxford.
Pizza Pilgrims serve soft Neapolitan style pizza from their freshly made dough and quality ingredients, some imported from suppliers with whom they met on their pilgrimage.
Their pizzerias are dog-friendly and they even have events with pizza specially crafted for pooches, without salt.
We went to the Shoreditch branch of Pizza Pilgrims and concluded it would probably be quite difficult to bring a larger dog in there, as the spaces between tables were quite small.Also one would expect, from a restaurant that publicly claims that all the doggie clientele is always welcome, to offer water bowl to the canine guests, not just their human ones.
Silvestro Morlando parked his distinctive blue Citroen van at Spitalfields market in 2014. Sud Italia has since been a popular addition to the market and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence by TripAdvisor for consistently earning great reviews. Sud Italia imports all the ingredients from Italy and amends the traditional Neapolitan recipe by adding 20% of wheat flour to his dough, which is then let to rise for between 24 an 36 hours.Neapolitan pizza is traditionally made with tomatoes and cheese, and it must be made with either San Marzano tomatoes or Roma tomatoes. Mozzarella traditionally must be from water buffalo’s which are raised in the marshlands of Campania and Lazio. Pizza also mustn’t stay in the wood-fired oven, where the temperature reaches nearly 500 degrees Celsius, for longer than 90 seconds.
Sud Italia doesn’t have its own seating area, but there are a few tables provided by the market, next to the van.
Spitalfields market, being a very dog-friendly place, is a great place to hang around, but can get quite busy on a weekend.
Sodo (SOur DOugh) is East London’s pizza gem. Hidden from the hustle and bustle of the Bethnal Green Road in the overground arches, it is one of the best sourdough pizzerias in London. Sodo is also dog-friendly and last time we went to the branch in Bethnal Green, our dog was immediately offered a bowl of water.
Another great thing about Sodo is that they use local and seasonal produce on their pizzas. They also organise sourdough pizza classes at the Bethnal Green branch. These can be booked online for £60.
Sodo serves pizza to Londoners from four locations, Walthamstow, Hoxton, Clapton and Bethnal Green.
The two brothers decided to take an innovative approach to pizza making. Their product is nothing like to traditional Neapolitan pizza, which has been tried and tested for many years, and used and abused plenty of times.
It reinvents madfouna, a flatbread traditionally baked in a fire pit in the sand or a mud oven, that has long been made by Berber people living in the Sahara Desert. Because of its resemblance to pizza, it is locally nicknamed the Berber pizza there.
This pizza is traditionally sliced to more pieces, made to share. So Radio Alice’s pizza is cut to precisely eight pieces. The dough is baked first, cut, and only then toppings are added to the pizza. This makes for a rather chewy dry meal. No wonder Italians are not very fond it.
Radio Alice’s branch in Hoxton has a charming atmosphere, it’s spread over two floors and has a lovely terrace. The pizza here is a completely different experience from what are we used to and one can either love it or hate it. If you’re sick and tired of the good old Neapolitan Pizza, give Radio Alice a try.
Dogs are welcome both outside and inside.
Opened in 2015, Purezza serves London from its Camden branch and south of England from Brighton. They make their own mozzarella using brown rice, raw cashew cheeses, ricotta-style and creamy coconut cheeses, the dough is made with whole grain flour; hemp flour and gluten-free are also options.We went there on a Saturday evening, and the place got very busy with people queuing outside the door. We didn’t have a reservation but were seated within fifteen minutes.
The restaurant is fairly small and tables were set close to each other, so a big dog probably wouldn’t have enough space to comfortably lay down.
My advice is to go there outside of the usual busy times so your dog doesn’t get stressed and both of you can enjoy more privacy. The restaurant being only about ten minutes’ walk from Regents Park is a great post-walk lunch spot.
Some would argue that a restaurant is not a place for an animal and surely, many dogs would be happier in their backyard.
Any dog owner who decides to take a dog to a bar, restaurant or a pub should keep in mind that some people do not like dogs. They could be afraid of them or simply don’t wish to be disturbed by a yapping pup, no matter how cute it is.
Most importantly, as a responsible dog owner, keep the welfare of your dog in mind and don’t bring it to crowded places like restaurants if it shows signs of stress.
Featured image by Dominika Kostialikova.