An Unleashed Adventure: Bao Bao’s Guide to Dog-Friendly Activities in Chicago

Photograph by Cameron Krasucki (@chicagodoes)

Meet Bao Bao, CP’s direct link to all the dog-friendly hot spots in Chicago. Follow in the paw-prints of this regally refined pup as she takes you on a majestic tour, unveiling her favorite places that cater to her particular tastes. With Bao Bao as our compass, we’ve handpicked the top destinations where you and your furry companion can indulge in delectable treats, refreshing sips, and thrilling adventures. Prepare for a journey tailored to satisfy both you and your four-legged friend!


Em-bark on a visit to Recess at City Hall, where you and your pup can unwind amongst Chicago’s largest patio. Treat yourself to sumptuous pizzas and quench your thirst with some fruity cocktails! Your furry companion will revel in the dedicated water bowls and playful astro turf areas. It’s an ideal outing for you and your canine companion!

The Northman Beer & Cider Garden

Experience pure bliss at The Northman, a breezy Riverwalk gem that captivated Bao Bao’s wagging tail. With breathtaking sidewalk views and the tranquil Chicago River, you and your furry companion can bask in the beauty. Sip on their fetching ciders and savor classic seasonal bites. It’s the ultimate spot to relax in the ambiance and create cherished memories with your pup. Take a look at Bao Bao’s experience at The Northman here!

Robert’s Pizza & Dough Company

Savor moments with your furry friend alongside the picturesque Chicago River at Robert’s Pizza & Dough Company. Situated in Streeterville, this haven not only serves mouthwatering thin-crust, brick-oven baked artisan pizzas but also provides ample outdoor seating for you and your beloved pet.


Bao Bao adorned her summer dress as she ventured into West Loop’s culinary gem, Formento’s. The establishment’s sidewalk patio is a pup-friendly haven, ideal for basking in the warmth of a beautiful day. The delectable array of savory concoctions and versatile menus is simply paw-fect, leaving no room for disappointment. Also, you can expect obligatory pats for your pup from the friendly staff.

Alarmist Brewing & Taproom

Explore the North Side with your furry companion and discover the artistry of brews at Alarmist Brewing & Taproom. Located in Sauganash, this brewery presents a delightful array of creatively crafted beverages, including cocktails and wines. And fear not, your pup is well-cared for too, with refreshing water bowls readily available to quench their thirst.

Shoreline Sightseeing

As the breeze tousled her fur, Shoreline Sightseeing provided the perfect finishing touch to Bao Bao’s perfect day. This company provides Chicago tours that gracefully glide through the city’s surrounding waters, offering unparalleled views of the Windy City. Whether you seek architectural marvels or skyline vistas, Shoreline Sightseeing ensures a woof-worthy experience for you and your pooch. Watch Bao Bao’s exclusive experience at Shoreline Sightseeing here!

Kayak Chicago

If your pup is more adventurous than our prim Bao Bao, Kayak Chicago is for them! Grab a doggie life jacket and paddle down the Chicago River together, as the sturdy boats cater to both excitable standers and chill sitters. Paddle-boards are also available, ensuring a fitting experience for you and your best friend.


This has to be one of the best pup spots in the city. Just like us, Bandit in West Loop also has their own canine representative, Blue! Blue the Bandit has assisted the establishment in creating a pup-friendly patio menu! Their simply grilled entrees consist of skirt steaks, burger patties, and salmon! To top it all off, they have a dairy-free doggy dessert, woof-cream! All purchases off of Blue’s menu benefit PAWS Chicago, so it is truly a win-win for the peeps and the pups!


Liva at Chicago Winery in River North now opens its patio to canine companions during Waggin’ Weekends (Saturday through Sunday, 10:30am to 2:30pm). Your furry friend can cool down with their very own “paw-not noir” (frozen beef broth) and a complimentary water bowl. Chef Andrew Graves’ brunch menu offers delicious options for the dedicated owners, so consider this spot when you and your pet are both looking for some good grub!

Farm Bar

Farm Bar in Lakeview stands as a true haven for Midwestern cuisine, where the love for our four-legged friends shines through! Notably, a significant portion of the restaurant’s produce hails from Brown Dog Farm, nestled within the picturesque Driftless region of western Wisconsin and owned by the very same individuals. At Farm Bar, canine companions are more than welcome to join their humans on the patio, making it a delightful destination for a shared meal or a refreshing drink!

The Moonlighter

After a leisurely stroll along Logan Square’s scenic 606 trail, make The Moonlighter your ultimate pit stop. This expansive patio offers the perfect setting to refuel and recharge. Munch on fabulous burgers, large-format cocktails, and an array of delectable bar bites while enjoying the company of your furry friend. With a warm and welcoming atmosphere, The Moonlighter invites you to relax and unwind alongside your beloved companion!


This River North gem has much more than delicious Mexican fare! Amongst their diverse menus sits one just for the pups, a classic aspect of restaurants beneath DineAmic Hospitality. Treat your friend with simply grilled chicken breast, burger patties, and skirt steaks! If they’re being extra good, order a dairy-free woof-cream! You know they deserve it.

Big Star

Dive into the delightful combination of tacos, margaritas, and whiskey while enjoying the company of your best friend at Big Star’s beloved patio! With 80 seats and a vibrant atmosphere, it’s a go-to summer destination for everyone in the area. The team at Big Star holds a special place in their hearts for furry friends, evident from their creation of the hashtag #dogsofbigstar. Not only can you enjoy the experience in Wicker Park, but you can also bring your pup along to Big Star in Wrigleyville or Mariscos in West Town!

Written by Bridget McGann

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