Let’s discuss brunch in Melbourne. It’s a meal so highly regarded that it’s almost like a religion. A city where weekends are dedicated to enjoying artisanal coffee and eating $20 avocado toast in cafes so fashionable that they can make even hipsters cry. However, there’s a catch—the so-called Melbourne dog-friendly cafes, which, come winter, unceremoniously kick you out to the curb under an umbrella where you still get wet and cold.

Nothing says ‘welcome’ like sitting under a tiny umbrella in the rain while your dog gives you a disapproving look for bringing them out in such bad weather. Finding a truly ‘dog-friendly’ place can be as unreliable as a weather forecast. That’s why we’re checking out some of Melbourne’s best dog-friendly cafes that make an extra effort to keep you and your furry friend warm and comfortable during the winter.

Our Favorite Dog-Friendly Cafes for Melbourne’s Winter Months

We consider several factors when looking for the best dog-friendly cafes in Melbourne during winter. These picks offer perfectly poached eggs, Melbourne-quality coffee, and crunchy pastries, and go the extra mile to ensure you and your dog stay dry and warm so you can enjoy your Sunday brunch in style.

Emil’s Cafe in Pascoe Vale South

Emil’s Cafe effortlessly blends nostalgia with modern charm in a warm, inviting space. It’s a family-run establishment with a delightful selection of brunch options and standout dishes like Turkish eggs and hummus shakshuka. The café also offers a variety of kid-friendly options and an impressive selection of drinks, including Code Black coffee and cocktails.

The café boasts a covered and heated dog-friendly courtyard, making it perfectly comfortable for your brunch crew on a rainy Melbourne day. With exceptional service, flavoursome brunch dishes and a dog-friendly courtyard, every visit to Emil’s Cafe feels like coming home.

Emil's Dog Friendly Cafe in Pascoe Vale

Joe Frank Cafe in Ashburton

Joe Frank Café in Ashburton offers a delightful brunch experience. This family-run eatery is a local favourite. The menu boasts high-quality ingredients and well-executed dishes, from the spicy-sweet Sriracha Maple Bacon toast to the crispy Zucchini & Quinoa Fritters. Coffee enthusiasts will enjoy the seasonal Soar House blend, which offers a variety of coffee options, including cappuccinos, lattes, and the unique Melbourne-born Magic Coffee.

The dog-friendly covered courtyard has well-placed heating, a retractable roof, and fans, ensuring comfort in all seasons. With its welcoming vibe and delicious offerings, Joe Frank Café is where we love to enjoy brunch with our furry friends during winter.

Emil's Dog-Friendly Cafe in Ashburton

Leroys Cafe in Newport

Leroys Newport Cafe stands out in Melbourne’s thriving cafe culture, especially for dog lovers and brunch enthusiasts. Known as one of the best brunch spots in Melbourne’s west, this Cafe offers a modern minimalist design, friendly service, and a welcoming atmosphere.

Its heated and covered dog-friendly courtyard, with open shutters for sunny days and roof heaters for cold weather, provides a cheerful and cozy alfresco setting, ensuring comfort for you and your furry friend.

Leroys dog-friendly cafe in Newport

Botanic Cafe in Toorak

Hidden in a Toorak building complex, Botanic Cafe is a magical, dog-friendly brunch spot. It offers an indoor courtyard perfect for any weather and welcomes people and dogs. The ambience blends modern chic with timeless elegance, adorned with vibrant flowers and plants.

The menu features classic drinks like turmeric lattes and cocktails, as well as dishes that are both visually stunning and delicious. Try the prawn and chilli scramble and their exquisite cakes. Friendly staff and impeccable service ensure a memorable dining experience for all.

botanic dog-friendly cafe

Cornerstone & Co. in Hampton East

Cornerstone & Co. in Hampton East is a dog-friendly cafe with a warm atmosphere and covered courtyard. It is ideal for meals with your furry friend. The friendly staff, tasty food, and cozy ambience make it a local favourite.

The menu includes vegetarian and vegan dishes and diverse breakfast and brunch options. Highlights include the Okonomiyaki, Smashed Avo, Karaage Chicken Burger, and Tofu Poke Bowl. Drink offerings range from expertly brewed coffees to teas, kombucha, and fresh juices, ensuring something for everyone.

Conrnerstote & Co cafe with covered Dog-Friendly courtyard

Gasworks Cafe in Albert Park

Gasworks Cafe in Albert Park is a dog-friendly haven perfect for quick coffee stops and leisurely brunches with your furry friend. The vibrant atmosphere and friendly staff make every visit special. Enjoy simple hearty sandwiches, toasties, and handcrafted coffee while your dog savours House-Made Dog Biscuits, Pup Cakes, and Puppy Cinos.

Housed in a unique, historical setting with a retractable gazebo and heaters, the Cafe ensures comfort in any weather. Conveniently located next to the Gasworks dog-friendly arts park, which also hosts the dog-friendly Gasworks Farmers Market, it’s an ideal spot for dog lovers and eco-warriors alike.

Gasworks Dog Friendly cafe in Albert Park

Packing the Dog Essentials for a Cafe Experience

We want you and your furry friend to enjoy a comfortable outing with your dog at a cafe in Melbourne during winter. So here are some essentials we recommend to make your Melbourne brunch experience extra relaxing.

Dog Travel Bottles and Foldable Water Bowls

Yes, cafes will have water bowls, but they may be limited and used by many other dogs, posing the possibility of transmitting bacteria and other nasties. That’s why we always take portable options. The Portable Dog Water Bottle is great if you’re walking from and to the cafe, as it’s compact and stores the water with you. The Foldable Portable Dog Bowl is cheap and great for keeping in the car. It can be quickly whipped out and filled at the cafe and double up as a feeding bowl. These items are convenient, easy to carry, and ensure your dog can access fresh water.

Long Chew Dog Treats

If your dog, like ours, loves to stare at you while you eat, giving you a guilt trip as if they haven’t been fed for weeks, then a long chew is the best way to keep them occupied. While many cafes serve their own tasty dog treats, most don’t. And those that do are generally made for quick consumption. A long chew will keep them busy.

Multi-Function Dog Lead

There’s always the annoying dance to anchor your dog down in cafes. You need to unleash your dog to make a loop around a chair or a table or awkwardly sit and wrap the lead around a leg. One of our favourite leads to take to cafes is a Multi-Function dog Lead. They have clips on both ends, meaning you can unhook the handle end without unleashing your dog and quickly wrap it around a table or even around your waist.

Dog Rug

Although these covered courtyards are heated, they generally have cold concrete floors for your dog to sit on. A small rug is perfect for them to have a space to chill comfortably.

Dog Bags

Although you should ensure they have relieved themselves beforehand, accidents can still happen, so always be prepared.

Quick Tips for a Happy Cafe Experience for All

When visiting any of Melbourne’s dog-friendly cafes, please remember to respect others and the establishment. Simple rules and etiquette go a long way in ensuring everyone enjoys the shared environment and helps more communities embrace the dog-friendly vibe.

Quick Exercise Before Heading to the Cafe

Dogs are generally excited in new environments. It’s best to keep their energy levels in check with a walk or, if it’s raining, some indoor play to get rid of that pent-up energy.

Let Them Do Their Business Before Brunch

Ensuring they have relieved themselves mitigates their chances of doing their business in the Cafe. But if they do, always make sure you pick up after them.

Socialise Your Dog For Melbourne Cafe Experience

If you have a puppy, make sure it is past the vaccination phase. If this is the dog’s first time in a Melbourne cafe, avoiding going on a busy Sunday brunch session is best. Choose a quieter time, either early in the morning or on weekdays, to avoid overstimulating and making the puppy anxious.

Dog Training and Control

Although we hate it when random people and kids run up and pat your dog without asking, it happens. It’s important to ensure the dog is trained not to react and is always under control. This includes keeping them under control with wait staff so that they are not leaping towards them when bringing out food. They handle food all day and need to maintain strict health codes.

Don’t Enter the Indoor Area with Your Dog

Melbourne Cafes have strict pet regulations, so always ask to be seated from outside or allow one person from your party to enter the premises and let them know you are with a dog.

Don’t Put Your Dogs on Chairs or Tables

This is a big no-no for health regulations and can get the Cafe into trouble. This behaviour can force even the most dog-loving cafes to change their dog-friendly policies.