Dog friendly cafe in NYC: the Roasting Plant

by Breanna Foister, Contributing Writer

roasting plant from inside dogLike most other boutique coffee shops in the neighborhood, the Roasting Plant ( used to be entirely dog friendly.  Logan, my greyhound, would stretch out in front of the single origin coffee beans and lay there for hours while I chatted with neighbors and friends over coffee.  However, due to the Great NYC Health Department Crackdown of 2012, Logan and his furry friends are no longer allowed inside the shop.

The Roasting Plant maintains its dog friendliness as much as the Health Department will allow.  The staff keeps a stash of dog treats behind the counter, free to any dog owner who asks.  They also installed a hitch for leashes right outside the front door.  The large glass doors and windows make it easy to keep an eye on your pet from just about anywhere inside the tiny shop.  And if you plan to stay a while, outdoor benches lining the front of the Roasting Plant make it easy and pleasant to sip your coffee next to your pooch.

Plenty of dog owners (and dog lovers) frequent the Roasting Plant, so the atmosphere is friendly and social.  The variety of foot traffic at the bustling intersection of 11th Street, Greenwich Avenue, and 7th Avenue South makes for entertaining people- and dog-watching.  Stop by on your next stroll through the West Village and enjoy some quality coffee and quality time with your pet.

Orchard Street Store
81 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
(212) 775-7755, ext. 2

Greenwich Avenue Store
75 Greenwich Avenue
New York, NY 10014
(212) 775-7755, ext. 3

roasting plant dogs

Take a day trip with your dog to Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens

by Grace Currie Phillips, Contributing Writer

Socrates Sculpture Park, Queens, NY

Image via

Although Socrates Sculpture Park isn’t technically a dog park, it is dog friendly and it is a perfect excursion on a summer’s day. The park itself is a 4.5 acre green space in Long Island City that used to be an abandoned landfill, until it was reclaimed by a group of artists in 1986 and turned into a beautiful outdoor museum. The park’s mission is to “create and exhibit large-scale sculpture and multi-media installations in a unique outdoor environment that encourages strong interaction between artists, artworks and the public”. Our interpretation of that is “we like cool stuff and we think you probably do too, so come check it out.”

And it’s free! So it’s more than worth your time. There are so many different styles of sculptures that something is bound to catch your eye, and the exhibits are constantly changing as artists create new installations. The art ranges from beautiful to industrial to whimsical, but all of it is worth a look. You can spend hours wandering around the small park and looking at everything from different angles. You can take pictures near the water with Roosevelt Island as your background, or you can explore their gardens and see what’s in bloom.

There are performances throughout the summer, as well: the Metropolitan Opera, theater companies, dance companies, orchestras, and more. On Wednesday evenings through mid-August, the park shows movies, which are prefaced by performances from local musicians and dancers, and accompanied by food from the neighboring restaurants. And if you want to be as fit as those dancers, you can check out the yoga or tai chi classes offered on weekends. There’s also a farmer’s market every Saturday from June to November where you can get fresh fruits, veggies, breads, and maybe even a treat for the dog looking up longingly at you.

Which brings us to the most important question: what about the pup? Well, Socrates Sculpture Park encourages people to bring their canine friends, and it’s a lovely space for them to meet new dogs and explore new smells. There are two main gates that allow entrance to Socrates Sculpture Park, and it is bound on one side by the river.  The rest of the park in enclosed by a line of trees and bushes. However, if your dog is prone to roaming, she could certainly run through either one of the gates and into Long Island City. Or, if you’ve got a water dog who will make a beeline for any body of water given half a chance, you could end up with a wet and smelly pal by the end of the day. So use your discretion regarding leashes. The website requires that all dogs be leashed in the park, but from what we’ve observed, that isn’t enforced. [Editor’s Note: Please bring your leashes as they are required]. As long as your dog is well behaved and isn’t trying to escape the park, it seems like you won’t have a problem. There may be days when it is enforced – and it might be during performances – but on our trip, there were no leashes in sight. Picking up after your dog is a must, of course.

Free admission, weird and wonderful art, friendly dogs, classes, performances, movies, and farmer’s market: really, there’s no way why you should ever leave Socrates Sculpture Park this summer. So leash up, we’ll see you there!

Open 10am – sunset year-round

Address: 32-01 Vernon Blvd. at Broadway, Long Island City, NY 11106

Phone:  718.956.1819


Getting there:

Exhibition information:

Dog Meetups this weekend of August 17th-18th!

central park dogs 2Here are some of the dog Meetups happening this weekend:

Three Dog-Friendly Beaches on the Jersey Shore

by Grace Currie Phillips, Contributing Writer

Although the Jersey Shore gets a bad rap (occasionally deserved), there really are some great beaches. Of course, if you want to find the clean, beautiful, quiet beaches instead of the ones populated by oily body-builders and fratty clubs, you have to be in the know. And then you have to find out which of those are dog-friendly. Positively exhausting! Luckily for you, we’re here to help. These lovely, natural, dog-friendly beaches that are all about an hour’s drive away from the city and should be next on your list for a getaway with your best friend.

Sandy Hook Beach, Middletown, NJ

Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook is a small spit of beach about 1 hour and 20 minutes away from NYC by car that curves up from New Jersey’s easternmost point. You can also take a 40 minute ferry from the city, provided that you leash your dog on the ferry. Dogs are allowed on-leash on the bay side of the beach year-round, although the leash law doesn’t seem to be enforced. The park is open from 5 AM to 8 PM, the beach can get crowded on summer weekends, and the parking lots may fill up quickly. If you’re willing to park a bit farther away and walk, you can still enjoy a great beach day.

In fact, you can even park at the end of a lovely 2-mile walking path called the Henry Hudson Trail and walk to the beach. And if you’re thinking of stay a night of two, Sandy Hook is fairly close to Red Bank, which is a fun town with lots of great restaurants, boutique shops, tasty bakeries, and a couple great record stores. We’d definitely recommending popping in Jack’s to see what new vinyl they’ve gotten in, and treating yourself to breakfast at The Danish Cafe or dessert at Sugarush.

Fisherman’s Cove Conservation Area, Manasquan, NJ

Fisherman’s Cove is a small, dog-friendly – and just plain friendly – beach. And it’s free! What’s not to like? It’s a little over an hour in driving time from the city. Their website requires that dogs be leashed at all times, however, it seems to be hit or miss as far as enforcement. We’ve never seen the rule enforced, but others have reported that people occasionally get ticketed for off-leash dogs.

If you’re hoping to get your pup a little less salty before the drive home, stop at the Brielle Dog Boutique, where they have a self-service dog wash. Should you stay overnight, Manasquan is right in between Point Pleasant and Asbury Park, two of the larger Jersey Shore towns. Asbury Park is home to the Stone Pony, one of rock and roll’s great venues, should you be interested in catching a show at night. So if you’re looking for salt-water taffy, boardwalks, shows, bars, arcade games, or rides, you’ve got some great options.

Island Beach State Park, Seaside Heights, NJ

At 1 hour and 45 minutes, Island Beach State Park is pretty far from New York City, but it’s worth the drive. It’s a beautiful, unspoiled stretch of beach that seems far away from the stress of the city and the chaos of the boardwalks. As with Sandy Hook, the parking lots sometimes fill up quickly on summer weekends, which means you may have to park elsewhere and walk in. The park charges per car, not per person, which makes it a great choice for a family getaway. Dogs are permitted on the non-lifeguard beaches (there are many) and they must be on leash. There are also a series of trails that your dog will love exploring, most of them fairly short.

The Barnegat Lighthouse State Park is also worth a visit, if you’ll be staying for an overnight visit; however, dogs are only allowed from October to April. But really, the highlight of this spit of land is the peace and quiet of the beach. Island Beach State Park is the perfect relaxing weekend getaway for you and your pup.

Dogcation: Navigating dog friendly Amagansett for sun, beach, and great food in the Hamptons

Another great summer spot for you and your dog is out in Amagansset, NY, on the eastern end of Long Island. It takes about 2.5 hours to get there from NYC, so it’s a better multi-day trip than a day trip, but it offers fresh air, a laid back town, good food, and an awesome stretch of beach.

Getting there

You are probably going to have to drive out to Amagansett (104 miles from NYC), because Long Island Railroad only really allows small confined dogs (or service dogs). If you don’t have a car, rent one and put down a dog seat car protector to help avoid any car cleaning fee from dog hair. Consider driving at off hours (after 7pm, before 8am, middle of the day) to avoid commute and vacationer traffic.

Where to Stay

This is a tricky one given summer rates for rental houses and hotels are expensive. We were fortunate enough to have a friend invite us out. Consider coming in the fall or spring before rates get sky-high. Here are some dog-friendly hotels and rentals in the area.

  • Cottage 1 at The Inn at Windmill Lane, via

    Gansett Green Manor (273 Main Street, Amagansett, NY): Suites and cottages with private patios make this a good choice for dog-friendly lodging in Amagansett. $25 extra/night for dogs. Rates run $300-$450.

  • The Inn at Windmill Lane (23 Windmill Lane, Amagansett, NY): Super luxury private cottages with fenced yards for you and your dog are expensive ($450-$2100/night) but very nice. The three cottages are dog friendly as is Suite 2. $50 extra/night for dogs.
  • VRBO Rentals: Check for Amagansett homes for rent that are pet friendly. They range from $200/night to $15,000 per week so the variation is extreme.
  • AirBnB: Rent out a pet-friendly room in someone’s home in Amagansett, or the whole place for between $114-$4000/night.

The Beach

Two Mile Hollow Beach

Two Mile Hollow Beach

The ocean beaches are closed to dogs (on leash or off) from 9am to 6pm during the summer months (mid-May to September 30th), but before 9am or after 6pm, your dog can go nuts playing on the sand and in the water. Remember, it stays light out pretty late these days, so you can have a sunny dinner on the beach with your dog, or some early morning play time. It’s also a lot less crowded during the week.

[Note some recent legislation states that your off leash dog must be at least 300 feet from the entrance to the beach, so look for the markers before you pick your beach spot. Most people are pretty relaxed but there is a $250 fine for violations so be careful.]

Ocean Beaches

  • Atlantic Avenue Beach (Amagansett)
    Off of Atlantic Avenue, Map
  • Atlantic Drive Beach (Amagansett)
    Off of Atlantic Drive, Map
  • Egypt Beach (East Hampton)
    Old Beach Lane, Map
  • Georgica Beach (East Hampton)
    Off of Lily Pond Lane, Map
  • Indian Wells Beach (Amagansett)
    Off of Indian Wells Highway, Map
  • Main Beach (East Hampton)
    Off of Ocean Avenue, Map
  • Napeague Lane Beach (Amagansett)
    Off of Napeague Lane, Map
  • Navahoe Road Beach (Amagansett)
    Off of Navahoe Road, Map
  • Two Mile Hollow Beach (East Hampton)
    Off of Two Mile Hollow Road, Map

Bay Beaches:

Note there are also beaches on the bay side, and often these are more lax with leash laws. Here are a few.

garden behind Jacks coffee

garden behind Jack’s coffee

Dog-friendly food spots

  • Hampton Chutney Company: Located in Amagansett Square (6 Main Street), grab a dosa and a cardamom coffee and hang out at the outdoor picnic tables and grass with your dog (on leash).
  • Jack’s Stir Brew Coffee: Also in Amagansett Square (146 Montauk Hwy Amagansett), Jack’s serves up some of the best coffee in the Hamptons, as well as ice cream, and tons of local New York specialty items. In the back thee is a shaded area with outdoor tables and chairs for you and your dog to chill out at (on leash).
  • Mary’s Marvelous: In the center of the town of Amagansett (207 Main St, Amagansett, NY), Mary’s has awesome takeaway sandwiches (breakfast and lunch) and treats to grab before hitting the beach. You can’t bring your dog inside, but it’s pretty quick to grab a sandwich and go.
  • Bostwick’s Chowder House: Pretty close to Two Mile Hollow Beach, you can get a take out order of fish tacos or lobster roll  at Bostwicks (277 Pantigo Road in East Hampton) and then head on over to eat at the beach (after 6pm) with your dog. Not the best lobster roll in the Hamptons, but convenience is key.
  • Springs General Store: Out in the adjacent Springs area, hit up the Springs General Store for sandwiches, lemonade and coffee. It was frequented by artist Jackson Pollock back in the day when he lived nearby. They have picnic tables where you and your dog can have a picnic lunch near a pond.
  • Balsam Farmstand: The corn out here is some of the best you will ever have. Stop by the Balsam Farm Stand (Near windmill lane & town lane, amagansett ny) in August to get some fresh corn and other veggies and local cheeses for dinner.

Dog Park

  • Springs Dog Park: Not to far away is the 20+ acre Springs Dog Park if you want some dog-friendly open space at any time of day. On your way, stop by


Need a vet? Maybe your dog picked up a nasty tick or ate something funky off the beach (dead crabs?)

  • East Hampton Vet Group (22 Montauk Highway , East Hampton, NY): Head to the East Hampton Vet Group (22 Montauk Highway , East Hampton, NY).  Added bonus – You may find rates to be 50% less than in Manhattan. We have actually done booster shots while out there to save on vet bills. 631-324-0282






Springs Dog Park in the Hamptons offers 20+ acres of dog friendly outdoor space

springs dog park

springs dog park main field

If you are out in the Hamptons this summer (or any time of year), the Springs Dog Park in East Hampton is a huge dog park, possibly the largest in the country. The full park is 42 acres, but they allow half of that to be used by the public with dogs.

You will find 3 main trails, and a giant grass field (think soccer field size) at the far end (see photo right). Dogs can be off leash the whole time and there are always locals and vacationers with their dogs at the park. Our border collie mix loves it there, and gets visibly and audibly excited trying to sniff out the car window as we get closer to the park.

We typically walk in the front gate and let our dog play in the first open area for a bit, and then walk down the main trail all the way down to the open field. it’s a great spot for dogs to run an play and we have certainly thrown the ball around here for our dog. We then walk back one of the side trails. Expect to spend at least 30-60 minutes there to cover the park, depending on how much your dog likes to play.

directions to springs dog park

(Click to enlarge)

Getting there: Warning – It’s a little hard to find since the entrance road is unnamed. It’s off of 3 Mile Harbor Hog Creek Road, officially in Springs, NY, 11937 and between Whipple Road and Gann Road. Look for the green sign on the side of the road which says “Springs Park”.

It’s very hard to see the sign if you are driving from the north so it may take a second pass to get there. At the green sign turn in and and drive as far as you can (about .5 miles) until you see the dog park gate. There are spots for probably 20 cars and we have never had an issue with parking.

It’s probably too long as a day trip from New York City (about 106 miles) but a great spot to let your dog run around while out east.

Tips: Bring your own waste bags and water, as I have yet to see either there, but they do have trash cans throughout the park. Also, note that tick season is very bad this year, so be prepared. Protect yourself by stating on the main trails and fields and wear long light clothing and check yourself. For your dog, try any of these tick prevention options and absolutely check your dog thoroughly every day they are out there, especially in the armpits, belly, groin, ear area, and paws. Some of the ticks are size of a poppyseed, so be very careful. Bring water for yourself and your dog.

The park is great from late fall through late winter too, when the tick threat is much lower.

springs dog park trail

The Pooch-ini at the Shake Shack is a summer hit with dogs

shake shack dog menuThe Shake Shack may be known for its burgers, but did you know they also have a menu for dogs?

They serve up a Pooch-ini, which is a cup of dog-friendly custard mixed with Shackburger biscuits and a swirl of peanut butter($3.75). A disclaimer says it does contain diary, sugar and nuts and is not intended for small dogs, but it’s a huge hit with our 50 pound mixed breed Zuzu. Shake Shack also will sell you a bag of the Shackburger biscuits a la carte, which are made by Bocce’s Bakery (5 for $7.50).

If you are looking for another way to celebrate your dog’s birthday, or keep them cool and happy in the heat, definitely opt for the Pooch-ini. Dogs love it! It makes for a special dog walk to their locations all over the city. Our dog Zuzu has had the Pooch-ini 3 times in her life and each time she can’t believe it is actually for her, and then she licks away until there is nothing left. Following proper canine etiquette, she eats the custard first, then finishes with the biscuit.

shake shack poochiniTip: Shake Shack is known for long lines, especially in Madison Square Park, but you can get the dog menu at the B-Line and avoid the wait.

The dog menu is available at all of the New York City Shake Shack locations. If you do head to the original in Madison Square Park, you can make an afternoon of it with a stop by the Madison Square Park Dog Run as well.

Here are all of the NYC locations:

  • Madison Square Park (23rd Street between 5th Avenue and Madison Avenue)
  • Upper East Side (154 East 86th Street between Lexington and 3rd Avenue)
  • Upper West Side (366 Columbus Avenue at 77th Street)
  • Battery Park City (215 Murray Street between West St & North End Avenue)
  • Theater District (691 8th Avenue near 44th St)
  • Brooklyn (409 Fulton Street between Willoughby Street and Adams Street)

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Bark In The Park dog day with the New York Mets

Image via

Did you know that the New York Mets have games where you can bring your dog with you to watch at Citi Field?  It’s true, and all profit from your dog’s ticket goes to benefit North Shore Animal League, the largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization in the world.

If you get there early with your dog, head to the Bullpen Gate with your tickets and you can participate in the Dog Parade on the field (as long as the weather is good). This gate opens 1 1/2 hours before game time.

Note that your tickets are good for the Pepsi Porch area at Citi Field (dogs can’t sit in other parts of the stadium).

Here are the two games left this season where you can bring your dog:

  • 9/9: Mets vs. Nationals    (Human Ticket $25, Dog Ticket $10)
  • 9/14: Mets vs. Marlins    (Human Ticket $40, Dog Ticket $10)

You can select your seats now to get the best ones left. For more info or to get tickets, go to

Dogcation: An incredible upstate weekend away with your dog at Glen Highland Farms

zuzu glen highland farm streamOur dog Zuzu seemed depressed when we returned home to New York City from a weekend vacation at Glen Highland Farms (217 Pegg Rd, Morris, NY). Why would we live in an apartment in the city when a place like that existed, she seemed to ask. In upstate New York, Glen Highland Farms is first and foremost a border collie rescue, possibly the largest in the world. They take in abandoned and unwanted border collies from all over the country, rehab them when needed, and then adopt them out. They aim to rescue 150-200 dogs each year, and have a massive facility of separate and enclosed play fields and sleep areas for all of the border collies.

Part of the way they raise money to fund the operation is by turning their incredible property into an awesome dog-friendly vacation spot each summer (June 13, 2013 through October 8, 2013). It’s sort of camping style, and they have space for up to 26 guests and their dogs, and you can opt for the dog friendly RV (with shower, bathroom and kitchen), cabin, cottage or a tent. The living quarters may not be the Ritz, but each day you have 175 off-leash acres to roam, including a beautiful winding creek you can follow (and swim in) as well as huge meadows and fields, and even some forest to hike through. It was at one point an Iroquois settlement, and then we hear an equestrian ranch owned by the Forbes family, and now it is a beautiful home for dogs and guests.

zuzu glen highland farm field


RV life

RV life

The dogs love it – socializing with each other, swimming, running, smelling and playing. If you live in the city, it’s going to be an incredible experience for your dog. Our dog, who lives in an apartment building in Manhattan, could not believe she could run free like this 24/7 with all of these other dogs.

Much to our surprise, she jumped off a 5ft bank  on our first day right down into a creek. She could have spent all day patrolling the slow moving waters.

Another fun activity is the agility course structures they have set up where you can see what your dog is capable of jumping over or crawling through. One of the owners is also reportedly a gifted animal communicator – sounds strange but she was booked the entire weekend and has supposedly provided incredible insight to some dog owners trying to understand their dogs.


zuzu glen highland farm

zuzu glen highland farm forestIt’s also a great break from city life for people too. The property is peaceful and beautiful, and when not hiking or playing with your dog, they have a huge common outdoor eating area with aged-wood burning grills where you can get incredible flavor out of your steaks, fish or anything else you want to grill. Guests are generally friendly and it’s an easy place to meet new people, but also large enough that you could keep to yourself throughout your stay. They also have wifi for those who need to get a bit of work done, and there is a small town, golf and the Baseball Hall of Fame within a 15 minute drive.

While there, definitely take a tour of the border collie rescue (it’s fenced off from the rest of the property to allow the dogs a chance to rehabilitate) and see the giant play areas each rescue dog gets to go into each day, and learn about the rescue and rehab process.

Cost (see all details at Note that the RVs and cabins sell out quickly for a lot of weekends so book asap.

  • Tents: $100-$135/night
  • Cabins: $125-$175/night
  • Cottage: $180-$250/night
  • RVs: $220-$350/night

Getting there: You will likely need a car for this one, and it’s about a 3.5 hour drive from NYC. Here is a map (217 Pegg Rd, Morris, NY).

Prospect Park dog beach – yes it’s a swimming hole just for dogs

prospect park dog beach mapThere aren’t many places in the ol’ Big Apple where dogs can frolic and play in the water and catch a Frisbee on the beach. Except Prospect Park, where that’s exactly the case. Just off the Long Meadow Beach at the Pools, dogs can run off-leash and catch a cool down during the hottest summer days. And trekking there from Manhattan is a worthy day trip – there’s more to do at Prospect Park than just throw ball. The huge amount of space welcomes picnics and games, and there are 585 acres of woodlands, waterways and trails to explore with your pup, family and friends.

It’s easy to get there – whether in a car or a cab, it’s about a 15-20 minute ride from Manhattan. The hours when dogs can play off-leash are specific, though, and the rules are strict, so be sure to plan ahead. The park welcomes dog paddling and off-leash playing between the hours of 5 am and 9 am, and then is closed until 9 pm, when it reopens again until 1 in the morning. You can read more about the rules and regulations of off-leash playtime at the beach here:

The best thing about the Prospect Dog Beach is that it feels like an escape from the city, into a smaller town somewhere upstate. The dog beach itself is somewhat secluded by shady trees, so you don’t feel surrounded by a massive park and hundreds of other people. It’s an opportunity to spend time with your dog without going too far, but at the same time feeling like you’ve “gotten away.”

(Here is a video that, while a bit dated, gives you an idea about the grass and dog beach in Prospect Park)