Dog-friendly Green Lake

May 16, 2014 7:21am

Photo courtesy Seattle Travels Photo courtesy Seattle Travels
Seattle already has a rep as one of the dog-craziest towns in the country, but how does Green Lake rate? Bottom line: We may not be Ballard, where Norm’s can host your dog’s birthday bash, but Green Lake is a pretty great place to be a dog. The North end of the lake in particular is a veritable canine paradise.

A few activities you and Fang can share in the nabe:

  • Powerwalk, run, bike, paddleboat or paddleboard around the Lake (do you have paddleboats, Ballard?)
  • Fetch, romp and roll at Lower Woodland’s one-acre sloped off-leash park and/or hike the surrounding trails on leash
  • Get your bike tuned while staff plies the furry one with treats
  • Watch the Seahawks or hit trivia night at a pub
  • Brunch al fresco facing the park

The dog-friendly spectrum runs from: none (bipeds only) to moderate (outside on the patio) and finally full-access pass (inside or out). Blogger Jenny DeRaspe-Bolles, of Dog Gone Seattle , doesn’t count places that require you to tie the dog outside the patio fence, like Greenlake Bar & Grill, Tacos Guyamas, and Elysian Brewing Co. A Greenlaker herself, she would like to see more options for the four-legged, but here’s a roundup of places that welcome your leashed, well-mannered dog:

Dogs watching Seahawks at Olde 99. And a crowd on Forza Coffee Co's patio. Credit Jenny DeRaspe-Bolles


Dogs watching Seahawks at Olde 99. And a crowd on Forza Coffee Co’s patio. Credit Jenny DeRaspe-Bolles

Inside or Out:

Boardroom Café 8314 Aurora Ave N. DeRaspe-Bolles says “This location is a few blocks from Greenlake around 83rd and Aurora. They have a small location but are expanding soon. Seriously delicious and affordable breakfast served all day long. Also amazing sandwiches. Everything made fresh to order.”

Bongos 6501 Aurora Ave N. Pineapple salsa, mango slaw and homemade breads are among the highlights at this Caribbean-Cuban eatery poised between Latona and Aurora near 65th Street.

Forza Coffee Co. 6900 E. Green Lake Way N. “Café right on the lake. Delicious food and coffee, also a small selection of beer and wine. Dogs allowed inside and on the patio. Very popular hang out. Free wi-fi etc.,” DeRaspe-Bolles says. (Click here for her full review) Evenings host trivia nights and live music.

Gregg’s Cycle 7007 Woodlawn Ave NE Grab gear or get your bike de-kinked without having to tie up your dog.

Olde 99 Pub 305 Aurora Ave N “Dog friendly pub with full menu and bar. Ping-pong and pool table, lots of bar games. There are always dogs inside.”(Full review here)


Latona Pub 6423 Latona Ave NE  Dogs welcome on the small patio if you can snag a spot. Craft beers and a full menu of pub fare.

Greenlake Boathouse & Coffee Shop – Paddle Boards, kayaks, canoes, pedal & row rentals. Yes, life vests are available, but your pet needs to stay on the boat. (see below).

Some tips to remember:

An important caveat about Green Lake Park: Despite regular appearances to the contrary, the lake itself is not open for dog swimming, and both swimming and being un-leashed in the park can result in fines.

Here are the specs from

“Except as expressly allowed in subsection B hereof, it is unlawful for any person to allow or permit any dog or other pet to run at large in any park, or to permit any dog or other pet with or without a leash, except Seeing Eye or Hearing Ear dogs or dogs used by public law enforcement agencies and under control of a law enforcement officer, to enter any public beach, swimming or wading area, pond, fountain, stream, organized athletics area or designated children’s play area.”

Lastly, dog-friendliness is often discretionary based on who’s working at a given time, so it’s always a good idea to ask permission before entering.

  • Monica DeRaspe-Bolles

    I love bringing my dogs to Greenlake. Happiest place I know of.

  • Kimberlee Kogane

    I absolutely LOVE that photo!

  • Bryn Miyahara

    You’re sure making me miss Greenlake! Nice job on the site!

  • Jessica Rhae

    Jenny is great. I am also a Seattle Pet Blogger. That is how we met but we are both in the same graduate program at the UW and have had classes together too. Green Lake is great for dogs. I took mine paddleboarding for the first time last year and hope to again very soon. I am also president of the Adventureweiner Club of Seattle and we parade our Dachshunds around the lake monthly. It’s almost always the first weekend of the month at 10 am but we switch back and forth between Saturdays and Sundays. It’s quite a hoot so let me know if you want to catch us sometime.

  • AlienDave

    Are dogs allowed to swim in Green Lake without a leash?

    • Sadly, no swimming for dogs with or without a leash in Green Lake.

      • alien dave

        Thank-you. Just out of curiosity, know the reason why?