Chicago is a wonderful city with grand architecture and many attractions for humans and canines alike. There are many dog parks to let your pooch run off-leash. There are restaurants and breweries with patios that cater to dogs. There are tours to take, open markets, and places to shop for gourmet doggie treats. Here is a diverse list of the 10 best things to do with your dog in Chicago.
10. Lakeshore East Dog Park
This fun dog park amid the skyscrapers is walking distance from downtown hotels and always has dogs. With benches for dog owners and poop bags available, Lakeshore East Dog Park is very clean and well maintained. Here, you can relax while you let your pup run around off-leash and play with other dogs. There is even a fenced inner section for smaller dogs. Although it is close to everything, it is still hidden from crowds, and the general park area is great for picnics with friends, children, and family.
9. Chicago Riverwalk
Chicago’s Riverwalk is iconic, beautiful, and a great place to stroll or jog with your dog. Take in the vibe of the city while strolling past some of the most recognized skyscraper architecture in the world. You will find it a great setting for talking with friends and letting your furry friend sniff out the scents of the thousands of dogs who walk there every day. This is a must-see attraction in Chicago and within walking distance of most of the downtown hotels. At night there is a lit moving projection on one of the older buildings that’s quite a wonder to see.
8. Green City Market
If you like farmer’s markets, you will love the Green City Market. This pet-friendly open-air market boasts fresh meats, produce, baked goods, flowers, and prepared foods like sandwiches and BBQ from local vendors. It takes place on Saturdays in two different outdoor locations, West Loop Park, and Lincoln Park. With nearby dog parks and recreation areas to enjoy on-site, you can easily make a morning of shopping, eating, and relaxing with your dog.
7. Logan Square Farmers’ Market
During the spring and summer on Sundays, the Logan Square Farmers' market is another local gem to enjoy with your canine companion. Its mission is to bring more conscientiously grown food to the plates of its patrons, with a focus on organically grown, locally produced vegetables and fruits. This is a must-shop stop for the health-conscious dog owner. With plenty of prepared foods as well, there is something for everyone to enjoy. They also have free yoga and live music at certain times so check out their website with the link above for more details.
6. Tails in the City
This delightful pet boutique is in the shopping district and within walking distance of many of the downtown hotels. It is a great spot to get your fur-baby a sweater for the winter or a fresh-baked dog treat any time of year. They sell a variety of doggie clothing in many sizes and have a huge selection of treats and toys for your pup to enjoy. They also have carriers and other accessories. So, if you are downtown with your best friend, drop by Tails in the City. It’ll be sure to make their day.
5. Half Acre Beer Co. Taproom and Beer Garden
Substantially larger but still holding that micro-brew vibe, this local brewery has a very large patio area and a small but delicious food menu. Half Acre Beer Co. has a huge highly rated variety of IPAs, Lagers, and just about any other type of beer to choose from. About 10 minutes from Montrose Dog Beach, this is a good place to chill while having a beer and a bite to eat after a day of playing in the water. The burgers and cheese curds are highly recommended, and sharing is allowed.
A trip to Chicago wouldn’t be the same without a slice of their unique cheese-filled stuffed pizza. New Yorkers might call it blasphemy, but most people find it decadent. Giordano’s has been making these wonderful ‘pies’ since 1974 and is a staple in Chicago. With many locations all over Chicago, most have dog-friendly patio seating. They also serve a variety of other foods like chicken wings or breadsticks, and if you sneak some crust to your dog, they won’t love you any less.
This rustic, yet refined modern Mexican restaurant is right in the heart of downtown next to the House of Blues. It has one of the most dog-friendly vibes in town. Barrio even has a puppy menu with a grilled meat trio and non-dairy creamy dessert for your companion to enjoy. It is within walking distance of the Riverwalk, with a streetside patio that becomes a bustling hang-out spot on weekends.
2. Navy Pier
The Chicago Navy Pier is another iconic destination to enjoy with friends, children, family, and pets. It has restaurants, shops, a carousel, an iconic Ferris wheel, great views, parks, public events, and Chicago culture. It is easily accessible from public transportation and has an onsite parking garage with a valet. There are shoreline tours that leave from the pier and even a Giordano’s if you want to enjoy a slice of Chicago pizza. Very pet friendly, you will see tons of dogs on leashes and places for them to sniff around.
1. Shoreline Sightseeing Tours
Another must-do in Chicago is touring the shoreline and seeing the lake view skyline or cruising the river to take in the grand architecture of Chicago. Sitting back and relaxing on the water with your canine and taking in the sights and sounds with a professional tour guide is an irreplaceable experience. Most of the boats touring Chicago have concessions and love dog owners. Hop aboard right from the Navy Pier or from near the mouth of the river. The tours are easy to get to from public transportation or by foot. Contact Shoreline Sightseeing to book your trip in advance, as the tours do fill up during most seasons.