4 December, 2022, 10:39

Drinking Doggedly: A dozen top sipping spots in Tucson

As any dog lover will tell you, everything goes better with canine companionship. That includes relaxing outdoors with your favorite beverage, whether it’s a caffeinated pick-me-up or a carefully crafted cocktail. When it comes to potent potables, there’s a bonus to having your dog with you: Even if you’re unaccompanied by other humans, no one can accuse you of drinking alone.

Reforma Modern Mexican (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Reforma Modern Mexican (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

We chose a dozen pet-friendly patios and courtyards that let you take advantage of Tucson’s fine weather and excellent selection of drink options while spending quality time with your pup. Several are near scenic recreational areas where your dog can take you on a nice walk.

MotoSonora Brewing Company

1015 S. Park Ave.
MotoSonora Brewing Company (Photo by Through the Hoop Photography)

MotoSonora Brewing Company (Photo by Through the Hoop Photography)

While plenty of places in Tucson go out of their way to accommodate the four-legged, only MotoSonora provides pups with an enclosed run where they can expend a little energy — supervised by their people, of course. Afterwards, chill with your best friend on the patio of this vehicle-themed venue, perhaps while downing a Fog Lights Hazy IPA, listening to live music, and fantasizing about taking a motorcycle trip with your dog in a custom-built sidecar.

For more information, call (520) 416-6686 or visit motosonora.com.

Lick’s Ice Cream & Coffee

16130 N. Oracle Rd.
Lick’s Ice Cream & Coffee (Photo courtesy of Lick’s Ice Cream & Coffee)

Lick’s Ice Cream & Coffee (Photo courtesy of Lick’s Ice Cream & Coffee)

Milkshakes, Italian sodas, and cold-brew coffee drinks — oh my! Just 10 minutes from the entrance to Catalina State Park, this is the perfect spot to treat yourself after a hike with your dog or to fortify yourself beforehand. You’re not the only one who will be excited about the mouth-watering array of cool treats: A pup-sized cup or cone of house-made vanilla ice cream will have even the least-drooly dogs salivating.

For more information, call (520) 303-0437 or follow Lick’s Ice Cream & Coffee on Facebook and Instagram

Arizona Wine Collective

4280 N. Campbell Ave.
Madeleine, the author’s dog, at Arizona Wine Collective (Photo by Edie Jarolim)

Madeleine, the author’s dog, at Arizona Wine Collective (Photo by Edie Jarolim)

Who says grape lovers aren’t as dog crazy as hops fans? Get acquainted with Arizona wines by ordering a tasting flight or savor a glass of your latest favorite at this St. Philips Plaza wine bar, just steps from the Rillito hike-and-bike trail. Plenty of folks skip the exertion and head straight for the cushioned patio seats, pups at their feet, and chill out with a local rosé, pinot gris, or merlot.

For more information, call (520) 329-8595 or visit azwinecollective.com

Savaya Coffee Market

2959 N. Swan Rd., #161 • 11177 N. Oracle Rd.
Savaya Coffee Roasters (Photo by K. Loren Dawn)

Savaya Coffee Roasters (Photo by K. Loren Dawn)

Baristas serve the world in a cup at this local coffee roaster, where beans are direct-sourced from farms in prime coffee-growing regions and your beverage is tailored to your palate. Your dogs may not be aware that you’re enjoying international travel while sipping a macadamia milk latte or a Yama cold brew, but when you’re happy, they’re happy. Savaya has five locations, but the patios in midtown and Oro Valley are the most serene.

For more information, visit savayacoffee.com

FireTruck Brewing Company

4746 E. Grant Rd.
FireTruck Brewing Company on Grant Road (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

FireTruck Brewing Company on Grant Road (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Continuing the traditional association between dogs and firehouses – and extending it far beyond the signature Dalmatians – this firefighter-owned microbrewery gives a lot of love to their canine guests in all their locations. In midtown, flower boxes and vines keep you feeling a world apart from the busy Grant and Swan shopping center but afterwards, at next door’s PetSmart, you can stock up on supplies and reward your good boy or good girl with a treat.

For more information, call (520) 777-9456 or visit firetruckbrewing.com.

Raging Sage Coffee Roasters

2458 N. Campbell Ave.
Raging Sage Coffee Roasters (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Raging Sage Coffee Roasters (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Students and older intellectual types bring their laptops and lap dogs — or Great Danes — to the orange tree-shaded patio of this Campbell Avenue oasis, drawn by the laid-back atmosphere and the appealing selection of organic teas and coffees. Crowd favorites include the Oaxacan Mocha with just a touch of chocolate and spice and everything nice. Dogs happily lap up water from one of the frequently refreshed bowls.

For more information, call (520) 320-5203 or visit ragingsage.com

Noble Hops

1335 W. Lambert Ln. • 445 S. Alvernon Way

Patio at Noble Hops in Oro Valley (Photo courtesy of Noble Hops on Instagram)

Enjoy the views and the brews at the Oro Valley branch of this gastropub, where the Santa Catalina Mountains provide a spectacular backdrop for you to sample a flight of artisan beer while your pup eyes potential canine companions. The equally dog-friendly patio of the midtown branch, in the DoubleTree Hotel, is perfect for people- and pup-watching, and close to the grassy rises and tree-shaded walkways of Reid Park.

For more information, visit noblehops.com

The Boxyard

238 N. Fourth Ave.
Patio at The Boxyard (Photo courtesy of The Boxyard on Instagram)

Patio at The Boxyard (Photo courtesy of The Boxyard on Instagram)

The crowd that converges on this innovative Fourth Avenue venue is as colorful as the 10 shipping containers that host two full bars and four local food vendors. Grab a seat in the courtyard and choose from a thoughtfully curated selection of craft beers, several of them Arizona-based, and creative cocktails. After 6 p.m., you might be asked to show ID. They’ll take your word about your dog; hey, given the canine-to-human-year ratio, they’re legal at age three.

For more information, call (520) 306-1686 or visit theboxyardtucson.com

Reforma Modern Mexican

4340 N. Campbell Ave. #101
Reforma Modern Mexican (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Reforma Modern Mexican (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Chihuahuas and Xoloitzcuintlis will feel right at home on the patio of this modern Mexican restaurant in St. Philips Plaza; other dog breeds are naturally welcome too. In addition to tequila and mezcal — more varieties than anywhere else in Tucson — the bar offers beer, wine, and Mexican soft drinks like horchata and fresh-fruit limonadas. Come at Happy Hour or after dark, when strings of tiny lights create a festive atmosphere.

For more information, call (520) 867-4134 or visit reformatucson.com

Scented Leaf Tea House & Lounge

943 E. University Blvd. #165
Scented Leaf Tea House and Lounge (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Scented Leaf Tea House and Lounge (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Teas on tap, anyone? Not your traditional tearoom, the Scented Leaf features as many colorful cold tea concoctions as it does hot teas – and adds coffee, beer, and wine to the mix (sometimes literally). Knowledgeable “tea-ristas” are on hand to guide tea newbies and undecideds. Also not in the hushed tearoom mode: a location on the University of Arizona’s bustling main drag, making this best for dogs who aren’t shy or noise averse.

For more information, call (520) 624-2930 or visit thescentedleaf.com

Mercado San Agustin & MSA Annex

100 S. Avenida del Convento • 267 S. Avenida del Convento
Mercado San Agustin (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

Mercado San Agustin (Photo by Taylor Noel Photography)

On weekends, pups and their people gather in the courtyard of the Spanish Village-style Mercado complex from morning ‘til evening. Kickstart your day with a cuppa from Presta Coffee Roasters; later, order a cocktail, beer, or wine from Agustin Kitchen’s outdoor-indoor bar. In the nearby MSA Annex, a sprawling open-form venue with plenty of picnic-table seating, it’s Decibel Coffee Works that purveys the caffeine while Westbound pours the hard stuff.

For more information, visit mercadodistrict.com

The Gardens at Bear Canyon

8991 E. Tanque Verde Rd.
The Gardens at Bear Canyon (Photo by Matt Sterner)

Polly on the patio at The Gardens at Bear Canyon (Photo by Matt Sterner)

Beer dominates the drinks menu at the Gardens — everything from IPAs and stouts to fruit beers and red ales – but you can also sit back with a craft cocktail or glass of wine and gaze at the Santa Catalina vistas. The recent opening of Hillhouse Coffee in the parking lot added cold brews to the beverage options. Yard games contribute to the fun atmosphere, but if your dog likes to fetch, maybe steer clear of the cornhole board and bocce court.

For more information, follow The Gardens at Bear Canyon on Facebook and Instagram

In addition to writing about food and drink, Edie Jarolim is the author of Am I Boring My Dog: And 99 Other Things Every Dog Wishes You Knew. Her terrier mix, Madeleine, is definitely not bored.

Edie Jarolim’s dining stories have appeared in a variety of national and local publications. The food biz runs in her family: Her great uncle was Sigmund Freud’s butcher.

X