Bring your pup to these restaurants, wineries and breweries
Most things are better with your dog along for the ride. Fortunately, the Salem and Mid-Willamette Valley area has plenty of pup-friendly options spanning a variety of activities. Whether you’re hungry, thirsty, or simply looking to get out, there’s a bevy of stops worthy of your time and more than welcoming to our furry other halves.
The Yard Food Park
A world of cuisine can be found at The Yard Food Park in Salem. Food genres here range from Mexican to Indian to Texas barbecue. The pod opened in December 2018, taking over a large industrial space on State Street near the downtown area. About a dozen carts are currently up and running with room for eighteen. There’s ample seating within the hangar-like main building, featuring a towering A-frame ceiling, a bar and a coffee station. An expansive draft features a revolving cast of local breweries such as Gilgamesh Brewing, Santiam Brewing and Salem Ale Works.
The Yard is set next to the Four Corners neighborhood on the east side of the interstate. While dogs are not permitted inside the large dining hall, they can enjoy the outside area with food carts, lawn games, seating and warming areas.
The Granary District is essentially a large cul-de-sac devoted to the wine industry just outside of downtown McMinnville. A handful of working wineries and tasting rooms occupy a host of warehouses and old agricultural buildings. The central-most building is home to restaurant and brewery Grain Station Brew Works, Flag and Wire Coffee and the occasional food cart and pop-up farmers’ market.
Drop in to Buchanan Cellers for some dog treats, set inside a beautifully refurbished grain silo. Just across the train tracks is Allegory Brewing, responsible for some of the most exciting beers in Oregon. Brewer Charlie Van Meter cut his teeth working at esteemed outfits like Sasquatch Brewing and Logsdon Farmhouse Ales. If you’re a fan of farmhouse ales, this is a must for you and your four-legged friend.
Inn at Red Hills
Situated at the south end of Dundee, Inn at Red Hills features a small hotel, a restaurant and a handful of dog-friendly tasting rooms. Pinot Noir enthusiasts will enjoy the work of Angela Estate, Tertulia Cellars, Evening Land and Le Cadeau Vineyards. The house restaurant, Babica Hen Cafe, touts a seasonal outdoor patio and farm-fresh northwest fare. Those looking to extend their stay can opt for a pet-friendly room at the Inn. Leash ‘em up as the complex tends to be pretty busy and it’s set beside a busy highway.
Airlie Winery occupies a bucolic stretch of land in rural Monmouth. The label produces everything from expected varieties like Pinot Noir to lesser-knowns like Müller-Thurgau and Maréchal Foch. The estate vineyards are LIVE-certified and Salmon Safe, with the oldest rows taking over a former Christmas tree farm in 1986. Of the seemingly countless tasting rooms and cellars in the Willamette Valley, Airlie is one of the most welcoming, especially to folks and pets alike.
Arguably one of the prettiest estates in Willamette Valley Wine Country, Johan Vineyards is nothing short of picturesque. The wine more than matches the scenic terrain, experimental in nature and full of quality. Try a Pet-Nat, a Melon de Bourgogne or a supremely-textured Pinot Gris. The vineyard is biodynamic and boasts some of the best panoramic views in the entire valley.
This is a great spot for a vineyard hike with your dog, just double-check with winery staff that there isn’t any vineyard work happening that might impede a good hike. The sprawling estate is an ideal setting for bird watching and gazing at old-growth oak trees. The tasting room is open daily from February-December.
Minto-Brown Island Park
This 1,200-acre park is the biggest Salem has to offer, with nearly 30 miles of trail to boot. It’s named after Isaac Brown and John Minto. The former raised livestock in the area while the latter went on to farm the fertile land set against the west bank of the Willamette River. It remains a time capsule of sorts, a pretty untouched expanse just outside of town.
The park is home to a 30-acre off-leash dog area and therefore perfect for high-energy pets. Pack a picnic and your binoculars and gaze at waterfowl in between bites of lunch.
The Oregon Garden
It’s been said that you can grow just about anything in the Willamette Valley and the Oregon Garden is proof. The 80-acre site features more than 20 specialty gardens, from rose-centric sections to tropical and medicinal gardens. Among the most intriguing is the water garden, with waterfalls and an amazing array of lilies and hibiscus.
There’s even a pet-friendly garden within the park where you and your dog can wander at will.
Rogue is an established Oregon brewery with a reputation for farm-fresh ingredients and a certain connection to the land. Their Independence farm includes a rustic tasting room pouring 12 different Rogue beers overlooking the very hops that go into their brews. There’s even a small menu devoted to bites to accompany the beers. Essentially a tasting room for beer, the farm and tap house offer the same ambience and locally-sourced culture that you would expect from a winery.
READ MORE | Dog-friendly spots in the Mid-Willamette Valley