Popeye the Foodie’s Picks — 9 of the Best Pet-Friendly Southern California Restaurants

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Popeye the Foodie has been gracing our social media feeds for years, showcasing his food-filled adventures at appetizing restaurants across Southern California. Popeye, a mixed breed dog, was once a stray pup living on the streets of Los Angeles. Now, he’s an Instagram-famous dog influencer with nearly 400,000 followers, and he’s truly living his best life.

His pet parent, Ivy Diep, has captured their moments together throughout the years and details how their pet-friendly food destinations are chosen.

“We love all the variety of pet-friendly options that we have, and we do try to check out new restaurants all the time. Southern California has so many pet-friendly restaurants that we can never visit all of them,” she says. “There are also so many factors that go into why we like certain restaurants. For Popeye, there are restaurants that are a bit more pet-friendly than others, and there are lots of restaurants where we just really like the food or environment.”

From Los Angeles to San Diego, we’re sharing Popeye’s favorite restaurants to visit. Bon appétit!

COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE
COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE

Mariscos Jalisco

No Southern California restaurant list would be complete without a food truck recommendation. Mariscos Jalisco is an award-winning food truck that serves seafood tacos. (Diep loves their shrimp tacos). This Boyle Heights taco truck is considered a hidden gem and has a devoted following for its unique, quality food and affordable prices. Seating is available outside. Mariscos Jalisco is located at 3040 E Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90023 and is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, visit mariscosjalisco.net.

COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE
COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE

Honey & Butter Macarons

Located at the Irvine Spectrum, aka Popeye’s favorite shopping center, you’ll find French macarons and kawaii food to satisfy your sweet tooth at Honey & Butter Macarons. While only service animals are allowed inside the shop due to being an open bakery, the Honey & Butter team can fully accommodate you and your furry friend from their outside dining area. Honey & Butter Macarons is located at 633 Spectrum Center Drive, Suite 633, Irvine, CA 92618. The shop is open Sunday to Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and until 10 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Text (949) 997-0500 for questions and flavor availability. Visit honeynbutter.com.

COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE
COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE

Courage Bagels

If you’re looking for Montréal-style bagels in Los Angeles, many happy customers recommend Courage Bagels as the place to go. Diep included, as she and Popeye visit Courage Bagels at least once a month. This widely loved spot is known for their long lines. However, once you score your housemade bagel, you and Fido can rest your feet and paws at the corner bakery’s outdoor seating area. Courage Bagels is located at 777 N. Virgil Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029 and is open from Thursday to Monday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. For more information, email couragebagels@gmail.com.

COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE
COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE

Craft by Smoke and Fire

Comfort food, live music, and patio seating can be found at this hip barbecue spot in downtown Anaheim. “They have really good service and are super pet-friendly,” Diep says. Craft by Smoke and Fire has spacious outdoor seating and can offer your dog a water bowl and unseasoned burger patty, or “pup patty.” Craft by Smoke and Fire is located at 195 W. Center Street Promenade, Anaheim, CA 92805. Their hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Fridays, 10 a.m. to 12 a.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays. To learn more or book a reservation, visit craftbysmokeandfire.com.

COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE
COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE

Lobster West

La Jolla is home to dozens of eateries and shops Popeye loves exploring, including this Lobster West location. This family-owned restaurant is known for their Maine lobster rolls, signature soups and golden retriever lobster mascot, Boomer. Lobster West has a dog-friendly deck so you and your pup can soak up the New England ambiance. Lobster West is located at 1237 Prospect Street, La Jolla, CA 92037 and is open every day from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Visit lobsterwest.com or call (858) 352-6075 for more information.

COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE
COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE

Howlin’ Ray’s

Diep recommends the famous Howlin’ Ray’s for their tasty, Nashville-inspired food and great service. At Howlin’ Ray’s, you can choose from six levels of heat that’ll have you howlin’ in delight. The Pasadena location boasts a 5-star rating on Yelp and offers outdoor seating for you and your canine companion. Howlin’ Ray’s is located at 800 S. Arroyo Pkwy, Pasadena, CA 91105 and is open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visit howlinrays.com for more information.

COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE
COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE

Etta

Etta invites you and your pup to feast and drink as if you’re in your own home, which can only mean a fun experience for everyone. “Etta is amazing, as they have good food, an awesome environment and they even have dog treats and dog bandanas for when you bring your pet,” Diep says. The contemporary restaurant is beloved for their wood-fired food, pet-friendly patio and impeccable service. Etta is located at 8801 Washington Blvd, Culver City, CA 90232 and is open daily from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. To learn more, visit ettarestaurant.com.

COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE
COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE

Nep Café

Open daily from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., this French-Vietnamese coffee and brunch restaurant knows how to start the day off right for you and your dog. Not only does Nếp Café have plenty of outdoor seating for you and your four-legged friend to enjoy your brunch, but they also treat dogs to complimentary bone marrow treats and water bowls. Nếp Café is located at 10836 Warner Avenue, Fountain Valley, CA 92708. Visit nepcafe.com to learn more.

COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE
COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE

Better Buzz Coffee Roasters

This trendy coffee shop is just a short walk to the beach and is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day. Best of all, they have complimentary pup cups, so you and your pal can savor your beverages and bask in the sweet sunshine together on their outdoor patio. Better Buzz is located at 909 Prospect Street, Suite 100A, La Jolla, CA 92037. Visit betterbuzzcoffee.com.


Q&A With Popeye the Foodie

How did Popeye’s life as a foodie begin?

COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE / DIANALUNDIN.COM
COURTESY @ POPEYETHEFOODIE / DIANALUNDIN.COM

We adopted Popeye about nine years ago, and it wasn’t long before we realized that he liked to be out and about. My husband and I like to dine out, and his puppy dog face made us feel guilty, so we started looking for pet-friendly restaurants to take him to.

Do you remember the first dog-friendly restaurant you and Popeye visited?

I can’t recall the first restaurant that we took him to, but I did take a photo of him at a pizza place and realized he was very good about having his photo taken. Around that time, a lot of people were referring to themselves as a foodie, so I thought it would be fun to make Popeye a foodie through Instagram.

What are a few factors that go into choosing which pet-friendly restaurants you visit with Popeye?

Usually, when we’re interested in trying out the food and if they have patio seating. I also try to make sure it’s not too loud or crowded. Popeye is well behaved, but I don’t want to stress him out, and not all people like dining near pets. We usually get a table away from other people as much as possible.

What’s the best part about adventuring with Popeye?

The best part about adventuring with Popeye is that we don’t have to feel guilty that he’s home and probably waiting for us. He loves to go out, and we know that, and sometimes it may be a little bit inconvenient, but we live in Southern California where there are so many options, so we make an effort for him. Plus, people love to pet him and give him attention, which he loves.

What are three tips you’d give other pet parents for a fun, safe dining experience with their dogs?

I think an important tip is to make sure your pup has the appropriate personality to be at a pet-friendly restaurant. We have other dogs that are either too nervous or may not behave as well. Always bring their water and treats. And if your dog is not comfortable, just take your food to go.

Yvonne Villasenor
Yvonne Villasenor
Yvonne Villasenor is a contributing writer for Pet Companion Magazine. More of her work can be found on her website at www.yvonnevillasenor.com.

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