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Top 10 Patios to Chill Out with Your Pooch

With the heat index regularly topping 100 degrees these days, we've been on the lookout for relief from the oppressive sun. We're always game for brunch or cocktails on a patio, especially if we can bring Fido along. And since Fido loves the shade as much as we do, we've compiled a list of the best patios to chill with your dog.

Before we get to the list, let's first define a "dog-friendly" patio. In May 2008, Dallas City Council passed the Dog Variance Ordinance, permitting dogs on restaurant patios but with restrictions. Don't get us wrong, we love the idea of bringing our pups to the patio, but we know not everyone around us is as thrilled to have our pooch drooling at the next table. Of course, the city agrees, and they've provided information about the variance restrictions online.

Before the city issues a restaurant a variance to allow it a pooch-friendly patio (at a cost of $100 for two years), it must undergo health inspections and get the stamp of approval from a city sanitarian. Then, there's the whole list of don'ts and can'ts. Restaurants can't allow dogs to come inside, so the patio has to be gated. Waiters can't mix drinks or flambé a dessert outside since no food prep can be done on the patio. The patio has to be cleaned regularly, and dog piss has to be cleaned within five minutes and with "animal friendly chemicals." Is there such a thing? Also, you can't let your dog sit on chairs or tables, no matter how friggin cute you think Angel may look. Dogs must wear their current rabies vaccination tag, which we point out since not many dogs have them on their collars. Props to the owner who puts hydrogen peroxide on his dog's gums and screams, "Fluffy's gone rabid!" on a crowded Uptown patio. First person to get it on film wins a prize. No, seriously.

Most of the restaurants listed below will serve water to dogs, but be advised, it's always best to bring your own water and treats. The variance allows restaurants to serve water in to-go containers only, and they're not permitted to serve food or treats. But some restaurants have found ways to pamper pooches without breaking the rules, like Villa-O which provides dogs with a choice of filtered or sparkling water. Guess Dallas has really gone to the dogs.

10. Penne Pomodoro - 11661 Preston Road, 214-368-3100

9. i Fratelli- 2815 Allen Street, 214-720-0070

8. Gingerman, Uptown- 2718 Boll Street,  214-754-8771

7. Rise N.1- 5360 W. Lovers Lane, 214-366-9900

6. Dream Cafe - 2800 Routh Street, 214-954-0486

5. Gloria's - 3715 Greenville Ave.,  214-874-0088

4. Bolsa - 614 W. Davis Street, 214-367-9367

3. San Francisco Rose - 3024 Greenville Ave., 214-826-2020

2. Dish - 4123 Cedar Springs Road, 214-522-3474

1. State and Allen Lounge - 2400 Allen Street, 214-239-1990

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