Doggone Delightful Dining

Check out these spots to eat and drink with your pup in Maple Grove.
When dogs show up with their owners to enjoy a taco on the patio at Rusty Taco, dog treats sometimes sneak on to the serving tray.

Dogs and their humans love to dine alfresco or visit drive-thru windows. Certain Maple Grove restaurants embrace the bond between pet owners and food or drink. Pet perks make eating out more fun. Here’s a “pup” close and personal look at dog-friendly dining and take out in Maple Grove. Still not sure what’s good for your dog? Take a look at our vet-suggested dog treat tips.


Nadia Cakes
Every dog has his or her day and a doggie cupcake commemorates the occasion. Birthdays, holidays, family days, last wish bucket list days—from joyous to somber—they’ve all been designated by Nadia’s creations. No pampered pooch would pass up a good bakery indulgence. The premiere Maple Grove cupcake shop not only caters to the sugary whims of humans, but to their furry friends, too. People love to buy doggie cupcakes and photograph the spectacle even more than photographing their own children eating cupcakes, according to owner Abby Jimenez. One customer went so far as to create a video called “French bulldog versus cupcake.” Howling with charm from the dog’s eye-popping desperation for cake, the video went viral.

Among Nadia Cakes’ 150 flavors, doggie cupcakes have earned their rightful place on the daily roster. Dainty, darling, delicious and dog-friendly cupcakes delight canine devotees of all sizes. Doggie cupcakes come in regular and mini-sized. With piped swirls of cream cheese frosting, doggie cupcakes look every bit as elegant as their human counterparts, save the beige dog bone-shaped garnish. “Our brand is high quality and you’re getting the same thing for your dog,” Jimenez says. The gluten-free, dog-friendly recipe features yogurt, peanut butter, apples, bananas, rice flour, molasses and cream cheese. Made from scratch with all-natural human-grade ingredients, “so technically you could eat it,” Jimenez adds. Doubtful though that your dog would want to share. Large $3.25, mini $2. 11650 Fountains Drive, Suite 207; 763.575.8885


Rusty Taco
The Rusty Taco motto proclaims, “Tacos are the most important meal of the day.” So why not let your furry friend join in the Rusty repast? With breakfast tacos available morning to close, you could make a day of it. “We’re tacos—nothing special for dogs on the menus. But we do allow dogs on the patio and people can stay as long with their dogs as they like,” says regional director Pam Ringgenberg. The sunny spacious dog-friendly patio is just the place to savor the sultry Latin flavors of tacos, nachos and margaritas. Your dog won’t feel left out with treats behind the counter and a bowl of water available on hotter days. 6346 Vinewood Lane N.; 763.355.5064


3 Squares Restaurant
At 3 Squares, they aim to please everyone including pup patrons. A canine culture garners many benefits for furry friends. The patio is dog-friendly, complete with a water bowl. Complimentary dog bones are another pooch perk. Best of all are dog events that always include a chef-made treat. “Last year we partnered with Sidewalk Dog Media. It was great,” says Tim Walker, general manager. The “yappy hour” fundraiser was for a therapy dog used in a special needs elementary school. “We want to be able to celebrate all things dogs,” Walker says. Customers enjoy patio dining with their dogs. “We welcome any and all dogs; we just ask they’re on a leash,” he adds. 12690 Arbor Lakes Parkway.; 763.425.3330


Chick-fil-A extends a genuine warm welcome to furry friends with a dog-friendly patio and more. “I am sensitive to people loving their dogs,” says Nancy Christman, owner-operator. Expect Southern-style hospitality with your meal along with gracious service, including dog-friendly treats from the drive-thru. “The dogs smell the chicken and they want something so they do get a treat… just a little something extra for our guests, an extra nice gesture,” Christman says. The complimentary dog biscuits even come organic by request. With yummy cooked poultry permeating the air, it is hard for dogs and their humans not to eat some chicken. “I think we do have people that go ahead and buy chicken for the dog,” she says. Christman recommends the grilled chicken nuggets seared to a tender juicy bite rather than anything deep-fried. “If I have my puppy with me she definitely wants something—human food,” says Christman, a Yorkshire terrier owner. $1 for four nuggets, or 50 cents each. 11820 Fountains Way; 763.416.1773


Humans love their coffee almost as much as they love their dogs. It’s only natural to want your furry friend to enjoy a hand-crafted treat along with you. Starbucks secret menu comes to the rescue with a dog-friendly feature. A closely guarded perk for glamour pups of all breeds, the puppucino is the ultimate dog-about-town treat to go. While the covert status is arguable, the delicious doggie entertainment value is not. Dairy rich and caffeine-free, the canine concoction comes with a big wag guarantee. “Dogs just go crazy about it and it’s really cute to watch them eat it. They get it all over their faces,” says shift supervisor Kendra Johns. With no abandon, dogs dive nose first into the disposable paper cups. Blobs of cream fling where they may. This is the stuff that winning home videos are made of. For optimum enjoyment and ease of eating, human assistance to hold the puppuccino cup is advised. Free (other Starbuck locations may charge.) 7979 Wedgewood Lane N.; 763.420.6311


Caribou Coffee
Dogs enjoy a roster of “paw-some” amenities. The patio is dog-friendly. Complimentary dog snacks are doled out from the drive-thru window. “If we see a tail wagging in the back, we give them something,” says supervisor Cecilia Johnson. Should the free biscuit not be enough for a dog, a special pup cup is available for purchase. The coffee house-inspired pup treat delights with clouds of whipped cream, a sprinkle of cinnamon and a dog biscuit garnish. “You have to tilt the dog biscuit just the right way so it looks super cute,” Johnson explains. A puppy latte would make any pooch feel happy and proud to visit Caribou. “It’s kind of a little-known puppy secret,” she says. 80 cents. 8881 Jefferson Highway.; 763.493.0055


Canines need to watch what they eat. While every dog is different, general guidelines hold true. Packaged dog food is balanced to cover nutritional needs, according to Heather Douglas, vet and owner of Douglas Animal Hospital. Similarly, treats specially formulated for dogs tend to be better choices than people-food left-overs. Even innocent looking leftovers can do more harm than good according to Douglas. Her office sees more cases of food-related illness around Thanksgiving. Even safer treats should be given to pets only in moderation.

Obesity ranks as a top health problem for dogs. Certain plain vegetables are acceptable, along with small amounts of white rice or cheese, according to Douglas. In the wrong amounts, some common people foods can even cause death. Chocolate, avocados, macadamia nuts, onions, grapes, raisins and even bones can be very harmful to dogs. Alcohol is another substance to avoid. The list of no-no’s includes yeast dough and rhubarb leaves. If you are not sure, consult your veterinarian. If you believe your dog ate something bad, contact your vet or an emergency vet immediately. 116 Central Ave.; 763.424.3605.