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3 dog-friendly Southern California restaurants

By Mariana Schulze

Ojai and Ventura offer myriad options for owners looking to dine with their four-legged companions.

The cities of Ojai and Ventura provide idyllic playgrounds for dog owners and their four-legged friends. A multitude of dog-friendly beaches and hiking trails are ripe for exploration, and it’s good that canines and their human companions have places where they can both sit, take a break, and, most importantly, chow down on great food.

1. Tipple and Ramble

In between exploring Ojai’s back roads and shops, this wine-and-cheese spot offers visitors an ideal setting to give their feet (and paws) a rest. Build a globally inspired cheese and charcuterie plate, utilizing the shop’s selection of zesty Spanish-style chorizo, aged Vermont cheddar, and creamy Mediterranean hummus. Dogs will find much to focus their attention on within the patio’s eclectic surroundings, from the vintage Shasta trailer bar on one end to the patrons happily swinging in the tree-strung hammock near the entrance. 315 N. Montgomery Street, Ojai. 805-319-9496;

2. Rumfish y Vino

You’ll find yourself in an instant vacation state of mind upon being seated on the gorgeous patio with an upscale island-resort feel. Dogs happily lounge at the feet of their human companions while trays full of spicy Caribbean fish stew, crispy conch fritters, and downright delicious Peruvian ceviche are delivered to their drooling caretakers. The attentive waitstaff deliver big bowls of ice water to their four-legged customers, while making sure that the well-crafted, tropical-themed cocktails are made to the owners’ satisfaction. 34 N. Palm Street, Ventura. 805-667-9288;

3. Food Harmonics

Dropping into this nutrition-focused, gluten-, soy-, and sugar-free café is a must for health-conscious dog owners mindful of the ingredients on both their plate and in their pup’s bowl. A peaceful back patio provides a relaxing atmosphere for people and dogs to kick back and enjoy the selections. Indulge in a filling Indian dosa; a scrumptious gluten-free sweet potato brownie; or a raw vegan pizza, a perennial customer favorite. The house-made dog treats, all baked from scratch, ensure that canines eat as wholesomely as their owners254 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai. 805-798-9253;

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AAA Travel Alert: Many travel destinations have implemented COVID-19–related restrictions. Before making travel plans, check to see if hotels, attractions, cruise lines, tour operators, restaurants, and local authorities have issued health and safety-related restrictions or entry requirements. The local tourism board is a good resource for updated information.

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