Welcome to Downtown Manhattan
If there were any neighborhood that best represents NYC, it would be Downtown Manhattan. Downtown, like the rest of NYC, has been born, transformed, and reborn over and over again. It has been the home to just about every immigrant, settler, and asylum seeker in NY. It has been a neighborhood defined by cultures (Chinatown, Little Italy). A community where money is made (the Financial District) and money is spent (Soho). There are museums that celebrate our future (The Children's Museum of the Arts), and museums that honor our past (The Tenement Museum). Downtown Manhattan has alway celebrated diversity and welcomed the “other”. Outsiders have taken solace here; artists thrived in the LES, punks dominated the streets of the East Village, Bohemia was birthed in Greenwich Village, and the gay rights movement was born at the Stonewall Inn. After the tragic events of 9/11, Downtown Manhattan had to rebuild itself back up from the ashes. But in the typical NYC spirit of rebirth, this area has come back bigger and better than ever. Thanks to a concentrated effort by the Downtown Alliance and local government, redevelopment programs have provided much-needed incentives for businesses to keep open their doors near ground zero, proving New York's dedication to growth and solidarity. Today, Downtown is one of the hippest and most economically vibrant parts of the city. If you are looking for the creative energy and buzz that this city is known for, then grab your pup and follow this guide to discover all the hidden gems of dog-friendly Downtown Manhattan.
WOOF: In Case of Emergencies
WHO RESCUED WHO: Local Rescue Groups & Shelters
LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE: Pet-Friendly Hotels
Our Favorite Pet-Friendly Neighborhoods of Downtown Manhattan
LOWER EAST SIDE
The Vibe: The LES has undergone so many facelifts it’s hard to imagine how the first neighborhood even looked. The tenements that once housed New York’s immigrant population are long gone and have been transformed into luxury hotels, the sweatshops have morphed into trendy bars, and the mom and pop shops are more like department stores. But despite the bold transformation, the future of the Lower East Side has never been brighter.
The Pets of the Lower East Side: Imagine a scene where a Puggle in a black studded harness pees on a hydrant while a Rottweiler wearing a pink “I Love Mom” shirt pulls a mohawked skateboarder down the street. Like rock & roll, everything goes for dogs in the LES.
Wag Like a Local: What to do with your Pets on the Lower East Side: For the pet owner a trip to the LES can still be a journey into the past if you look hard enough! Katz’s Delicatessen, Russ & Daughters, and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum are landmark NYC buildings that hark back to the turn of the century. For the art connoisseur, one could spend a whole day here exploring some of the best art galleries in NYC with your pup!
The Vibe: Soho was once the artistic hub of NYC, but the Soho of today has become more like a saturated shopping mall. Gone are the loft studios and art galleries that once dominated the neighborhood, and behold in their place ritzy stores and expensive brasseries. The bold gentrification of the neighborhood, which has come to be known as the “Soho effect,” characterizes the transformations that so many historic NYC neighborhoods have seen over the years.
The Pets of SoHo: No self-respecting dog would be caught dead in Soho without a designer dog jacket and the finest hand-stitched latigo leash. This is where the IT dogs go to see and be seen.
Wag Like a Local: What to do with your Pets in Soho: You can spend an entire day just walking your dog and checking out the historic cast iron buildings of Soho. And pet owners will be delighted that most stores don’t mind if you bring your dog in with you. What Soho lacks in dog parks it makes up for in small neighborhood stomping grounds where all the dogs know each other. If you stay away from Broadway you’ll find some lovely cobblestone side streets that make for a very enjoyable dog walking experience.
TREAT TIME: Pet-Friendly Restaurants in Downtown Manhattan
Milk & Cookies: 19 Commerce St. – Stop by here for their award winning Pumpkin Peanut Butter Dog Bones that no good dog could resist.
By Chloe: 185 Bleecker St. – A great restaurant for the humans and they donate $1 dollar to the Humane Society for every bag of homemade dog treats that you buy.
d.b.a: 41 1st Ave. – A beer lover’s holy grail in the East Village and a stomping ground for all the local dogs since 1995.
Growler Bites and Brews: 15 S. William St. – Check out the walls adorned with Victorian prints of dogs and their owners. Their outdoor seating encourages you to sit with your pooch for the afternoon.
IF YOU CANT WAG THERE, BARK HERE:
DOGGYSTYLE: Pet-Friendly Shopping in Downtown Manhattan
Strand Bookstore: 828 Broadway – This uber famous (and pet-friendly) bookstore can keep you busy for hours and has famously hosted celebrity pets like Pete the Cat, Grumpy Cat, Toast the Dog and Doug the Pug.
Love Gang: 436 E. 9th St. – Not only does Love Gang have some of the most stylish women’s apparel, but Luella the French Bulldog is ready to assist you with all your shopping needs.
CAP Beauty: 238 W. 10th St – Specializes in natural beauty products, and because the store’s mission is “shopping should be fun,” they will happily welcome your pet beauty expert.
Verameat: 315 E. 9th St – The store’s mascot, Fred the Affenpinscher, is the designer’s power animal and frequent Instagram model (he also finds his way into many of her jewelry designs).
Freemans Sporting Club: 8 Rivington St. – Their motto is “Made Local, Buy Local, ” and they’re really happy to see you come in with your dog (that’s a lot of local love).
The Laundress: 199 Prince St. – Hands down our favorite way to clean (and remove suspicious pet stains). They will assess the damage your pet has caused and send them off with a stern but loving pat on the head.
SOCIALIZATION: Dog Parks of Downtown Manhattan
Tompkins Square Park Dog Run: 1st Ave. to Ave. B, from E. 7th to E. 10th St. Ren says: Three woofs for the bone shaped pools and an extra woof for the separate large and small dog runs.
Leroy Street Dog Run: Hudson River Park Pier 40. Ren says: Small, gated run with fresh running water during the warmer months, makes this an ideal summer spot for cooling down.
Tribeca Dog Run: Hudson River Park Pier 26. Ren says: It’s got a separate large and small dog area (always a plus!) and a drinking fountain and sprinklers which is nice for a frolic.
Sirius Dog Run: Kowsky Plaza 385 South End Ave. Ren says: My favorite park on a hot summer day because they have a pool. And this park was named after Sirius the dog, an explosive expert, who died on 9/11. We run free for him!
West Thames Street Dog Run: South of West Thames at Little West Street. Ren says: This run has shaded benches and trees on both sides for dad. There’s a kiddie pool too which is the most fun on a hot summer day.
IF YOU CANT WAG THERE, BARK HERE:
Coleman Playground: Pike and Monroe St., Fish Bridge Park Dog Run: Dover St. b/t Pearl & Water St., Hudson River Park Dog Run: Leroy St. at Pier 40, Corlears Hook Park: Cherry St. and Jackson St., South Street Seaport Dog Park: South St. & Wall St.
WHO YOU GONNA BARK AT: Pet Associations of Downtown Manhattan
Water4Dogs Rehabilitation Center: 77 Worth St. – This is one of the most efficient and therapeutic ways to address conditioning and rehabilitation challenges for your dog.
Ruff Club: 34 Ave. A. – A members only dog social club in a repurposed tavern, Ruff Club is a haven where dog owners can socialize, work, meet and drink with their dogs by their side. They also hold an array of events, fundraisers, parties, and lectures for their members.
Friends of First Run: This community group of dog owners works extra hard to maintain the Tompkins Square Park dog run for everyone.
BPC Dogs (Battery Park City Dog Association): This volunteer group, with over 600 members, advocates for all the dog owners of Battery Park City.
Leroy Dog Run: The Leroy Dog Run Association is a beautiful community of Hudson River Park residents who have come together to maintain the local dog runs for us.
Mercer-Houston Dog Run Association: The members-only dog run has around 200 members and has been around for over 30 years. Because of their dedication, this dog run is well organized and holds canine friendly activities like a Spring Fling and a community dog wash.
West Village D.O.G. Run: This private dog run has 250 members and a very long waiting list.
THROW ME ANOTHER BONE: More Pet Friendly Activities in Downtown Manhattan
Meow Parlour: 46 Hester St. – A unique cat cafe offering by-reservation only feline face time, plus coffee, tea & homemade pastries.
Koneko: 26 Clinton St. – Roomy, upbeat cat cafe offering espresso, Japanese snacks, pastries & sake, plus adoptable felines galore.
South Street Seaport: This dockside community is a great place to take your dog. It is a testament to NYC maritime history where you and your pup can walk along the docks, check out the tall ships, shops and cafes, which make South Street Seaport an ideal destination for locals and dogs alike.