Our Favourite Dog Friendly pubs and cafes in East Norfolk

If there’s one thing many of us love to indulge in it’s good food and drink! And lucky for you Norfolk is packed with a variety of pubs and cafes, many of them very dog friendly. We asked our guests where they and their dogs loved to go during their stay at our cottages, here’s their top suggestions for the best dog-friendly pubs and cafes in our patch of East Norfolk.

Within Walking Distance

Hill House, The Hill, Happisburgh, NR12 0PW

Walk here easily from: The Crib, Heather Cottage and White Cottage.

Literally up the street from our Happisburgh Cottages, Hill House is a cosy, welcoming pub, dating back to 1550. Packed with period features, the pub features a central bar, pool table, dining room and some benches at the front where you can watch the sun go down. The kitchen serves up tasty home-cooked pub cuisine using seasonal ingredients, locally sourced produce and meats. At the bar there’s a large selection of soft drinks and spirits to choose from, as well as wine, beer, cider and ales, some brewed by the on-site brewery!

“The Hill House staff were welcoming enough to allow our six dogs in and kind enough to let us take our meals back to The Crib when they started to play up! We returned the plates the next day.”

Sal Hickinson

View the Hill House on Trip Advisor

The Star, School Road, Lessingham, NR12 ODN

Walk here easily from: Thatch Cottage, Corner Cottage, The Walnut and Victoria Cottage

The Star is one of those places that everyone knows about… but no-one tells you about (probably because we like to keep this gem of a place all to ourselves!) Situated on a quiet country road, this pub has a bar full of character and a separate lounge area, both with big tables and comfy seats and a great selection of drinks including a regular selection of local and guest ales. Food-wise, choose from traditional pub grub, daily specials and a yummy Sunday roast! There are vegetarian options to choose from too.

“The Star in Lessingham has great food and beer and always a great welcome for the dogs!”

Graham Farrow

View The Star on Trip Advisor

Reefs Bar, Beach Road, Sea Palling, NR12 0AL

Walk here from: St Benets (just a few yards!!) and Deepdale Cottage at the end of the road.

Happily situated right next to an award winning blue flag beach, The Reef bar really comes into its own in the summer. But don’t count it out for winter, especially on a Sunday! Open all day, every day, Reefs really prides itself on being dog friendly, with water bowls, a dog biscuit vending machine and even a dog ball vending machine! Very handy if you lose your ball on the beach! There’s a great selection of food and drink on offer and of course the well-known and popular local carvery!

“We love the Reef at Sea Palling, especially their Sunday Carvery! We like to pop in with our little pack after a long walk on the beach.”

Irene Grubb

View the Reefs Bar on Trip Advisor

The Fishermans Return, The Lane, Winterton-on-Sea, NR29 4BN

Walk here from: Hidden Gem, Skylark, Beachcomber and Ruby Gem

The Fishermans Return is a picturesque 300 year old brick and flint Freehouse, just a few minutes walk from the dunes and long sandy beaches of Winterton. The bar serves real ales plus soft drinks, on-tap beers, wine and spirits. Cosy up next to the wood burning stove in the winter and order a delicious freshly prepared meal made from locally sourced ingredients. Or sit outside in the summer and watch the Winterton world go (slowly) by! Being close to the sea, fish naturally features prominently on the specials board. Their slogan is “Keeping It Local”

Visit The Fishermans Return website and View it on Tripadvisor here.

The Edge, The Beach, Winterton NR29 4AJ

Walk here from: Hidden Gem, Skylark, Beachcomber and Ruby Gem

These airstreams replaced the Dunes Cafe when the coast disappeared from under it in 2022. But being more portable they can move inland as needed. The Edge offers a range of interesting, fresh and tasty well crafted take out meals along with good coffee. Run by a top class chef so you know it’s good! Vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan options are all available. 

There is plenty of bench seating outside or take your food down to sit on the beach! Just be aware, if you’re driving, the car park next door is pay and display and can get really busy on the weekends.

Visit The Edge website

Smallsticks Café, Cart Gap, Happisburgh, NR12 0QL

Walk here easily from: Cornerways and Nautilus. Also on the way to the beach from Corner Cottage and a lovely beach or cliff walk from White Cottage, Heather Cottage and The Crib.

Hidden away along a quiet country lane and just 200m from sandy Cart Gap beach, Smallsticks is a delightful, dog-friendly café that serves up cooked breakfasts, yummy lunches, delicious cakes, moreish ice cream and an epic fish and chips straight off the boat and the farm! Dogs are welcome in the fully enclosed courtyard garden and they now have some cute little beach huts (with heaters) for dogs and their owners. Enjoy your food and great service with a view of famous Happisburgh Lighthouse in the distance. We offer our repeat guests vouchers for Smallsticks and they are one of the most popular!

Visit the Smallsticks website

The Kingfisher Café, Coast Rd, Walcott, Norwich NR12 0AP

Walk here easily from: Seaview Cottage. Also worth a cliff top or beach walk from Heather Cottage and The Crib.

If you’re on the hunt for a traditional English caff, then the Kingfisher is the place for you. It’s literally right opposite the beach at Walcott so you can enjoy your freshly cooked food with the of the view of sea in the background! Packed out during the summer months, this little café comes into its own in winter, when it’s much quieter and you can hang out with the friendly locals. As you might imagine the cooked breakfasts are super popular! Very dog friendly inside and out.

“We love the Kingfisher cafe in Walcott! Four of us stayed locally with eight Labradors and we were made very welcome to the cafe! Their full breakfasts are the best!”

Karen Minn

View Kingfisher Café on Trip Advisor

Watsons, Coast Road, Bacton, NR12 0EU

Walk here easily from: Seaview Cottage.

This cafe used to be Sugar and Spice. The new owners have pared the menu down but it is all well cooked and the cakes are still delicious. Dogs are made very welcome in the café, in fact on some days they outnumber the amount of humans in there. The café has free parking, lots of vintage style tables to choose from and even sells a range of plants and art from local growers and artists.

View Watsons on Trip Advisor

Poppys, Beach Road, Winterton, NR29 4AJ

Walk here easily from: Ruby Gem, Hidden Gem, Beachcomber and Skylark

A great combination of village shop and dog friendly cafe! The new owners have pared the menu down but it is all well cooked and the cakes are still delicious. Dogs are made very welcome in the café, in fact on some days they outnumber the amount of humans in there. The café has free parking, lots of vintage style tables to choose from and even sells a range of plants and art from local growers and artists.

View Poppys website here

California Tavern, California Road, Scratby, NR29 3QW

Walk here easily from: Brig Cottage and a short drive/long beach walk from the Winterton cottages – Ruby Gem, Hidden Gem, Skylark and Beachcomber.

A popular dog friendly seaside pub. Sunday roast are very popular so get booked in during busy times Dog friendly and right by the sea so worth a stop for a post walk drink.

View California Tavern website here

Tastebuds Tearoom, 104 Beach Road, Scratby, NR29 3PG

Walk here easily from: Brig Cottage

Very popular seaside cafe with all sorts on the menu. From full English to lunches and cakes with vegan and vegetarian options too. Very dog friendly with some covered seating outside, water bowls. Very short walk down the road from Brig Cottage on the way to or from the beach.

View Tastebuds Tearoom Trip Advisor reviews here

On the same road there is also a fabulous ‘proper’ bakery (90% of the goodies are baked on site) – with seating outside. Dogs are very welcome, the baked goods are fabulous and very well priced too. You can get take out coffee and freshly filled rolls as well as the amazing array of cakes, bread etc.
Scratby Bakery And for another great takeaway, try Bebe Rais – very popular and just overlooking the beach. Amazing loaded fries and milkshakes. Often in the local newspapers!

Just down the road…

A short drive (or a long walk!) from our cottages in Sea Palling, Winterton and Hickling.

Poppylands, Delph Farm Waxham Rd, Horsey, NR29 4EQ

Get ready to step back in time! Poppylands Café is a 1940’s haven of cosiness and nostalgia. From spot-on décor, to the ‘ration book’ menu and themed dishes such as the ‘Dambusters’ breakfast bap this place is a real treat for the senses and the tummy. There’s even Spam on the menu, Spam! Don’t miss the delicious afternoon tea – certainly not a rationed portion! Dogs aren’t allowed in the downstairs café area but they are welcomed in the upstairs dining room which is just as much themed fun as the ground floor! There’s also a pretty courtyard outside.

“Poppylands in Horsey has to be one of our favourites.”

Jordan Wardle

View Poppylands on Trip Advisor

A short drive away

The Lion, The Street, Thurne, NR29 3AP

Winner of the East Norfolk CAMRA Pub of the Year Award for 2019 The Lion loves dogs and even lists local walks on its website! Your fur babies are allowed in all sections of the bar area, where you can choose from a wide selection of wines, beers, ciders, gins (there’s a whole gin menu so try and get out driving if you can!) and real ales, there’s also lots soft drinks to chose from. The food here is delish, with traditional fayre such as sausage and mash, fish and chips, pie and mash and steak all present and correct on the menu! There’s also pizza, burgers, sandwiches and lots of vegetarian and vegan options.

“I can highly recommend The Lion at Thurne, dogs welcome and a lovely garden too! Opposite the river Thurne so a good walk is essential too! Lots of vegan, vegetarian and GF meals! We love it!”

Laura Jane Doree

Visit The Lion website