Interior of Boris & Horton Dog Cafe with blue walls and coffee counter via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Going Mutts at Boris & Horton: New York City’s First Dog Cafe

Here’s something you should know about me: I love animals. And I don’t just mean I love watching cat videos. I hiked up a mountain to visit a monkey park in Japan. I cried during Babe, Free Willy and Homeward Bound. For me, a trip to the zoo is as therapeutic as a walk in a garden or a stroll along the beach. I love, love, love animals. So when we heard a dog cafe had opened in New York City and that our friend, Lauren, had just adopted an adorable chihuahua, Boris & Horton seemed like the perfect spot for a doggie date.

Boris & Horton separates the dog from the cafe, which is how pups are allowed in the establishment. The coffee shop is separate–but attached to–the retail portion, where the pups are allowed to roam.

Three mugs with Boris & Horton and East Village NYC written on them via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Tan colored dog wearing leash and blue booties at Boris & Horton via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Three dog mannequins wearing dog sweaters, one wears a yellow crown at Boris & Horton via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Black dog looking out the glass door with a yellow cab in the background and red tables and chairs in the foreground at Boris & Horton via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

The coffee shop isn’t just an afterthought: it offers a variety of specialty coffee and tea options, beer and wine, as well as some light bites. They use locally-sourced ingredients for the entirely vegetarian menu, and they also make vegan and gluten-free options available. You can come sans your fur baby and enjoy the food offerings in their cafe any time, just as you would in any other neighborhood coffee joint.

But you can purchase that food and drink and take it next door to the retail section–also outfitted with dining tables–and consume it in the company of your furry friends. Dogs are required to stay on leash and remain supervised, but staff members are on hand to make sure the canines are content by showering them with affection and offering them treats. They also clean up messes efficiently, keeping the area surprisingly spotless. The cozy space celebrates the joys of dog ownership: there’s a cute photo booth so you can capture the perfect ‘gram, as well as a ton of merch that’s bound to tempt the dogs as well as their owners.

Bright pink coasters with the words "Weekends, Coffee & Dogs" and "Powered by Puppies and Coffee" via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Chihuahua with blue leash in green jacket next to red chairs at Boris & Horton via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Dog in plaid bib being fed a dog treat at Boris & Horton via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

A selection of dog accessories including a scarf, cards and bow ties displayed on cabinet doors at Boris & Horton via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

As they wander around the space, the pups can be seen sniffing each other and making new friends. But their humans are often socializing too. Guests trade funny stories about their pets and offer each other helpful advice. We had Charlie the Chihuahua in our company, but even without a pet in tow we weren’t made to feel like we were creeping on anyone. Everyone we came across was extremely friendly, and when I asked if I could take pictures of the cute dogs, in all cases the proud pawrents were more than happy to accommodate. So if you happen to be in the vicinity and would like a shot of canine love with your cup of joe, then consider popping in to Boris & Horton. The first rule and only rule here is a super easy one: must love dogs.

195 Avenue A

Daily 7:00 am – 11:00 pm

Pair it with:

Brunch at Flinders Lane

Exterior of Flinders Lane restaurant with colorful wall mural of a hawk via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Flinders Lane restaurant bar with two patrons talking and bartender behind the bar via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Fried Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich with sambal mayo and potato wedges at Flinders Lane via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Coconut Curry Laksa at Flinders Lane via Mad Hatters NYC Blog

Flinders Lane is an Australian cafe, and you’ll definitely find Avocado Toast on the menu. But take another glance, and you’ll discover a host of interesting alternatives. Flinders Lane defines its food as “Modern Australian cuisine”, which simply means it merges the flavor profiles of many cultures. The Fried Chicken Schnitzel Sandwich comes with a sambal mayo, and sambal is a spicy chili paste prevalent in Malaysian and Indonesian cooking. The Coconut Curry Laksa is also heavily influenced by the curry noodle dishes found in South East Asia. If you’re looking for something interesting to indulge in before or after your doggie date, be sure to give this Australian cafe a closer look.

162 Avenue A

Mon – Thurs 5.30 pm – 11.00 pm
Fri 5.30 pm – 12.00 am
Sat 11.00 am – 2.00 am
Sun 11.00 am -10.00 pm

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– L.

22 thoughts on “Going Mutts at Boris & Horton: New York City’s First Dog Cafe”

  1. Animals and children are welcome if well-behaved 🙂 Go to an outdoor cafe or restaurant here in Turkey be prepared for cats to meow until fed and dogs are usually around at some stage of the meal. I am of course an animal lover though I find this behaviour incredibly annoying!

    1. I grew up in Malaysia where stray animals were part of the landscape. While some did pretty well for themselves, others had a fairly rough life. I can’t have anything but compassion for those animals and will feed them any chance I get! I usually have more than enough to spare anyway 🙂

    2. While walking around we always carry food to feed the strays and still feed them at the table at restaurants. Sorry it wasn’t so much a moan more an observation! Just something we are not used to do doing. We have gone to a cat cafe in France ☺ It’s lovely that you can get your dog fix.

  2. Looks like you had a great visit and I recognize Charlie the adorable Chihuahua! I have to admit, I am confused though – is the draw that you can bring your dog to the cafe and hang out with other people who have done the same? Kind of like an indoor, nice smelling, cozy dog park? I think I’m confused because at cat cafes, you go to hang out with cats that the establishment provides (for lack of a better word). That’s not the case here, right? Sorry if I missed something in the post!

    That Coconut Curry Laksa has me drooling all over my keyboard – will have to check out both of these great places!

    1. Ah, yes, sorry that wasn’t clear! Unlike cat cafes no dogs actually live there, so your indoor dog park analogy is pretty spot-on 😉 I like that you don’t have to have a dog to pop by (“I’m here for the coffee, but while I’m at it can I pet your dog….?”) and if you go on a weekend there’s no shortage of other people’s pups to play with! Definitely a fun way to spend an afternoon 🙂

  3. I LOVED this post for so many (obvious) reasons – as well as Boris and Horton! Great idea! I *think* Charlie liked it too, when he wasn’t sleeping or throwing shade 😉 Next up on my list of places to check out is Chateau Le Woof – a dog café/pet shop deep in LIC/Astoria! Our visit inspired me! 🙂

    1. We’re clearly not above using cute dogs pics to woo our readers 😉 I thought it was such a fun outing too, and Chateau Le Woof sounds like a blast! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

    1. Thanks so much, Vicky! I know, we never ran out of awwwws here!

      I think it’s a good thing I don’t own a dog because it would be criminal how often I’d dress him up! 😉

  4. I learned something new–didn’t know avacado toast was Australian, I guess I thought it was Californian :). The dog cafe sounds like a lovely place to visit! Not sure I’d want to work there though keeping things cleaned up. I will stick with my job as chief cook and bottle washer for my cat.

  5. Put Boris & Horton in the “about time” category…so glad the Health Department regs can play nicely with everyone’s puppy love and need to eat and socialize. And oh, that restaurant looks great.

    1. It really does seem funny that it took so long, since I’ve seen so many dogs that are more well-groomed than I am! Seems only fitting they finally have a space where they can strut those doggie sweaters 😉

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