195 Johnson St
Mon – Fri: 9am – 5pm
Sat – Sun: 8am – 6pm
“I love my pup. Whenever we’re going out for brunch on the weekend I’m always trying to find ways to include her so she has a weekend filled with love, cuddles and attention. Sometimes to the detriment of my brunch crowd. On this sunny but wintery occasion, I was joined by two pup-lovers who were keen to try out the most dog-friendly of dog cafes – Doghouse. Located on Johnson Street, Collingwood, the experience was different to what I honestly expected. I was anticipating a typical high-end Melbourne-style cafe with big indoor and/or outdoor pup play pens, perhaps segregated by size or allotted to tables. Instead I found a front of house that was a doggy store and deli and I realised I had seriously misjudged the venue.
Front of house offered a wide array of doggy costumes, jackets, collars and leads, high end shampoo and treatment mud masks (for their paws, not their face!) amongst other doggy related products. The deli-come-pup-cafe was stocked with meats, bones, pup cakes (made of different meats) and offered the “must have” puppacinos (frothy dog friendly milk with cinnamon).
Once you get through the front of house, there is a very small kitchen for coffees and accompany with pre-made rolls, cookies and banana bread.
The furthest part of the venue was a very basic dining set-up, with ‘tables’ rimmed around the edges of the cemented area, gated into small but private quarters were your pup can roam free with you and your company.
We grabbed a corner set-up, which had clean, wooden flooring, some cushioned milk crates and a mini-bench for resting our orders on. I ordered my pup a chicken pupcake and got sucked into a pupachino [total $14]; ordering myself a banana bread, salted caramel cookie and latte [total $12]. I was intrigued that I spent more on my dogs brunch than my own, but there you go!
The presentation of the pupcake was pretty appetising, even from a human perspective! My dog Cookie is notoriously fussy though and I had to break her pupcake into pieces so she could dig in. About halfway through she got bored and took interest to her brunch buddy Chloe’s pupcake, which was made predominantly of kangaroo. As for the pupachino, Cookie was surprisingly not into it, despite loving a bowl of milk at home. The froth was topped with cinnamon which I think is what turned her off. When I poured the milk out though, she did enjoy a big drink.
My human food was less exciting, although I must admit my salted caramel cookie was pretty damn good. The cookie was crunchy and quite salty – a nice match for my latte, which was tolerable.
Overall I found the Doghouse underwhelming from a human-enjoyment perspective. It is a FANTASTIC venue, however, as a pit stop to catch up with dog-loving friends for a quick coffee or cookie, while spoiling your pooch. Dining is all outdoors without cover or heaters, so be warned and go on a dry day!”
Final thought: “Worth a pit-stop to spoil your pooch and grab a latte”