Winner of Australia's Favourite Pet-Friendly Cafe!

Winner of Australia's Favourite Pet-Friendly Cafe!


Coffee and doggo lovers came out in droves to vote for Australia's Favourite Pet-Friendly Cafe, with thousands of votes cast since December for the coveted top spot. Without further ado, it's time to announce our national winner. 

National Winner: Maggie’s Dog Cafe

Sullivans Road, Moonee Market Place, Moonee Beach, 2450, NSW

As voted by the Australian public, the winner of Australia's Favourite Pet-Friendly Cafe is the wonderful Maggie's Dog Cafe in Moonee Beach, NSW! 

Maggie's Dog Cafe is super welcoming to dogs and their owners, allowing pups inside the premises and providing plenty of delicious doggy treats (including puppucinos, doggy treats and dog beer). Humans are well-catered for too, with an extensive food and drinks menu (including many tasty vegan options). 

We had a chat with cafe owner Lisa about Maggie's and the joys of owning a pet-friendly business.

1. Tell us a little about yourself and Maggie's Dog Cafe - how did it all begin?

My name is Lisa, my husband is Stephen and our dog Maggie is a french bulldog, I'm the head pet stylist (we have over 1400 regular clients) and Stephen runs the cafe: Maggie is there to make sure everything is running smoothly!

Maggie's opened in April 2017, we believe we were the first and only indoor dog cafe in Australia serving both owners and pets, along with play areas, a shop, grooming services and doggy daycare.

We decided to open Maggie's to help Australia become more dog-friendly. I was a pet stylist looking for a new larger salon space and my husband Stephen wanted a career change, and the idea of Maggie's was born on our sofa at home! We are both from Scotland where it's very dog-friendly, with dogs being welcome in restaurants, pubs, hotels and public transport, so the restrictions here were quite confronting to us!

2. What do you think makes a great dog-friendly business?

Making a great dog-friendly business takes passion, do your research and only promote or sell what you believe in, that creates trust with your customers.

3. We found in a recent survey that 79% of Aussie pet owners would choose to visit pet-friendly locations over places where their pet can't join. Do you have any thoughts on this, such as the changing ways we spend time with and prioritise our pets?

People are definitely treating their pets better these days and involving them in family experiences instead of just leaving them in the yard. People want to take them places and even go on holidays with their pets. So making Australia more pet-friendly will improve the lives of our pets and their owners.

4. Do you have any advice for pet owners who want to take their dog out to a pet-friendly cafe - such as some dos and don'ts?

When taking your pet to pet-friendly locations, make sure you take them to the bathroom first. There's nothing worse if your pet relieves themselves where they are not supposed to, and we don't need anyone having objections to dogs being in a dog-friendly location. Secondly, don't force your dog to interact with other dogs if they don't want to, watch and listen to your pet. If they are uncomfortable, remove them from that situation. It's ok if your dog doesn't want to play and just sits happily with you instead.

5. What is on the horizon for Maggie's Dog Cafe? Any exciting plans for 2020?

2020 is going to be a really exciting year for Maggie's! Firstly, winning this award which means so much to us for being recognised for all the hard work we have put into our business. I am also involved in a very exciting project which will be revealed later this month! We are also looking for a possible second location to open Maggie's and hope to franchise in the future!

Top State and Territory Finalists 

A huge congratulations must go to the following cafe finalists:  

  • Victoria: The Gap Café - 477 King St, West Melbourne, 3003
  • Queensland: Le Vintage Boutique Café - 1 Kurilpa St, Worongary, 4213
  • Australian Capital Territory: The Oaks Brasserie - Cottage 1 Weston Park Rd, Yarralumla, 2600
  • Northern Territory: Boatshed Coffee House - 54-56 Marina Blvd, Cullen Bay, Darwin, 0820
  • South Australia: Whipped Bake Bar Cafe - 35 Semaphore Rd, Semaphore, 5019
  • Tasmania: Beach Hut Coffee - 2 Beach Rd, Ulverstone, 7315
  • Western Australia: FurBaby Boutique and Café -29/386 Wanneroo Rd, Westminster, 6061

And a special mention to Cafe Bones, (1 Canal Rd, Leichhardt, NSW 2040) for being an honorary runner up for the most last-minute votes!