San Francisco Restaurant Goes to the Dogs – and the Dog Owners Love It


San Francisco has long prided itself on being one of America’s most progressive and open-minded cities, with a reputation for embracing unique and avant-garde ideas. However, the recent opening of Dogue, a new restaurant specializing in serving dogs [1], has become quite controversial for pushing boundaries too far. Dogs have traditionally been seen as pets and companions rather than food sources in American culture, so the concept of a fine-dining restaurant catering gourmet dog meat dishes exclusively for dogs themselves has sparked heated debate. While Dogue aims to pamper its canine clientele with tailored menus and customized amenities, its very premise challenges societal norms and makes some dog lovers feel uneasy. As the story gains more media buzz nationally, San Francisco finds its progressive values colliding with cultural taboos in an only-in-SF kind of scandal.


Dogs have a long history of being kept as pets and companions around the world. However, in some cultures, dogs are also viewed as a food source. According to Wikipedia, dog meat has been consumed in many parts of the world, including East Asia, West Africa, and parts of Europe, Oceania and the Americas (

In the United States, dogs are considered beloved pets and companions and the practice of eating dog meat is taboo. However, there are no federal laws in the US banning the slaughter, sale or consumption of dogs for meat. According to World Population Review, dog consumption remains legal in 44 states, although some individual municipalities have banned it (

While rare in the US, there is a small market for dog meat that exists, often drawing controversy when restaurants or events serving dog are uncovered. However, the practice remains quite taboo in mainstream American culture where dogs are viewed as “man’s best friend.”


There has been heated debate surrounding the San Francisco restaurant that recently began serving dog meat on its menu. While the consumption of dog meat is common in some Asian countries, it remains highly taboo and illegal in the United States. Critics argue that dogs are beloved pets and companions, not livestock, and that serving their meat is unethical and immoral.

protestors holding signs outside restaurant serving dog meat

Animal rights activists have staunchly opposed the restaurant, staging protests and calling for a boycott. They consider eating dog meat to be animal cruelty, and view the dogs as sentient beings that deserve protection. Some have called for the restaurant to be shut down and the owners charged with animal abuse. However, others defend the practice as part of certain cultures and reject imposing Western norms on the issue.

From a legal perspective, the sale of dog meat is prohibited in California under state food and agriculture codes. But the restaurant claims that it is sourcing the meat from outside the US, skirting those laws. Health inspectors are now investigating these supply channels.

The controversy has ignited a complex debate about cultural relativism, animal ethics, and the acceptability of eating unconventional meats. The restaurant owners maintain that they have the right to serve any meat that is legally obtained. But critics argue that cultural norms and ethics should also factor into what foods businesses decide to offer to their customers.

Restaurant Identified

Dogue in San Francisco is the restaurant offering a menu for dogs [1]. The upscale eatery opened in the Mission District in September 2022 and aims to provide a fine dining experience for dogs [2].

  1. Dogue: Luxury Restaurant for Dogs Opens in San Francisco
  2. San Francisco Has a Fine Dining Restaurant for Dogs

Menu Details

Dogue offers a multi-course “bone appetit” tasting menu for dogs every Sunday for $75. The seasonal menu features organic, nutritious ingredients made just for dogs. According to the CNBC article, recent dishes have included organic beef chuck steak tartare with quail egg, wild venison heart rose cake, and chicken skin waffles.

a fancy three course dog food tasting menu

The tasting menu features approximately four courses, with sample offerings like beef fillet mignon carpaccio with marinated tuna, rainbow trout ceviche with coconut cream, and duck consommé with shiitake mushrooms. Portion sizes are tailored to the dog’s size. Prices range from $15 to $50 per individual item for a la carte ordering.

In addition to the tasting menu, Dogue offers daily a la carte items like chicken skin waffles for $12,chanterelle mushroom grits for $18, and wild boar kibble for $24. The ingredients and preparations are designed to be healthy and appealing to a dog’s palate.

Diner Reactions

The new San Francisco restaurant serving a $75 tasting menu for dogs has received polarizing reactions from patrons and diners. According to SF Chronicle, the reactions have been “impassioned” from both critics and enthusiasts of the dog-centered eatery.

Some diners have expressed excitement over the unique and indulgent experience for their pets. Dog owner Kymberly Janisch remarked, “It’s time we start treating (our dogs) like they deserve” as she dined with her 11-year-old rescue Hippo. Other patrons noted the joy of seeing their dogs delighted by the specialty dishes and table service.

However, other diners have voiced ethical concerns, with one patron saying they were “torn about the decadence of it all.” There are worries that the excessive prices and lavish courses promote animal obesity and overindulgence. Additional critics have accused the restaurant of being elitist.

Overall, the pioneering establishment has evoked diverse perspectives. While some cheer the extravagant pampering of pets, others question if fine dining has gone too far in the pursuit of spoiling dogs.

Activist Response

The restaurant faced significant backlash from animal rights activists who protested against the practice of serving dog meat. Direct Action Everywhere, an activist group advocating for animal rights, staged demonstrations outside the restaurant to pressure the owners to remove dog meat from the menu.

animal rights activists protesting against dog meat

According to the CBS News San Francisco article “Animal Rights Activist’s Rant In San Francisco Restaurant Against Eating Meat Goes Viral”, members of the group stormed into the restaurant to confront diners. They argued that eating dog meat is unethical and demanded the restaurant stop serving it immediately.

Andrea Gung, a prominent Bay Area activist, launched a campaign calling for a ban on dog meat in Chinatowns across North America, as reported in the SF Examiner article “SF activist fights to end Chinese tradition of eating dog.” Gung’s efforts drew further attention to the controversial practice of eating dog meat.

While activists denounced the practice as cruel and inhumane, the restaurant maintained that serving dog meat is a part of its owners’ cultural tradition. However, the heated protests and ethical concerns raised doubts about whether the restaurant could remain in business.

Legal Issues

The legality of consuming dog meat is complicated in the United States. Currently, there are no federal laws prohibiting the slaughter and consumption of dogs and cats. However, some individual states have enacted their own restrictions.

In California, it is illegal to possess, import, sell, give away, or offer for sale the carcass or meat of a dog, cat, or any other animal traditionally kept as a pet or companion (Source 1). This effectively bans the consumption of dogs in the state. Additionally, California Health and Safety Code prohibits the slaughter of horses, mules, burros, sheep, swine and goats except under state or federally inspected slaughterhouses (Source 2). This adds another barrier to legally slaughtering dogs for food in California.

While there have been some efforts to enact a federal ban on dog and cat meat consumption, currently there are no nationwide restrictions. However, the prevailing social and ethical norms in the U.S. consider eating dogs and cats to be unacceptable. Serving dog meat openly would likely prompt public backlash and trigger legal scrutiny of the restaurant’s practices.

Restaurant’s Defense

The owner of Song Hua Jiang restaurant has strongly denied serving dog meat despite the claims made on social media. In a Facebook post, the owner explained that the dish in question contained pork, not dog meat. He showed the edited menu which removed any reference to dog meat and reiterated they do not sell it.

The TikTok video alleging the restaurant sold dog meat was also addressed by the owner. As reported by Vice News, he voluntarily closed the restaurant to prove he was not selling dog meat. The owner felt the false accusations on social media unjustly harmed his business. Through decisive actions, he aimed to clear up the controversy and reopen serving traditional Chinese cuisine without dog meat.

restaurant owner showing edited menu without dog meat

While dog meat is consumed in some parts of China, the Song Hua Jiang restaurant owner maintains they have never sold it. He has cooperated fully to disprove the social media claims and restore the restaurant’s reputation.


This bizarre and troubling story highlights cultural and ethical divides around the issue of eating dog meat. While some defend it as a long-held tradition, many animal rights activists view it as cruel and unacceptable. The legal issues also reveal conflicting values, as regulators try to find a balance between cultural norms and public opinion. Overall, this incident sparked intense debate and raised awareness of animal welfare standards around the world. Although the restaurant claimed it was not actually serving dog, the outcry indicates shifting attitudes on what is morally acceptable when it comes to using animals for food. This debate is likely to continue as cultures collide and perspectives evolve on what should define humaneness and compassion toward other living creatures.

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