Human Services

Variance to Permit Dogs in Outside Dining Areas


Arlington restaurants may now apply for a variance to allow patrons to bring dogs to outdoor dining areas that are part of the food establishment’s approved plan.  To apply, a food establishment must complete and submit the Application for Variance and agree to comply with a set of criteria designed to minimize risks to the dining public’s health and safety.  In addition to receiving a variance from the local code, the food establishment must also receive a variance from the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Variance Application Process

  • Complete and submit the Dogs in Outdoor Dining Areas Application for Variance to ACPHD.
  • Environmental Health Program staff will review the completed application with the food establishment.  During this review, the applicant establishment may be asked to provide details on measures it intends to implement to ensure compliance with the criteria stated in the application.
  • Environmental Health Program staff will forward a tentatively approved application to the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) for review and to request that the application be treated as a request for a variance to be granted by the State Health Commissioner.
  • Once the State Health Commissioner agrees to grant a variance, ACPHD will issue a variance of its own and the establishment may operate under the conditions of both variances for up to one (1) year or until the date when the food establishment’s license expires or is revoked.
  • There will be no ACPHD fees associated with this variance process.

If you have questions about this information, please call (703) 228-7400 or email them to

Restaurants with Variance for “Doggie Dining” (updated August 2013)

  • American Seafood
  • Arlington Capital View Renaissance & Residence Inn
  • Arlington Capital View Renaissance - Illy
  • Asia Bistro
  • California Pizza Kitchen
  • California Tortilla (Crystal City)
  • Chasin’ Tails
  • Elevation Burger
  • Faccia Luna
  • House of Steep
  • Jay's Saloon & Grille
  • La Côte D’Or Café
  • Lyon Hall
  • Mexicali Blues Restaurant & Bar
  • Nando’s Peri Peri
  • Rappahannock Coffee
  • Rhodeside Grill
  • Rockland BBQ and Grill
  • Saigon Saigon
  • Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub
  • Sine Irish Pub & Restaurant
  • Thai at Corner Restaurant
  • THAI Shirlington
  • The Green Turtle
  • The Liberty Tavern
  • William Jeffrey’s Tavern
  • World of Beer

Last Modified: September 05, 2013
2100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington, VA 22201 Tel: 703-228-3000 TTY: 703-228-4611