First Dish: The Barking Bodega

Madison RutherfordSeptember 22, 2021
Share This

The Coconut Blossom | Photo courtesy

I don’t have a dog, but I do follow a lot of canine-centric Instagram pages. I guess I like to live vicariously through various dog owners via the internet without all the time, money and patience it takes to actually be one.

The Barking Bodega, it seems, was built for people like me. Well, scratch that. This spot, which opened in March, was built for dogs with humans in mind. And it happens to cater to those who don’t have pets with its array of yummy dishes and drinks, ample outdoor seating and friendly staff, who might ask if you have a dog, but certainly won’t judge you if you sheepishly say, “No.”

It’s no surprise that I discovered The Barking Bodega – a dog park/coffee shop/restaurant in Tempe that hosts events like cookouts and DJ nights and allows humans to enjoy beer, wine, coffee and food while their pups play – on Instagram.

It is a surprise, however, that it wasn’t precious puppy pics that lured me to check out this promised land, though its IG has those in spades. It was, in fact, a colorful image of a violet- and magenta-hued iced beverage that caught my eye and led me to drive to Tempe to see what this place, which is located at the famed Singh Meadows, was all about.

Dog Park at Dusk | Photo courtesy

The beverage in question is called The Coconut Blossom, and it was concocted by BB barista Maya Iddins to evoke summer in the desert. I mean, it looks like an Arizona sunset and with a mix of hibiscus tea, lavender lemonade and a splash of coconut milk, it’s refreshing for any time of the year. Coffee drinks, beer and wine are also available.

The Barking Bodega also has a killer food menu sourced from Singh Organic Farms and includes a trio of decadent toasts with fun names like Get in my Strawbelly (strawberry and Nutella), the Sunrise Bowl with sweet potato hash, tomatoes, black beans, avocado and cilantro and topped with a fried egg, and the Pasta Alla Vodka. It launched an all-new menu earlier this month that evokes all the fall feels.

Get in my Strawbelly toast | Photo courtesy

Now, if you do own a dog, The Barking Bodega is a pup’s paradise with more than 55,000 square feet of fresh green grass perfect for roaming. The space boasts both large and small dog park areas as well as a third dog park available for private bookings, breed meetups, birthday parties (for you or Fido) and corporate events.

Every month, The Barking Bodega hosts themed parties, special events, races, training classes and more, from Great Dane get-togethers to pug parties and something for every breed in between. The Barking Bodega doesn’t discriminate – even if you don’t even have a dog.

1490 E. Weber Dr., Tempe,


For more than 50 years, PHOENIX magazine's experienced writers, editors, and designers have captured all sides of the Valley with award-winning and insightful writing, and groundbreaking report and design. Our expository features, narratives, profiles, and investigative features keep our 385,000 readers in touch with the Valley's latest trends, events, personalities and places.