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The Inner West’s Favourite Family Friendly Pubs & Clubs

The Inner West is known for its vibrant pub, recreational and sports club scene. In this piece we’ve gathered together a selection of our favourite local licensed venues that are great for a family friendly meal out with the kids.

This piece was originally published in 2017, updated in December 2021 and again in May 2023. We’ve called around and it sounds like some of the play areas are back open post-lockdown, but not all. And one play area has been removed entirely! So if you’re looking for a pub bistro with a play area for the kids, make sure you call ahead to check.

If we’ve missed your favourite family-friendly inner west pub, drop us a note at and we’ll check it out.

Annandale Hotel
17 Parramatta Road, Annandale
This Inner West institution re-opened under new owners, and after a refurbishment, in November 2021. The IWM team hasn’t checked it out yet, but there is a kids’ menu, with an ice-cream sundae! So stay tuned… or check it out yourself and let us know how you found it.


The Backyard at Briars Sports
14 Ian Parade, Concord
Phone: (02) 9743 1907
There’s plenty of space for the kids to roam, as well as a playground, at The Backyard at Briar Sports. With a new chef at the helm, there’s a new menu too with tasty treats like Crispy Pork Belly Salad with Asian slaw, Linguini with Chorizo and Chilli and tried and true faves like pork ribs, chicken parmy and salt and pepper squid.

Family friendly dining at the Briars

Image courtesy of Briars Sports Club


The Balmain Hotel
72–76 Mullens Street, Balmain
Phone: (02) 9810 7500
It’s Sydney’s second oldest pub (first prize goes to Fortune of War Hotel in the Rocks), and a favourite amongst Peninsula-dwellers (so much so that its become an elopement venue). And with a spacious child and pooch-friendly outdoor courtyard, complete with striped umbrellas channelling Miami vibes, it’s not hard to see why The Balmain Hotel is on our family friendly pub’s list. Kids eat free on Mondays and can hang out in the dedicated Kids Zone complete with bean bags, colouring in books and more.


Canada Bay Club
8 William St, Five Dock
Phone: (02) 9713 4322

Canada Bay Club is a venue that knows how to keep everyone in the family happy. For little ones there’s a playground right next to the Brasserie restaurant so parents are just a shout away, and for teens the retro games arcade has air hockey, pinball machines and more. Kids eat free on Monday and Tuesday nights and there’s free games on select machines in the arcade between 6-9.30pm. Parents can pick from Baysia, one of the Inner West’s oldest Chinese restaurants, The Brasserie’s Italian influenced menu, or light bites at the Balcony Bar.

Family friendly play area at Canada Bay Club

Image courtesy of Canada Bay Club


East Village Hotel
82 Darling St, Balmain East
(02) 9810 3333
The East Village Hotel is a gem tucked at the eastern end of Darling Street, near the Balmain East ferry wharf. The cosy gastro pub has both indoor and outdoor courtyard seating, and is renowned for its Sunday roast and craft beer. The friendly staff welcome families with children.

Family friendly pub The Balmain Hotel

Image courtesy of East Village Hotel


The Garden, Wests Ashfield Leagues Club
115 Liverpool Road, Ashfield
Phone: (02) 8752 2000
The Garden, within the Wests Ashfield Leagues Club, is situated in an al fresco conservatory with abundant flowers, greenery and attractive decor.  There’s a kids’ menu for the littlies and a play area too.
Family friendly dining at The Garden
Image courtesy of The Garden


General Gordon Hotel, Sydenham
20 Swain St, Sydenham
Phone: (02) 9557 1322

The General Gordon re-opened in late February 2021 after a big refurbishment. The sunlit outdoor terrace is a great spot for a family dinner, with a Mediterranean and Middle Eastern-infuenced menu, including hand-stretched pizzas. All items on the kids’ menu come with a free Dixie cup ice-cream.


Golden Barley Hotel, Enmore
165 Edgeware Rd, Enmore
Phone: (02) 9565 1166
A fine example of Art Deco architecture, the Golden Barley Hotel’s bistro is an inviting place to relax and enjoy a meal with the kids. The bistro menu offers a wide range of snacks, substantial mains and a kids’ menu.

Image courtesy of the Golden Barley Hotel


The Henson
91 Illawarra Road, Marrickville
Phone: (02) 9569 5858
The Henson is a Marrickville institution, loved by locals and families across the inner west. There’s a great little kids’ menu on offer here, with options spanning chicken nuggets and chips, mushroom risotto, cobb salad and fried chicken tacos. Not to mention a very popular ice-cream counter! Best of all for families, there is a play area for the kids to roam.

Image courtesy of The Henson


Leichhardt Bowling Club
88-92 Piper St, Leichhardt
Phone: (02) 9569 19369

One of the few recreational clubs boasting an indoor and outdoor playground, the Leichhardt Bowlo (as it’s known to the locals), is an Inner West fave for kids birthday parties and family get togethers. You’ll find all the usual suspects on the menu and little ones nab a Zooper Dooper icy pole with every kids meal.

Image courtesy of Leichhardt Bowling Club


North Annandale Hotel
105 Johnston Street, Annandale
Phone: (02) 9660 7452
Located at the intersection of Johnston and Booth Streets, in the heart of Annandale, the North Annandale Hotel offers indoor and outdoor dining options. The play area has been removed due to Covid but there’s still a kids’ menu and activity bags are provided with meals.


Petersham Bowling Club
77 Brighton Street, Petersham
Phone: (02) 9569 4639
The Petersham Bowling Club has a long history as one of the state’s oldest bowling clubs. Saved from re-development, the multipurpose pokies-free venue provides a warm, vibrant atmosphere with the bowling green, kitchen garden, a great selection of food and beverages and live music. In fact, the PBC is so welcoming to families, it’s a popular choice for children’s birthday parties.


Salisbury Hotel
118 Percival Road, Stanmore
Phone: (02) 9569 1013
The Salisbury Hotel has been so thoughtfully renovated, and this stylish, inviting venue with welcoming staff is now a firm favourite among Stanmore locals. This is a pub your kids will genuinely love going to. The highlight for the kids, of course, is climbing the fabulous 1926 red Dennis brewery truck in the beer garden. The menu features the usual pub favourites, such as burgers and schnitzel, as well as healthier gourmet options.  There’s a pizza oven too. The kids’ menu has a bunch of child-friendly options to keep little bellies satisfied, and there are high chairs available.
Family friendly dining at the Salisbury

Vic on the Park
2 Addison Road, Marrickvile
Phone: (02) 9569 1013
Right opposite Victoria Park where kids can burn some kilojoules on the play equipment, or take a dip at the Annette Kellerman Aquatic Centre,  The Vic on the Park has long been a drawcard for local families. Since Merivale took over, the menu has had a make-over but the spacious outdoor area and basketball courts remain a drawcard for little ones and hipsters alike.

Family friendly dining at the Vic on the Park

Image courtesy of Merivale

Images © Ginny Grant

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