The Inner West’s Favourite Family-Friendly Pubs

The inner west is known for its vibrant pub scene. In this piece we’ve gathered together a selection of our favourite local licensed venues that are great for relaxed meal out with the kids.

This piece was originally published in 2017 and updated in December 2021. 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 Briars Sports. The menu includes all the usual favourites and kids’ options too.

The Balmain Hotel
72–76 Mullens Street, Balmain
Phone: (02) 9810 7500
A favourite among Peninsula-dwellers, The Balmain has delicious gourmet food, a lively, kitschy design, an open-air courtyard and a kids’ menu.

Birkenhead Hotel 
206 Lyons Road, Drummoyne
Phone: (02) 9713 7882
The Birkenhead Hotel‘s grill menu includes several favourites for grown-ups and kids alike. The enclosed play area is sure to keep the littlies happy.

Image © Anita Vitanova

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.

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.

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.

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 (at the time this article was updated this playroom was still closed due to Covid).

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 location 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.

Images © Ginny Grant


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