Keeping tiny humans fuelled while on tour is a breeze thanks to the best family-friendly restaurants in Sydney.
Sydneysiders love eating out, but when kids come into the equation it isn’t always easy. Luckily, short attention spans and fussy appetites are worries for another day thanks to a far-reaching collection of family-friendly restaurants in Sydney.
From extravagant high teas to tables flanked by natural wonders and play equipment, dining out with little ones is easier than ever.
1. Centennial Homestead, Paddington
Nothing speaks to parents more than a restaurant with space to play, and Centennial Homestead in the green heart of Centennial Parklands has it in spades.
With expansive lawns surrounding its wraparound deck, the kitchen offers a dedicated kids’ menu featuring beer-battered fish and chips, chicken tenders and more. But even better are the picnic hampers, which the whole family can enjoy anywhere in the parklands (just remember to pre-order).
Address: 1 Grand Drive, Centennial Park.
Best for: Celebrations with extended family.
2. Coogee Pavilion, Coogee
If a casual lunch by the sea is what you’re craving, Coogee Pavilion is a fantastic option.
Coogee Pavilion has spacious dining for big families. (Image: Destination NSW)
The lively Eastern Suburbs venue has a kicking kids’ menu of dishes they all love including pizza, burgers and a ‘baby’ Nutella calzone.
Order kid-friendly meals for your little ones. (Image: Destination NSW)
The best bit is the huge play area at the back. While you eat your meal in (relative) peace, kids of all ages can cut loose on a ping pong table, scrabble wall, giant Connect Four, Jenga and more. You name it, they’ve thought of it.
Bond with your family over Jenga at Coogee Pavilion. (Image: Destination NSW)
Address: 169 Dolphin Street, Coogee.
Best for: A seafood lunch with water views.
3. The Boathouse, Various locations
The Boathouse Group’s roster of restaurants provides the last word in laidback Sydney dining vibes.
Dine with a view at The Boathouse, Palm Beach.
Think beach and waterfront locations, bright interiors you can take home with you and classic family-friendly fare such as ricotta hotcakes and buckets of prawns. There’s also always a kids’ menu with fish and chips, pasta and other classic hits.
Your kids will surely love these pancakes at The Boathouse, Palm Beach.
If you can’t find the time on your trip to Sydney to make it to the original Boathouse at Palm Beach, choose from Shelly Beach in Manly, Balmoral on the North Shore, Rose Bay in the East and more.
Soak up tropical vibes at The Boathouse, Palm Beach. (Image: Destination NSW)
Address: Various locations across Sydney.
Best for: A sun-soaked get-together by the water.
4. Spice Alley, Chippendale
When you can’t get to Asia, Spice Alley brings it to you. This atmospheric laneway in the inner-city neighbourhood of Chippendale, a short walk from Central Station, is inspired by the hawker-style food markets of the East and children run rife, exploring its delights.
Bask in the vibrant Asian atmosphere and cuisine at Spice Alley. (Image: Destination NSW)
It offers a variety of Asian cuisines to choose from, meaning all fussy tastes are catered to – Singaporean, Thai, Malaysian, Japanese, Cantonese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indonesian and beyond.
Order classic noodles and dim sum at Spice Alley, Chippendale. (Image: Destination NSW)
Savour succulent Singaporean chilli prawns, flavourful fried rice or a piping hot pho in the al fresco courtyard festooned with lanterns at night, and, bonus, it’s BYO.
Kyo-to restaurant is located along Spice Alley, Chippendale. (Image: Destination NSW)
Address: 18-20 Kensington Street, Chippendale.
Best for: Budget bites in the city.
5. Fratelli Fresh, Various locations
Fratelli Fresh is a Sydney institution with several restaurants across the city serving excellent Italian fare, and its Darling Harbour venue is a stand-out.
Indulge in mouth-watering gelato at Fratelli Fresh. (Image: Anna Kucera)
Located underneath the International Convention Centre (ICC) near the bustling Darling Quarter (which has an awesome kids’ playground), this large and lively family-friendly restaurant in Sydney has a range of stations serving up hand-tossed pizza, fresh pasta, rotisserie meats, and gelato.
Head straight to the gelato bar at Fratelli Fresh.
Address: Various locations across Sydney.
Best for: Hearty Italian in a rowdy setting.
6. Ichiban Teppanyaki, Haymarket
The theatre of Teppanyaki is always a hit with kids and Sydney is home to a few great options.
Ichiban Teppanyaki in Haymarket has been throwing food at its patrons for more than 20 years, and while the décor hasn’t really changed, you can always expect to have a good time at this family-friendly restaurant in Sydney.
They also have a dedicated kids’ banquet menu priced at $35 for children aged 10 years old and under.
Address: 355 Sussex Street, Haymarket.
Best for: Traditional Japanese dining filled with laughs.
7. High Tea at the InterContinental, Sydney
High tea is not all cucumber sandwiches and Earl Grey, with many places now catering to kids including the beautiful InterContinental Sydney.
Its Children’s High Tea menu features Aussie-style treats – chicken sandwiches, vanilla cupcakes, chocolate chip star cookies and, of course, fluffy scones with jam and cream. Plus, there’s a mocktail, orange or apple juice to wash it all down with.
Hosted within the historical Treasury Building built in 1851, this is an endlessly sweet special day out with the little ones.
Address: 117 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
Best for: Your little one’s birthday.
8. Garcon, Lane Cove
Pair chic French cuisine with spacious lawns, a playground and a giant sand pit at Garcon in Lane Cove’s The Canopy dining area.
Satisfy your tummy with a spoonful of good food at Garcon, Lane Cove. (Image: Leigh Griffiths)
Situated on the end of the lawn that’s closest to the kids’ attractions, this popular al fresco spot lures families keen to let their kids eat and run amok, while keeping a close eye on them.
Consume colourful smoothie bowls at Garcon, Lane Cove. (Image: Leigh Griffiths)
For the adults, the menu includes a traditional mussels pot, cordon bleu and croque monsieur and madame, while littlies can choose from fish and chips, burgers and more all paired with ice cream at this family-friendly restaurant in Sydney.
Pull up a chair and dine French cuisine at Garcon, Lane Cove.
Address: Shop 5, The Canopy, 2 Rosenthal Avenue, Lane Cove.
Best for: Letting kids run free while you put up your feet (momentarily).
9. Bar Italia, Leichardt
Your fam bam hasn’t done Norton Street right until you’ve ticked off a meal at Bar Italia.
Scooping up some of the most famous gelato in town up front and dishing up cheap and cheerful pizza and pasta out back, the Leichardt eatery has been nailing early dinner bookings for decades.
The food is fresh and comes by the truckload so make sure you’ve saved plenty of stomach space come chow time. Ankle biters will also love the Penne Bolognaise on the dedicated kids’ menu and there are mini veal and chicken schnitzels for refined young palettes.
Address: 171 Norton Street, Leichhardt.
Best for: Traditional Italian with good vibes.
10. The Greens, North Sydney
Keep boredom at bay with a side of lawn balls next mealtime. The Greens is just the ticket for kids who tire of grown-up chat easily (aka all of them), so get an adult to accompany them in a game while everyone else cheers them on.
It’ll help kids burn off energy after indulging in a kids’ menu filled with burgers, fish and chips and ice cream sundaes. There’s an excellent outdoor dining space right next to the lawn plus a beautiful room flooded with natural sunlight at this restaurant.
Address: 50 Ridge Street, North Sydney.
Best for: A relaxed weekend session with friends.
11. The Grounds of Alexandria, Alexandria
While its cafe queues are notoriously long, there are two other family-friendly experiences to be had at The Grounds of Alexandria.
Go al fresco at The Grounds of Alexandria.
If you’re feeling formal, opt for a pre-reserved table at The Potting Shed, or go casual and pluck a spot in The Garden and select off its barbecue menu. Two separate kids’ menus have also been designed and feature classic burgers, chips and ice cream as well as fruit skewers and popsicles on The Potting Shed’s offering.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at The Grounds of Alexandria.
The best thing about this family-friendly restaurant in Sydney is the maze of farm animals, water features and artisan stalls to be explored once you’re done feasting.
The Grounds of Alexandria is also home to various farm animals.
Address: Building 7A, 2 Huntley Street, Alexandria.
Best for: A meal immersed in entertainment.
12. Cook at Kurnell, Kurnell
Watch the kids bop along to great tunes as you bask in laidback vibes at Cook at Kurnell, a beachside haven in Sydney’s south. Food and drinks come out of an Airstream right on Silver Beach so there’s plenty of sand for the kids to get messy with from the moment you find it.
Bring your fur babies with you. (Image: Stacie Pierce)
Choose from tacos, a smoked salmon salad and burgers while the kids stuff themselves on fish and chips or cheeseburgers. Best of all, there’s a great mix of classic cocktails on the menu to help dial up the party even more at this family-friendly restaurant in Sydney.
Head to Cook at Kurnell for tacos. (Image: Stacie Pierce)
Address: 308 Prince Charles Parade, Kurnell.
Best for: A chilled-out feed right on the sand.
13. Dunes, Palm Beach
It doesn’t get any more wonderful than a family meal at Dunes. Set right on Palm Beach, this much-loved restaurant is a great option for those with little ones because satisfied bellies can tumble right onto spacious lawns as grownups sit back and savour the warm, trend-driven interiors.
Sit back and relax in the spacious lounge at Dunes, Palm Beach.
Dunes’ Dining Room nails modern Australian fare splashed with the flavours of Europe and features a ‘Little People’ menu filled with classic crowd-pleasers and desserts.
The dining interior is chic and cosy.
Address: 1193 Barrenjoey Road, Palm Beach.
Best for: Seaside dining and elegant fare.
14. Zushi, Barangaroo
Who says Sydney’s business district is exclusively for grown-ups? Zushi at Barangaroo is a family-friendly restaurant dishing up ultra-fresh Japanese in the sleekest of settings.
The space is light-filled and bustling at all hours as guests drop in for their sushi fix. Kids get their own dedicated menu which includes a very popular kids’ bento box filled with edamame, two pieces of salmon nigiri, four pieces of avocado roll, chicken karaage and fries.
There’s also honey prawn and chips and a bunch of other options if you’re tending to fussier eaters.
Address: Shop 10/33 Barangaroo Avenue, Barangaroo South.
Best for: The freshest of sushi with water views.
15. The Newport, Newport
Youngsters are offered two delicious menus filled with kid-friendly classics across The Newport’s eateries: one at Vinnie’s Pizza and another at The Shack. But it’s the general clattering of laughter and revelry that really keeps kids smiling here.
Tag your kids along and play with them at The Newport.
One of the Northern Beaches’ most adored family-friendly destinations, the space is split into separate dining spaces, but the party vibes flow freely. At Vinnie’s, kids can grab flavour-packed pizzas while The Shack dishes up two types of fish and two burgers.
Spend your family day at The Newport.
Address: 2 Kalinya Street, Newport.
Best for: Lively long lunching by the water.
16. Three Blue Ducks, Rosebery
Follow your nose to the scent of slow-cooked and grilled meats and you’ll land at Three Blue Ducks’ inner west outpost.
Relish in savoury meals at Three Blue Ducks, Rosebery.
The gorgeous warehouse space is a hit with families for its seasonal dishes packed with fresh and ethically sourced produce which trickle right down to its ‘Ducklings’ menu.
On it, you’ll find tacos, grilled fish, snags, chicken and tomato-based pasta plus an especially delightful ice cream sundae with popcorn. If the outdoor rotisserie is going, don’t leave without showing your little ones what’s cooking.
Dine meaty dishes at Three Blue Ducks.
Address: 1/85 Dunning Avenue, Rosebery.
Best for: Farm-to-fork dining in an urban oasis.
17. Pancakes On The Rocks, The Rocks
You might recall this place lighting up your own dining-out dreams when you were little — that’s how long Pancakes On The Rocks has been putting smiles on families’ dials.
Famed for dishes like Devil’s Delight and Strawberry Patch, these guys know their pancakes and treat them right. Kids get their own signature creations including Alice In Wonderland’s speckled, choc-drizzles decadence, the Butterfly’s jam-winged genius and the Funny Face’s marshmallow eyes.
Best of all, it’s remained mostly affordable over the years, however, you can lift the bar a little by ordering from the meat-filled grill menu (but who does that?).
Address: 22 Playfair Street, The Rocks.
Best for: The name says it all – pancakes!
18. The Tea Cosy, The Rocks
While we’re playing in The Rocks, don’t miss The Tea Cosy for the sweetest of treats in one of the most family-friendly restaurants in Sydney.
Invite your friend for a cup of tea at The Tea Cosy, The Rocks.
Home of the popular Kids’ Devonshire Tea consisting of a plain scone, strawberry jam, double thickened cream and a babycino for just $12 a pop, this hot spot attracts crowds from the moment its doors open.
Pair your tea with sweet treats at The Tea Cosy, The Rocks.
The treats are baked right on-site daily, and you’ll find baskets of knitting needles and wool on hand to keep budding crafters entertained.
Get hold of the knitting needles to show off your unique and creative side.
Address: 7 Atherden Street, The Rocks.
Best for: Devonshire Tea for the whole family.
19. Hawker Lane, Chatswood
Don’t be fooled by its shopping centre surroundings. There isn’t anything pedestrian about the food you’ll stumble across down Hawker Lane.
Attracting locals thick and fast for its quality edit of Asian-inspired dining, the ever-busy cluster of market stalls offers something for taste buds of all varieties.
Dumplings, rice bowls, noodles, stir-fries, bubble teas, desserts — there’s no shortage of indulgences and there’s plenty of highchairs on hand for the littlest of fans.
Address: Westfield Chatswood, 1 Anderson Street, Chatswood.
Best for: On-the-go meals to recharge your retail therapy.
20. Bistro On The Greens, South Coogee
An easy-going Eastern Suburbs favourite for its relaxed dining inside a bowls club, Bistro On The Greens is located right next to the lawn itself so you’ve got a clear line of sight if your kids want to play bowls with an adult.
Dine authentic Italian classics at Bistro On The Greens, South Coogee. (Image: Wasa Media)
Additionally, there’s a kids’ menu offering steady hits and authentic Italian classics including nuggets, fish and chips, pizzas and pasta. There’s also a kids’ room to help fend off tantrums when boredom comes knocking.
There’s even a play area to keep your kids entertained. (Image: Wasa Media)
Address: South Coogee Bowling Club, Corner of Henning Avenue and Moverley Road, South Coogee.
Best for: Get-togethers over wood fire pizzas.