Gone are the days when kid friendly dining meant compromising on quality. Whether it’s a play area, an A+ children’s menu, or chilled, family vibes, these venues in Fremantle and surrounds will keep you and your little ones happy.
Words by Claire Trolio
RESTAURANTS & BARS
Gage Roads sits at the top of our list with good reason: the kids will be begging to go, and you’ll always be happy to oblige. The sandy playground is epic, starring a retired cray boat and Land Cruiser that have been adapted for kid safe climbing with plenty of nooks and crannies to explore. Inside are retro arcade games, table shuffleboard, foosball and the like, that will keep bigger kids entertained for hours.
Their commitment to creating a family friendly space extends to the inclusion of children’s toilets, and a kids menu that shuns nugs in favour of chicken salad, cheese quesadillas and more.
The rest of the menu is top notch too: hearty pizzas, tacos and burrito bowls sit alongside fresh ceviche, oysters and octopus. Did we mention Gage Roads is also a brewery? You’ll enjoy their own beers on tap, plus a great selection of wine and non-alcoholic options if that’s more your vibe. Plus the cart from local purveyors of quality ice cream, Kuld Creamery, will keep everyone happy.
A Shed, Peter Hughes Drive, Fremantle
The Old Courthouse
A simple sandpit goes a long way in the case for a family friendly venue. Pair that with The Old Courthouse’s kids’ menu that includes the likes of roast chicken and potatoes and tomato and basil pasta, and you’ve got yourself a winner. When the weather’s fine, kicking back in the courtyard is a full on family affair.
45 Henderson Street, Fremantle
So technically this one’s a gaming arcade that serves food and drinks, rather than a restaurant, but who’s counting? With a room full of original arcade games from the ‘80s and ‘90s, older kids can try their hand at the games you grew up on. Pull up a pew in the middle of the arcade and grab a heap of pizza for the table. You’ll get a damn good feed plus a heavy dose of nostalgia, what’s not to love?
Slinging cocktails and craft beers, this place can get a little rowdy in the evenings, so head in early to share the space with other families. Palace Arcade opens from midday on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays for plenty of time to school your offspring in Galaga.
96 High Street, Fremantle
Clancy’s is old-school Freo at its best. Nab one of the back tables where little ones can graze on house-made dip, veggie sticks and rice crackers in between running amok on the adjacent Princess May Park. Meanwhile, sit back and listen to some live tunes while sharing a seafood platter and sipping a craft brew.
51 Cantonment Street, Fremantle
It has always been a family affair at Capri Restaurant. Since opening back in the 1950s, the classic Italo-Australian restaurant has become a Fremantle institution. Sure, we’re used to the kids-roam-free kind of vibe nowadays and Capri is a sit-at-the-table kind of place, but it makes our list thanks to a nicely priced $12 kids’ set menu, which includes soup of the day, a main (lasagne is our top pick) and a scoop of ice cream. With topping, naturally. This one will please nonna and also your bambino.
21 South Terrace, Fremantle
Taking over the well-loved site once home to X-Wray, Patio has been quietly become one of Freo’s best drinking holes since opening at the end of 2022. Although the drink list (and later in the evening) is strictly for grownups, we still find that during the afternoon, the courtyard makes an ideal spot for parents to decompress with a glass of something delicious. A simple snack menu has something for everyone – whether it’s a delicious hunk of focaccia with dollops of ricotta, crunchy giardiniera or a reliable bowl of chips.
4/3-13 Essex Street, Fremantle
What could bring a family together more happily than a feast of fried chicken? Goldbird is all about nostalgic family-friendly fun, with golden fried chicken sandwiches to please any age – served alongside retro coleslaw, fries, shakes and even a few homemade desserts. (Parents can pop across the road for a bottle from Wise Child should they feel the need – or pop next door for a post-chicken Chicho Gelato scoop!)
3 Cantonment Street, Fremantle
Moore & Moore
With a nature playground out in the back courtyard, it’s easy to spend the afternoon sitting around at Moore & Moore Café, tucking into your all day brunch. The kids’ serve of blueberry hotcakes topped with fruit, coconut cream and coconut maple syrup are a surefire hit, but we’re also fans of the mini smashed avo in our quest to raise a new generation of brunch fans.
Don’t miss dropping into Paper Bird children’s bookshop afterwards, which also calls the Moores Building home. They even host storytelling in the shared courtyard on Sunday mornings.
46 Henry Street, Fremantle
Big Loaf Factory Bakery
We were pretty excited when the guys from our beloved North Street Store opened up their wholesale bakery, Big Loaf, in O’Connor to the public back in 2021. It’s the perfect place for a casual lunch of carby goodness. Conti rolls and cinny scrolls are favourites, and we recommend the family pies to take home for an easy dinner.
A kids’ cubby house sits alongside the picnic tables out the front, offering just enough of a distraction for you to enjoy a second coffee in peace.
7 Zeta Crescent, O’Connor
Nestled up on Blinco Street near the golf course, this authentic Japanese café is a favourite for families. We love the menu that’s designed for everyone to enjoy, particularly the brunch set which is changed monthly but might include such crowd-pleasers as tuna potato salad, vegetable tempura, pickles and brown rice.
If it’s just a quick bite you’re after, Hinata’s cabinet has a range of eats, like taiyaki – those fun, fish-shaped snacks filled with sweet, red bean paste.
19 Blinco Street, Fremantle
When the kids need to expend some energy and formal dining is just not a battle you’re up for facing, head out to The Orange Box. Vast picnic style tables sprawl onto the grass above Leighton Beach, where rugrats run themselves ragged.
Building blocks and hanging chairs are always fun, or bring along a scooter or bike and let them roll around the eternal, circular loop.
Everything is served takeway style (in eco-friendly packaging that’s composted on site) and kids meals include location-appropriate fish and chips and substantial scrambled eggs to refuel after a big play.
14 Leighton Beach Boulevard, North Fremantle
Ootong & Lincoln
It’s hard to miss this South Freo institution, particularly with its iconic Anya Brock zebra mural. Ootong & Lincoln’s vibe is classic quirky Freo, with plenty of mismatched vintage charm. Little ones can keep entertained in the kids corner with Frank the hand-carved rocking goat, snacking on home-made cake or the always reliable chicken nuggets.
258 South Terrace, South Fremantle
Header image: Gage Roads