As the major sporting seasons reach their triumphant finals seasons in Australia, you're no doubt in desperate need of the most ambient and passionate sports bars in Melbourne. If you're looking for a sports bar, Melbourne has you covered, as the city is known for its dedication to sports.
What football club do you root for the most? These sports bars in Melbourne show all of the best games, no matter what your favourite sport is, and have great food and drinks to boot. To enjoy a burger and a cold one while watching your team thrash the opposition, there's no better place than a sports bar.
We're well aware of the ever-present problem of where to cheer on your favourite team on away games or those unfortunate times you didn't capture tickets (or flights) to the big game. Luckily there is a huge array of atmospheric sports pubs in Melbourne with massive screens, live local and international games and a huge selection of beers and delicious pub food. Melbourne will make you feel like you're at the real thing, just without the exorbitant prices or massive queues when it comes to sports bars. If you're in Melbourne for a sporting event, make sure to visit one of the city's top rugby union pubs, AFL bars, or other venues.
You should visit the best sports bars in Melbourne if you want to experience the Space Coast's unique sports nightlife.
The Imperial boasts one of Melbourne CBD's oldest and best sports bars. The great rooftop bar, delicious English food menu and impressive beer and wine list, not to mention their comprehensive display of live sport from around the globe, make the Imperial your go-to sports bar in the city. Their mantra is if someone around the world is playing it – they're playing it. So naturally, you should be watching it.
A big space in the CBD can be hard to find, but kickin' it at the very top of Bourke Street is The Imperial, the third oldest pub in Melbourne. An accommodating hotspot for Premier League followers, you can also head here for rugby, cricket, tennis, or golf. So pick a sport, any sport, and head to the Imperial. It's the home of the Liverpool FC supporters in Melbourne, so expect a sea of loud red fans. Other pluses? There is a huge rooftop bar with great city views and a new menu with plenty of good food to line your belly.
The Sporting Globe
With multiple locations across Melbourne and beyond, the Sporting Globe can be everyone's local. Each of their sports bars in Melbourne has over 30 screens showing the UFC, NRL, AFL, Bledisloe Cup, and any other sporting event you desire. They've got delicious food, TAB facilities and huge events with an unparalleled atmosphere for the big games.
The Great Northern
The Great Northern is among Melbourne's finest sports bars, a must-visit for any sports fan. Sports fans can catch matches from the National Rugby League, the Australian Cricket League, the English Premier League, and the National Football League on one of the ten HD screens or two massive projector screens. This Melbourne sports bar will welcome you and your pals early if you're watching an international match in the wee hours of the morning. Here you'll find a friendly staff, a shady beer garden, and some of the best pub food in town.
The Great Northern holds fairly true its name, in that it's both in Melbourne's north and pretty great. A huge beer garden out the back and ten HD screens littered throughout the venue means you'll probably end up watching sport whether you're planning on it or not. The Northern is the "unofficial home of Freo", so be prepared to be defending yourself if you don't go for the Dockers. Also, the pub shows most of the other sports you may follow, so don't feel like you have to limit yourself to AFL.
The College Lawn Hotel
Spend your Saturdays at the lawn at the College Lawn Hotel, that is, and catch all the biggest live sporting games on their big plasma screen TVs. With the main bar, restaurant and beer garden, this sports bar in Melbourne makes for the perfect weekend sport viewing locale.
Head southside to the back streets of Prahran for a pub that sticks to what it knows and does it well – friendly vibes and lazy Sunday afternoons in the sun. At College Lawn, rabid rugby fans are in the house on the weekend, but don't feel left out if that isn't the sport of choice; the College Lawn has scores of screens, so we've no doubt you'll find something you dig on at least one. There's also a bottle shop on-site and $6 pints from 5 pm-7 pm on Fridays.
Crownbet Sports Bar & Pub
With both a dedicated Sports Bar and Pub, the Crown is easily one of Melbourne's most action-packed sports bars. Feel the passion of every major international sporting event and sate all your sporting desires. The Crown's Sports Bar has 20 screens plus TAB facilities, while the pub's got eight huge screens and one mega screen to ensure you don't miss a second of any action you're after.
Richmond Club Hotel
The Richmond Club Hotel is one of the top rugby union pubs in Melbourne and just about any other sport. They've got unbeatable happy hour prices, spectacular city views and an ideal laid back atmosphere for cheering on your favourite player or team.
The Bells Hotel
You've found the right South Melbourne watering hole if you're looking for live game broadcasts, local and international sporting events, and seasonal attractions, and that watering hole is Bells Hotel. Featuring a wide variety of betting options and outdoor seating, this sports bar is home to 38 TVs broadcasting Foxtel and Sky sports. Enjoy the electric atmosphere of any Melbourne Cup, Grand Slam, or World Cup event at this premier CBD sports bar.
Immerse yourself in the bustling atmosphere of Turf Bar, and you'll feel at the centre of the action. It's one of the best sports bars in Melbourne CBD thanks to its warm and welcoming nature, extensive food and beverage list and central location.
If it's American footy or baseball you're after, Turf Bar might be the pick for you. Their schedule packs in a bit of everything, and the facilities are good: big screens with the volume loud enough to hear the match and private screening booths if you so desire. Friday nights offer $6 pints and bar snacks early on in the night.
The Swan is hands down one of the best bars to watch AFL in Melbourne. The ample charm of their many rooms is beaten only by their wide selection of sports on their big screens. So come for the live entertainment and great atmosphere and stay for the delicious pub food at great prices.
You may have discovered the award-winning rooftop bar and crafty cocktails at Mt View Hotel, but have you also experienced what was recently voted the best sports bar in Melbourne? Combine everyone's favourite bar classics with this iconic Richmond drinking spot.
Get your dose of the chilled out Southern California Local Taphouse vibe (plus the classic Californian snacks, craft beers and American-famed sports that come with it) at the Silverlake Social. As well as all the biggest NFL and baseball games, this sports bar in Melbourne CBD will also be screening the biggest and best local games – live and loud.
The Precinct Hotel
Across the road from sporting and entertainment areas, Richmond's historic Precinct Hotel has all the hustle and bustle of a sporting game but the huge courtyard, shorter bar lines and incredible pub meals of your favourite local. It's easily one of the best bars to watch AFL in Melbourne – watch your back if you're not an avid Tigers supporter.
The Castle Hotel
This Belgian beer bar in North Melbourne is one of Melbourne's liveliest rugby union pubs. If their wide selection of Belgian beer doesn't get you drooling, their comprehensive menu of share plates, classic pub meals and contemporary gourmet dishes certainly will. And if that weren't enough, The Castle Hotel sports bar just underwent refurbishments to make it the most action-packed place to support your team.
The Empress in the north of Fitzroy rocks a quieter vibe than its counterparts on Brunswick Street, so head here for a pint and a game of AFL. Food-wise it's upmarket pub food and a lot of choice for veggie or vegan fare so that you can settle in for the night in their cozy beer garden with the footy and a very, very tasty chicken parma.
The Lomond is one of those pubs that aren't the swishest kid on the block but will give you a solid case of the warm and fuzzies thanks to beers-a-plenty on tap and an open fire inside. It'll be live Irish music night (classic). There's always a game or two on at The Lomond – and a punter or five betting on it. Top it all off with a glass of Hahn and a pulled pork burger, and you'll be tottering off home to bed once the fourth quarter is over.
If you're looking for a bar situated near the G, have a gander at the London Tavern; it's been there since 1921 and is somewhat of a footy icon in the area. Watch the match there on a weekend night and enter the big meat raffle every Thursday. If you don't make too much of a stir yourself, perhaps you'll be able to hear the live MCG action from your seat.
The Corner Hotel
While The Corner is through and through one hell of a music venue, it boasts other non-gig-related attractions. There's a good trivia every Wednesday for a start. Also, despite their ample rooftop beer garden being closed for reno's at the moment, there's an American food truck operating downstairs. More importantly, though, it has big screens, a great atmosphere and is right in the heart of the action. So pick this as a place to shop on the grand final day.
The Charles Dickens is one of those old-fashioned British pubs which is endlessly charming and makes you feel like you've stepped back in time a few decades. You should probably listen to Brit logic and have a pie (you always deserve a pie) here to go along with a game. There are four screens showing rugby, Premier League or AFL. If your team wins and you want a late kick-on, the Dickens does takeaway beer too.
It's chicken paratactic over here at The Leveson, one of North Melbourne's nicer pubs, and the menu is as good as the happy hours are generous. The Leveson is a popular place to be on Grand Final day (or Superbowl morning), and as well as sport on the telly, there's live music on Fridays. A good steak menu and an open fire will warm the cockles of your heart, and a solid Grand Final day party (featuring an espresso martini bar) should put this high up on your list this year.
Cbd Bars And Pubs
The Crafty Squire is a big ol' beer barn, which (along with its 24 screens) makes it perfect for Grand Final celebrations. The Imperial Hotel on Bourke Street is well known for its sporting credentials and hosting a rooftop watch party this AFL Grand Final Day. Garden State Hotel will open at 10 am on Grand Final Day and offer drinks and burger package, while waterfront bar the Boatbuilders Yard is having a Grand Final Day Party from noon, with handball comps, a barbecue feast and the game played live on a mega-sized outdoor screen.
North Sidebars And Pubs
The Provincial is the place to go for a traditional Melbourne brunch on Grand Final Day (they will also be showing the game on the rooftop and the first floor). There are ten high-definition televisions, an indoor projection screen, and a penchant for turning up the commentary at The Great Northern, making it a popular spot for game-watching. Both the Northcote Social Club (which offers pie and drink specials and takes reservations) and the Rochey (which features a live broadcast of the game in its divey, old-school bar) will be showing the big game (which also happens to serve authentic South Indian cuisine). Watch the game on the open rooftop at Johnny's Green Room while feasting on grilled seafood and hot porchetta rolls for a change of pace.
South Sidebars And Pubs
In 2016 we named the Palace Hotel in South Melbourne the best pub in the city, and we still recommend it as the place to watch the Grand Final in the south. Every screen will play the final while the kitchen serves $10 pizzas all day (bookings accepted). The Emerson is offering food and beverage packages and VIP booths if you want to celebrate in style. Over in Prahran College Lawn is screening the Grand Final on 18 screens and providing DJs after the final siren so you can party well into the night.
East Sidebars And Pubs
Trekking to the MCG bright and early? Harlow is opening from 10 am and serving breakfast burgers (you can also settle in and watch the match on the bar's seven screens). The Corner Hotel will lend its bedroom, rooftop, front bar and carpark to the Grand Final Day celebrations. There are 14 screens to watch the game across the venue, while the carpark will be packed with burger trucks, pop-up bars and games.
Abbotsford's Terminus Hotel is accepting walk-ins in the public bar as well as a five-hour food and drinks package. Further east, Auburn Hotel is leaning into the finals spirit by constructing a grandstand in the beer garden and serving bottomless Furphy and footy snacks.
West Sidebars And Pubs
Back Alley Sally's, a bar in a repurposed warehouse, is selling cheap beer for the Grand Final by offering certain pints at schooner prices and $15 jugs. After the final siren, the Commercial Hotel in Yarraville throws a family-friendly Grand Final Day party with drink specials, a handball competition, and live music for all ages. Did you guys get beat up? After the game, head over to the Drunken Poet to hear blues from Rhyece O'Neill and Liam Wilkerson.
What is the best Melbourne sports bar like, then? It's all about your specific needs and preferences. The Sporting Globe and The Australian Pub are great options if you're looking for a place to eat and watch sports. The Local Taphouse and The Imperial Hotel are great options if you're looking for a laid-back place with a lively atmosphere. There's no bad choice among Melbourne's many sports bars for watching the game with your pals.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sports Bar
- Crafty Squire. Melbourne.
- Melbourne. The best pub in Melbourne just got a little better.
- Beer DeLuxe Fed Square. Melbourne.
- European Bier Cafe. Melbourne.
- The Empress Hotel Fitzroy North.
- Sanctuary Lakes Hotel Point Cook.
- Prince Alfred Hotel Port Melbourne.
- The Sporting Globe - Moonee Ponds Moonee Ponds.
- Precinct Hotel Richmond.
- The Steam Packet Hotel Williamstown.
- Joey Smalls Brunswick.
- The Imperial. The Imperial boasts one of the oldest and best sports bars in Melbourne CBD.
- The Sporting Globe.
- The Great Northern.
- The College Lawn Hotel.
- CrownBet Sports Bar & Pub.
- Richmond Club Hotel.
- The Bells Hotel.
- Turf Bar.
- Buffalo Bar. Brisbane.
- Pineapple Hotel. Brisbane.
According to the National Cricket Census, a record 1,311,184 people played Cricket across Australia in 2015–16, an 8.5 per cent increase on 2014–15 – placing cricket at No. 1 as the current top participation sport in Australia.