Melbourne's Ten Best Bars For Watching Sport

They're not just sports bars. They're bars where you can watch sport.
Kat Hayes
Published on September 30, 2016

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Sport in Melbourne is definitely one of those culturally ingrained things that is AVBD (a very big deal), and chances are you have a team you find yourself getting invested in particularly over a few beers at the pub. Whether you're a casual follower or a professional who weeps regularly and loudly over your chosen ones' performance, sometimes your lounge room just doesn't make the cut – and neither does that tray of frozen chips you popped in the oven.

Help yourself and your team out by picking a good venue to watch the game. We've teamed up with the Hahn Brewers and created a list with some of our picks – settle back with some good pub grub, a pint of something heartening, and the ability to yell at the screen without worrying about your neighbours.



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 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 isn'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. If you're lucky 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 glass of Hahn and a pulled pork burger and you'll be tottering off home to bed once the fourth quarter is over.



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 also shows most of the other sports you may follow so don't feel like you have to limit yourself to AFL.



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 the rugby or the cricket or the tennis or even the golf – basically, 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? A huge rooftop bar with great city views, and a new menu with plenty of good food to line your belly.



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 of a weekend night, and/or enter the hefty meat raffle every Thursday. If you don't make too much of a ruckus yourself perhaps you'll be able to hear the live MCG action from your seat.



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 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 5pm-7pm on Fridays.



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 on every Wednesday, for a start, and 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. Pick this as a place to set up shop on grand final day



The Charles Dickens is one of those old-fashioned British pubs which is actually 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 late kick-ons, the Dickens does takeaway beer too.



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 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.



It's chicken parmatastic 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.

Sign up to Hahn Brewers and settle down with a drink this weekend.

Published on September 30, 2016 by Kat Hayes
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