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Where to Kick On for Celebratory Drinks After an Afternoon Match at the SCG

Keep the good times going with cold ones, cocktails and classic pub grub.
By Marissa Ciampi
April 01, 2021
By Marissa Ciampi
April 01, 2021


in partnership with

Keep the good times going with cold ones, cocktails and classic pub grub.

It's finally footy season again and, now that stadiums are back in full swing, fans are being welcomed back to the field with open arms. And after two adrenaline-fuelled hours watching a game at Sydney Cricket Ground, odds are you and your crew won't want to head straight home. Instead, spend the rest of your Saturday arvo with a drink in hand at a nearby watering hole.

We've teamed up with Sydney Swans to bring you rooftop spots, classic pubs and subterranean cocktail bars that are all within a short stroll from the SCG and perfect for post-match kick-ons. Whether you're celebrating or commiserating, head to these seven spots for margaritas, cold ones and pub grub — without the hassle of waving down a taxi.

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    A favourite amongst Sydneysiders, Tio’s offers one of the best jalapeño margaritas around. So, if you’re looking to spice things up after the game — and keep the celebrations going well into the night — there’s no better place to be. Here, the fun vibes and kitschy fit-out are matched by cheap Tecates, chorizo-loaded nachos and a daily happy hour from 5–6pm, which is just in time for you to get there after the match. Not to mention its regularly rotating frozen margy for just a tenner, available every night until sold out. So, sling back a few drinks, stuff your face with free chilli popcorn and settle in for a night of revelry.

    Image: Letícia Almeida. 

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    Located just opposite Moore Park, this Darlinghurst pub is a must for your post-match recap session. The Taphouse boasts a whopping 60 taps that rotate through about 400 beers each year, so you’ll always find something new to try. If you’re keen to sip a few brews, why not grab a tasting paddle? For those looking to continue the day outdoors, head upstairs to the newly opened, greenery-filled Elm Rooftop Bar. Up here, you and your crew can sip juice-based cocktails, hard seltzers, vino and, of course, more beer. Wherever you are in the pub, be sure to order some grub. Share plates include fish tacos, southern-fried cauliflower bites, scotch eggs and charcuterie and cheese platters. For heartier feeds, expect go-to pub fare like steak, parmy and fish and chips.

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    Just a 15-minute walk from the SCG, The Beresford is a Surry Hills stalwart that boasts one helluva courtyard — and it’s really vibing on a Saturday arvo. Stick around till 6–8pm when daily happy hour specials are on, with pints, wine and house spirits available for just $6. While you’re at it, grab a few woodfired pizzas to share, with everything from the Patate e Salsiccia (smoked buffalo mozzarella, potato, Italian sausage and rosemary) to the Gamberi (fior di latte, wild prawns and fresh chilli) on offer. With its bustling atmosphere, this spot will have you feeling like you’re still at the Swans match.

    Image: Trent van der Jagt.

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    Another easy walk from the SCG is Paddington favourite The Unicorn. Sure, it’s an obvious choice, with many a sports fan heading here after a match. But hitting up an Australiana-themed pub after the footy just makes sense. And its unpretentious vibes and ridiculously tasty food don’t hurt either. Whether you’re looking to load up on the pub’s famed schnitty or a greasy Mary’s burger, this spot has you covered. And there are plenty of vego options, too. Drinks-wise, The Unicorn boasts a selection of local craft beers alongside classic Aussie cold ones, like VB and Reschs, for the true blues out there.

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    You don’t even have to walk to this one. Once the match finishes up, just hop the light rail and head to the heart of Surry Hills, where you’ll find this party-loving Mexican cantina. At El Loco, you can snack on the likes of beef brisket, al pastor and fried barramundi tacos; chorizo, chicken and mushroom quesadillas; and loaded nachos. Of course, you’ll want to be sipping margaritas with your feast. Those keen for a big one are in luck, too, thanks to the bar’s lineup of DJs and entertainers plus a late-night food menu on offer after 10pm every Friday and Saturday. Oh and did we mention it’s open till 3am?

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    If you’re looking for an A-class tipple to finish off your game-day experience, Charlie Parker’s is a 20-minute stroll away, making it your go-to for cocktails. The basement bar set beneath Fred’s is known for its service, sophisticated sips and snacks whipped up by renowned chef Danielle Alvarez. The seasonal cocktail menu features unusual drops like the Yuzu and Watermelon of pisco, citrus, basil and bitters; the Oregano made with Distillery Botanica gin, a sea celery concoction and verjus; and the Chocolate Mint with coffee liqueur, pineapple and whey. There’s also plenty of beer and wine to choose from and, for snacks, expect Euro-inspired share plates like bacon and chicken liver parfait, beef tartare and burrata.

  • 1

    Keen for cosy, old-school English tavern vibes? Look no further than The Lord Dudley. This spot is one of Sydney’s oldest pubs — it’s serving the locals since 1895. There’s always sport playing on the big screen in the main bar. And its menu of British pub classics, including scotch eggs, bangers and mash and steak sambos and warming pot pies, is sure to impress. Apart from the beers on tap — yes, including UK faves Old Speckled Hen and Guinness — there’s also a sizeable wine list and a few classic cocktails on offer.


To purchase tickets to a Sydney Swans game at the SCG, head to Ticketek. Then, find more places to visit before or after a game below.

Top image: The Beresford


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