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Best sports bars in melbourne

10 Best Sports Bars in Melbourne for Footy (& Other Sports)

Looking for a quick list of the best sports bars in Melbourne? You’ll want to head to The Imperial, the Richmond Club Hotel or The London Tavern Hotel. That’s our top picks.

But if you want the long list of the best sports bars and pubs in Melbourne to watch the footy, rugby, and everything in between, keep reading.

Melbourne is famous for two things: excellent coffee and a jam-packed year of sporting events. Luckily for you, the Man of Many sports experts have tried and tested the best sports bars in Melbourne to catch a game, enjoy a parmi, and drink the coldest, crispest beers. And so… without further ado – here’s our list.

Best Sports Bars & Pubs in Melbourne at a Glance

Whether it be an AFL showdown between Collingwood and Essendon on Anzac Day, the Formula One Grand Prix, or the Australian Open, it’s a consistent conundrum where to cheer on your favourite team on away games (or those unfortunate times you didn’t nab tickets to the big sporting event). Here’s a quick overview of where you’ll find the best sports bars in Melbourne for those moments:

Now – onto the BIG list!

Sports Bars & Pubs for Footy and Other Sports in Melbourne

the imperial rooftop cityscape
Imperial Hotel | Image: Supplied

1. Imperial Hotel

  • Address: 2-8 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Hours: Mon-Wed & Sun 12-11pm, Thur-Sat 12pm-1am
  • Phone: (03) 9810 0062

The Imperial Hotel in Melbourne really hits the spot if you’re into sports. Steeped in history—it first opened in 1858—it’s one of the city’s oldest pubs, but it’s still right up there with the best spots for catching a game​.

Situated smack dab in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, the Imperial is especially famous for its rooftop bar. It offers stunning views over the city and Parliament House, making it the perfect place to chill with mates and watch live sports on their big screens. They show everything from football to cricket, so you’re pretty much guaranteed to catch the big games​.​

And let’s talk about the food and drink because it’s definitely worth mentioning. They serve up some great pub classics, including various parmas which are a must-try. Plus, their selection of beers and cocktails is great, perfect for enjoying whether there’s a game on or you’re just there to soak up the vibes.
crowd in outdoor courtyard the great northern
The Great Northern Beer Garden | Image: Supplied

2. Great Northern Hotel

  • Address: 644 Rathdowne St, Carlton North VIC 3054
  • Hours: Mon-Wed 11am-12am, Thur-Sat 11am-1am, Sun 11am-11pm

The Great Northern is a standout sports bar in Melbourne that’s got you covered for almost any game you’re into. They showcase a wide range, including NRL, cricket, A-league, EPL, and NFL. It’s the kind of place that goes the extra mile; if you’ve got a middle-of-the-night match you want to catch, they’ll open early just so you and your friends don’t miss out. Talk about good customer service.

And when it comes to viewing, you’re spoilt for choice. They have several TVs and a couple of massive projector screens that make every game a big event. As for the atmosphere, it’s just as impressive. They welcome you with a huge selection of beers, a leafy beer garden that feels like an oasis in the city, and some seriously tasty pub grub to keep you fueled during the game.

So if you’re after a place where the game always comes first, and you can feel at home with good food and great beer, The Great Northern should definitely be on your list.

the college lawn hotel
The College Lawn Hotel | Image: Supplied

3. College Lawn Hotel

  • Address: 36 Greville St, Prahran VIC 3181
  • Hours: Mon-Wed 12-10pm, Thur 12-11pm, Sat-Sun 12pm-12am
  • Phone: (03) 9810 0074

Spend your Saturday afternoon at the College Lawn Hotel and catch all the biggest live sporting games. With its big-screen TVs strategically placed, you won’t miss any of the action. Whether it’s soaking in the Australian Open, cheering for your favourite AFL team, or catching an NRL blockbuster, College Lawn Hotel shows it all.

But it’s not just about sports; it offers a complete experience with its main bar, restaurant, live music, and a cool beer garden that’s perfect for summer days. The vibe here is just right for relaxing with friends or getting into the competitive spirit of the game. It’s a great spot in Melbourne to enjoy good food, cold drinks, and great sports.

crownbet sports bar & pub
The Crown Sports Bar | Image: Supplied

4. Crown Casino Sports Bar

  • Address: Level 1 Casino, Crown Melbourne, 8 Whiteman St, Southbank VIC 3006
  • Hours: Mon-Thur 10am-12am, Fri-Sun 10am-3am
  • Phone: (03) 9292 8888

A dedicated Sports bar and pub, the Crown Casino is easily one of the most action-packed sports bars in Melbourne – especially for a major International sporting event. It’s a serious melting pot of fans from all over, and the atmosphere during something like the FIFA World Cup is just electric.

Whether you’re a die-hard soccer fan catching a Premier League match or just looking to soak up the global sports vibe, Crown Casino has got you covered. And for those games that happen in the wee hours? No worries, Crown often adjusts its hours to accommodate fans, making sure you don’t miss out on the action, no matter the time zone.

We also love the giant screens, and one mega screen to ensure you don’t miss a second of any action. They’ve got a range of bar snacks perfect for game day—some decent burgers, wings, and other pub favourites. Plus, they’ve got TAB facilities too for the punters.

richmond club hotel
The Richmond Club Hotel | Image: Supplied

5. Richmond Club Hotel

  • Address: 100 Swan St, Richmond VIC 3121
  • Hours: Mon-Thur & Sun 12-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-1am
  • Phone: (03) 9428 6722

The Richmond Club Hotel is one of the top rugby union sports bars in Melbourne, as well as just about any other sport. It’s got spectacular city views and an ideal laid-back atmosphere for cheering on your favourite team.

It’s super handy for anyone heading to the MCG too. A quick ten-minute walk and you’re there, which makes it ideal for a pre-game warm-up or a post-game debrief, depending on whether you’re celebrating a victory or just need to shake off any tension.

Everyone finds a bit of what they love at the Richmond Club Hotel. It’s a friendly spot where you can catch the game, enjoy some great drinks, and feel right at home with other fans!

Auburn Hotel | Image: Supplied

6. Auburn Hotel

  • Address: 85 Auburn Rd, Hawthorn East VIC 3122
  • Hours: Mon-Thur & Sun 12-10pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-12am
  • Phone: (03) 9810 0032

Sports fans will feel right at home at the Auburn hotel, especially AFL fans. The walls are decked out with Hawthorn AFL newspaper posters, adding to the atmosphere. You can catch games on big screens spread throughout the pub, making sure you never miss a play, whether you’re cosying up in The Pavilion (a new atrium-style dining area with a retractable roof) or chilling out in the beer garden​.

Food-wise, The Auburn is on point with a menu that features both pub classics and more contemporary pub food. And if you’re around on a Wednesday, you’ve got to try their ‘Parma Night’—they even offer vegan options.

mt view hotel bar and dining
Mt View Hotel | Image: Supplied

7. Mt View Hotel

  • Address: 68/70 Bridge Rd, Richmond VIC 3121
  • Hours: Mon-Thur & Sun 12-11pm, Fri-Sat 12pm-1am
  • Phone: (03) 9428 3973

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? The Mt View Hotel really ticks all the boxes for a chill spot to catch a game or just hang out. It’s snug enough to feel welcoming but lively enough when there’s a big match on.

Downstairs, the vibe is all about the classic pub feel—perfect for watching sports with a bunch of mates. And if you’re feeling like a bit of a treat, their upstairs rooftop will not disappoint with its great cocktails and panoramic views.

London Tavern Hotel | Image: Supplied

8. London Tavern Hotel

  • Address: 238 Lennox St, Richmond VIC 3121
  • Hours: Mon-Sun 12pm-12am
  • Phone: (03) 9428 6058

As far as old-style English pubs go, it doesn’t get more original than the London Tavern Hotel in Richmond. This is the venue known to host the famous AFL Grand Final Day and finals series. This is Melbourne’s premiere sports bar, you go here for the culture, atmosphere, smell of parmas and taste of beer.

You’ll walk through the bustling pub and bathe in a sea of scarves, and you’ll hear graphic descriptions of supporters disagreeing with an umpire’s decision. This is our favourite sports bar for big games and atmosphere, and the massive projector amongst the beer garden helps when you want to watch the game.

Kicks sports bar melbourne
Kicks | Image: Supplied

9. Kicks Sports Bar

  • Address: Level 1/450 Elizabeth St, Melbourne VIC 30001
  • Hours: Mon-Sat 12pm-3am, Sun 10am-3am
  • Phone: 1300 651 446

With seating indoors and out, there’s plenty of space for larger groups to take in the action at Kicks in Melbourne. Food is traditional pub grub with pizza, parmas, chips, and steaks that lean on the three pillars of fast, quick, and simple.

TVs are found in every corner and you might as well stick around for the cold beers and atmosphere that rivals any pub in the CBD. Just don’t expect to find any NRL on the big screens, this is Melbourne after all.

Turf sports bar melbourne
Turf Sports Bar Melbourne | Image: Supplied

10. Turf Sports Bar Melbourne

  • Address: 131 Queen St, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • Hours: Mon-Wed 12-10pm, Thur 12-11pm, Fri 12pm-12am, Sat 10am-11:30pm, Sun 4-10:30pm
  • Phone: (03) 9670 1271

If you’re looking for a rowdy place to watch the AFL then Turf Sports Bar in Melbourne is the place you’ll want to head first. It’s the perfect spot for catching all the big AFL games with a crow who’s just as footy mad as you are.

Also, the food and drink here are classic pub fare done right—think parmas, juicy steaks, and your favourite beers on tap. They also run daily specials that often include a drink, making it a great spot for both your taste buds and your wallet.

Word to the wise – it’s a popular place, especially during big game days, so you might want to book ahead to nab a spot.

Key Things to Consider for Best Sports Bars In Melbourne

The key factors to keep in mind when deciding where to go:

  • Location – How far are you willing to travel? Think about convenience. Are you okay with trekking across town, or do you prefer something local? Choosing a place that’s easy to get to can mean less stress and more time soaking in the game day vibes.
  • Value – Is it value for money? We all love a good deal, especially when planning to spend a few hours at a venue. Look for places that offer game day specials or happy hours. A spot that gives you more bang for your buck will leave you feeling like a winner, regardless of the game’s outcome.
  • Venue – A great atmosphere is essential. Whether it’s the buzz of the crowd or the number of screens, the venue sets the stage for your experience. You want somewhere that feels like part of the action—somewhere that cheers with you and groans with you.
  • Food & Drink – Good food and a variety of drinks can turn a good viewing into a great one. Whether it’s a classic parma or a craft beer, having a solid menu and drink selection is crucial. It’s all about the good pub grub and cold brews that keep the spirits high.

How Man of Many Chose This List

With an editorial team full of sports enthusiasts, Man Of Many has had the unique opportunity to directly sample and experience sports bars from the best venues in Melbourne. As expert journalists who guide people between competing products and services, we have provided our independent opinion in formulating Man of Many’s selections. Our editors have taken into account location, food and drink and atmosphere while also making a concerted effort to highlight a few venues outside of the CBD. You can review our editorial policy here surrounding how we maintain our independence in our editorial reviews.

Alternatives to Sports Bars In Melbourne

If you’re looking for other things to do in and around Melbourne, we’ve got you covered with some of the options listed below. You can also check out our list of the best Brazilian BBQ in Melbourne or, if you don’t feel like heading out for food in Melbourne you can look to go fishing or find 100 other fun ideas in Melbourne.

Sports Bars In Melbourne FAQs

Where can I watch live sports in Melbourne?

If you’re looking to catch some live sports action, you’ve got some great options in Melbourne. Pop into The Imperial Hotel on Bourke Street, check out The Sporting Globe on Chapel Street, or dive into the vibe at Turf Sports Bar in the CBD. They’re all great spots to watch various sports, from cricket to soccer, all on the big screens.

Where can I watch AFL in Melbourne?

For all the Premier League enthusiasts, The Charles Dickens Tavern in the CBD is a hotspot. It’s got a real cosy feel, perfect for game night. Or, The Celtic Club on Queen Street also gets pretty lively during matches. We also rate The Great Northern Hotel in Carlton North, which offers large screens and a great selection of pub grub.

Where can I watch the Six Nations in Melbourne?

Rugby fans, The Celtic Club and The Imperial Hotel are your go-to spots for the Six Nations. These sports bars always draw a crowd that’s as enthusiastic about the game as you are, making every match an event to remember.

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