Steve Kavakos

13 Best Sports Bars in Melbourne | Man of Many

Whether it be an AFL showdown between Collingwood and Essendon on Anzac Day, the Formula One Grand Prix or the Australian Open, we’re well aware of the ever-present conundrum of where to cheer on your favourite team on away games or those unfortunate times you didn’t nab tickets (or flights) to the big game. It’s all about a cracking atmosphere, live music, crisp cold lagers and tasty parmas. Our list of best sports bars in Melbourne goes like this.

Best sports bars in Melbourne at a Glance

The Imperial first opened its doors in 1858, making it one of the oldest sports bars in Melbourne’s CBD. The incredible rooftop bar, has a scrumptious English food menu filled with bar snacks and an impressive beer and wine list. You’ll find a comprehensive display of live sports from around the globe make the Imperial your old school sports bar in the city. Be sure to try the whole parma, the half parma or the eggplant parma.

1. The Imperial Hotel Bourke Street

With multiple locations across Melbourne and beyond, the Sporting Globe in Richmond is perfect for a box-office UFC event. Even if another sport is on during a UFC extravaganza, there’s plenty screens showing the NRL, AFL, Bledisloe Cup and any other sporting event you might desire. The Richmond location is a sports bar combining top-shelf technology, a loud atmosphere and old school pub food to make for one of the most authentic public sports viewings in Melbourne. We would recommend the Sporting Globe in Richmond for a cracking UFC event, and if Alex Volkanovski is fighting, you’re in for a treat, as everyone loves our Australian champion.

2. The Sporting Globe Richmond

The Great Northern show NRL, cricket, A-league, EPL and NFL. Plus, if you’d like to watch a particular sporting match, they’ll ensure one of its many televisions, or one of two massive projector screens is showing the big game. If it’s a middle-of-the-night overseas match, this sports bar in Melbourne will open its doors early for you and your mates so you can feel like you’re in the front row at the game. Be welcomed with an unparalleled selection of beers, leafy beer garden and delicious pub grub.

3. The Great Northern

Spend your Saturday afternoon at the College Lawn Hotel and catch all the biggest live sporting games on its big-screen TVs. With a main bar, restaurant, live music and a beer garden—this sports bar in Melbourne makes for a fantastic summer viewing experience. We recommend catching a few Australian Open games here, or the AFL and NRL on a nice Saturday afternoon, or Sunday blockbuster.

4. The College Lawn Hotel

A dedicated Sports bar and pub, the Crown is easily one of the most action-packed sports bars in Melbourne for a major International sporting event. Crown attracts every nationality in Melbourne, and it creates a boiling-point type of atmosphere when the Fifa World Cup is on. It’s also perfect for soccer fans looking for a Premier League match, just be mindful of the passionate Liverpool supporters. The Crown’s Sports Bar has plenty of screens plus TAB facilities. We love the giant screens, bar snacks and one mega screen to ensure you don’t miss a second of any action.

5. Crown Sports Bar & Pub

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 perfect for a pre-game drink before heading to the big game at the MCG, as it’s a ten-minute walk from the pub to the ground. Likewise, depending on your mood after a match, you’ll take to the streets to celebrate a win or mourn the loss.

6. Richmond Club Hotel

If you’re hunting for an NBA watering hole in Melbourne’s South East, this is it.  Tucked away in Hawthorn East, this eclectic recently-opened sports bar is filled with the largest LED screen we’ve ever seen in a pub. You’ll see a woodfire pizza oven serving traditional pizzas like pepperoni and Capricciosa. If you aren’t sure what you’re feeling like and you want a diverse selection of dishes, there’s the trio of dips to vegetarian spring rolls, parmas and fish and chips. You’ll find the NBA streaming on the big screen and a generous outside courtyard for a drink with mates.

7. Governor’s Hall

The Auburn Hotel is the AFL sports bar of the East; it’s covered from wall to wall in Hawthorn AFL Newspaper posters but still has a warm and welcoming setting. There’s an extensive food menu and beverage list and unbelievable parmas, with a dedicated night (Wednesday night, parma night) offering traditional parmas and vegan parmas. It’s a local favourite and is perfect for your standard home and away AFL season. Come finals, you’ll need to sneak in early to claim a spot at the front bar where the projector is located.

8. Auburn Hotel

The Swan is a staple sports bar and hangout for Melburnians during summer because of its position. It’s a five-minute walk to Chapel Street and is located in central Richmond. You’ll find live music from local bands, pool tables and flowing beers create a unique atmosphere in the heart of Melbourne. It’s a great sports bar for many sporting events, the NRL, AFL and even the Australian Open are all on rotation during the year.

9. The Swan

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 venue.

10. Mt. View Hotel

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.

11. The London Tavern Hotel

Across the road from sporting and entertainment areas, Richmond’s historic Precinct Hotel has all the hustle and bustle of a vast courtyard showing World Cup games and giving Aussie sports enthusiasts precisely what they want, shorter bar lines and incredible pub meals like parmas and steaks. It’s easily one of the best sports bars to watch major sporting games because of its size and different bar sections.

12. The Precinct Hotel

This Belgian beer bar in North Melbourne is one of the liveliest and few rugby union pubs in Melbourne. If its wide selection of Belgian beer doesn’t get you drooling, its comprehensive menu of share plates, classic pub meals like the Castle beef burger and contemporary gourmet dishes like spicy jalapeno poppers certainly will. And if that weren’t enough, The Castle Hotel sports bar just underwent refurbishments to make it the most action-packed venue to support your team.

13. The Castle Hotel

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

Key Things to Consider for Best Sports Bars In Melbourne

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.

How Man of Many Chose the Best 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.

Alternatives to Sports Bars In Melbourne

Where can I watch the Superbowl in Melbourne in 2021?

Sporting Globe, KICKS Melbourne, TGI Fridays or Beer Deluxe.

Where can I watch the AFL Grand Final in Melbourne in 2020?

Imperial Hotel, The London Tavern, The Hawthorn Hotel, College Lawn Hotel or Royal Standard Hotel.

Melbourne Sports Bars FAQ

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