The 10 Best Melbourne Footy Pubs & Sportsbars In 2024
Image credit: The Great Northern Hotel
— Updated on 29 December 2023

The 10 Best Melbourne Footy Pubs & Sportsbars In 2024

— Updated on 29 December 2023
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

With the AFL finals just around the corner, it’s worth refreshing our minds as to where the greatest Melbourne footy pubs are and why they’re worth a visit to watch the game. After all, while there’s nothing wrong with a home-cooked parma, the prospect of a pub meal and a couple of pints surrounded by a few dozen of your newest mates is one that’s hard to say no to.

It’s nowhere near a secret that Melbourne is ravenous for the AFL, kicking off the season by flooding local pubs with beer, live sports, and general shit-talking. The city is built on it, so of course you’re going to need to be across the best pubs in Melbourne for when you can’t go another minute without getting amongst the game after its toughest year on record.

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The Best Melbourne Footy Pubs And Sportsbars

The Great Northern Hotel

Address: 644 Rathdowne St, Carlton North, VIC, 3054
Contact: (03) 9380 9569
Opening Hours: Sunday – Wednesday (11 AM – 11 PM); Thursday – Saturday (11 AM – 1 AM)

One of the last remaining great pubs in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne, The Great Northern Hotel is tucked away in the leafy streets of Carlton North and offers one of the best atmospheres in Melbourne to watch the footy. The kitchen puts out great counter meals, the beers aren’t outrageously priced and you can guarantee there’ll be a doggo or two in the courtyard lapping up the action.

The Duke

Address: 146 Flinders Street, Melbourne 3000
Contact: (03) 9810 0066
Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday (11 AM – 1 AM); Sundays (11 AM – 11 PM)

The Duke was established in 1853, making it the oldest licensed pub in Melbourne and their association with Australian rules football is arguable just as long. Boasting a fresh modern look, the menu delivers some of the best pub food in town. Be sure to reserve a booth on the rooftop after the match for that even rowdier post-game kick-on.

The Birmingham Hotel

Address: 333 Smith St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Contact: (03) 9417 2706
Opening Hours: Everyday (12 PM – Late)

The Birmingham Hotel is another of the best Melbourne footy pubs, located in the heart of Fitzroy with solid specials across both schooners and meals. The staff at the Birmy (as it’s affectionately known) are also massive sports fans and with no less than 14 different screens spread across the two level venue, it’s the perfect spot to watch any game if you find yourself in the area.

The Imperial

Address: 2-8 Bourke St, Melbourne VIC 3000
Contact: (03) 9810 0062
Opening Hours: Sunday – Wednesday (12 PM – 11 PM); Thursday – Saturday (12 PM – 1 AM)

With stunning views of Parliament House and back towards the city, the impressive Imperial Rooftop is a large relaxed space, decked out with plenty of seating, 20 beers on tap and the rooftop’s own kitchen, serving sandwiches, burgers and more. The rooftop sits above one of Melbourne’s popular sports pubs and will no doubt be packed to the rafters on Grand Final Day.

Builders Arms Hotel

Address: 211 Gertrude Street, Fitzroy, 3065 Victoria
Contact: (03) 9417 7700
Opening Hours: Everyday (12 PM – Late)

Doors are set to swing open early at the Builders Arms Hotel, with egg and bacon rolls on the menu for those that arrive early enough. The Public Bar will deliver beer specials across the course of the big match with things to get live and loud as the volume is turned up from the first bounce until the final siren.

The Rose Fitzroy

A large building with a clock on the side of the street
Address: 406 Napier St, Fitzroy VIC 3065
Contact: (03) 9417 3626
Opening Hours: Monday – Thursday (3 PM – Late); Friday – Sunday (12 PM – Late)

Another traditional old pub that’s been given a bit of love in the form of a new layout, drinks and food menu whilst retaining its traditional character and loyalty to the sporting crowd. In the heart of eclectic Fitzroy, this corner local feels like an extension to the lounge room and is an institution of the north.

The London Tavern

A large brick building with a clock on the side of a road
Address: 238 Lennox Street, Richmond Victoria 3121
Contact: (03) 9428 6894
Opening Hours: Everyday (12 PM – Late)

Located in the heart of Richmond and close to Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), the London Tavern is a typical corner pub with a sprawling beer garden where punters can almost hear the roar of the crowd. A new menu offers plenty of options for lining the stomach on a day which can involve much imbibing of local ales. It’s one of the best sportsbars in Melbourne without any doubt.

The Middle Park Hotel

Address: 102 Canterbury Road, Middle Park 3206 VIC
Contact: (03) 9810 0079
Opening Hours: Sunday – Thursday (12 PM – 10 PM); Friday – Saturday (12 PM – 11 PM)

With an emphasis on quality food and drink and sleek but simple sophistication, The Middle Park Hotel provides a high-end experience for customers who expect nothing less. Capturing the essence of an exclusive gentleman’s club while paying homage to ‘true blue’ Melbourne sporting pub culture, Middle Park Hotel also offers 25 boutique hotel rooms for those visitors looking to get a real South Melbourne immersion.

Young & Jacksons

A close up of a busy city street in front of a building
Address: Cnr Swanston & Flinders Sts, Melbourne, VIC, 3000
Contact: (03) 9650 3884
Opening Hours: Everyday (10 AM – Late)

Located on the bustling corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets (opposite Flinders Street Station), this icon of Melbourne sportsbars is about as famous as any pub can get. From footy fans and visit performers to out-of-towners and locals, everyone’s had a beer at Young and Jacksons.

The Grosvenor

grosvenor melbourne
Address: 10 Brighton Rd, St Kilda East, VIC 3183
Contact: (03) 9531 1542
Opening Hours: Everyday (10 AM – 1 AM)

A renovated late 1800s pub with industrial-chic decor and a marble bar. Grosvenor Hotel is the destination of the south to watch AFL matches with all games televised live on the big screens. Better than great pub grub – Grosvenor Hotel prides itself on its commitment to sourcing, ageing and preparing premium cuts of grass fed Victorian beef – and drink promotions will make The Grosvenor a popular destination on match day.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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