Top 10 pubs to watch the AFL Grand Final

Exterior of Northcote Social Club

Exterior of Northcote Social Club

Understanding of the rules, and football team affiliations aside, the Australian Football League Grand Final in Melbourne is one of the world’s great sporting events. Melburnians can generally be found at a backyard barbecue, or cheering loudly at the nearest sporting pub.

City Centre

1. Young & Jackson
Located on the bustling corner of Swanston and Flinders Streets (opposite Flinders Street Station), this iconic Melbourne pub is about as famous as any pub can get. From footy fans and visiting performers to out-of-towners and locals, everyone’s had a beer at Young and Jacksons. 1 Swanston St, Melbourne VIC 3000, +61 (03) 9650 3884

2. The Duke
Established in 1853, The Duke is Melbourne’s oldest licensed pub and has a long footballing association having once been managed by a former ‘Aussie rules’ hero. A recent makeover has given the venue a fresh new modern look and the food is some of the best pub food in town. With views of Melbourne’s sports precinct from the balcony, The Duke is a perfect choice to watch the game. 146 Flinders Street, Melbourne, 3000, +61 (03) 9810 0066

3. The Imperial
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 Saturday 30 September. 2-8 Bourke Street, Melbourne, 3000, +61 (03) 9810 0062

North

4. The Rose Fitzroy
Another traditional old pub that’s been given a bit of love recently 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. 406 Napier St, Fitzroy VIC 3065, +61 (03) 9417 3626

5. The Great Northern
One of the great craft-beer drinking holes, this laid-back 1880s pub has a bustling beer garden with several large screens. Nestled in North Carlton’s leafy Rathdowne Street and serving classic pub grub plus 21 taps of craft beer and cider, the pub is very popular with locals and family friendly to boot –will no doubt be very rowdy on Grand Final Day. 644 Rathdowne St, Carlton North VIC 3054, +61 (03) 9380 9569

6. Northcote Social Club
Known as one of Melbourne’s most popular live music venues attracting an array of local and international music talent seven nights a week – Northcote Social Club is throwing open its doors for a free Grand Final event on September 30th. There’s a public bar downstairs, and a fully heated beer garden out on the deck. The menu serves more than your average pub grub. 301 High Street, Northcote, +61 (03) 9489 3917

East

7. The London Tavern
Another iconic Melbourne pub, this time in the heart of Richmond and close to Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) the home of the AFL Grand Final. 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.  238 Lennox St, Richmond, Victoria, 3121, +61 (03) 9428 6894

8. Richmond Club Hotel
Yet another classic historic hotel in a city that has more than its fair share. Richmond Club Hotel is an iconic Melbourne pub built in the late 1800’s located just a short stroll from the MCG, Rod Laver Arena and AAMI Park. A sprawling three level venue with a public bar to watch the big game, a dining room, a beer garden and a rooftop with a killer view of Melbourne’s skyline. 100 Swan Street, Richmond, +61 03 9428 6722

South

9. The Grosvenor, St Kilda East
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. 10 Brighton Road, St Kilda East, Vic 3183, Australia +61 (03) 9531 1542

10. The Middle Park Hotel
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. 102 Canterbury Rd, Middle Park VIC 3206, +61 (03) 9810 0079

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