THERE’S NO GREATER sporting event in Australia than the AFL grand final—that one day in September that offers two teams the ultimate reward to battle it out after a long and arduous season for the coveted premiership title.
On September 30, the Collingwood Magpies will face the mighty Brisbane Lions at the famous Melbourne Cricket Ground—a colosseum-like sporting arena—for the 2023 premiership. Where to watch ‘the big dance’ is the question that will be on every Melburnian’s minds this week, and if you’re not one of the lucky punters who managed to snag a ticket, you’ll probably want to know where in and around Melbourne you can experience the high of an AFL granny.
With less than a week to plan and book your grand final day activities, here are some of the best footy pubs around Melbourne to catch every minute of the game other than the MCG.
2-8 Bourke St, Melbourne
As well as being one of Melbourne’s best overall sporting pubs, the Imperial Hotel in Melbourne’s CBD has some of the best rooftop views you’re likely to find. The Imperial has a massive AFL grand final day rooftop party planned, so you might want to get down early to secure your spot. Post-game, there will be acoustic tunes, DJ performances and more.
Builders Arms Hotel
211 Gertrude St, Fitzroy
Not only a great footy pub, but the Builders Arms is one of the best gastronomical pubs in Melbourne with a superb food and beverage menu for foodies to enjoy, footy or no footy. The grand final will be on the big screen, as expected, with game-time chicken schnitzels, magnums, cocktails and $5 Heaps Normal tinnies throughout the game. And if Collingwood get a win, you can bet the atmosphere will spill out onto the streets of Fitzroy and beyond.
406 Napier St, Fitzroy
The Rose is a local favourite that is without pretence—there’s no pub in Melbourne that will be busier than The Rose come AFL grand final day thanks to its loyal community of avid footy fanatics. Get in early to secure your grand final viewing spot, with plenty of deals running all day to quench your hunger and thirst.
291 Albert St, Brunswick
The Railway Hotel in Brunswick might very well have the best screen in all of Melbourne—and it’s made for big occasions like a grand final. It’ll be loud, commentary will be audible (win) and the beer garden will be pumping with your favourite local and international brews to enjoy all game-long. Expect $10 Brick Lane pints siren-to-siren, a half-time meat raffle, multiple screens throughout the venue and DJ performances until late.
10 Brighton Rd, St Kilda East
If you’re looking for a Bayside spot to watch the footy, you can’t go past the Grosvenor in St Kilda East. It’s here that the footy will be live and loud all day long. The Grosvenor will kick things off from 11am where you will find multiple screen with a clear view from all vantage points, as well as a brand new sports bar.
492 Queens Parade, Fitzroy North
Another local favourite, the ‘Termi’ in Fitzroy North will host its famous AFL grand final party once again, where the game will be broadcast live and loud for patrons to enjoy in the sports bar, restaurant or beer garden. The Terminus will also be offering footy packs, including bottomless beer and bottomless wine, footy snacks. throughout the game plus more.
57 Swan St, Richmond
Perhaps Melbourne’s most iconic footy pub, located only steps away from the MCG itself, the Corner Hotel is often frequented by fans pre and post game throughout the footy season—this coming weekend will be no different. The Corner Hotel will kick things off from 9am, with access to the all things footy from its rooftop, front bar and bandroom. There will also be screen throughout the pub showing all the action, as well as pre and post-game entertainment plus more.