Where to Watch Live Sports: The Best Sports Bars in Melbourne

The Best Sports Bars in Melbourne

If you’re looking forward to a big matchup, why not head to a sports bar instead of staying at home? Sports bars help you to feel invested in the match, and they have a lot more atmosphere than your couch & lounge at home. Melbourne is home to many excellent sports bars; all of which offer live viewing, good food & flowing drinks.

Watching a big match alone isn’t nearly as much fun as enjoying it with others, and sports bars will definitely add a lot to your experience. Below you will find the 10 best sports bars in Melbourne, sorted by alphabetical order for your convenience.

1. The Bells Hotel

Situated in central South Melbourne, ‘Sport at Bells’ is a sprawling venue that offers an extensive list of sports viewing options. With separate areas for many different sports, The Bells Hotel has pioneered its own Sports Viewing Hub.

Following significant renovations and a revamped food menu, The Bells Hotel is now a premium multi-function venue that provides a comprehensive selection of sports to watch, with all the comfort you would expect from a high-class hotel.

2. The College Lawn

Tucked away in the back streets of Prahran, ‘The Lawn’ is a hidden treasure, beloved by its patrons for its festive atmosphere & friendly service. The College Lawn Hotel boasts two bars as well as a bottle-shop, restaurant, courtyard and beer garden.

The Lawn is a favorite among rugby fans. A typical weekend is full of rugby and raucousness, but there are plenty of other sports on offer. The Lawn also has slab raffles & dog days, the latter of which has become a popular meet-and-greet for pup owners.

3. Great Northern Hotel

The Great Northern Hotel lies just a few blocks west of Edinburgh Gardens. It’s a hip & cosy venue that offers visitors unparalleled quality of service. Want to watch a big international game, but it only comes on at a ridiculous hour? Great Northern will do their utmost to open early; just to make you and your friends happy.

That kind of dedication is hard to match. What’s even better is the sheer variety of sports to watch. With two projectors and almost a dozen HD screens, the Great Northern covers a wide range of live sports, including AFL, NFL, and EPL matches.

4. The Imperial

The Imperial is the third oldest pub in Melbourne. Informally deemed the home of Liverpool FC fans, this legendary venue is situated in the heart of the CBD. It’s right next to the historic Princess Theatre, and the entire block is a popular hub for both culture & sport.

With a rooftop bar overlooking the city, some of the best pub food in Melbourne, and coverage of all major sporting events; the Imperial is perfect for any sports fan craving a vibrant atmosphere.

5. The Lomond

Behind the Lomond’s simple, elegant exterior lies a bespoke mix of live music & sporting events. The Lomond Hotel’s heritage goes as far back as the late 1800’s, and its mix of music lovers and sports fans provides a one-of-a-kind experience.

The Lomond is one of the only bars on this list with a ‘homey’ feel. They have an open fireplace inside, and the antique-style decor conveys comfort without being too extravagant. Their pulled pork burger is the stuff of legends, and is a must-try if you’re in the area.

6. London Tavern

Right around the corner from Melbourne Cricket Ground you will find the London Tavern Hotel. With seating for up to 200 people, a variety of craft beer on offer, as well as a modern pub food & drinks menu; ‘The London Tavern’ has everything you need for a night of live sports entertainment.

If there aren’t any sports on you can still enjoy trivia nights. You could also try your luck in the Tavern’s gaming room. They have over 30 of the latest gaming machines to choose from, as well as a loyalty system for regular players.

7. The Sporting Globe

The Sporting Globe has multiple venues around Melbourne, all of which have become the preferred watering holes for many a thirsty patron. As the name would suggest, The Sporting Globe is a hub for all things sports-related. 

Each location boasts over 30 screens to choose from, showing everything from UFC to AFL & everything inbetween. You can watch NRL fixtures or even Bledisloe Cup matches, as well as many other sporting events. The Sporting Globe does its namesake justice, and caters for any major sport you can think of.

8. Silverlake Social

Another favorite for Prahran locals, Silverlake Social brings Californian cuisine to Melbourne. Though it does feature local sports regularly, Silverlake Social is all about the American side of sports.

Silverlake’s food menu is typical of a Southern California taphouse, featuring classic American foods like hotdogs, burritos, tacos, and dunkwings. If you’re into craft beers, they have unique brands to try, such as the Sierra Nevada Trip in the Woods.

9. The Swan

Easily one of the best venues to watch AFL, the Swan can be found in central Richmond, on the corner of Swan & Church Street. It’s one of Richmond’s most iconic pubs, situated a stone’s throw away from some of Melbourne’s biggest sporting arenas.

The Swan might be known for its extensive AFL coverage, but it also shows A-League, NRL, Cricket, and Super Rugby. UFC fights & EPL games are common attractions too. With traditional pub food at great prices, the Swan is perfect for smaller, more intimate gatherings.

10. Turf Bar

Situated on Queen Street, Turf Bar is right at the center of Melbourne’s CBD. Turf Bar is one of the only sports bars to offer private screening booths. That means it caters for a wide range of fans; from large crowds to smaller, more private groups. 

With six plasma screens & three wall-sized projections, you are guaranteed to get a good view of any sporting action. This cosy bar is well-known for its warm atmosphere, and guarantees that every big game is a festive occasion.