Where to eat and drink before the footy

If it’s September in Melbourne that can only mean one thing – AFL finals season is upon us. If you’re off to a match, here’s where to stop off for pre or post-event sustenance.


It’s hard to go wrong at this upmarket Greek souva joint. Gazi’s go-to are the savoury, juicy, salty souvlakakia. Add a side salad and feta-loaded chips and you’ll be set. Vegetarians are not left out either, with plenty of squeaky cheese and substantial salads to choose from.

Riverland Bar

Riverland Bar is ideally placed for a footy trip. Nestled by the Yarra River below Fed Square, with a bit of luck the spring weather shines and you can have a swift one by the water before the game. Come back later to debrief – the pub food menu is A1.

An outdoor bar surrounded by trees, with the city skyline behind it.

Riverland Bar

Pilgrim Bar

A little further along from Riverland is Pilgrim Bar. Baguettes and toasties are the go, or choose a meat and cheese platter to share. Small plates tend towards the veggo, and the Waterfront view is fab.

Il Pom Italian

Right in Fed Square, Il Pom Italian serves up all your pizza and pasta favourites, so there’s no need to spend ages working out what to order. Look for the red umbrellas and bag yourself a table al fresco.

The Duke of Wellington

Take it to the next level and head to the newly renovated rooftop at The Duke of Wellington. Watch the crowds pass by as you hoe into a tasty parma or fresh poke bowl.

Two people seated by a window at a rooftop bar, with a plate of food between them.

The Duke of Wellington