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Wendy Hargreaves: Melbourne’s best footy pubs

By WENDY HARGREAVES

If you can’t watch the AFL finals in person, a great footy pub is the next best place to be.

When you find that magic combination of friendly service, great food/drink, big screens and keen footy supporters, a pub can be even better than the G.

With three of the four finals interstate in the first round, the search for a footy pub becomes even more crucial. Here are five of the best.

ALL NATIONS HOTEL

64 Lennox St, Richmond, (03) 9428 1564

Everyone should have a local pub like this. Family-run with a warm welcome every time, the All Nations transforms into a footy mecca when AFL finals roll around. Loads of big screens with volume turned up, and a menu full of classic pub fare (this week’s Guinness beef pie special is a cracker).

GREAT NORTHERN HOTEL

644 Rathdowne St, Carlton North, (03) 9380 9569

With a huge beer garden and 10 HD screens, the Northern is a popular spot during finals, so make sure you arrive early to secure a table. Tasty pub food, a good range of beers and friendly service make this pub a finals winner… and the fact that you can take your dog along with you.

LIMERICK ARMS

364 Clarendon St, South Melbourne, (03) 9645 8666

Warm and friendly with great food, the Limerick screens every AFL, NRL and Super Rugby game. Come finals season, the pub comes alive with supporters, and the menu is top notch (especially the chook parma).

THE ROSE

406 Napier St, Fitzroy,  (03) 9417 3626

Northside footy fans flock to the Rose on match days, cramming around the gorgeous old horse shoe-shaped bar. Expect great service, top food/drink and uninterrupted views of the big game from multiple screens playing live and loud.

BOTANICAL HOTEL

169 Domain Rd, South Yarra,  (03) 9820 7888

The Bot’s hotelier Rabih Yanni knows exactly how to make people feel right at home. Come footy finals season, patrons can expect multiple screens and fast, friendly service, but it’s the quality food and drink that keeps people coming back (especially the steak – one of the best in Melbourne).

Wendy writes online at fiveofthebest.com.

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