Footy itinerary

Footy is a way of life in Melbourne and there are few things as thrilling as experiencing the city in the grip of footy fever.

The MCG is the hub of the game, a revered sports ground within striking distance of the CBD. Fuel up pre-game or keep the buzz going post-match in Melbourne’s iconic laneways, world-class restaurants, intimate bars and peerless coffee houses.

Afternoon games

Kick off pre-match with breakfast or brunch in the CBD. Try hatted Cumulus Inc. for a classy start, New York–style diner Bowery to Williamsburg or caffeine-focused Manchester Press.

With your appetite satisfied, browse the boutiques, arcades and shopping malls, including St. Collins Lane and Emporium, perhaps picking up an item to add to your footy outfit.

Alternatively, pep up your pre-game vibe in Richmond with a pint at The London Tavern, Royal Saxon or The Corner Hotel’s rooftop beer garden.

Head to the MCG early to tour the National Sports Museum, leaving time to orbit the ground’s exterior where you can pay tribute to players past. Take your seat and give your vocal chords a workout when the teams hit the field.

When the siren sounds, head to your dinner reservation or beat the queues at no-reservations eateries. Choose from innovative options along Flinders Lane, including modern Thai at Chin Chin, meaty bites at Meatball and Wine Bar, Asian fusion at Supernormal, or stroll to Exhibition Street for stylish Greek at Gazi.

Evening games

Nothing beats the spectacle of a footy game under lights at the MCG. With some extra hours to spare before kick-off, follow up your CBD breakfast or brunch with a tour of the latest exhibitions at NGV International and the Ian Potter Centre, for both international and Australian artworks, or explore all things silver screen at ACMI.

Take the opportunity to venture a little north of the city to neighbouring Fitzroy, just a short tram ride away. Follow up with another fuelling bite and a hit of caffeine at Industry Beans while you contemplate the game ahead.

Work it all off with a post-prandial meander along Brunswick Street, down Gertrude Street, and along Smith Street for an absorbing overview of street art, fashion boutiques, cool cafes and smaller galleries.

Enjoy a pre-match beverage at nearby Stomping Ground in Collingwood before heading back south to the MCG before night falls.

Keep your hunger abated with a snack at the game, and after the big win, keep your spirits high with a drink or two back in the CBD. Try some after-the-fact analysis at hip Ferdydurke, sophisticated City Wine Shop or bustling Riverland Bar.

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