The best places to watch the World Cup in Melbourne

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The best places to watch the World Cup in Melbourne

For everyone who’s caught World Cup fever, “Where to watch the next match?” is a constantly circulating thought. Sure, there are plenty of regular venues with screens and food ready to go, but the World Cup is no regular celebration. So, rather than simply heading to the usual pub, let’s explore some bizarrely different venues.

Is it just me or does any trip to Crown Melbourne seem like a special outing?  Not only does heading to that deep-end of the city along Southbank Boulevard erupt a certain craziness within, but when dazzling casino lights lead your path, and a doorman greets you upon entry, you’re already in the presence of something special – and that’s before you’ve even entered the building. Take this, combined with World Cup mania, and you’re set for an interesting watch. There are plenty of screens circulating the resort, as well as a newly welcomed pop-up sports bar The Lounge. Check out Merrywell Bar & Dining downstairs while you’re here. Japanese fried chicken, pale ale battered flathead bites, calamari fritti, beef rendang spring rolls and kangaroo sausage rolls are a taste of what’s on offer, with of course, plenty of drinks too.

Crown screens not big enough? No worries, Melbourne is home to one of the world’s largest screens. And it’s located right within our stunning Carlton Gardens, near the CBD. IMAX Melbourne is what I’m talking about, and they’re excitingly screening a selection of football matches for those seeking the biggest and best viewing experience. The screen spans a massive 32 metres wide and 23 metres high, and is the perfect destination for a very Melbourne day – have a picnic in Carlton Gardens, check out Melbourne Museum’s current exhibition, and enjoy dinner at D.O.C. Gastronomia Italiana close-by. Order the Pizza Margherita with buffalo mozzarella, and then enjoy a football game on the big screen.

Okay, so you’ve watched a few games under casino lights, sound tracked by the *dings* of the pokies, and you’ve enjoyed a quintessential Melbourne day, so let’s spice things up at the Copacabana International –Melbourne’s first and only Brazilian BBQ and dance bar. This bar is one-part drinking hole and at least five-parts celebration location, and as you walk among their balloons, streamers and proudly hanging flags, you’re sure to feel some of the feelings South American’s do when it comes to football. Find a spot on the dancefloor, pick a screen you prefer (they have plenty), and enjoy some Brazilian BBQ. Try the Brazilian rice, made with white rice, pork and sausage, or a classic Brazilian steak. I also love Copacabana’s Brazilian Pineapple barbecued with cinnamon.