Whatever the colours of your scarf, nothing says Melbourne winter as much as rugging up and heading down to the 'G or Marvel Stadium and barracking your heart out. Although we cannot argue with the meat pie as the snack of choice at the footy, we do think it's wise to go somewhere before or after to warm up and enjoy something more substantial. And of course, half the fun of going to a match is talking about it with your mates over a few drinks.
But where to go? What Melbourne institution is the perfect place for good times, food, drink, plenty of pre-game and post-game offers and mint riverside views? The answer is Riverland, which lives and breathes footy during AFL season. Whether you're a casual fan or a one-eyed die-hard, this is the perfect bar for footy-goers.
Four reasons to go to Riverland this footy season
The Member's Lounge is the place to be before the big game, with just $59 getting you food, two hours of unlimited drinks (tap beer and wine), riverside views and general admission tickets to the 'G.
On the menu: mac and cheese bombs, fried chicken sliders, empanadas, meat pies, dim sims and mini hot dogs. For dessert, snag a churro with warm peanut butter and chocolate sauce to take with you – it will keep you warm during the short stroll to the stadium. Dietary restrictions can also be catered for with 24 hours' notice.
The Member's Lounge is open for two hours, and it closes 45 minutes before each game at the MCG. The lounge can be booked for groups of between four and 16 people, so grab your mates and your appetite and get ready for the ultimate pre-game.
Every footy fan knows that a scarf is not just a (very necessary) way to keep warm in an outdoor venue during the harsh Melbourne winter. It's a badge of honour, a statement of pride and as essential to the Melbourne footy fan as armour is to a medieval knight.
Some Melbourne bars discourage footy colours, but Riverland encourages fans to wear their scarves, hats and guernseys with pride. Embrace your inner footy tragic and show off your team colours before or after the match.
Remember the good old days when the shorts were shorter, the hair was longer and the biffo was just that bit more fun? When you could get a snag and a pint without having to break a $20 bill?
Riverland is going retro, with a special footy promotion of a sausage and a pint for just $10. It's available every footy day from the time the bar opens until first bounce. How many pints and snags you can consume in that time is between you and your (footy) god.
Are there two words in the English language as enticing as 'happy hour'? And Riverland's is particularly appealing, with pints of Colonial Moon Dog and Great Northern beer available for $8. Yes, we said pints. Know what else is just $8? Markview wines and even all house spirits (with a mixer thrown in!) except tequila. Fancy a cocktail that will keep your energy up throughout a night game? You can score a Lexington Hill Espresso Martini for just $10.
Happy hour is available Monday to Friday from 5-7pm, so this one's not just for footy fans. Everyone can enjoy these deals – though of course the deals are all the sweeter if accompanied by your team's victory.