Where to eat and drink in walking distance to Geelong’s GMHBA stadium

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Where to eat and drink in walking distance to Geelong’s GMHBA stadium

The Barwon Club Hotel
Words by Talia Rinaldo

Heading to the footy? Make sure you fuel up at one of these venues nearby.

Are you ready to don your guernsey and dive back into the footy frenzy as the Geelong Cats take to the field at GMHBA Stadium at Kardinia Park?

There’s never been a better time to be part of the GMHBA Stadium action (especially with the brand new Joel Selwood stand), and to help you pre-game for the matches, here’s a list of some venues to hit up across Geelong – all within walking distance of the stadium.

GMHBA Stadium has opened its brand new Joel Selwood stand just in time for the 2024 AFL season – meaning there’s now up to 40,000 seats to watch the game in-person.

The Cremorne Hotel

Where: 336 Pakington St, Newtown

Distance to GMHBA: 800 m, 12-minute walk

Still within walking distance to the stadium, and guaranteeing you a good pub feed, the Cremorne has a diverse menu from the homestyle right to the fancy. Just a stone’s throw from GMHBA Stadium, The Cremorne is a pre and post game favourite for Geelong Cat’s fans and players, alike, and not just because it is co-owned by AFL legend Billy Brownless who is often seen chatting to locals at the bar.

With great classic pub meals, cold frothies flowing, a great atmosphere and TAB and Keno facilities, The Cremorne is a local go-to spot ahead of events on nearby.


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Burger Inc

Where: 320 Pakington Street, Newtown

Distance to GMHBA: 800 m, 12-minute walk

Let’s be honest, there’s something about burgers that just screams football. And rather than paying the price for one at the stadium, save your $$ for a top-notch burger at Burgerinc.

The menu items are endless, with 17 beef burgers, 17 chicken burgers, and 4 veggie burgers, there’s no way we could list them all here. All you need to know is there is 100 percent, no doubt, something for everyone. Alterations can be made to any burger to suit what you want, just ask! While you’re at it, be sure to try one of their Milkshakes and make sure to get some Italian Herb Salt and Aioli with your fries!

With more than 10 years experience and a walk down Noble street to the stadium, it’s a good pick!

Barwon Club Hotel

Where: 509 Moorabool St, South Geelong

Distance to GMHBA: 350 m, 6-minute walk

Known as one of Geelong’s greatest live music venues, the Barwon Club is also a good place to get a hearty meal with a beer to throw it down. We’d say that’s a pretty darn good mix for before the game. Here you’ll find all the pub classics, from burgers to chicken parmis and steak and risotto. Plus, cold, cold beer from the tap.

With its close proximity to the stadium and music-friendly nature, this joint may be on a few other people’s minds as well. Though it’s worth fighting for.


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Belmont Hotel

Where: 77 High Street, Belmont

Distance to GMHBA: 1.5km, 21-minute walk

The Belmont Hotel is an institution in Geelong with one of the best atmospheres going round! With a finger-lickin’ menu that has some famous favourites and a number of speciality dishes, you will never want to leave – though the footy is probably worth it.

Here the kitchen doesn’t close so you can indulge in the all-day dining option, fuelling up on calamari, chicken parmi,  pulled pork burger, steak sanga or a 250g steak.


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Little Creatures Brewery

Where: 221 Swanston St, Geelong

Distance to GMHBA: 1.1km, 15-minute walk

Slightly more of a hike, Little Creatures is the ideal place to share a table full of food and some locally brewed bevvies.

Since the Little Creatures team decided to open a second brewery in Geelong to keep the beer coming to the east coast (a decision which we are very thankful for), Little Creatures has become an iconic destination and watering hole for the Geelong community over the last eight years, coming out with the very best brews and events time and time again, and most importantly, bringing people from all walks of life together for the love of BEER.

With all-day lunch, a pizza oven and a large selection of beer taps, this is a prime venue to get you amped for a big game ahead.

The Valley Inn Hotel

Where: 120 Fyans St, South Geelong

Distance to GMHBA: 700 m, 10-minute walk

A well-known favourite among the locals, The Valley has something for everyone – from a state-of-the-art sports bar to alfresco dining, chef-designed menu and fresh tank beer on-site… this little gem is a go-to for pre-gamers.

No matter your tipple, you’ll find something refreshing to drink at The Valley thanks to an extensive wine list with a range of local and imported beers and ciders on tap. If you’re hungry there’s no stress as this place offers all-day dining from 10am right through to 8:30pm. Pick from the multiple parmis, chicken kiev, honey soy chicken wings or delicious pizza.

St Lords

Where: 3 W Fyans St, Newtown

Distance to GMHBA: 450 m, 7-minute walk

Situated on the corner of Latrobe Terrace and West Fyans Street in Newtown, just a stone’s throw away from Kardinia Park, St Lords (previously Lord of the Isles Tavern) has been a favourite amongst locals for the past 40 years. Servicing everyone from Prime Ministers and premiership-winning Cats teams to thousands of average Geelong punters, this is a prime place to wet your whistle ahead of the big game.

Here you can load up on all the pub classics, buffalo wings, burgers and salads, or make your way to the courtyard for pre-game drinks and bar snacks.

Sawyers Arms Tavern

Where: 2 Noble Street, Geelong

Distance to GMHBA: 600 m, 9-minute walk

The Sawyers Arms Tavern is an iconic Geelong hotel, known to many as ‘Clats’. Sawyers Arms is a stunning building that boasts exposed brick walls and a stained wood-panelled bar, with high-quality modern Australian cuisine to match. Their seasonal menu incorporates pub classics and plentiful seafood options made from local produce, whilst their wine selection is curated to include both local talent and renowned bottles. Plus, they have some cracking lunch deals and feed me options.

Open for 11:30am through to 11pm, his is a great spot for an early pre-game lunch or just some quality bevvies with your crew.

Two Noble

Where: 2 Noble Street, Geelong

Distance to GMHBA: 600 m, 9-minute walk

Nestled just above Sawyers Arms Tavern in Newtown, this contemporary Asian gem is all set to become your new favourite foodie destination, blending the best of Southeast Asian cuisine with a modern Australian twist.

Prepare for a sensory overload with this year’s menu, featuring highlights such as the signature house-roasted duck with Cointreau hoisin, crispy Barongarook pork with green papaya som tum, and the standout Hiramasa Kingfish paired with burnt onion and chilli oil, topped with whipped soy.

Two Noble is open Monday & Thursday: 6 pm – late, Friday – Sunday: 12 pm – 2:30 pm & 5:30 pm – late. Find out more and book your visit here.


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Stadium Fish and Chips

Where: 406 Latrobe Terrace, Newtown

Distance to GMHBA: 300 m, 5-minute walk

There is nothing like a good box of fish and chips – whether it’s eaten on the beach with a sneaky squeeze of lemon and a cold beer balanced on the sand, or wrapped in paper and taken home for a lazy Sunday night dinner.

Located directly across from the stadium – hence the name – this fish and chippery is the perfect spot to grab a feed and a can of soft drink ahead of the big dance. Here you’ll find all the classics, like flake, butterfish, calamari rings, scallops, souvlaki’s, burgers, and steak subs, as well as meal packs and a range of delicious snacks. Hello sav in batter, chips and potato cakes.

With delicious, easy take-away food and a brisk 5-minute walk to Kardinia park, it’s a good option if there ever were one.

Nautica Bar & Restaurant

Where: Gheringhap St & Myers Street, Geelong

Distance to GMHBA: 800 m, 12-minute walk

Inspired by Bellarine Peninsula, Nautica Bar & Restaurant is the perfect spot for coastal cool, relaxed dining before or after the game. Whether you’ve after a relaxed meal, sundown drinks and intimate gatherings.

On the menu, you’ll find a collection of classics crafted with love from the finest and most delicious local produce. From fragrant red duck curry to locally sourced fish, each dish is a celebration of simplicity done exceptionally well. We recommend the Roast lamb souvlaki, a signature dish bursting with seasonal goodness that will pair perfectly with a pint or two. Plus, there’s a happy hour from 3 pm to 6 pm!

It’s also a great spot for groups, so if you’re travelling with the whole fam, this is the spot to go!


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Empire Grill

Where: 66 McKillop St, Geelong

Distance to GMHBA: 500 m, 8-minute walk

If you’re after something a little more luxe before the event, Empire Grill has been a favourite special occasion restaurant for more than 30 years now, with an a la carte menu boasting a fine collection of dishes that are contemporary in their execution, vivid in their taste, and expressive in overall satisfaction.

Here you’ll find a mix of modern Australian with European and Asian influences, utilising the finest and freshest of what the Geelong region has to offer. Think homemade linguini, Otway Pork Belly, slow-cooked beef cheek, and char-grilled eye fillet.

If you’ve got the afternoon off this could be the place for a relaxed, indulgent lunch and a few wines ahead of the games.

Tickets for each match are available via Ticketmaster.