The Middle Park Hotel is serving up gourmet pies for the World Cup.
There's no point fighting it. This month, and into July, the world will be focused on one thing, and one thing only - football. From your local pub screening Socceroos games on the TV behind the bar to World Cup marathons in mega sports bars there's no shortage of places to watch the game.
But if you're looking for a World Cup experience with food to match, here's our list of places to enjoy the games.
The Provincial Hotel may call itself the Home of Spain but loyalties are divided this competition, with the Australian and Spanish and Chilean games shown live. The duality will be played out in the kitchen too with toasted sandwiches and pies sharing menu space with churros and crowd-pleasers like chips and wedges, keeping punters happy at game time.
The Provincial Hotel is at 299 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy, 9810 0042
Middle Park Hotel
What's the best thing to eat while watching football? If you voted for a pie then you're right in tune with the Middle Park Hotel. It'll be serving up white rabbit ale braised beef and bacon pies and Cumberland sausage rolls with HP sauce and hot English mustard throughout the competition. Sister pub The Prince in St KIlda will also screen every major Australian game live in the public bar.
The Middle Park Hotel, 102 Canterbury Road, Middle Park, 9690 1958. The Prince is at 2 Acland St, St Kilda, 9536 1111
World Cup Carnival 2014
The World Cup Carnival 2014 will include two days of music, entertainment, food and live screenings in a warehouse space in the heart of the city. Kicking off at 5am on Saturday June 14 with the Spain versus Netherlands match before the Socceroos start their campaign for victory at 8am. With such an early start a good breakfast is a necessity - artisan food truck Trailermade will be setting up shop from 7am selling gourmet egg and bacon rolls, hash browns with hollandaise and sweet muffins.
June 14 - 15, 524 Flinders Street. Tickets, $22 per day and include a complimentary beer or cider, stickytickets.com.au
Festival of Football at The George
Throughout the World Cup the George Cinemas will be transformed into the George Stadium, a football fan's paradise screening every World Cup game. In the spirit of the Cup's host country, the Stadium will include Brazilian-style street carts selling chicken, beef, and bacon and egg tacos or a traditional Brazilian hot dog. Choose from beanbag and deck chair seating or classic movie-theatre chairs.
The George cinemas, 135 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, 9534 6922, festivaloffootball.com.au.
There's nothing like watching the game with a group of passionate supporters whose national pride rests on a win. Social clubs will come alive during the World Cup - think Bulleen's Veneto Club, where Italy's games will be screened in the bar. Depending on how their teams play, Melbourne's suburbs with strong links to participating countries may well spontaneously come alive for match win celebrations.
Veneto Club, 191 Bulleen Rd, Bulleen, 9850 7111
The Italian Chef
It's all about Italy at The Italian Chef with every Italian game, plus every morning game, screened throughout the competition. An Italian breakfast including piadina and focaccia plus a special tricolore omelette with spinach and prosciutto will be on offer. Owner Simone Garusi says booking for the Italian games is highly recommended.
The Italian Chef, 427 Chapel Street, South Yarra, 9827 0048, italianchef.com.au
Want to see the games on a really, really big screen? Imax will be showing a selection of games live and for early morning screenings there will be coffee and fresh muffins plus the usual candy bar options including popcorn, ice cream and sweets.
IMAX,Rathdowne Street, Carlton within the Melbourne Museum complex, 9663 5454, imaxmelbourne.com.au
Invite your friends around and get into the spirit with a Brazilian-style barbecue. Stock up on supplies from Casa Iberica or order online from brazilianstylefoods.com.au. Cachaca, the spirit used to make a capirinha, is a must.