For every diehard American sports fan in Melbourne – and there are plenty – there's at least a dozen casual Super Bowl watchers. You see, it's not hard to be swept up in the hype, because the Super Bowl is more than just a championship decider. It's also home to one of the world's most watched live performances, with the legendary half-time show (Bruno Mars and Red Hot Chili Peppers take centre stage this year), and the day of all days in the advertising world, where companies shell out US $4m for a 30-second spot viewed by more than 100 million people in the States alone.
Before you decide to back the Denver Broncos or Seattle Seahawks, plan your day with one of the best Super Bowl parties in Melbourne for 2014. American sports guernseys and a love of deep fried food are optional – but will make you fit right in.
(Looking for the 2015 edition of where to watch the Super Bowl in Melbourne? We've got all the best parties right here!)
Richmond's Precinct Hotel always gets into the sporting swing, and is throwing one of the best Super Bowl parties in Melbourne this year, with a plethora of plasma screens both indoors and out. On Monday 3rd, the crew from Huxtaburger will be providing the catering – expect the same old-school burgers you know and love from their stores around town, as well as a menu of American favourites. There'll also be a half-time raffle with vouchers and prizes up for grabs. Reserved seating is already booked out, but general admission tickets remain on sale.
Precinct Hotel | 60 Swan Street in Richmond
Billing itself as "the ultimate Aussie Bowl party," The Metropol has assembled a line-up of big names alongside a menu of buffalo wings, hot dogs and buckets of Budweiser. Former AFL and NFL star, Ben Graham, will be on hand, while one-time Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders will perform after the match. A post-match set by DJ Andy Murphy ensures punters get bang for their buck this Super Bowl. Oh, and as for the game – it'll be beamed on a number of plasmas.
The Metropol | 7/60 Fitzroy Street in St Kilda
Given TGI Friday's status as an oh-so authentic American-style pub and sports bar, it's no surprise the chain restaurant is hosting one of the best Super Bowl parties for us Melbourne folk. The South Yarra branch will feature door prizes and bar specials all day, and during breaks in play you can chow down on a sports-friendly menu of hot dogs (including the 'create your own' Touchdown dog), wings and burgers, as well as Coors beer available by the bucket. Entry is free but bookings are essential.
TGI Friday's | Shop 8/500 Chapel Street in South Yarra
Owned by former AFL star, Corey McKernan, North Melbourne's Leveson Hotel positions itself as a haven for sports fans, with the pub routinely packed out during the footy finals. The 2014 Super Bowl will be screened on five plasma and two projector screens, with a special American-themed breakfast and lunch menu on offer. The ticket price includes a drink on arrival, and entertainment includes live cheerleaders and prizes for the best-dressed fans. Easily one of Melbourne's best Super Bowl parties!
The Leveson | 46 Leveson Street in North Melbourne
Irish-themed pub, PJ O'Brien's, is the type of place you can wander into at 1am on a Sunday morning and find dozens of expats gathered around the TV watching Premier League football – so it's no surprise the venue will host a Super Bowl party this year. Entry is free to the event, which will feature a US-style menu (specials include a Miller pint and buffalo wings for $15) and the game live and loud on all screens across the venue.
PJ O'Brien's | 3 Southgate Avenue in Southbank
Punters won't have trouble scoring a good spot to watch the Super Bowl at South Yarra's Bridie O'Reillys, with the game screened in HD on 11 big screens. Doors open at 9am, with a full menu of American snacks and meals kicking off at 9:30am. Budweiser and Miller beer will be available by the bucket, from $25 – so you might want to leave the car at home.
Bridie O'Reilly's | 462 Chapel Street in South Yarra
With a reputation as Melbourne's premier sports bar, Turf Bar will host one the best Super Bowl parties throughout its pub and beer garden. Two huge screens and a number of plasmas will screen the action, and there are more than 20 local and imported beers on tap to complement the special 2014 Super Bowl menu. Turf Bar is the official sponsor for both cricketer James Pattinson and rugby player Jason Woodward – so you know sport is taken very seriously here.
Turf Bar | 131 Queen Street in Melbourne
If you've wandered past Federation Square on AFL Grand Final day or during the Australian Open, you'll be familiar with the sight of hundreds or thousands of Melburnians kicking back enjoying sporting action on the big screen. This year, it'll be one of the best places to watch the Super Bowl with New York-style street food, a Budweiser-sponsored bar, cheerleaders and giveaways. Best of all, entry's free.
Federation Square | Corner Swanston and Flinders Streets in Melbourne
Main Image Credit: Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens celebrates their 2013 win - Hollywoodreporter.com