Where To Watch The Blues Destroy The Maroons This Origin Season

by Annabelle Evans

The best sporting event in the nation is back and better than ever baby, and I know we are all ready to bring the shield back home to NSW where it belongs. It’s been a rough few years of surrendering the title to the Maroons up north (alas, not without a few of our own victories), but it’s time for the tides to turn in our favour, and the Blues to be crowned the State of Origin champions of 2023.

With three thrilling games running through the colder seasons of the year, there’s nothing more enticing than sitting down with a beer and bowl of chips in Davo’s living room to watch the Blue’s pummel through Queensland’s back line. However, in this post-Covid world, we sometimes forget that Sydney’s fantastic bar and restaurant scene is as ready as ever to kick back up again.

So, we’ve scoured the bays of the east, the leafy suburbs of the north and the winding alley ways of The Rocks to find the best venues to sit back, relax, and watch the dynamic duo of Brian To’o and Jerome Lui run laps around the Maroons.

The Greenwood Hotel

36 Blue St, North Sydney NSW 2060

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Built from a converted church hidden within the concrete jungle we locals like to call North Sydney, The Greenwood Hotel is a failsafe show stopper for Origin lovers. Still standing after 150 years, The Greenwood’s grand sandstone walls and incredible arched ceilings have definitely seen their fair share of wins and losses for the NSW side. You are definitely guaranteed to find a spot in this airy and spacious venue to rug up in your Blues merch, beer in hand, as you enjoy the game.

The Greenwood is offering some killer deals for those who wander over for the showdown on all origin nights. With $7 schooners on the table until the first point is scored (hopefully from the Blues) get on down early to secure the best viewing spot, either inside in perfect reach of the bar, or outside in their spacious courtyard, where you can cheer along with all your heart’s content.

The Greenwood is also the top place to kick on to celebrate our inevitable win, with delicious food to pair with all your favourite cocktails, beers, bubbles, and wines. Dig into some buffalo hot wings, or Japanese chicken satay skewers to reward yourself for a long and tiring evening of drinking your body weight in alcohol and cheering on your favourite players.

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Coogee Bay Hotel

253 Coogee Bay Rd, Coogee NSW 2034

Where else would you want to be watching the State of Origin than at the Coogee Bay Hotel? It doesn’t get more Sydney than soaking up the evening sun’s rays against the glistening water of Coogee Beach while wearing your Blue’s jersey in anticipation of the night’s victory.

Aside from beautiful views and a thrilling atmosphere, Coogee Bay Hotel is offering the State of Origin deal of a lifetime: the opportunity to win four tickets to game three! To test your luck and be in for a chance, purchase any selected Victoria Bitter products from the first game until June 21st, where they will announce the winner during Game II’s live screening! The deal even includes one night’s accommodation at the Coogee Bay Hotel with limo transport to the game and back! That sounds even better than the three back to back Blue wins in 2000!

Whilst the beer garden, Marra bar and grill, and the Arden lounge are beautiful locations to watch, the sports bar is definitely the top spot. With 15 big screen TVs and two mega screens, fuel up with a chicken shnitty, pepperoni pizza, or wagyu beef burger for a long night of watching the Blues smash the Maroons.

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Australian Heritage Hotel

100 Cumberland St, The Rocks NSW 2000

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Experience one of Sydney’s oldest pubs this year as you watch 2023’s State of Origin showdown. With a rotation of 20 Australian beers on tap and more than 130 different craft beers offered, this is the ideal location to settle down for a long game that will inevitably end with the Blues on top.

Even better, the Australian Heritage Hotel has one of the best State of Origin offers to make sure that all Blues supporters are well fed and hydrated (with beer) throughout the entire duration of the Maroons getting thumped. Gorge yourself on their $20 buckets, or alternatively their $20 wings and stubbie deal! What more could you ask for?

Wings not your cup of tea? With menu favourites including potato wedges with sweet chilli and sour cream, chilli beef nachos overflowing with tomato salsa and guacamole, and the national dish; the chicken parmi up on offer, win or loss for the blues, everyone is guaranteed to be satisfied.

Nestled in The Rocks with a perfect view of the harbour, Harbour Bridge, and city skyline, the Australian is in the ideal spot for those seeking a later celebration, with easy access to all of the CBD’s delights!

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Rose of Australia

1 Swanson St, Erskineville NSW 2043, Australia

As the social hub of one of the most hip and cool areas of Sydney, the Rose of Australia is definitely the place to be to watch the Blue’s v Maroons showdown this year. Neighbouring the uni hub and much loved grunge bars of Newtown, the Rose is the perfect mix of fun and frivolity, and that traditional pub vibe that we all know and love (they’ve been perfecting it since 1874!).

Down at the Rose, they know exactly how to throw a party. With so many spots to choose from, including the much loved Art Deco main bar, the upstairs Cantina, and the trusty old beer garden, you’re spoilt for choice for where to sit back with your mates and watch James ‘Teddy’ Tedesco smash through Daly Cherry-Evans’ front lines.

To make the Rose more appealing than it already is, there are some spectacular deals for the three Wednesday night games. Whilst still offering their Wednesday night 2 for 1 deal, where you can pick three meals for the main section of their menu, and the cheapest one is free (major bargain if you ask me), the Rose is throwing in $18 pitchers of Newtowner all night long for those who pop down to support the Blues. AND, if that not quite enough for you, there will be complementary party pies brought around at half time to keep the energy and good vibes up. Sign me up!

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Crows Nest Hotel

1 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest NSW 2065

Famously nicknamed ‘The Crowie’, the Crows Nest Hotel is the perfect combination of cozy pub vibes and late night party central with spacious outdoor and indoor options available. As an icon of the North Shore, the Crowie is the perfect spot for all north siders not ready to trek it all the way down to the city to watch the Blues take home the win.

Maintaining the capacity to host almost 1000 guests (yes-this place is huge!), there is absolutely no excuse to not drag your friends down to Crows Nest on a Wednesday night to watch the Origin. Settle down in the main bar, Long Bar, or Terrace to watch as Nathan Cleary scores conversion after conversion, taking the Blues over that winning line.

With bar snacks such as pork chircharon, or larger plates loaded with garlic flatbread, chicken wings or mushroom arancini, make sure you line your stomach with their delicious food before the excitement of the evening gets the better of you!

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Hotel Harry

40/44 Wentworth Ave, Surry Hills NSW 2010

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Located in the social heart of Sydney in Surry Hills, Hotel Harry is an eclectic mix of Americana aesthetics, bright decorations, and comfortable dining. Bursting with bold wallpaper, colourful posters that take up entire walls, framed pictures dotted all over the place, neon lights, and greenery overflowing from every corner, Harry’s is an absolute winner for State of Origin venues.

Join the friendly and warm staff at Harry’s for their famous State of Origin $15 burger deal that will leave you drooling for more. Or, treat yourself to their platter menu, with three different platters full to the brim with your favourite snacks and treats to take you through both 80 minute halves. For your beverage of choice for the evening, Harry’s doesn’t just offer the typical beers, wines and spirits that we all know and love, but invites you to try any of their delectable signature cocktails. A standout includes the Hot Little Calypso: a mix of tequila, mango liquor, lime, chilli, mango, and banana!

With their happy hour from 4-6pm promising $6 beers, $8 wines and spirits, $10 cocktails and $5 snacks, pop on down to Harry’s to enjoy their luxuries, and hype yourself up before kick-off at 8pm.

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Time to kick on for a post Blue’s win celebration?

Head over to some of Sydney’s best bars!

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