Quarterworld Arcade, Portland, Oregon
Quarterworld Arcade

31 Bars With Arcades That Are Worth Your Quarters

View Slideshow
Cheapism is editorially independent. We may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more
Quarterworld Arcade, Portland, Oregon
Quarterworld Arcade

High Score Winners

If you still remember all the moves to your favorite video games and fondly recall mastering classic pinball games when you were a kid, chances are you'll love arcade bars. Many of us grew up going to the arcade after school and, for the later generations, playing video games at home. Now those of us who want to relive a bit of our childhood and beat our old high scores, can do so with the added bonus of enjoying beer, wine and cocktails — and in some cases gourmet food — while we play. Next time you and your friends are feeling nostalgic for Pac-Man, Space Invaders or Mortal Kombat, grab your quarters and head to one of these action-packed arcade bars.

Related: These Laundromats Offer Pizza, Beer, Video Games and More Cool Stuff

Button Mash, Los Angeles
Meagan I./Yelp

Button Mash | Los Angeles

Customers go to Button Mash for the food first, then for the arcade games, which help pass the time while you're waiting for a table. The playful pan-Asian-inspired menu includes green crispy tofu balls, double fried Korean chicken wings, Spam fried rice, and lychee panna cotta. Even the late Jonathan Gold, the Los Angeles Times dining critic, called the wine list "almost shockingly good" and praised its noodle dishes after playing Food Fight. All ages are welcome until 9 p.m. every night.

Boxcar Bar + Arcade, Raleigh, North Carolina
Boxcar Bar + Arcade/Yelp

Boxcar Bar + Arcade | Raleigh, North Carolina

If you're a console game fan, then Boxcar is the place for you. They've got over 175 of them to choose from, along with 70 vintage and modern cabinet machines and pinballs. There are 24 taps, all pouring American craft brews, and a seasonal cocktail menu. There are drink specials every day of the week, making this a bar you can chill at even when you're not in the mood for games.

Draftcade, Kansas City, Missouri

Draftcade | Kansas City, Missouri

One of the largest arcade bars on the list, Draftcade has over 75 vintage arcade games, plus Skee-ball, consoles, board games, and giant Jenga. There are an impressive 60 beer taps, a cocktail menu of sweet drinks, and a full food menu. Smoked meats like brats, pulled pork, and chicken wings are favorites, and who can say no to deep-fried Twinkies?

Ground Kontrol, Portland, Oregon
Lisa M./Yelp

Ground Kontrol | Portland, Oregon

There are over 100 classic arcade games and 40 pinball machines at Ground Kontrol. It's so large because it's actually two previously separate locations that were joined together into one giant nostalgia paradise. Most items on the food menu can be made vegan or gluten free, including three kinds of nachos, hot dogs, and a grilled peanut butter and jelly served with potato chips.

Player 1, Orlando, Florida
Elvin L./Yelp

Player 1 | Orlando, Florida

To get away from amusement parks full of screaming kids, head to Player 1, where little ones are not allowed after 6 p.m. There are thirty-six taps, but if you're not a beer person, there are 40 ciders and 15 meads as well. There are plenty of retro arcade games, but it's the console games that people really come to play. Sit at the bar while you play your friends on one of the huge TVs on the wall.

Related: 25 Amusement Parks That Aren't Horrible for Parents

Spacebar Arcade, Boise, Idaho
James R./Yelp

Spacebar Arcade | Boise, Idaho

Spacebar feels a little like you're in the basement of your coolest friend in 6th grade. Besides the arcade and pinball games, there's console games on a coffee table, a big selection of board games, and even some crayons behind the bar. Your friends probably didn't keep you hydrated with Idaho and West Coast beers, though.

The 1Up Arcade Bar, Denver
The 1UP Arcade Bar - LoDo/Yelp

The 1Up Arcade Bar | Denver

The first location of 1Up was so successful, there are now two additional locations in the Denver area. The one on Colfax Avenue has the largest collection of pinball games in the city at 42 machines, plus over 90 arcade games. Two of the locations serve food, including a donut burger, but all offer a selection of 40-ounce drinks like Boones Farm and Olde English to take you back to your college drinking days.

Sidecar, San Diego
Nell E./Yelp

Sidecar | San Diego

Down-to-Earth Sidecar isn't anything fancy, instead opting to feel like a neighborhood hangout with plenty of bar regulars and drink specials. Games are rotated to keep them fresh, as are the 14 craft beer taps. Saturday nights usually have no-cover live music. If arcade games aren't really your thing, there's bar games like pool and hard-to-find metal-tipped darts to keep you busy.

Quarterworld Arcade, Portland, Oregon
Quarterworld Arcade

Quarterworld Arcade | Portland, Oregon

Quarterworld has something no other arcade bar has: a musical Tesla coil named Tessi with shows on Tuesdays and Sundays. Almost 100 arcade and pinball games are available, and kids are allowed until 8 p.m. The bar serves up huge $25 party punch bowl drinks for three or more people and $1 Jell-O shots. Burgers, pizza, salads, and sandwiches keep gamers of all ages satisfied.

Park&Rec, St. Petersburg, Florida
Rachel M./Yelp

Park&Rec | St. Petersburg, Florida

Bucking the retro decor trend, Park&Rec is a modern space with industrial chic decor and blue mood lighting under the bar. Besides arcade games, pinball, and air hockey, you'll find lots of things to do on the large patio as well, like cornhole, giant beer pong, and outdoor Connect 4. Try the Kwik-E-Mart daily slurpee and pair it with a buffalo chicken pizza.

Cidercade, Dallas
Cidercade Dallas/Yelp

Cidercade | Dallas

Not everyone likes beer, and for those people, there's Cidercade. It's owned by the Bishop Cider Company, so you can be sure to get their fruity ciders like Crack Berry and The Dark Cide with black currants. There are 30 ciders and wines on tap, and over 170 different games with an emphasis on multiplayer games. There is no kitchen, but food trucks will often park out front.

Shorty's, Seattle
Tiffany P./Yelp

Shorty's | Seattle

Shorty's is a beloved dive bar and pinball arcade that has been fighting for years to stave off the wrecking ball as developers vie for their block. Thankfully it looks as though the dream will live on in a new location further down the street expected to open sometime later this year. Though there are some classic arcade games like Pac-Man and Millipede, the pinball machines and tournaments have always been the main draw. Hotdogs are just about the only thing to order here besides drinks, and they come Chicago style, with chili and cheese, or with tomatoes, cream cheese, and peppers. Head to the Trophy Room, a secluded and fully-stocked bar, to unwind.

Barcade, New York City
Rusi P./Yelp

Barcade | Multiple Locations

Barcade claims to be the original arcade bar, and has the trademark to prove it. The first location opened in Brooklyn in 2004 and there are now 9 locations around the country, each with dozens of arcade games. They team up regularly with craft breweries to create collaboration beers that are only available at Barcade locations for a limited time.

Old North Arcade, Columbus, Ohio
Caitlin P./Yelp

Old North Arcade | Columbus, Ohio

Not only will you find the standard classic arcade games and pinball machines at Old North Arcade, you can also play Skee-ball, foosball, air hockey, and Dance Dance Revolution. A large patio is the place to be in summer with a projector screen, giant Jenga, cornhole, and sidewalk Twister. Play for free if you're drinking any of their 20 craft taps or cocktails, like the On Like Donkey Kong with root beer, vodka, and creme de banane.

Coin Haus, La Mesa, California
Coin Haus/Yelp

Coin Haus | La Mesa, California

You'll never have to wait in line at the bar at Coin Haus because there are 50 pour-your-own taps of beer and wine. Happy hour here means free game play until 6 p.m. every day, too. On Wednesdays, the bar hosts a playful sommelier-led wine and junk food pairing, with snacks like Cheetos. If you're hungrier than that, though, there's also a small menu of jumbo pretzels, melts, and sliders.

Players Club, Washington, D.C.
Eric S./Yelp

Players Club | Washington, D.C.

The Players Club might not have the most games on this list, but they make up for that in swanky, '70s-style decor in shades of brown and orange. You wouldn't be out of place sipping a martini or Manhattan here, even if you're mashing the buttons on a pinball machine. If you're hungry, nearby Shake Shack will deliver right to you. This one is for adults only, especially since the prize machines are filled with sex toys.

I/O Arcade Bar, Madison, Wisconsin
I/O Arcade Bar

I/O Arcade Bar | Madison, Wisconsin

The tagline at I/O Arcade Bar is "A place for drinkers with a gaming problem" and that seems fitting in this cozy arcade bar on hip Willy Street. There are 20 beers on tap, many of them local, plus drink specials like the Fire Flower with mango habanero vodka. There are over 30 arcade games, plus pinball. Lounge areas with couches and other tables allow space for table top games.

Free Play Arlington, Arlington, Texas
Celeste R./Yelp

Free Play Arlington | Arlington, Texas

There are over 130 rotating retro arcade and pinball games to play at Free Play. The name is a bit misleading though, because while the games are set to free play, it will cost you $10 to get in the door. Pressed sandwiches like Cubans and caprese panini supplement shareables like hummus and fruit platters. Garage doors line one wall of the building, so it can feel like you're playing Mortal Kombat outside when the weather's nice.

A4Cade, Cambridge, Massachusetts
Rebecca R./Yelp

A4Cade | Cambridge, Massachusetts

A4Cade is the arcade bar outlet of Area Four, a restaurant and cafe with a few locations around the Boston area. Hot dogs, burgers, and grilled cheese sandwiches with fillings like barbecue short ribs and guacamole will keep you satisfied while you play games like Primal Rage. Cocktails like the Worst. Drink. Ever. (hint: read it in the voice of Comic Book Guy from "The Simpsons") with citrus shrub have cute names but classy ingredients.

The Circuit Arcade Bar, Richmond, Virginia
The Circuit - Arcade Bar/Yelp

The Circuit Arcade Bar | Richmond, Virginia

Located in a large, warehouse-like space with high vaulted ceilings, The Circuit has over 80 vintage and modern games, including favorites like Skee-ball, air hockey, and pop-shot. Fifty drafts of beer, wine, and cider are available from the self-serve tap wall. When you get hungry, you can select from a make-your-own-taco menu with fillings like pulled pork or brisket, or get them on sliders instead.

Cobra Arcade Bar, Phoenix
Anna J./Yelp

Cobra Arcade Bar | Phoenix

"We like to drink and play games" is the tagline at Cobra Arcade Bar, and that's hard to argue with. Located in Tucson and Phoenix, the bar is where classic gamers in Arizona go to battle in Street Fighter with a DJ spinning in the background. Cocktails have names like Garbage Pail Kids and Whiskey Business, and there's a drink section called Go Juice with various energy drinks so you can play all night long.

Start Bar, St. Louis
Eric S./Yelp

Start Bar | St. Louis

With modern furniture and sleek light fixtures, Start Bar feels a little more like a club than an arcade, especially when there's a DJ spinning on the weekend. But there are plenty of '80s cabinet and console games to keep you occupied, along with pinball and Skee-ball. Pizza, tacos, and candy are the snacks of choice, with 64-ounce group margaritas or slushes for sharing. Get a boozy bacon pancake milkshake for dessert.

Headquarters Beercade, Chicago
Mikayla D./Yelp

Headquarters Beercade | Chicago

Headquarters Beercade is a two-level vintage arcade bar and restaurant with interesting decor like a wall of retro TVs and a neon sign warning, "Don't grow up it's a trap." Living up to its name, the arcade-bar has 12 rotating craft beer taps, plus dozens of cans and bottles to choose from. Alcohol-filled watermelon margarita freeze-pops are refreshing in summer, especially after sharing some heavy deep-fried cheese curds.

Right Around the Corner Arcade Brewery, St. Petersburg, Florida
shannon k./Yelp

Right Around the Corner Arcade Brewery | St. Petersburg, Florida

The exterior of Right Around the Corner is painted to look like a Super Mario Bros. level, so you can't miss it. This is a fun meeting place for everyone, including kids, gamers, beer lovers, and even your pet dog. Beers the arcade brews in-house have names like Ms. Pacman and Crisis Averted. Pay attention to the tap handles, which include old Gameboys and console controllers.

Related: 19 of the Oldest Breweries in America

Eighty Two, Los Angeles
Kent D./Yelp

Eighty Two | Los Angeles

Located inside a warehouse-like building covered in a blue, psychedelic mural outside, Eighty Two has about 50 classic arcade and pinball games. The craft cocktail menu changes seasonally, as do the 10 beer taps. DJs play regularly, and there's almost always a food truck, barbecue, or taco stand in the parking lot for when the munchies hit. Pinball tournaments are usually held the last Sunday of the month.

Gamers Arcade Bar, Spokane, Washington
Laura C./Yelp

Gamers Arcade Bar | Spokane, Washington

Gamers isn't large, but it's got lots of personality. A Pacman statue will greet you on the sidewalk, and the bar lights look like Mario's mystery blocks. About 30 arcade games are crammed into the bar along with air hockey. Specialty drinks are named after characters like Yoda and Kirby, and the canned beer collection is large. The only things on the menu are peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, and candy, but what could be more nostalgic than that?

Up-Down, Kansas City, Missouri
Rayshawn W./Yelp

Up-Down | Multiple Locations

Though Up-Down has four locations in the Midwest, they all have great food, drink, and token specials every day of the week. Each one also has at least 40 arcade games from the 1980s and '90s, and a great craft beer lineup with up to 60 taps. Pizzas are sold by the slice or whole, with fun toppings like chicken and waffles or mac and cheese in addition to classics like pepperoni.

Logan Arcade, Chicago
Marjorie H./Yelp

Logan Arcade | Chicago

If you see the vintage "Logan Hardware" sign on the outside of the building, you'll know you're in the right place for Logan Arcade. The retro feel continues inside the spacious, multi-room bar with original hardwood floors, decorative tin ceiling, and exposed brick walls. This is a mellow neighborhood bar you'd want to hang out in even if it didn't have 30 pinball machines and 47 arcade games.

16-Bit Bar + Arcade, Lakewood, Ohio
16-Bit Bar+Arcade/Yelp

16-Bit Bar + Arcade | Lakewood, Ohio

Located in a Cleveland suburb, 16-Bit Bar + Arcade embraces all things nostalgic, not just video games. There's Mr. Spock, Madonna, and Hulk Hogan murals on the walls, E.T. and LEGO figures behind the bar, and cocktails have names like Lisa Frank, Kevin Bacon, and Patrick Swayze. While none of the 40-plus pinball and arcade games are on the patio, it's a great place to enjoy a Slush Puppie on a hot day.

1983 Arcade Bar, Milwaukee
Erik E./Yelp

1983 Arcade Bar | Milwaukee

The no-frills nature of the cozy 1983 Arcade Bar means it's for serious gamers. There are 35 classic arcade machines that rotate monthly, seven pinball machines, two consoles at the bar, and a bubble hockey game. At the bar, grab one of the local craft beers like New Glarus' Spotted Cow that's only available in Wisconsin, or a candy shot with Airheads with root beer barrels candy in it.

Related: 17 Cheap Beers That Locals Love

Coin-Op Game Room, San Francisco
Annette H./Yelp

Coin-Op Game Room | San Francisco

Spread over two floors, Coin-Op strikes a great balance between games (about 50 of them) and its restaurant and bars. Multiple bars serve 16 craft beer taps and a drink menu with solid choices like the Lost Viking with vodka, vermouth, Falernum, grapefruit, and tiki bitters. Food is not an oversight here, with eclectic offerings like Neapolitan-style pizzas, homemade falafel sandwiches, and shrimp ceviche. This spot is 21 and up, so you won't find any kids hogging the games here.