Top 10 Arcade Bars in America

The Top 10 Bars With Arcades In The United States

Best arcades in America: There are few things that go together as well as beer and video games. Restaurant owners have taken note, and over the course of the last decade, a number of impressive arcades that also function as bars have opened up across the country in an effort to attract gamers who are thirsty.

The Game Informer staff travels a lot over the course of the year, and when we’re in new towns we often try to make time to check out these venues. We haven’t been able to check off all of the bar arcades in the United States from our list of places to go, but out of the many that we’ve been to, these are the ones that stand out as our favorites for blowing through a substantial amount of quarters.

The 1Up

Denver is the location.

The 1Up is the preferred bar arcade for the majority of Denver residents, including our very own Ben Reeves, and it is so popular that it has spawned a second location. There are dozens of vintage arcade cabinets and pinball machines spread across the Colfax and LoDo locations, respectively. Players who are dedicated to the game can participate in monthly tournaments or league play. In keeping with the lo-fi aesthetic, the bar serves a variety of different malt liquors in 40-ounce servings in addition to beer served from the tap.


New York, Newark, Jersey City, Philadelphia, and New Haven are the locations in question.

The Williamsburg location of Barcade, which first opened its doors in 2004, quickly became extremely popular thanks to its combination of craft beer and classic arcade cabinets. In 2008, Esquire magazine named it one of the best bars in the United States. Since then, the proprietors have expanded the brand to a total of seven locations, spread across four eastern states. The Brooklyn location is the home of gamers who hold the world record for games such as Donkey Kong, Q*bertz, and Timber.

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Button Mash

Location: Los Angeles

The city of Los Angeles is home to a number of excellent arcade bars, but our favorite is Button Mash because of its fantastic menu of Asian fusion cuisine. The selection of arcade cabinets includes a “murderer’s row” of top-selling games from a wide variety of categories of video games. You can snack on some must-have foods like the double-fried tamarind chicken wings and the spicy Korean pork belly sandwich while you wait to challenge the person who is holding court in NBA Jam. These are both excellent options.

Cobra Arcade Bar

Location: Phoenix

The proprietor of the popular bar in Phoenix, Arizona, Ariel Bracamonte, has assembled what he considers to be the Holy Grail of arcade machines at his establishment, the Cobra Arcade Bar. The majority of the arcade classics that you would expect to find on this list are included, in addition to the holy trinity of early 1990s brawlers, which consists of The Simpsons, X-Men, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time. The drinks have names that are a nod to classic arcade games such as Pac-Man and Street Fighter, and there are drink specials going on all the time, which makes this a reasonably priced place to hang out.

Coin-Operated Arcade Game Room

Location: San Francisco, San Diego, Sacramento

The location in San Francisco was already a must-visit destination because of its assortment of craft cocktails with a video game theme, its Neapolitan pizza, and its lineup of fifty arcade machines from the 1980s and 1990s. However, this did not prevent Coin-Op from advancing to the next level by creating a sophisticated speakeasy with a Tron theme. This bar within a bar is known as the Grid, and it is a wonderful place to unwind after a tense round of Killer Queen – provided that you recalled to make a reservation for this popular spot in San Francisco.

Control on the Ground

Portland is the location.

Ground Kontrol has been a Portland institution since 1999, and it is the venue for the annual Portland Pinbrawl tournament. The venue features ninety arcade cabinets, some of which date back to the 1970s. Additionally, game-centered events are held all throughout the year at this location. The once-a-month Rock Band karaoke night, the sporadic gatherings of Hearthstone players, and the independent game showcases are some of our favorites. The arcade is currently in the process of undergoing a significant expansion and remodel, and in addition to this, it is selling a variety of merchandise.

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Headquarters Beercade

Chicago and Nashville are the locations.

This well-stocked arcade haven offers over 60 different arcade and pinball games, some of which are not as widely played but are still considered to be among the best, such as Narc and Primal Rage. HQ lives up to its name by offering a remarkable selection of rotating craft beers in addition to inventive craft cocktails that take risks such as mixing Cinnamon Toast Crunch with bourbon. A must-see is also the interior design of the Chicago location, which is located in the River North neighborhood. It has some cool touches, such as a wall of cassette tapes that is located behind the DJ booth.

Kung Fu Saloon

Austin, Dallas, Houston, and Nashville are the four locations.

The owners of this Austin institution found that their business model was so successful that they decided to expand into three additional cities. Despite the fact that there are fewer arcade cabinets here than at other bar arcades, the selection of classic fighting games such as Street Fighter II, Mortal Kombat, and Kung Fu Master allows you to demonstrate your mastery of various fighting styles. The new location on West Sixth is roomier than the one that came before it, and it is one of the few gaming-centric establishments that we are aware of that also serves brunch.


Where: in the city of Seattle

This undead clown lounge was nearly put to death at the hands of the real estate gods in order to make room for yet another high-rise condo. Unfortunately, this has been the demise of far too many wonderful bars all over the country. Pinball and dive bar enthusiasts were motivated to contact the Landmark Preservation Board as a result of this, and the board was able to successfully halt the development of the real estate project in 2015. The cherished bar in Belltown is not yet completely free of the wrecking ball, but for the time being, it is continuing to serve hot dogs and providing a fantastic selection of pinball machines to the loyal customers who frequent the establishment. Visit the dive bar to order a Rainier and stick around to give the Addams Family pinball machine a shot and see if you can beat the high score.

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Minneapolis, Kansas City, and Des Moines can be found here.

As the headquarters of Game Informer are located in the Minneapolis area, there is a good chance that you might run into one of our editors while they are putting quarters into one of the fifty arcade cabinets that are located in this Uptown hangout. The robust selection of arcade and pinball fan favorites offered by Up-Down includes a number of fan favorites, but also includes modern games such as Killer Queen and Black Emperor in addition to deep cuts such as Mr. Do! and Crystal Castles. Pizza slices are all you need to keep you full in between rounds of skee-ball, where the competition is fierce. The impressive tap list features beers from sixty different breweries, most of which are located in the surrounding area. It’s never a bad idea to give your neighbors access to 30 taps, especially when there are so many excellent breweries in the area, like Bent Paddle, Fulton, and Surly.


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