If you’re wondering where you and your friends can hang out and have a fantastic game night in D.C., there are tons of cool arcade bars in some of the hippest neighborhoods across the city. Arcade and game bars emerged in the last decade, catering to millennials and Gen Xers seeking a more eclectic entertainment drinking and dining experience.
These venues offer a wide variety of gaming options to choose from, including bowling, karaoke, and traditional board games (Checkers, Chess, Scrabble, and Monopoly). You’ll also find bar favorites such as air hockey, racing games, foosball, or first-person shooters to play while enjoying tasty drinks and dishes. This guide will take you through some of the coolest arcade and game bars in D.C.
1. Player’s Club (1400 14th St NW)
The Player’s Club in Logan Circle is an adults-only underground basement arcade bar with a ’70s-’80s vibe. Fans will love the A-Team and Star Wars trading cards found under the bar top. Here you can play billiards, pinball, foosball, and modern and retro video games (Mortal Kombat or Guardians of the Galaxy). They also have pop-a-shot basketball, air hockey, and claw machines, or choose from familiar board games like Life and Monopoly.
They have a selection of craft beers you can enjoy on their rooftop bar, Skybox, while you order burgers from the Shake Shack. The retro decor favors orange-brown and mustard color schemes with psychedelic wallpaper styled like a 1970s basement across a large gaming space.
2. The Board Room DC (1737 Connecticut Avenue, NW)
Another gaming room with a sports bar vibe is The Board Room DC, where you can sample 21 different types of draft beer or a range of cocktails while you watch sports on one of their nine big screens. Conveniently located only a 10-minute drive from Georgetown, this venue has more than 30 different types of games you can play for a flat fee of only $2. Choices range from the traditional: Scrabble, Yahtzee, Jenga, Checkers, Chess, Monopoly, and Backgammon to more modern games such as Cards Against Humanity. They don’t have a restaurant on-site, but they encourage patrons to order delicious food from nearby restaurants (Flippin’ Pizza, Banana Leaves or Glen’s Garden Market) and have it delivered for free straight to your game table.
3. Lyman’s Tavern (3720 14th St, NW)
Customers will love Lyman’s Tavern, where you can play some pinball and enjoy a Pabst Blue Ribbon draft beer with fresh popcorn, or even bring your dog along as part of the gang. Lyman’s has a dozen pinball machines lining the wall near the bar area, including such popular classics as Red and Ted’s Road Show or Star Wars and Ghostbusters-themed games. Their machines are swapped regularly so visitors can experiment with different themes. They serve sliders, tacos, grilled cheese sandwiches, and their famous shrimp rolls. You can sit outside if you arrive early enough, as it gets busy in the warmer weather.
4. Penn Social (801 E St. NW)
Football fans in the Cleveland Park area should check out sports bar and gaming arcade Penn Social, with its giant (22 feet) TV screens designed for watching your favorite team. There is a wide range of games to choose from, including Giant Jenga, pop-a-shot basketball, foosball, ping pong, air hockey, video games, oversize Connect Four and banks of skee ball machines.
5. Spider Kelly’s (3181 Wilson Blvd., Arlington)
The Irish-themed Spider Kelly’s has been a part of D.C. gaming life for a while now and is a favorite for young urban professionals. You can shoot pool, toss some darts, or play billiards, basketball, ping pong, skee ball, or shuffleboard. Pool and shuffleboard are free until 4 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday, making it an excellent choice for young families.
Spider Kelly’s is conveniently located only two blocks west of the Clarendon Metro stop on the Orange Line and is a fun destination for hipsters and families alike.
6. Punch Bowl Social – Arlington (4238 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington)
This club was designed for millennials and is part of a national chain of clubs operating over 15 different locations. Their Arlington storefront of Punch Bowl Social is in the renovated Ballston Quarter Mall and has games over three floors covering 24,000 square feet. Conveniently located only 12 minutes drive from Georgetown and 13 minutes drive from Foggy Bottom, this venue promises an extensive gaming experience with a huge, round bar and pumping rock music.
You can order delicious craft beers in any of their four bars. They have mini and full-size bowling lanes (there are eight), private karaoke rooms, ping pong, wall scrabble, first-person shooter games, and some old-fashioned arcade games. You can eat retro food such as a fried bologna sandwich and cheese topped with potato chips and sip on local craft beers or fresh non-alcoholic cocktails. If you want to wind down, head to their downstairs lounge.
7. The Eleanor (100 Florida Avenue, NE)
Located just across from the NoMa-Gallaudet Metro Station, The Eleanor is a neighborhood bar, bowling lounge, and grill. It has skee ball, pinball, and video games, including the multiplayer Pac-Man Battle Royale. You can get delicious homemade food here as well as local beers, craft cocktails, and wine.
Get Your Game Night On in D.C.
Arcade and game bars are the perfect place for groups of friends to get together and unwind after a long day at work. We can help you find the ideal apartment in some of the most desirable neighborhoods in D.C.
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