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No, we’re not talking about football games on TV. We’re talking about the bars where you can play board games, ping pong, pool, and really show off your competitive side.
Check out this list of Austin gaming bars where you can hang, drink, eat, and really get your game on.
201 East 6th
If you find yourself on Dirty 6th with a large group of friends and y’all are in the mood to play some games, head to Buffalo Billiards. They have tons of pool and shuffleboard tables, as well as darts, foosball, air hockey, pinball, and skeeball. Buffalo Bills charges by the hour to play pool and shuffleboard, while all other games accept coins. The drinks are strong and the vibe is low-key after coming in off the debauchery of Dirty 6th.
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2420 South 1st
This is the definition of dive bar. Located in South Austin, G&S Lounge is more than a bar, it’s an experience. With no windows and tons of arcade games, you’ll feel like a teenager who’s just entered the cool friend’s basement. Don’t expect to have a heart-to-heart with the bartender, he’s all business and makes a mean cocktail. He’ll also get you the quarters you need to play pool, arcade games, or have your fortune told by Zoltar.
Kung Fu Saloon
If you’re looking for an upbeat bar to get your game and drink on, head to Kung Fu Saloon. They have vintage arcade games like Galaga, Ms. Pacman, and Mortal Kombat plus shuffleboard, foosball, and ping pong. All patrons of Kung Fu must be over 21 with a valid ID as this place has a full bar. This bar is definitely for the younger crowd and can get busy with happy hours after work.
Game bars don’t have to be all arcade games! Moontower Saloon is located in South Austin on 11 acres. At this dog-friendly, outdoor bar, pick up a game of sand volleyball on one of their three courts or play a game of horseshoes. Bonus: there’s often live music at the outdoor stage.
Pinballz is a great place for any age, any group size. If you’re wanting to play some arcade games with our without kids, head to Pinballz. All of their games take cash, or you can load a card with your credit card and then use it at a machine for tokens. The original Pinballz Arcade has a BYOB policy, too, as they don’t serve alcohol on site.
Punch Bowl Social
Punch Bowl Social is like the classy, adult version of Chuck E Cheese. This 20,000 square-foot hangout has a game for everyone — bowling, miniature gold, karaoke, ping pong, and arcade games (activities vary by location). The service is great, and so are the drinks and food. Some games are priced by the hour, while others are priced by the game. If the kiddos are in tow, that’s no problem! Punch Bowl has a kids menu, however no kids allowed after 10 p.m.
Recess Arcade Bar
222 East 6th
So you’ve found yourself back on Dirty 6th at 1 a.m. and you’re looking for a quintessential Dirty bar with something to do other than drink. Recess has the OG arcade games like Frogger and NFL Blitz, as well as enormous sized games like chess and Jenga. Drinks are good and the service is fine. Some of the games are in need of a little TLC but you are on Dirty 6th, remember?
213 West 5th
If you are a ping pong player, this is your spot. Spin is a full service bar and restaurant that specializes in ping pong, no matter your skill level. You can play with a group of friends, partake in their Serious Sunday league, play with pros, or schedule the dopest happy hour for your company. Spin even has staff walking around to gather the stray ping pong balls and refill your baskets so you don’t have to spend time chasing balls around.
2700 Esperanza Crossing
Golf is hard, like really hard, especially if you don’t play. And frankly, the sport can be a little boring. At Topgolf though, you do not need to be a professional to have fun and it is anything but boring. This interactive, multi level entertainment golf experience sets your group up in bays that are super high-tech and swanky. Choose from fun games to play while a server takes care of your food and drink orders. Bays are rented by the hour for 1 to 6 people and you must have a membership card before you start playing. If you’ve never visited a Topgolf location before, you can get your membership card for $5 on your first visit or beforehand online!
Vigilante Gastropub & Games
7010 Easy Wind Drive
You and your friends love game night. But you don’t love the food preparation or cleanup, plus you’re tired of the same board games. We get it, and so does Vigilante. This quirky bar charges a $5 “Game Night Fee” for all patrons and it covers unlimited access to their extensive library of games. There is a “Dine-In Exemption” which means if your stay is under an hour or you sit at the bar. you will not be charged. You can bring your own games, though the Game Night Fee still applies. If you’re ordering drinks and food, Vigilante has the perfect gaming tables that feature roll-out food and drink holders, card holders, and a service call button.
Featured photo via Vigilante’s Instagram account.