While some nights out call for good conversation and a quiet room, others need a little more excitement. The chance to break the mold of a boring weekend, or blow off steam after work, is best left to some heated yet friendly competition. Here are the 14 best bars around Boston that offer ways to game on-site, whether that means arcade antics, a tense session of Sorry!, or some good old-fashioned shuffleboard.
The Salem bar has a dense collection of classic arcade machines dating back to the ’80s, ranging from Tekken Tag Tournament to Galaga. Grab a drink from a list full of house cocktails and tallboys, and a fun snack like a walking taco, and post up next to the glow of your favorite childhood game.
50 St. Peter St., Salem, 978-594-4838, bit.bar.
Blazing Paddles at Game On Fenway
This cozy club has 12 tables available for ping pong, as well as an area for cornhole. You can also take advantage of the large TVs, wings, and pizzas that Game On is known for.
Blazing Paddles at Game On Fenway, 82 Lansdowne St., Fenway/Kenmore, 617-351-7001, Facebook.
Not only can you order some rare pours of beer and wine on this Watertown restaurant’s patio, but you can also play bocce. If you work up an appetite trouncing your friends, there are plenty of small plates and cuts of rotisserie chicken on the menu.
321 Arsenal St., Watertown, 617-420-1900, branchlinearsenal.com.
The back bar area has games like shuffleboard, Jenga, and Rock’em Sock’em Robots. The slew of stiff drinks also on hand have made the spot a favorite among Camberville residents.
70 Union Square, Somerville, 617-623-9211, brassunion.com.
You’ll find cornhole, mini putting greens, and darts offered on the spot’s rooftop patio this spring. In between matches, you can order drinks from the outdoor bar, a modified vintage Airstream.
40 W 3rd St., South Boston, 617-658-3452, coppersmithboston.com.
For another case of patio-hangout-turned-gaming-session, hit up this riverside spot and play a round of oversized Connect Four or Jenga. There’s an outdoor bar on-site, too, so you’re basically set for the evening.
Royal Sonesta Boston, 40 Edwin H Land Blvd., Cambridge, 617-497-4200, restaurantdante.com.
Dorchester Brewing Company
The brewery offers cornhole, giant Jenga, and tons of board games to play on the patio. Rain dampening your plans? You can play most games inside, too.
1250 Massachusetts Ave., Dorchester, 617-514-0900, dorchesterbrewing.com.
Pac-Man, Sorry!, Uno, and a ton of craft cocktails make this spot a must for the gamer in your group.
90 Tremont St., Boston, 617-772-0202, highballboston.com
Hopewell Bar & Kitchen
Arrive at this Allston haunt a little early to claim the lone pool table or a pinball machine in the back. Or, spend your night cozied up next to the shuffleboards near the bar. Either way, there’s fun to be had.
1277 Commonwealth Ave., Allston, 617-208-8925, hopewellboston.com.
Night Shift Brewing
Enjoy a few rounds of cornhole on the brewery’s patio with a pint in hand. And, since the outdoor space is dog-friendly, there’s a good chance you’ll have a furry audience. There are a couple arcade games inside, too.
87 Santilli Hwy., Everett, 617-294-4233, nightshiftbrewing.com.
It’s easy to get sucked into a few rounds of Skee-Ball on the Salem taproom’s vintage machine. Add a few steins of lager and waterfront biergarten, and it becomes borderline impossible to leave.
283 Derby St., Salem, 978-238-9060, notchbrewing.com.
The double doors in Roxy’s Central Square space that lead to the A4cade area are a bit unsuspecting. In fact, from the outside, there’s little to suggest the hybrid arcade bar exists at all. But once you make it inside, you’re greeted by rows of gaming machines, and the clanking of joysticks and buttons. There’s also shuffleboard, foosball, and more that pairs well with a fun and nostalgically named cocktail, like the Kill Screen, There’s No Crying in Skeeball, and Your Mom’s Basement.
292 Mass Ave., Cambridge, 617-714-3960, areafour.com.
Springdale Barrel Room
The newest addition to Framingham’s beer trifecta—the city is also home to Jack’s Abby and Exhibit ‘A’— has a few arcade games and pinball machines tucked in the corner, plus shuffleboard and Skee-Ball for the more traditional players. The spacious taproom has plenty pouring to accompany your session, too, such as the Really, Though double IPA and a “country-style” witbier named Pearly.
102 Clinton St., Framingham, 774-777-5430, springdalebeer.com.
For the ideal pregame before heading to Fenway Park, stop by this restaurant’s revamped Expo Kitchen. Between darts, bumper pool, shuffleboard, and maybe a Detroit-style slice or two, you can prime yourself for the sports-driven tension to come.
69 Kilmarnock St., Fenway/Kenmore, 617-421-4470, tapestry.restaurant.
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