There's truly no pairing quite like drinking and video games. At some point, someone caught onto this trend and had the genius idea to open up a "barcade" which means part bar, part arcade. This business venture became so successful that various barcades have opened up all around the world. From North America to Europe to Asia, you'll be hard pressed to not find a barcade near you.
The idea has since expanded to include not just arcade games but lots of other kinds of activities as well. Here are 10 of the coolest barcades where you can have beer while you (virtually) brawl.
10 Barcade - Brooklyn, New York
We don't know if the founders were the ones to come up with the concept, but they seem to be the ones to have coined the term "barcade." While the original Barcade opened in Brooklyn, the brand has since expanded to locations in New Jersey, Philadelphia, Connecticut, and California. The OG Barcade put a focus on vintage arcade games and beer, but they now serve pub food and cocktails.
As for the vintage arcade games, that's still what's on the table: any arcade game from as early as 1975 to as recent as the mid-2000s are available to play.
9 Game Over Lounge - Bangkok, Thailand
This bar boasts three different gaming consoles (a Playstation 4, Wii U, and Xbox One to be specific,) multiple computer stations, a pool table, beer pong, and board games. Game Over Lounge was opened by a food truck owner, so the bar's specialty food is burgers. Of course, there are also cakes and milkshakes available if you have a sweet tooth.
You can play games like FIFA or Metal Gear Solid, or choose to play a less intense game such as Monopoly or Chess. Sip on craft ales, wine, spirits, soft drinks, coffee or tea while you play.
8 Loading - London, United Kingdom
This barcade became so successful that there are now two more locations in London alone. Each location has an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, SNES Mini, and over 60 board games. There are also multiple copies of some of their games, so you won't necessarily have to wait your turn to play what you want.
Trying out all of the games is free, you just have to buy your drinks! With a wide selection of cocktails (some of which have clever game-related names) and a chill atmosphere, Loading has made a big name for itself in the London area.
7 Continue? Gaming Bar and Bistro - Taipei, Taiwan
Continue? Gaming Bar and Bistro has plenty of comfy couches to play whatever type of games you're into. Into more vintage, old-school games? Play some Mortal Kombat. Into first-person shooter games? The bar has Call of Duty. Want a more lighthearted game to play with your friends? They've got Mario Party! And of course, the most fun to both play and to watch is Just Dance. With a themed menu serving drinks like the Pikachu Thunderbolt and meals like the Charizard Fried Chicken, this place is a video game haven.
6 Seattle Pinball Museum - Seattle, Washington
In a way, this bar really does double as a museum. Showcasing games dating all the way back to the 1930's, the Seattle Pinball Museum has around 54 machines at any given time that they rotate out for variety. The founders of the barcade partnered up with Storefronts Seattle, who aims to link up empty storefronts with artists.
The Seattle Pinball Museum was selected alongside nine other artists by a jury to fund and try out their idea. Needless to say, the jury made a good call on this one, as what started as a collection of pinball machines has thrived into an enterprise.
5 Meltdown - Paris, France
Also known as "Le Melt," the Meltdown Bar in Paris, France specializes in streaming games and E-Sports. It's not exclusively E-Sports, however. They also have video games like Mario Party and Street Fighter as well! They also have themed nights that focus on a particular game or activity, like karaoke or a quiz night.
And of course, they have an extensive menu of drinks to choose from as well. Oh, and there are 28 other locations worldwide if you're not in Paris, so make sure you look up which Meltdown Bar is closest to you!
4 TILT - Toronto, Canada
TILT has a little bit of everything. You have your classic arcade and pinball games, but then there's also games like Skee-Ball, foosball, or air hockey. If having over 50 vintage arcade games wasn't impressive enough, they also have both old-school and modern video game consoles like Nintendo, Nintendo 64, Sega Genesis, Nintendo Switch, Sega Master System, and Super Nintendo.
With a decent beer menu and the best pub foods ready to order (i.e. "Start Menu" Snacks, "Power Up" Sandwiches, and "Bonus Level" desserts,) this is the perfect place to relax with friends.
3 Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade - Portland, Oregon
This barcade was founded in 1999, so it was definitely ahead of the curve when it came to the bar-arcade hybrid trend. Featuring over 100 classic video games and over 40 pinball machines, Ground Kontrol also has a full-service bar as well as events with host DJs, comedy shows, high score competitions, game tournaments, and Rock Band karaoke.
Serving up cocktails, beers, and plenty of yummy food, this barcade can keep you satisfied and entertained all night long. Don't forget to look up their events to find out if a themed night dedicated to your favorite game is coming up soon!
2 Player 1 - Orlando, Florida
There are no cocktails at Player 1 in Orlando, but that just means their list of craft beers, sakes, meads, and wines is even larger. As for gaming, they have more recent consoles such as Xbox One, Wii U, and PlayStation 4 as well as consoles from the generation before such as the Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, and PlayStation 3.
And of course, there are tons of arcade cabinets to choose from. Simply order your favorite beer and rent your favorite game to play, and you've got it made for the night.
1 Emporium - Chicago, Illinois
With three different locations in Chicago to choose from, Emporium doesn't just serve as your typical barcade, it could definitely be considered a music venue. There's often an indie band playing or a DJ spinning, but that only adds to the super fun atmosphere. There are plenty of arcade games alongside games like foosball and air hockey to choose from, and the drinks are always flowing.
While most of the locations don't serve food, you're allowed to bring in food from outside with no fuss. Check their calendar to see what tournaments or live music events are coming up.