7 arcade bars to level up your night in L.A. (and relive your childhood)
Arcade games are a thing of fantasy and escape. Steve Kordek, who revolutionized pinball by introducing the concept of dual flippers in 1948, knew how to pique a gamer’s imagination: “What attracts a player, first, is the pictures on the back glass of the game,” he said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune in 2009. “Second, if what he sees on the play field is different, that’s a success. And when the features are so exciting that he wants to put more money in it, you’ve got him.”
Fortunately, we’ve got plenty of stops around Los Angeles with games ready for playtime. These bars are equipped with not only pinball and video games but cocktail menus, craft beer, wines on tap and happy-hour specials. Whether you’re gathering with family and friends or just feel like getting in a few rounds of Joust, there’s a fun-filled arcade destination waiting for you.
Barcade has a recently revamped food menu with plenty of vegan options. There’s Wi-Fi and a TV screen at the bar, along with a small sidewalk patio for a pandemic-safe home base. Happy hour is every day from noon to 7 p.m. and includes $1 off beer, well drinks and wine. (There’s also a special where you can get any $8 beer and a shot of Four Roses Bourbon for $10.) The first Sunday of every month is Family Day, when you can bring the kids around until evening.
Original vintage games from the ’70s and ’80s abound here, along with a dozen pinball machines from a full range of eras. Feeling physical? Button Mash has just enough to get you going, with mini-skeeball, hoops, extreme whack-a-mole and air hockey. Plenty of seating options make it the perfect place for a gathering of any size, with bar seating, high-tops, tables and booths available.
The One Up
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