Best Places to Drink and Play Games in Chicago #312ThingsChicago
Whether I’m looking to catch up with friends or change things up from the usual bar scene, I love heading over to an arcade bar or stopping by one of Chicago’s many game and entertainment venues. Evolved from the nostalgic arcade, these establishments offer everything from Street Fighter to curling accompanied by brews & cocktails (some even offer full menus) and provide a laid back environment that everyone can enjoy.
From its aesthetic to its variety of activities, Punch Bowl Social is a great spot to play games and capture memories. This 30,000-square-foot, three floor meatpacking factory turned grown-up playground offers shuffleboard, ping pong, marbles, a bocce court, virtual reality, private karaoke rooms, bowling, arcade games, table games, giant Scrabble & more….yes, more. Take a break from the games and snap an insta-worthy photo or enjoy their chef-inspired bites. Or do what I did and come for a birthday party and have so much fun that you stay way later than you thought you would!
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve been asked to go to Kaiser Tiger by friends and colleagues. It’s definitely a hot spot. Featuring a spacious beer garden, Kaiser Tiger offers curling in the Winter and bocce in the Summer. With some pretty decent food & a drink list long enough to scroll through, it’s definitely worth seeing what the hype is about. And, if you’re looking to do something fun before heading to a show or a game at the United Center, they provide a free shuttle. How awesome is that?
I’m not even going to pretend I wasn’t dying to go to this Royal Palms after seeing photo after photo on my feed of this beautiful space. Thankfully, a birthday party invite later, I finally made it, and let me tell you, I was not disappointed at all—Instagram saw a lot of boomerangs that night. Being a first time shuffleboarder, I was blown away by the expansive courts and impressed by the decor. And the cherry on top? The food truck drive-thru window (so cool!) & refreshing drinks. When not on the court, the space also offers tables to relax and room to chat or play board games.
As a gutter ball master myself, I love bowling. Within a 30,000 square foot space, Lucky Strike’s Wrigleyville location not only offers eight bowling lanes but also has over 100 electronic gaming systems including the exclusive Daytona Championship USA Motion SDLX and two private party rooms. Featuring chef-driven gastropub cuisine and craft beverages, the venue also boasts unprecedented views of Wrigley Field.
Dubbed Chicago’s original arcade bar and live events venue, Emporium offers everything from classic arcade games like Street Fighter to pinball and foosball. With passionately curated craft beer selections, an innovative cocktail program and a huge whiskey list, Emporium also features live shows, DJs, game tournaments & more. Their Wicker Park (the original) and Fulton Market locations have a bring your own food policy, while its Logan Square space offers a food truck.