Prepare to be transported to a childlike universe of fun and games by walking through a time machine at an Arizona arcade bar.
Here are the six top picks to check out:
B.R.I. Taproom & Arcade
If you’ve been searching for the perfect place for a local brew and some classic gaming, look no further than B.R.I. Taproom & Arcade. Are you looking forward to classics like Donkey Kong and Galaga, or is The Simpsons more your speed? Before taking on a collection of over 40 classic arcade games from the 80’s and 90’s and 12 pinball machines, be sure to check out the bar scene. Accordingly, B.R.I. stands for Beer Research Institute. What once began with the humble beginnings of concocting craft recipes in a garage has sparked a revolution. A second home to some, this Arizona arcade bar is clearly known for its experimental brews. Through and through, this arcade bar will transport you to another time with its fiercely unique ambience. For more information, visit thebeerresearchinstitute.com.
Cobra Arcade Bar
Phoenix and Tucson
Whether you’re a Valley dweller or live in Southern Arizona, there is a Cobra Arcade Bar nearby for gaming galore until 2 a.m. At these Arizona arcade bars, guests will find a selection of rotating token-machine arcade games, enjoy music from the area’s top DJs and–at the Downtown Phoenix locale–savor eats from food trucks. Dig into character-themed cocktails, like Princess Peach and the Garbage Pail Kid, as well as mocktails, beer, wine and more. (PS: Cobra hosts private parties, too.) For more information, visit cobraarcadebar.com.
The Hot Chick
Nothing soothes the soul like a sense of nostalgia. Located in the heart of Scottsdale’s entertainment district is The Hot Chick, an Arizona arcade bar with retro flair. The atmosphere comes to life with groovy vibes, jukebox jams and vintage arcade games. Under one roof, you can find all of your favorite games, more than 30 flat-screen TVs, a huge LED wall and a cutting-edge audio-video system. With everything from Playboy Pinball to Ms. Pacman, the arcade is the perfect blast from the past. The modern twist comes into play with games like ping pong, darts and a wide variety of your favorite board games. Additionally, aside from bottles and cans, the bar also serves up mesmerizing cocktails. Definitely try out the Unicorn on Acid for a colorful kick, or check out the Hot Girl Spritz if you’re looking for something a little more tame. You also can’t overlook The Hot Chick’s notorious finger-licking fried chicken and potato chip cookies. And if you’re a fan of brunch, then you’re in for a treat. In honor of peace, love and bubbles, this arcade bar offers an entire bottle of Champagne for just a dollar, with the purchase of a delicious entree. For more information, visit thehotchickaz.com.
Electric Bat Arcade at Yucca Tap Room
If you’re game for a full bar and great games, you’ll meet your match at Electric Bat Arcade at the beloved Yucca Tap Room. Basically a Tempe landmark, this Arizona arcade bar has been serving up classics for over 40 years. The fun begins with an ever-changing lineup of vintage and modern arcade games. If you’re in the mood to be spooked, you can’t pass up on games inspired by The Walking Dead, Dracula and Creature from the Black Lagoon. And if you dare to visit Gotham City, Batman 66 and Joker Poker are a match made in heaven. Then, be transported to an alternate reality with the help of Rick and Morty-, Jurassic Park- and Game of Thrones-themed machines. The lounge also offers some of the most mouth-watering food in town, nearly 30 beers on tap, a vast selection of bottles and cans, and even a super-secret tiki bar. The bar continually rotates the beer selection, which is eclectic yet easygoing and can satiate any appetite. If you want to reminisce about your childhood favorites, go for the Papago Orange Blossom. Comparable to an orange Creamsicle, this brew is bursting with bright citrus and a creamy vanilla finish. And everyone knows the perfect pairing for a pint is a juicy handheld. Thankfully, a collaboration with Bao Chow allows guests to indulge in street tacos, paninis, build-your-own burgers, and, of course, savory filled bao buns. For more information, visit electricbatarcade.com.
The Grid: Games and Growlers
Feeling lucky? At The Grid, you can test your luck while drinking a beer. With over 1,000 games to choose from, there is always a chance to win. At this Arizona arcade bar, the possibilities are endless. Whether you’re looking to recover some memories with the GameCube or Nintendo 64, or take a swing at the Xbox or PlayStation, there is something for everyone. Guests can burn some rubber with Mario Kart, make some furry friends with Animal Crossing, or even get into the spirit of spooky season with The Adventures of Dr. Franken. At the same time, the bar is impossible to miss. Serving up everything from seltzers to sangria to spiked smoothies, there will be no shortage of booze. If you’re feeling a sweet tooth, ask for a candy shot or cocktail for a sugary sip infused with the candy of your choice. Additionally, adorable cocktails inspired by Adventure Time, Fruit Ninja and Harry Potter are sure to please. Aside from the drinks, the kitchen will also be dishing out scrumptious shareables and late-night hot pockets, true classics just like mom used to make. For more information, visit thegridgg.com.
Level 1 Arcade Bar
You know you’re going to have an authentic experience when the bar was created as a passion project by a group of arcade fanatics. Level 1 Arcade Bar aims to inspire all ages with the glory days of video gaming. The fully refurbished pinball and games at this Arizona arcade bar create lasting memories for the next generation of gamers. You can face off against some of your favorites, from Deadpool to Godzilla. Or you can get spooked by Michael Myers and the Monster Bash. No matter how you decide to spend your tokens, there will always be something new to look forward to. In addition, guests can also look forward to the bustling bar where there are plenty of rotating drafts, wines and cocktails. After a win, there’s nothing better than a celebratory beverage with a name like Son of a Glitch, Flawless Victory and Smash Bros. Guests can also personalize their own tots, fries or nachos, alongside a menu packed with tacos, sliders and shareables. For more information, visit level1arcade.bar.