The Best Bars in Austin for Gamers

Whether it’s booze and boggle or margaritas and Monopoly, one thing’s for sure: alcohol and board games definitely mix! Which is why bars all over Austin are bringing back these nostalgic pastimes and vamping them up with great drink specials and a classic touch of Austin. So grab your friends and challenge them to a friendly, booze-infused game of Cards Against Humanity, Mortal Kombat and a slew of other fun games at these awesome gaming bars in Austin.

IMG_5155Vigilante Bar

Fresh and new to the Austin nightlife scene, Vigilante Game Bar is a one-of-a-kind board game-centric bar in the heart of downtown. This bar boasts itself as “A Place to Hang your Cape” and has plenty of tables and seating plus amazing drinks and snacks to sustain you through hours of different games. In fact, Vigilante Bar is so serious about their board games that patrons can actually visit their website and view a massive database of available board games categorized by number of players, duration, game type and game style. Whether you’re into word games, strategy games, fantasy games or classic old school games, Vigilante has everything you and your friends need for an action-packed, unforgettable night!

Tip: If you want to be the ultimate board-game party host, you can even get a monthly membership to Vigilante and enjoy the perks of weekly private room rentals with reserved board games, free food and drinks and unlimited access to the entire gaming library!

Recess Arcade Bar

Well known in the sixth street bar scene, Recess offers well priced happy hours, a friendly atmosphere and all the games you can play in an evening. From Frogger and Pac Man to Mario Kart and Skeeball, you won’t be bored while you sip on IPAs and rack up the points from game to game. For many patrons, the bonus of this spot is the secret room with shiny new pinball machines lining the walls! No matter what your fancy, Recess is sure to bring out your inner child any day of the week.

Tip: Entry is free. Patron Silver is $5 a pour.

IMG_5157Craft Pride

Located on historic Rainey Street, Craft Pride is a cool place that offers a plethora of Texas Wines, craft beers and fun weekly events and activities for all patrons. With a staggering list that is categorized by flavor, type and intensity, Craft Pride is the place to find a fantastic selection of local, hand-crafted beers ranging from stout and sour to malty and hoppy. But perhaps best of all, Craft Pride also hosts super fun weekly events like Trivia Night with Geeks Who Drink, weekly live music and Video Game Night every Monday with classic games and consoles. This beer-tastic weekly gaming event is one you definitely don’t want to miss!

Tip: For gamers on a budget, free video game play start at 8PM and you can even enter their tournament at 9PM for a chance to win gift cards, brewery swag and gaming accessories.

IMG_5159.JPGParlor and Yard

This hip downtown lounge is known for their ample selective seating both indoor and outdoor, delicious drinks, yummy snacks from Carnal, Brooklyn and a smorgasbord of games from corn hole and ring toss to pinball and Chinese checkers. Parlor & Yard is a relaxing reprieve from the bustle of downtown Austin, and their impressive selection of games and activities will keep you entertained for as long as you want. Whether you’re there to watch a game on T.V or play a game with friends, this swanky speakeasy is full of fun for everyone. The drink list at Parlor & Yard is full of local beers and wines and great hand-crafted cocktails with cheeky names like Tu Madre, Mulligan and CrashKit. Parlor & Yard is definitely a great place to slow down, get away and take in the evening one drink and game at a time.

IMG_5158Gourmand’s Neighborhood Pub

Located in the trending east Austin, Gourmand’s Neighborhood Pub is a super chill grub spot for locals to hang out and enjoy daily drink specials, sports on T.V., a game room in the back and big, fat, mouth-watering sandwiches like The Godfather, Second Deadly Sin, Hannibal and Foghorn Leghorn, all made with true Texas bravado. Go to Gourmand’s for the fantastic food and drinks and stay for the surprising amount of vintage games, board games and classic bar games like foosball, table-tennis and everyone’s favorite: skeeball! Have a drink and shoot a game of pool, or relax at a table and play an old school board game like Scrabble or Sorry.

Tip: Try one of their most popular sandwiches, The Orgy, made with warm peppered pastrami, Swiss cole slaw and Russian dressing.

Cidercade Austin

Boasting over 150 arcade games that range from classics to shooters, Cidercade Austin is the place to let your inner child go wild. Kid-friendly until 8PM, you can enjoy an afternoon of family fun and food or you can go on an adults-only evening outing and play like a kid. Located on burgeoning Riverside, Cidercade offers hassle-free fun that you can purchase by the day ($10) or monthly (as a membership). Either way, admission gets you unlimited game play and access to their impressive list of 48 taps with 24 different hard ciders, hard kombuchas, hard seltzers (ya, we’re talking to you, White Claw lovers) and wines. Not only does this gamers dream come true have all the games you could want, but it also offers a gorgeous lakefront patio to relax and enjoy the sunset on. And if you get hungry – which you probably will after a few rounds of Pinball and Ms. Pac-man – you can enjoy an artisanal thin-crust pizza* made fresh in a rotary stone hearth pizza oven. So whether you’re looking for a way to exhaust your kids before you take them home or you’re just feeling nostalgic for simpler times, Cidercade has a little magic for everyone.

*gluten free crust available for extra $3.


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