Atlanta bars and restaurants have evolved over the years, working to emphasize the overall dining experience and not just the food. So if you find yourself waiting for a table at one of the spots listed below, don't pull out your phone to play a game or check your email. These restaurants and bars put the fun into waiting by offering competitive games and activities ranging from mini-golf and bowling to Ping-Pong and shuffleboard to keep you thoroughly entertained before, during and after dinner.
The Painted Pin – The best way to describe The Painted Pin is as an adult playground. The Buckhead entertainment complex features chef-driven pub fare perfect to build your appetite for competition in games like bowling, bocce ball, shuffleboard, darts and even Skee-ball — all while downing beers and craft cocktails. Be sure to bring your A game.
Empire State South – Lively games of bocce ball over a Pimm's Cup while eating fine Southern cuisine may seem like something out of a country club, but you can get that experience right in the heart of Midtown at Empire State South. Break out your finest seersucker suit and take to the beautiful bocce court flanked by the equally amazing Midtown skyline. It's game time!
The Optimist – Glorious eats from the coast await at this Westside seafood house. The Optimist brings the party with kickin' cocktails and mini-golf fun in the courtyard. Aim for the sound of the ball dropping into the cup.
Ormsby's – Beers and awesome bar food? Check. An underground "Fight Club"-style bocce ball court? Double check. Ormsby’s is the place to be on the Westside. Grab a burger or dog at this basement beer haven and descend even further for a game of bocce or billiards.
Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall – This Atlanta BeltLine restaurant and bar markets itself as an “adult summer camp,” and it couldn't be more right. With a menu of camping-inspired eats and copious amounts of beer, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall brings the real fun with a wide variety of games like corn hole, shuffleboard and Ping-Pong to keep you and your friends entertained.
Topgolf Midtown – Unleash your inner Arnold Palmer and toss back a few boozy John Daly's at Topgolf. We can all get down with a menu of insane bar bites, curated cocktails and competitive golf games that show how bad you really are at golf.
Chris Watkins is an Atlanta-based freelance writer and photographer, and he serves as the voice of Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau (@DiscoverAtlanta) on social media. You can follow him on Instagram and Twitter, @christopherbw.