Updated: March 2019
Atlanta bars and restaurants have evolved over the years, determined to emphasize the overall dining experience and not just the food. That's what makes these some of the most fun bars in Atlanta. They 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. 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 e-mail. Get into the game and have some fun at the best game bars in Atlanta!
Photo courtesy of The Painted Pin
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 with your friends or for a group date night. Whether it's here or on the Westside at Painted Duck trying out duckpin bowling, be sure to bring your A game.
Where: Buckhead; 976 Brady Ave. NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30318
Photo courtesy of The Painted Duck
The Painted Duck
From the team behind Buckhead bowling destination, The Painted Pin, comes a whole new foray into the game-staraunt scene. The Painted Duck brings interactive games like horseshoes, air hockey, and shuffleboard to the Westside, but its claim to fame is duckpin bowling. A variation of traditional bowling, duckpin miniaturizes the bowling ball and pins for an even more competitive experience.
Where: Westside; 976 Brady Avenue NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Photo courtesy of Revery: VR Bar Facebook
Revery: VR Bar
The vibes are virtual at Revery: VR Bar, Atlanta’s first virtual reality bar. The Midtown escape is the ultimate sensory experience dropping you into an all-encompassing world to shoot, solve puzzles, and live out your pro sports fantasies all from behind a set of high tech goggles. The world is changing.
Where: Midtown; 728 Monroe Drive NE, Suite C, Atlanta, GA 30308
Photo courtesy of Empire State South
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!
Where: Midtown; 999 Peachtree St. NE #140, Atlanta, Ga. 30309
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.
Where: Westside; 914 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30318
Photo courtesy of 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.
Where: Westside; 1170 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta, Ga. 30318
Photo courtesy of Pin & Proper
Pin & Proper
Have you ever wondered what would happen if football and bowling had a baby? Would they nature it? Would it just be awkward and weird? Well, such a union exists at Grant Park haven, Pin & Proper. The football-bowling hybrid restaurant not only delivers on tasty grub fare but specializes in “pinfall,” a game where you do your best Matt Ryan impersonation and attempt to drill down some pins.
Where: Grant Park; 1039 Grant Stree SE D10, Atlanta, GA 30315
Photo courtesy of Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall
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.
Where: Eastside; 684 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. NE, Atlanta, Ga. 30312
Photo courtesy of Topgolf
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.
Where: Westside; 1600 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. NW, Atlanta, Ga. 30318
Photo credit: Amber Boutwell
Punch Bowl Social
Many may think that The Battery is all about baseball, but Punch Bowl Social has literally changed the game. The massive emporium at the home of Braves is stocked full of glorious eats, craft cocktails, and games on games on games. With everything from bowling and a vintage arcade to karaoke and virtual reality, you can’t help but get in the game at Punch Bowl.
Where: The Battery; 875 Battery Ave SE Ste 720, Atlanta, GA 30339
Photo courtesy of Game-X
Bring the kids, colleagues or besties for the ultimate game night overlooking Centennial Olympic Park. Start with 10-foot game of Connect 4 and end with a game of Pac-Man Smash or automated beer pong (make that "Pong 180").
Where: Downtown; 275 Baker St., Suite B, Atlanta, Ga. 30313
Photo courtesy of Joystick Gamebar
Mortal Kombat, Ms. PacMan, Street Fighter II, Gauntlet, Centipede, beer. Need we say more? OK, how about arcade games and pinball are 25 cents? Foosball is only 75 cents.
Where: Downtown; 427 Edgewood Ave. SE, Atlanta, Ga. 30312
Explore Atlanta bars and restaurants for even more great dining experiences.
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, @christopherbw.