Written by Emily Malter and Garrick Ramirez | 12/19/16

Photo by Luke Beard

Photo by Luke Beard


The Bay Area's got game. A recent boom in bar diversions means you can pair your beers with bocce ball or your cocktails with Candyland. Here's a list of our top bar games along with our favorite spots to play them.

1. Arcade Games

The spot: Coin-Op

Coin-Op, a new 10,000 square-foot, design-driven arcade bar featuring vintage games and craft cocktails, will open in SoMa this month. The space was designed by SF-based firm sfHEIMAT and features loads of fun details, including a Tron-themed speakeasy, Super Mario and Pac-Man wallpaper in the bathrooms, a giant-Lego cocktail table, and Star Wars tiki glassware. // 508 4th St. (SoMa),

1. Plinko

The spot: S&R Lounge at Hotel Zetta

The price is right for the tech sect with happy hour specials and a 30-foot Plinko game fed by a bin full of soccer balls. When you're all plunked out, there's also an Atari 2600 simulator, Wii, pool, shuffleboard, ping-pong, and an assortment of board games. // 55 5th St. (SoMa),

2. Miniature Golf

The spot: Urban Putt

You'll need a caddy to lug your drinks around this fantastical mini-golf course (haha, not true! You can't take your drinks on the course). But there are two bars, a full restaurant upstairs, and 14 mechanically-enhanced holes, all playfully set in a former Mission mortuary. // 1096 S Van Ness Ave. (Mission),

3. Bocce Ball

The spot: Make Westing

A downtown Oakland bar is a poor sub for a bucolic Napa estate, yet somehow the popular field sport works here. Colorful balls line two indoor courts while local tap handles line the bar. // 1741 Telegraph Ave (Oakland),

4. Skee Ball

The spot: Golden Gate Taproom

Three glowing skee ball machines hold down a corner at this Union Square bar and game room. The 100-strong beer list helps explain all the netting around the games. // 525 Sutter St. #2 (Union Square),

5. Pinball

The spot: Molotov's

Pump some quarters into the Lord of the Rings game and enjoy the multi-player action. // 582 Haight St. (Lower Haight)

6. Super Nintendo

The spot: Soda Popinski's

With props to the Russian roughneck from Super Punch Out!!, the eponymous California Street bar serves up Super Nintendo, Soviet-era decor, and oversized boots of Moscow Mules. Just take care not to end up with the boxer's original moniker, Vodka Drunkenski. // 1548 California St. (Nob Hill),

7. Shuffleboard

The spot: Wreck Room

Classic bar games like pool and shuffleboard keep a sporting young crowd entertained at this Polk Gulch man-cave. // 1390 California St. (Nob Hill),

8. Darts

The spot: The Albatross

This bookish East Bay pub—which just turned 50—hosts the well-read and the Berkeley-bred with popcorn, a killer scotch selection, and six pro dart lanes. // 1822 San Pablo Ave. (Berkeley),

9. Board Games

The spot: The Willows

Cards Against Humanity pairs well with craft beer or a cocktail at this SoMa gastropub. That is until someone whips out a _____________. // 1582 Folsom St. (SoMa),