Game On at LA's Best Arcades

Vintage arcade games and pinball machines to VR experiences


From classic video games to modern pinball machines to carnival-style attractions, LA's arcade scene has you covered. Your gaming adventure might take you from a Glassell Park comic book shop with a hidden pinball room to a circus-themed Arts District showcase for high-tech games. In between, you’ll step into plenty of "barcade" hybrids, each with a unique vibe and gaming specialty.

Before you begin your quest, note that the games in most of the establishments listed here are either coin or token operated. Bring change with you or have small bills on hand that you can exchange for coins or tokens on site. Some arcades rotate their games in and out of service, so if you’re looking to play something specific, double-check beforehand to see if that title is currently available.

Skee-Ball at Arts District Brewing Company
Skee-Ball at Arts District Brewing Company | Photo: @artsdistrictbrewing, Instagram

Arts District Brewing Co.



If Skee-Ball is your game of choice, head down to Arts District Brewing Company. Since 2015, this Downtown LA brewer has been crafting lagers, IPAs and even seltzers - an ample selection is on tap in their tasting room. The bonus is that the Traction Avenue venue is also home to a small arcade that includes several Skee-Ball lanes. Play a couple rounds while you enjoy a drink before or after you sit down for a meal. Be on the lookout for events like Free Skee Mondays.

Konami's X-Men arcade game at Barcade LA
X-Men (Konami) at Barcade LA | Photo: @barcade, Instagram

Barcade LA



Situated on York Boulevard in Highland Park, Barcade is spacious and lined with a mix of recognizable and lesser-known pinball and video game titles, primarily from the 1980s and '90s. Yes, you can get in a game of Ms. Pac-Man, but you might want to keep your eyes peeled for Lady Bug as well. You’ll find a list of games available in their current rotation on Barcade’s website. Games run on 25-cent tokens. Craft beers, including exclusive brews, rule at the bar and the food menu includes vegan options. Environmentally conscious gamers take note: Barcade is a certified green restaurant and runs on wind power. Entry is usually reserved for the 21+ crowd, but the first Sunday of the month is designated as “Family Day,” where kids can join their parents or guardians between noon and 5pm.

Blipsy Bar
Blipsy Bar | Photo: @aotlfdmlgidrl, Instagram

Blipsy Bar



You might not even notice Blipsy Bar while you're driving down Western Boulevard, but step inside this long-running watering hole and you’ll be instantly transported into a wonderland for fans of retro games and pop culture. Take some time to explore the collection of vintage toys and ephemera that decorate the space before you dive into a game of Burger Time or Terminator 2 pinball. Bring quarters for the games and cash for the bar.

Follow @blipsybar on Instagram to keep up on DJ nights. This is a 21+ venue.

Pinball machines at Button Mash
Photo: Button Mash, Facebook

Button Mash



If your main goal for the evening is dinner and drinks with a side order of video games, then Button Mash is your best bet. The venue’s whimsical retro-modern art, created by Joseph Harmon, sets the mood for a hangout with now-grownup children of the 1980s and '90s.

Since the spring of 2022, Tacos 1986 has been serving up their popular Tijuana-style street food inside the Echo Park restaurant/arcade. A couple of tacos or mulitas will give you the fuel to take on a few action-packed rounds of classic video games, a Skee-Ball match with your companions, or a Whac-a-Mole session.

Arcade games at EightyTwo in the Downtown LA Arts District
Photo courtesy of EightyTwo, Facebook

EightyTwo



Arts District barcade EightyTwo lights up six nights a week with one room dedicated to video games and the other to pinball. Arcade classics are the theme in the video game area, where you’re likely to find titles like Street Fighter II and Frogger. The pinball machines veer into 21st century terrain with The Sopranos and Game of Thrones amongst the collection. Check EightyTwo’s website to see what’s available to play when you visit. For non-gamers, or anyone who just spent all their tokens on Centipede, you can chill out with a cocktail in the patio area and enjoy tunes from the nightly DJ lineup. 21 and over.

Free arcade games at The One Up in Sherman Oaks
Free games! | Photo: The One Up

The One Up



Sherman Oaks gastrolounge/arcade The One Up looks like the ‘80s-inspired home that you wish you had now. The bottom of the bar is lined with cassette tapes and boomboxes that are painted turquoise. Above the bar, a Knight Rider lunch box sits on a shelf, while a skeleton pops out of a cupboard. A Mr. T mural lines one back wall, while the Modern English lyrics "I’ll stop the world and melt with you" glow in neon. The best part is that the arcade games - located behind the bar and dining area - are set for free play! If you’re 21 or over, enjoy a bite and a drink before spending the rest of the night playing your favorite childhood games.

Exterior of Player One in the NoHo Arts District
Photo: Player One

Player One



A 5,400 square-foot barcade located in the Noho Arts District, Player One offers plenty of entertainment options for the 21+ crowd. The arcade itself mixes titles from across gamer generations. Whether you grew up with Super Mario Brothers or Guitar Hero, you’ll find a fun flashback here. Keep your eyes open for interesting retro pinball machines, like Time Machine or Xenon. Head to the bar for themed drinks, some of which might be featured on the Happy Hour menu, and stay posted for events ranging from pinball tournaments to trivia nights.

Pinball machines at Revenge Of in Glassell Park
Revenge Of | Photo: FTB Design

Revenge Of



Tucked into the back of Glassell Park comic book shop Revenge Of is a small room that looks like the inside of a spaceship and is filled with some of the coolest pinball machines you’ll find in Los Angeles. We’re talking new school games with sculpted plungers; heavily detailed, 3-D art along the paths; wild sound effects and even video clips. If the Elvira or Munsters machines are available when you swing through, be sure to give those a play. Be sure to browse the shop and maybe pick up some new comics when you visit.

Two Bit Circus



Two Bit Circus goes big. Yes, you’ll find some arcade standards here, but the greater draws are the tech-savvy incarnations of carnival games, virtual reality games and story rooms. The latter, like “Dr. Botcher’s Minute Medical School” and “Samuel Sweetbottom’s Candy Chaos,” are escape room-style entertainment intended for small groups. In fact, many of the games are multiplayer, so bring at least a couple of friends with you on your outing. The cover charge at Two Bit Circus is applied to the player card that you’ll use on games or food and drink purchases. Family package deals are available on the weekends and there are Happy Hour single tickets available for Thursdays and Fridays. Guests have to sign a waiver, which can take some time, so you might want to do that in advance of your trip.

Pinball machines at Walt's Bar in Eagle Rock
Walt's Bar | Photo: @elafrd, Instagram

Walt's Bar



You’ll know you've found Walt’s Bar when you see the colorful sign exclaiming “Pinball!” above the front door. Located in Eagle Rock near Occidental College, this small, friendly bar boasts a collection of beautiful pinball machines from the 1970s and '80s, plus a menu of locally brewed craft beers. They also recently opened the Black Light Shooting Gallery Mini Arcade in a tiny space on the bar’s back patio. Look for the sticker machine to get yourself a Walt’s souvenir. Keep tabs on upcoming pinball tournaments and other events via @waltsbar on Instagram.

Halo: Fireteam Raven at XLanes in Little Tokyo
Halo: Fireteam Raven at XLanes | Photo: @xlanesla, Instagram

XLanes



Located on the third floor of Little Tokyo Galleria, the 50,000 square-foot XLanes is well-known as one of LA's best bowling alleys, but its arcade is no afterthought. You’ll find games for all ages, from virtual darts to adorable children’s games like Chameleon Paradize. There’s also a karaoke room and a sports bar with an ample menu that includes pitchers of locally-made IPAs, specialty cocktails, bar bites and entrees. Look for the Rush Hour specials on weekday evenings.