Boston’s Best Bars With Arcade Games

May 15, 2012 6:00 AM

Photo Credit: Lanes & Games via Facebook

Although the days of 1970s “Pac-Man Fever” may be long gone, the age old idea of arcade games as bar entertainment is still alive and well within many Boston-area establishments. Whether it’s shooting down villainous gangsters, driving a European sports car at top speed or just some comforting, old fashioned Space Invaders, these Boston destinations still provide plenty of opportunities to sink those quarters into some good time arcade action.
nightlife music bar games boston bowl Bostons Best Bars With Arcade Games

Photo Credit: Boston Bowl via Facebook

Boston Bowl
820 Morrisey Blvd.
Boston, MA.
(617) 825-3800

Hours: Open 24/7

Besides reveling in the glorious past time which is 24 hour bowling, the city’s beloved Boston Bowl also provides plenty of arcade fare for the joystick inclined. The place will even allow you to bring your favorite console controller from home if the ones provided here aren’t to your liking. How cool is that? Boston Bowl is all about the promotions for both families and corporate events, offering such specials as half price bowling from Monday nights at 9 p.m. to Tuesday at 7 a.m. and a $20, two hour billiards special Sunday through Friday. Of course, this night time destination also has plenty of the latest arcade games including Tekken, Beachhead and Dance Dance Revolution for the competitive gamers, but that’s only if they manage to pry themselves away from Boston Bowl’s awesome electronic SkeeBall.

nightlife music bar games the beacon hill pub Bostons Best Bars With Arcade Games

Photo Credit: The Beacon Hill Pub via Facebook

Beacon Hill Pub
149 Charles St.
Boston, MA. 02114
(617) 999-9999

Hours: Mon to Sat – 11a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 2 a.m.

With no official website and a phone number consisting entirely of one number, it comes as no surprise that Boston’s Beacon Hill Pub prides itself on superior dive bar status. Overlooking the city’s State House area, the Beacon Hill Pub revels in its reputation as being “A Bar Scene Straight Out of Star Wars.” This fun and rowdy lighthearted space packs in a sizeable college crowd on the weekends. Game-wise, Beacon Hill has your typical basketball stand-ups, Photo Hunt and SkeeBall, alongside a juke box and drinks cheap enough to make you momentarily forget the cramped space.

Related: Best Sports Bars Outside Of Downtown Boston

nightlife music bar games the tam Bostons Best Bars With Arcade Games

Photo Credit: The Tam via Facebook

The Tam
222 Tremont St.
Boston, MA 02118

Hours: Mon to Wed – 8 a.m. to 1 a.m., Thurs to Sat – 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., Sun – 12 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Following a similarly dark ‘n dive-y path, we come to The Tam, a phone-less joint located in the city’s theater district. The Tam is a place which also revels in that quintessentially loud and riotous Bostonian bar attitude and style, offering a cash only bar and no kitchen. Bring in a pizza from next door or brave the vintage vending machine in the corner if you’re hungry. Here you’ll find a cast of regulars who leave their pretensions at the door. Stacked in the back of this “bar that time forgot” are your prerequisite Photo Hunt and Big Buck Hunter stand-ups, alongside some nice old school arcade fare like Ms. Pac-Man. Cheap beer and cheap arcade action make The Tam a boast-worthy bet.

nightlife music bar games lanes games Bostons Best Bars With Arcade Games

Photo Credit: Lanes & Games via Facebook

Lanes and Games
195 Concord Turnpike, Rte 2E
Cambridge, MA. 02140
(617) 876-5533

Hours: Daily – 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Bowling alleys and stand-up arcade games are like milk ‘n cookies or peanut butter and jelly–they just go together perfectly. Naturally, then, it makes total sense that our second Boston gamer destination should be yet another boisterous bowling joint. Cambridge’s Lanes and Games, located smartly off the Alewife station, proudly promotes a game room amongst its other amenities. This is a perfect hang out for those who have copious, jingling quarters burning holes in their pockets. In addition to the alley’s lottery and Keno lounge, a fully stocked snack/alcohol bar, pool tables and ten pin/candlepin bowling goodness, the Lanes and Games also houses Virtua Fighter, V3 and Golden Tee stand-ups, to boot. Fully refurbished and under new management, the Lanes and Games game room features tons of pinball goodness, including Elvira, Iron Man and the vintage Playboy model, in addition to bubble hockey, air hockey and Hydrothunder video games. Plus, student’s can get a 10 percent off membership card for bowling.

George Pacheco has been writing professionally about arts and entertainment for over a decade. A graduate of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, George currently resides in a humble New England home with his wife, cat and massive music and film collection. His work can be found at