Sigh. You know how when you meet someone at a bar, and instead of getting to know you, all they really want to do is play games... like corn hole, or shuffleboard, or mini-golf? Wait, you don’t? Then clearly you aren't spending enough time at the Seattle bars on our list of places with the best bar games.
This stunning subterranean spot would be a can't-miss drinking destination if it were just a sprawling brick-heavy basement bar rife with industrial touches, whimsical wall art, and a few tabletop games. But it also boasts an impressive mini-golf course that actually spells out "Seattle" in big block letters across the concrete floor and ends at a towering replica of the Space Needle -- the tip of which just brushes the high ceiling. Behind the two bars FP's pouring 34 exceptional Washington beers (a digital menu on the website tells you how much is left in each keg), including Reuben's Crikey IPA, Maritime's Old Seattle Lager, and a beer from Schilling called Too Much Sauce, the latter of which is also the only possible explanation for Curt's behavior after leaving the Red Sox.
One of Seattle's most popular bars -- so much so that the crew behind it (and Bastille, Poquitos, and other local spots) have opened one in Denver, and are planning one in Tacoma -- this vast German-inspired beer hall has two massive bars, its own sausage making operation, and two mezzanine areas where you can look down over the main room, which is entirely dedicated to bocce -- a confusing game brought over from Italy via Brooklyn hipsters that you can pretend to know how to play for a few minutes, before eating some of the aforementioned house-made sausage, a giant pretzel, or a Flammkuchen (crispy German flatbread pizza on house-made sourdough).
Judging by Hillside’s charmingly kitsch Facebook page, it might just be the most enthusiastic trivia destination in the city. That -- plus pool tables -- might be enough games for most places, but not the Hillside, oh no sir. Upstairs (which, by the time you've climbed back up from the recessed room with said pool tables is pretty much at street level) there is a sizable collection of pinball and arcade-style games like Big Buck Hunter where you can spend whatever bucks you haven't thrown toward something from the spot’s sizable list of whiskeys.
Add-a-Ball's a booze-equipped basement arcade inside an old scooter repair shop stocked with a mess of vintage pinball machines and 8-bit-era video games like Ms. Pac-Man and R-Type. Plus it's got a mechanical 900lb soccer game with players that only move in a straight line, a range of slightly ironic beers (Oly, Rainier tallboys), and the only popcorn vending machine with a coin-operated microwave in the world. Also, the whole place is run with a refreshingly casual nothing-costs-more-than-25-cents (and) sensibility.
Constructed almost entirely from polished wood (from the row of high-backed banquettes, to the oversized L-shaped bar), this cavernous dive from the people behind one of Seattle's most secret bars, Bathtub Gin, is known for its boisterous atmosphere as well as its retro-style pinball machine and the Skee-Ball tables (they even host a tournament every Tuesday) that are posted up in back.
Aside from the gorgeous views of Lake Union from the underutilized balcony in back, the Zoo's an old-school dive. It's a little dingy, there are peanut shells strewn everywhere (peanuts are the only food they offer), and it's cash-only. It's also got pretty much every old-school bar game you can think of, from pool (including one of the city's only snooker tables), to ping-pong, darts, and shuffleboard, as well as an Indiana Jones pinball machine, and a stand-up arcade game that was presumably named after what Indy always said was the thing he hated to do before taking off on one of his adventures, Pac(k)-Man.
With 20 lanes of play, 25 pool tables, and six bars, the Garage is a massive entertainment center that gets bonus points for its seven-day-a-week happy-hour specials that don't just only apply to drinks (you can get game time for more than half-off from 10pm to 2am daily). There’s also an onsite restaurant that slings "street" tacos filled with braised beef, lamb, or pulled pork, a selection of rustic 10" pizzas, and a multitude of other creative takes on classic bar eats like bacon mac & cheese, pork rinds tossed in Japanese Togarashi powder, and truffle potato chips.
Known for karaoke (and bingo, and trivia) and some surprisingly good fried chicken, this tiny dive is set back from 15th, giving it room for a huge front "yard" (it's astroturf) that's screened off from the street by tarps. Waterwheel also hosts all kinds of lawn games including ping-pong, ladderball, and cornhole -- none of which you'll actually be able to play after too many of the $2 domestic drafts they pour during happy hour.
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1. Flatstick Pub240 2nd Ave S, Seattle
2. Rhein Haus912 12th Ave, Seattle
3. The Hillside Bar1520 E Olive Way, Seattle
4. Add-a-Ball Amusements315 N 36th St, Unit 2B, Seattle
5. Rabbit Hole2222 2nd Ave, Seattle
6. Eastlake Zoo Tavern2301 Eastlake Ave E, Seattle
7. Garage Billiards1130 Broadway, Seattle
8. Waterwheel Lounge7034 15th Ave NW, Seattle
Flatstick Pub’s second location in Pioneer Square is similar to its Kirkland originator, but nearly three times the size and entirely underground. Clocking in at around 9,000 square feet, the subterranean bar and mini golf course is great for date night and for group hangs, and feel free to bring your pup. Aside from the 9-hole golf course (that’s studded with kegs and other Seattle-themed decor), there are board games and Flatstick’s own “duffleboard” -- a cross between mini golf and shuffleboard. Flatstick’s two dozen taps are constantly rotating and showcasing Washington-only ciders and brews.
Once-dubbed Von Trapp’s, Rhein Haus is a bustling bocce ball-themed, German-style biergarten in Squire Park. There are multiple bocce courts, a full menu of German favorites (think bratwursts, pretzels, schnitzels, and spätzle) and a large draft and bottled beer list featuring Eastern European and Pacific Northwestern beers and ciders. Grab your bier, give the bocce rules of play and code of conduct a quick once-over, and hit the courts until 2am, every day of the week.
Located in the heart of Capitol Hill in the old Elite space, The Hillside Bar features whiskey, craft suds, and games. You can drink from a list of 18 rotating drafts or 60 whiskeys, while playing pinball, skee-ball, Big Buck Hunter, darts, pool, chess, checkers, and more. On the first Wednesday of every month, play trivia. On the last Sunday of every month, play bingo. Every Sunday, play pool for free. And every day, enjoy happy hour from 2pm to 6pm. Hillside is big enough for groups, but their tiki lounge is intimate. And the peanuts are always free.
If you thought your arcade-going days were just a distant memory, you would be wrong. Add-a Ball Amusements Bar & Arcade is Fremont’s beer list-equipped, basement arcade with retro pinball machines and vintage video games (we’re looking at you, Ms. Pacman). Every day of the week, Add-a-Ball invites you to get lost in gaming like you did in your adolescence, except now, you can drink beer -- for cheap. Go thirsty, and pack plenty of quarters.
From the duo behind Bathtub Gin, The Rabbit Hole is a late-night dive bar located in a cavernous space in Belltown. Every day, you can play pinball or skee-ball from 4pm until 2am, and enjoy a full menu, late night snacks, and a lot of whiskey (or wine, beer, or other adult beverage) along the way. Monday nights are for trivia, Tuesday nights are for skee-ball tournaments, and every night from 4 to 7pm is happy hour with some of the best deals on food and drink in Belltown.
Commonly referred to as “The Zoo,” Eastlake Zoo Tavern is home to beer, blues, and games. It boasts a hefty repertoire of the latter, with five pool tables and pinball machines, three dartboards, shuffleboard, skee-ball, and ping pong among them. And it’s a tavern at its core: a cash-only dive serving cheap beer (and beer alone) every day until 2am. There are communal tables inside, and a seating area outside with views of Lake Union, making it a solid group hangout for the beer- and game-loving residents and visitors of Eastlake.
Get your game on at this Capitol Hill billiards 'n bowling hotspot. With 20 lanes of play, 25 pool tables, and six bars (!!!), Garage is a massive entertainment center perfect for a variety of occasions. Bonus points for their seven day a week happy hour specials which don't just only apply to drinks-- you can get game time for more than half off from 10pm to 2am daily. The on site restaurant features classic American grub and share plates.
The Waterwheel Lounge is a dimly lit roadhouse dive in Ballard serving Southern-inspired food and plenty of beer. They’re known for their fried chicken dinners and their original Waterwheel Cheesesteak, and they’re open every day from 2pm until 2am, and on weekends from 10am to 2am to serve brunch to Ballard’s masses. The Waterwheel Lounge has daily happy hour specials, weekly trivia nights, live music, and a whole host of games for guests to enjoy. Beyond the bingo, ping pong, and karaoke, they’re keeping up with the tech times with modern options like Guitar Hero and Wii Sports.