15 fun spots for games and grub in NYC

February 21, 2023

With all of the unique attractions and over-the-top experiences New York City has to offer, sometimes you just want to have a more casual night. There are several spots across the city that offer fun and frivolity, along with a full food and drink menu. Ahead, find some of the best bars and social clubs that offer activities and games, from axe throwing and mini golf to ping pong and shuffleboard.

Image courtesy of SPIN New York

SPIN New York 23
48 East 23rd Street, Flatiron District
For ping pong lovers, the Flatiron District’s SPIN New York 23 is one of the most popular social clubs for the sport in the five boroughs. The 14,000-square-foot ping pong club has 17 separate tables, a full bar, and an extensive food menu. It’s also a perfect space for any kind of event, whether it be a birthday party, corporate gathering, or of course, a ping pong tournament. You can make a table reservation here.

Image courtesy of Live Axe NYC

Live Axe NYC
96 Lafayette Street, Chinatown
Test your Nordic might at the Viking-themed Live Axe NYC in Chinatown. Each axe-throwing session is roughly one hour and 15 minutes long and begins with designated “axeperts” who teach participants about the safety guidelines, axe-throwing techniques, and the game rules. Besides testing your aim with axe-throwing, Live Axe has two full bars, offering patrons an extensive selection of craft beers, cocktails, wines, and seltzers. You can book your reservation here.

Image courtesy of Paul Winch

Swingers Crazy Golf
35 West 29th Street, Nomad
Swingers offers New Yorkers a chance to play “crazy golf,” a British term that takes the classic game of mini-golf and combines it with cocktails, gourmet street food, and live DJs, according to the Swingers Crazy Golf website. The Nomad location has three crazy golf courses, each with its own unique designs and obstacles. You can book tickets here.

Image courtesy of Amsterdam Billiards

Amsterdam Billiards Club
110 East 11th Street, East Village
Amsterdam Billiards offers a chill, laid-back environment for pool enthusiasts and novices alike. The venue offers 27 pool tables, two cocktail lounges, 17 flat-screen TVs, and rentable space for parties and other events. In addition to billiards, they offer ping pong, darts, foosball, beer pong, a full bar, and a great food menu. Those interested in booking a party can find out more here.

Image courtesy of Barcade

148 West 24th Street, Chelsea
The originator of the arcade bar concept, Barcade is a favorite spot for a fun night out. With more than 40 unique arcade games and pinball machines, there is no shortage of games to choose from. Barcade also offers a full bar with craft spirits, cocktails, more than 25 beers on tap, and classic pub fare. In addition to its Chelsea outpost, Barcade has another location at 6 St. Marks Place in the East Village.

Image courtesy of Backal Hospitality Group

Cellar Dog
75 Christopher Street, West Village
If you’re looking for an exciting, game-filled night out, the West Village’s Cellar Dog will keep you entertained. Cellar Dog has billiards, board games, ping pong tables, and shuffleboard, available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Cellar Dog is also well-known for its live music, particularly its live jazz nights which are hosted from Sunday to Wednesday from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. and from Thursdays to Saturdays from 7 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Image courtesy of The Uncommons

The Uncommons
230 Thompson Street, Greenwich Village
Board game lovers should look no further than the Uncommons game cafe in Greenwich Village. The Uncommons is well-equipped with all of the classic board games, from Monopoly to backgammon, but also offers an extensive variety of lesser-known, but just as entertaining, board games. The cafe sells a variety of food and drink options, including over 25 craft beer selections. You can take a look at the game cafe’s wide selection of games here. It costs $10 per person, with a three-hour limit during peak periods that grants you access to any of the cafe’s games.

Break Bar
458 9th Avenue, Midtown West
Upon finishing your drink at Break Bar, you have the unique opportunity to take out any pent-up anger and smash your empty glass along with other targets in the bar’s designated “break room.” Break Bar offers a wide selection of draft and bottled beers, spirits, cocktails, wines, bar bites, and happy hour specials. The bar is open to the public and no reservation is required, but groups of 10 or more can make a reservation here.

Five Iron Golf
Five locations in NYC
Five Iron Golf is a fun, dynamic, and easily accessible way to enjoy golf for all New Yorkers. All of Five Iron’s locations have full-service bars, locally-sourced food menus, ping pong, shuffleboard, and TVs broadcasting all of the biggest sports games. Five Iron has five locations in NYC, on the Upper East Side, Herald Square, Flatiron, FiDi, and Long Island City.

Royal Palms Shuffleboard
514 Union Street, Gowanus
In Gowanus, Royal Palms Shuffleboard provides New Yorkers with one of the only places in the five boroughs to enjoy the laid-back game. Since they opened in 2013, the Royal Palms Monday and Tuesday Night Shuffleboard League has become the largest in the world. For dedicated players, Royal Palms has their own shuffleboard leagues. In addition to shuffleboard, Royal Palms serves drinks and food, and occasionally hosts live music. Entry to the Royal Palms is mainly on a first-come-first-serve basis, but groups of 10 or more can book a party here.

Image courtesy of Carreau Club

Carreau Club Pétanque
68 34th Street, Industry City
Visiting the Carreau Club, the country’s first-ever pétanque bar, is a great option for those looking to take part in a unique indoor activity. Pétanque is a French boule sport similar to bocce ball that involves tossing balls as close as possible to a target ball and earning the most points. Besides its nine pétanque courts, Carreau Club offers craft beer, wine, cocktails, and a small deli counter with French-inspired eats. Reservations are not required, but you can book a court in advance for a single party or multiple courts for larger groups.

Union Hall
702 Union Street, Park Slope
Located in the heart of Park Slope, Union Hall has something fun to offer for every guest. Union Hall’s sprawling 5,000-square-foot space has a bar, restaurant, and a live music and comedy venue in the basement that is also available to rent out for private parties and events. The former warehouse has two indoor bocce ball courts, outdoor seating, board games, and unique library-inspired decor. For larger groups, more information on making group reservations can be found here.

Image courtesy of Nick Santaniello

1186 Broadway, Bushwick
At Wonderville, enjoy a rotating selection of independently created arcade games alongside cold drinks. For food and drink, Wonderville offers a full bar with creative cocktails named after iconic video game characters and hot dogs from Randwiches. Wonderville frequently hosts live music, comedy shows, game tournaments, board game nights, and other exciting events. You can take a look at Wonderville’s current selection of indie arcade games here.

Image courtesy of Kick Axe Throwing

Kick Axe Throwing
622 Degraw Street, Gowanus
While it may seem that alcohol and axe-throwing are a bad combination, Kick Axe makes sure to educate participants on the proper safety measures and how to throw correctly. Kick Axe’s bar offers a wide variety of drinks, including beers, wines, spirits, and liquors. Food options include classic bar bites like sliders, mac and cheese, and big pretzels. They also have a cozy lodge seating area to relax when you’re not chucking axes.

The Gutter Bar LIC
10-22 46th Avenue, Long Island City
Gutter Bar offers walk-in bowling at any time of day on a first-come-first-serve basis, pinball, foosball, and a large bar with TVs to relax and watch sports with a cool drink. Their bar offers a wide selection of beverages, including American independent craft beers on tap, liquors, and more. In addition to its LIC location, Gutter Bar also has locations on the Lower East Side and in Williamsburg.

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