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A chandelier hangs above rows of communal tables at Mox Boarding House, where people play board games with drinks and food.
Visitors play games at Mox Boarding House in Portland.
Mox Boarding House

Where to Play Games With a Drink in Hand in Portland

Play some ping pong with a pint of beer or sip cocktails while bowling at these Portland hot spots

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Visitors play games at Mox Boarding House in Portland.
| Mox Boarding House

If there’s one thing Portlanders love more than socializing over food and drink, it’s socializing over food and drink while playing some sort of game. Maybe it’s darts at a dive, or a knocking off a high score from a bar’s pinball machine rankings; maybe it’s a game of corn hole at a food cart pod. Whatever it is, Portlanders are into it — either as a family-friendly dinner option that will keep the kids entertained, or as a weekend meetup among 20-somethings.

Portland is home to several game shops that sell beer, as well as bars with a few pinball machines; this map specifically focuses on places that offer both a variety of games and a strong selection of food and drink. Below, find our map of places to play some games with a tasty beverage in hand, from mini golf to axe throwing.

Note: Health experts consider dining out to be a high-risk activity for the unvaccinated; it may pose a risk for the vaccinated, especially in areas with substantial COVID transmission.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

Stormbreaker Brewing St. Johns

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Located inside Stormbreaker Brewing in St. Johns, Portland Axe Throwing hosts one-to-two hour sessions, where a trained coach will help customers learn basic axe throwing techniques. If flinging a weapon at a wall works up an appetite, Stormbreaker’s full kitchen menu includes smoked wings, nachos, and burgers, accompanied by the brewery’s wide selection of house ales and lagers. Booking 24 hours in advance is generally required for axe-throwing.

Mox Boarding House

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Located right by Providence Park, Mox Boarding House offers a wide variety of tabletop games, with mainstream hits like Catan to Exploding Kittens, as well as obscure European board games and deck-builders. It’s also a full service restaurant, with an eclectic mix of dishes like tea sandwiches, elote queso, and a variety of hardcore burgers. Bartenders pull beers from two dozen taps, and serve a number of involved house cocktails. Private gaming rooms are available, and visitors can shop for their own games from Mox’s retail section.

Punch Bowl Social Portland

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Located on the third floor of Pioneer Place, Punch Bowl Social is a whopping 32,000 square foot venue filled with arcade games, a bowling alley, and a karaoke bar. With a respectable 12 taps stocked with beer and cider, a variety of boozy punch bowls, fun non-alcoholic spritzes, and a food menu with plenty of sharing-friendly nachos and loaded fries, Punch Bowl Social is a smart choice for parties, regardless of age demographic.

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade and Bar

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Open since 1999, this Portland multi-level arcade staple features more than 100 classic and popular arcade games and pinball machines. Ground Kontrol serves reasonably priced beer, cocktails, and the all-important gamer foods like hot dogs, nachos, and sandwiches — since it’s Portland, most of these can be made vegan or gluten free. Even better, arcade machines here sport drink holders, so gamers can play with their hands free. Ground Kontrol welcomes all ages until 5 p.m., after which the arcade only serves customers 21 and over.

Golf on Tap at Growler Guys

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Located in the South Waterfront neighborhood inside Growler Guys, Golf on Tap offers two indoor golf simulators with more than 100 different courses, driving ranges, and golf games. Customers are welcome to grab a beer from Growler Guys’s impressive 59 taps, before hitting up the simulators to play some golf. Prices for Golf on Tap average about $40 an hour for two people.

Retro Game Bar

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Owners Shira and Jason Yovu stock Retro Game Bar with their personal collection of cartridges and discs, spanning 19 different consoles from Atari to SEGAs to Nintendo 64s. Although it provides a vast array of options, Retro Game Bar doesn’t quite feel like an arcade — instead, it feels more like a vintage bar, where visitors can play video games at a table or at the bar with friends. Dining options include Japanese comfort food like tonkatsu and curry rice to pomegranate-glazed wings and fries; bartenders shake and stir a variety of game-themed drinks, also serving Level Beer IPAs and CBD drinks.

Grand Central Bowl & Arcade

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Originally opened in 2007, Grand Central Bowl and Arcade houses multiple bowling lanes, a few arcade games, and a truly gargantuan food menu. During the height of the pandemic, Grand Central Bowl transformed its kitchen into a virtual food hall, or ghost kitchen, home to four separate concepts: Gastropub Thirsty Lion, taqueria Tortilla Sunrise, fried chicken spot Southern Jewel, and wing specialist Killer Wings. Now, the dine-in menu incorporates elements of all of those ghost kitchen restaurants: Between strikes and gutterballs, visitors can dine on totchos and sushi, carnitas tacos and gochujang wings. Bowlers can also order cocktails, wine, beer, and boozy shakes from the bar.

Pips & Bounce

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Located below Grand Central Bowl, Pips and Bounce is all about ping pong, with several tables to rent in 30-minute increments. Pips and Bounce’s chefs top 14-inch pizzas with pepperoni and black olives and load up Juanitas chips with nacho fixings. Cocktails and a small selection of beer and wine are also available. 

Birdie Time Pub and Mini Golf

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The Birdie Time Pub is home to a nine-hole mini golf course, golf and sports simulator, and board games, accompanied by a wide selection of food and drink. The bar’s 36 taps pour beer, wine, and cider, while the ‘Birdie Coop’ serves appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and wings. Birdie Time Pub also serves cocktails, and is dog-friendly. 

Wedgehead

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Wedgehead is one of those unicorns of an arcade bar, where the cocktails and food are just as good as the game selection. In the arcade section of the bar, a maze of lit up pinball machines includes glowing Godzillas and Addams Family characters; down in the kitchen, chefs flip some knockout Painted Hills beef burgers and slather fries with queso. The beer selection includes fan favorite breweries like Pfriem, and bartender KaCee Solis-Robertson serves spiked horchata and tamarind whiskey highballs with names alluding to Bobs Burgers. Unlimited game play is available for $12.

Space Room Lounge

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Space Room might be one of the only places where you can eat pancakes while playing Pac-Man. Served all day, Space Room’s breakfast menu includes things like chicken-fried steak, sourdough French toast, and biscuits and gravy, served alongside house-infused vodkas and brunch-y cocktails. The arcade is home to arcade games like Street Fighter 2 and Maximum Tune, as well as a variety of pinball machines.

Quarterworld Arcade

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This 21-plus arcade and pinball machine is home to more than 40 pinball machines and more than 55 arcade games, ranging from classics to contemporary; outside of games, Quarterworld also features two full bars and a menu of smash burgers, pretzels with garlic cheese, and pizza slices. In addition to single cocktails, QuarterWorld serves a selection of large format drinks, like the Altered Beast — a mix of tequila, grapefruit, cranberry, and Black Cherry White Claw. Quarterworld charges a $2 entry fee on most days. 

Stormbreaker Brewing St. Johns

Located inside Stormbreaker Brewing in St. Johns, Portland Axe Throwing hosts one-to-two hour sessions, where a trained coach will help customers learn basic axe throwing techniques. If flinging a weapon at a wall works up an appetite, Stormbreaker’s full kitchen menu includes smoked wings, nachos, and burgers, accompanied by the brewery’s wide selection of house ales and lagers. Booking 24 hours in advance is generally required for axe-throwing.

Mox Boarding House

Located right by Providence Park, Mox Boarding House offers a wide variety of tabletop games, with mainstream hits like Catan to Exploding Kittens, as well as obscure European board games and deck-builders. It’s also a full service restaurant, with an eclectic mix of dishes like tea sandwiches, elote queso, and a variety of hardcore burgers. Bartenders pull beers from two dozen taps, and serve a number of involved house cocktails. Private gaming rooms are available, and visitors can shop for their own games from Mox’s retail section.

Punch Bowl Social Portland

Located on the third floor of Pioneer Place, Punch Bowl Social is a whopping 32,000 square foot venue filled with arcade games, a bowling alley, and a karaoke bar. With a respectable 12 taps stocked with beer and cider, a variety of boozy punch bowls, fun non-alcoholic spritzes, and a food menu with plenty of sharing-friendly nachos and loaded fries, Punch Bowl Social is a smart choice for parties, regardless of age demographic.

Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade and Bar

Open since 1999, this Portland multi-level arcade staple features more than 100 classic and popular arcade games and pinball machines. Ground Kontrol serves reasonably priced beer, cocktails, and the all-important gamer foods like hot dogs, nachos, and sandwiches — since it’s Portland, most of these can be made vegan or gluten free. Even better, arcade machines here sport drink holders, so gamers can play with their hands free. Ground Kontrol welcomes all ages until 5 p.m., after which the arcade only serves customers 21 and over.

Golf on Tap at Growler Guys

Located in the South Waterfront neighborhood inside Growler Guys, Golf on Tap offers two indoor golf simulators with more than 100 different courses, driving ranges, and golf games. Customers are welcome to grab a beer from Growler Guys’s impressive 59 taps, before hitting up the simulators to play some golf. Prices for Golf on Tap average about $40 an hour for two people.

Retro Game Bar

Owners Shira and Jason Yovu stock Retro Game Bar with their personal collection of cartridges and discs, spanning 19 different consoles from Atari to SEGAs to Nintendo 64s. Although it provides a vast array of options, Retro Game Bar doesn’t quite feel like an arcade — instead, it feels more like a vintage bar, where visitors can play video games at a table or at the bar with friends. Dining options include Japanese comfort food like tonkatsu and curry rice to pomegranate-glazed wings and fries; bartenders shake and stir a variety of game-themed drinks, also serving Level Beer IPAs and CBD drinks.

Grand Central Bowl & Arcade

Originally opened in 2007, Grand Central Bowl and Arcade houses multiple bowling lanes, a few arcade games, and a truly gargantuan food menu. During the height of the pandemic, Grand Central Bowl transformed its kitchen into a virtual food hall, or ghost kitchen, home to four separate concepts: Gastropub Thirsty Lion, taqueria Tortilla Sunrise, fried chicken spot Southern Jewel, and wing specialist Killer Wings. Now, the dine-in menu incorporates elements of all of those ghost kitchen restaurants: Between strikes and gutterballs, visitors can dine on totchos and sushi, carnitas tacos and gochujang wings. Bowlers can also order cocktails, wine, beer, and boozy shakes from the bar.

Pips & Bounce

Located below Grand Central Bowl, Pips and Bounce is all about ping pong, with several tables to rent in 30-minute increments. Pips and Bounce’s chefs top 14-inch pizzas with pepperoni and black olives and load up Juanitas chips with nacho fixings. Cocktails and a small selection of beer and wine are also available. 

Birdie Time Pub and Mini Golf

The Birdie Time Pub is home to a nine-hole mini golf course, golf and sports simulator, and board games, accompanied by a wide selection of food and drink. The bar’s 36 taps pour beer, wine, and cider, while the ‘Birdie Coop’ serves appetizers, burgers, sandwiches, pizza, and wings. Birdie Time Pub also serves cocktails, and is dog-friendly. 

Wedgehead

Wedgehead is one of those unicorns of an arcade bar, where the cocktails and food are just as good as the game selection. In the arcade section of the bar, a maze of lit up pinball machines includes glowing Godzillas and Addams Family characters; down in the kitchen, chefs flip some knockout Painted Hills beef burgers and slather fries with queso. The beer selection includes fan favorite breweries like Pfriem, and bartender KaCee Solis-Robertson serves spiked horchata and tamarind whiskey highballs with names alluding to Bobs Burgers. Unlimited game play is available for $12.

Space Room Lounge

Space Room might be one of the only places where you can eat pancakes while playing Pac-Man. Served all day, Space Room’s breakfast menu includes things like chicken-fried steak, sourdough French toast, and biscuits and gravy, served alongside house-infused vodkas and brunch-y cocktails. The arcade is home to arcade games like Street Fighter 2 and Maximum Tune, as well as a variety of pinball machines.

Quarterworld Arcade

This 21-plus arcade and pinball machine is home to more than 40 pinball machines and more than 55 arcade games, ranging from classics to contemporary; outside of games, Quarterworld also features two full bars and a menu of smash burgers, pretzels with garlic cheese, and pizza slices. In addition to single cocktails, QuarterWorld serves a selection of large format drinks, like the Altered Beast — a mix of tequila, grapefruit, cranberry, and Black Cherry White Claw. Quarterworld charges a $2 entry fee on most days. 

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