Let the Games Begin: 6 Top Toronto Game Bars & Cafés

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Embrace your competitive side and inner child at these locally-loved spots that serve gaming with your beers and lattes.

Keep the fun and games going no matter what time of year with indoor activities guaranteed to make you forget about patio season. These unique game experiences are best enjoyed surrounded by friends and sipping on your drink of choice.

Here are some of the top game-themed hot spots in the city:

Tilt Arcade Bar

For a small cover charge, Tilt offers a flashback full of arcade games from the past, pinball and a variety of other entertainment while you sip on a bevvy or eat arcade-inspired food made in-house and from scratch. If you’re looking to get up and move, play some Skee-Ball or battle friends at a good old-fashioned foosball table.

Tip: Even though you won’t get the live DJ entertainment like on a weekend, consider going on a Monday or Tuesday when the cover charge is lower and crowds are smaller – which means games are more readily available.

SPiN

Whether you call it ping pong or table tennis, you’re guaranteed to get your fix of the game at SPiN and with 12 tables, great snacks and 2 fully licensed bars, it’s a perfect place for a cold night out as a couple or with a group of friends. The best part? You don’t have to go around chasing your ping pong balls – staff collect them for you as you play!

Tip: There’s no guarantee that you’ll get a table if you don’t make a reservation but taking a chance means you’ll pay a lower hourly rate as a walk-in.

Track & Field

The atmosphere and décor at Track & Field will have you feeling like you’re enjoying a warm day outside, which is perfect if you’re looking to play some of their lawn games. You can grab a cold brew or cocktail, head over to one of their shuffleboard or bocce ball lanes and pretend that it’s still summer in the city. Though you’ll have to pay to reserve a lane, one lane for each game is free for walk-ins and are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

Tip: Though the bar serves light snacks, if you’re hankering for a larger meal, you can order outside food to be delivered (or bring your own) and amp up the evening. Just remember, no nuts allowed!

Power Up Bar

What’s better than spending time playing video games on your favourite console? Playing on the latest generation systems with a group of friends while ordering food and drinks straight to you. Power Up Bar not only serves up tons of screens for fun, cooperative or competitive gaming but also seasonal cocktails, local craft beers and snacks that are taken to the next level (pun intended).

Tip: It doesn’t matter whether you’re new to gaming or seriously competitive, Power Up Bar has a variety of different games and events for all skill levels so just ask staff if you’re not sure where to go to play at your own level or speed.

The Ballroom Bowl

There’s something supremely unique about a bowling alley within an intimate and sleek bar setting, which is exactly what you’ll find at Ballroom Bowl. Full bar and restaurant menus, high top tables, leather couches and lane after lane of 10-pin bowling right in the heart of Toronto’s entertainment district makes it a hot spot anytime but especially when the city moves the fun indoors.

Tip: Reservations are highly recommended and available for most days. While they do accept walk-ins, lanes can be booked up to 6 weeks in advance… and often are.

For the Win Café

A bar setting may not be everyone’s idea of an escape from the cold and luckily, Toronto has it covered. For the Win Café is perfect for any board game lover as it has 900+ games from around the world to choose from and an extensive list of hot (or cold) coffees and teas. With snacks and an unlimited play rate option, you could easily spend an evening of fun without having to step back outside until the end of the night.

Tip: If you’re a fan of Jenga and looking for an added challenge, give Oh! Sushi Game a try where chopsticks and sushi blocks are used instead of your fingers and wood blocks.

About the Author

Carolann & Macrae are the Toronto-based duo behind One Modern Couple, a travel & lifestyle site focusing on experiences as a couple around the city and the world. Their philosophy is that there are adventures to be had, friends to be made and good food to be eaten no matter where you happen to be. Being together nearly 24/7 since 2014, they also share their unique perspective on relationships.