Game On: The Ultimate Guide to Barcades in Dallas
A new wave of entertainment has taken over the nightlife scene in major cities across the United States: barcades. Combining the best of both worlds, these unique venues offer an exciting mix of arcade games, delicious food, and thirst-quenching drinks. Dallas, Texas, has embraced this trend wholeheartedly, making it a hotspot for anyone looking to relive their youth or simply unwind with friends. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the barcade scene in Dallas, showcasing the top 10 must-visit spots, signature games, themed events, and much more.
A Brief History of Barcades in Dallas
The concept of barcades originated in the early 2000s, combining the nostalgia of classic arcade games with the social atmosphere of bars. As the popularity of these establishments grew nationwide, Dallas was quick to jump on the bandwagon. The first barcade to open its doors in the city was Barcadia in 2008. Since then, the Dallas barcade scene has grown exponentially, now boasting more than a dozen venues that cater to a wide range of interests and age groups.
Top 10 Must-Visit Barcades in Dallas
EVA Flower Mound
EVA Flower Mound is a bar, arcade, restaurant and a virtual reality arena for Esports. In fact, EVA Flower Mound is the largest Esports arena in the world and they also host free roam virtual reality gaming tournaments, have signature cocktails and have gourmet chef prepared food.
Nostalgia and fun await you at Free Play, a barcade that features over 90 classic arcade games and pinball machines. With a single entry fee, you can enjoy unlimited gaming all night long. Pair your gaming experience with a craft beer or a soda from their extensive selection.
Boasting over 170 arcade games and 24 craft ciders on tap, Bishop Cidercade is a cider-lover’s dream. Located in the Design District, this barcade offers unlimited gaming for a fixed price, making it perfect for hours of fun.
The pioneer of the Dallas barcade scene, Barcadia features a laid-back atmosphere, giant Jenga and Connect Four, classic arcade games, and a mouthwatering food menu. Their outdoor patio is an excellent spot to enjoy a refreshing drink and soak up the sun.
This stylish barcade offers a selection of 50+ arcade games and pinball machines, as well as a full bar with craft cocktails and local beers. EightyTwo is known for its rotating art gallery, showcasing work from local artists.
The Quarter Lounge Arcade
Step back in time at The Quarter Lounge Arcade, where you can play classic games like Pac-Man, Donkey Kong, and Street Fighter. They also offer a selection of beers, wines, and non-alcoholic drinks to keep you refreshed while you play.
The Arcade Bar
This modern barcade offers a range of contemporary and classic arcade games, a full bar, and a food menu featuring delicious appetizers and pizzas. The Arcade Bar is an ideal spot for group outings and private events.
High Fives offers a variety of arcade games, skeeball, and an outdoor patio complete with a fire pit. Their unique drink menu includes creative cocktails and local beers, while the food menu features shareable plates and hearty sandwiches.
Pints & Pixels
With a focus on craft beer and retro gaming, Pints & Pixels is a haven for enthusiasts of both. They offer a range of beers on tap, as well as arcade games from the ’80s and ’90s.
The Game Preserve
The Game Preserve is an arcade lover’s paradise, featuring over 100 classic and modern games. With a BYOB policy, you can bring your favorite beverages and enjoy hours of gaming fun.
Player 1 Arcade Bar
At Player 1 Arcade Bar, immerse yourself in a unique gaming experience with both classic and modern arcade games. Enjoy a range of craft beers, cocktails, and non-alcoholic beverages, as well as a tasty food menu, making it a perfect spot for a fun night out.
Classic Games to Play at Dallas Barcades
Pinball enthusiasts will be thrilled to find a variety of machines at barcades like Free Play, Bishop Cidercade, and EightyTwo. From vintage classics to modern marvels, there’s something for every pinball lover in Dallas.
Retro Arcade Games
Relive your childhood memories with classic games like Pac-Man, Galaga, Donkey Kong, and Street Fighter. Barcades such as The Quarter Lounge Arcade and Pints & Pixels offer a wide range of retro arcade games that are sure to transport you back in time.
Modern Arcade Games
For those who prefer contemporary gaming, barcades like The Arcade Bar and Player 1 Arcade Bar feature a mix of modern arcade games alongside the classics. Experience newer favorites like Dance Dance Revolution, Time Crisis, and Guitar Hero.
Virtual Reality Games
Dive into the world of VR Gaming where you can engage in multi player competitions in a fully immersive setting. VR gaming experiences offer a host of games to choose from, some of the most popular choices are zombie VR games.
Barcades with Themed Nights and Events
Put your knowledge to the test at barcades like High Fives and Barcadia, which regularly host trivia nights. Gather your friends and compete for prizes while enjoying a night of gaming and drinks.
Show off your gaming prowess by participating in tournaments held at venues like Free Play and Bishop Cidercade. Compete in classic and modern games to win prizes and bragging rights.
Cosplay and Costume Parties
Embrace your inner geek at cosplay and costume parties hosted by barcades such as EightyTwo and The Game Preserve. Dress up as your favorite characters and enjoy a night of gaming with like-minded individuals.
Unique Features of Dallas Barcades
Virtual Reality Experiences
Step into the world of virtual reality at barcades like The Arcade Bar and Player 1 Arcade Bar, which offer VR gaming experiences that transport you to new dimensions.
For those who enjoy competitive gaming, eSports lounges at barcades like Pints & Pixels provide the perfect environment to watch live matches and participate in tournaments.
Areas Enjoy the great outdoors while playing your favorite games at venues like High Fives and Barcadia, which offer outdoor gaming areas and patios for a unique gaming experience.
The Barcade Food Scene
Gourmet Pub Fare
Indulge in delicious gourmet pub food at barcades like EightyTwo and The Arcade Bar. Their menus feature innovative dishes that pair perfectly with a cold beer or cocktail.
Inspired Menus Enjoy street food-inspired dishes at venues like Barcadia and High Fives, offering a casual dining experience that complements a night of gaming.
Vegan and Vegetarian
Options Barcades like Free Play and Bishop Cidercade cater to a variety of dietary preferences, offering vegan and vegetarian options that don’t compromise on flavor.
Drink Options at Dallas Barcades
Craft Beer Selections
Sip on local and regional craft beers at barcades like Pints & Pixels, Bishop Cidercade, and Free Play, which boast an impressive selection of brews to suit every taste.
Experience unique and creative cocktails at barcades like EightyTwo and Player 1 Arcade Bar, where skilled bartenders craft concoctions that are both visually stunning and delicious.
For those who prefer non-alcoholic options, barcades like The Quarter Lounge Arcade and The Game Preserve offer a variety of soft drinks, mocktails, and specialty beverages to keep you refreshed throughout the night.
The Social Side of Barcades
Group Outings and Parties
Barcades are perfect for group outings, offering something for everyone. Venues like The Arcade Bar, High Fives, and Bishop Cidercade provide ample space and entertainment options for birthday parties, corporate events, and other celebrations.
Date Night Destinations
Looking for a unique date night experience? Barcades like EightyTwo and Player 1 Arcade Bar offer a fun and relaxed atmosphere where couples can bond over their favorite games and enjoy delicious food and drinks.
Networking and Industry Events
Barcades are also popular spots for networking events and industry meetups, providing a casual and engaging environment for professionals to connect and collaborate.
The Future of Barcades in Dallas
Upcoming Barcade Openings
As the barcade scene continues to grow, expect more venues to open their doors in the Dallas area. Keep an eye out for new barcades offering innovative gaming experiences, unique themes, and enticing menus.
The Potential Impact of VR and AR Technology
With the rapid advancement of virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) technology, it’s likely that the barcade scene will evolve to incorporate these immersive experiences, further enriching the gaming options available to patrons.
The barcade scene in Dallas offers a wealth of entertainment, dining, and socializing options for people of all ages and interests. From classic arcade games to modern gaming experiences, delicious food, craft beer, and unique events, there’s something for everyone in the vibrant world of Dallas barcades. With the continuous growth of this industry, the future of barcades in Dallas looks bright, promising even more exciting and engaging experiences for gaming enthusiasts and casual visitors alike.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are barcades family-friendly? Some barcades are family-friendly, especially during daytime hours. However, some venues may have age restrictions during the evenings or weekends. It’s best to check the specific barcade’s policy before planning a visit.
What is the average cost for a night out at a barcade? The cost for a night out at a barcade varies depending on the venue, but expect to spend anywhere from $20 to $50 per person, including gaming fees, food, and drinks.
How do barcades handle game tokens or credits? Some barcades operate on a pay-per-game system, requiring tokens or credits, while others charge a flat entry fee for unlimited gaming. Make sure to check the payment system of your chosen barcade before visiting.
Are there any dress codes at barcades? Most barcades have a casual dress code. However, it’s always a good idea to check the specific venue’s guidelines before attending, especially for themed or special events.
Can I book a private event at a barcade? Many barcades offer private event booking options, including reserving spaces or renting the entire venue for parties and corporate events. Contact your preferred barcade directly for more information on availability and pricing.