Indulging Your Inner Child at San Diego’s Best Barcades

Sometimes, being an adult is tough. Between bills, responsibilities, family obligations and other stressors, making time for fun can be a challenge. However, if you remember the carefree days when you and your friends would crowd around a tube TV with controllers in your hands to do digital battle for the fate of the universe, throw some darts or play pool, then we have some great news. “Barcades” have come to San Diego in a big way, and they’re just what they sound like. Specifically, a big kids’ playground where you can grab a burger, a beer and a handful of quarters, and play to your heart’s content. The kids are back in school, so it’s time for the grownups to have some fun! Here’s where to go to get your game on. 

Punch Bowl Social (4.4 miles away)

(Photo: @punchbowlsocial)

Punch Bowl Social is a fast-growing fun zone with locations popping up nationwide, and their San Diego stop is now welcoming guests in search of a guaranteed good time. Imagine your well-off buddy’s basement rec room writ large, and you’re approaching the vibe. When you go, expect craft cocktails, bowling, shuffleboard, karaoke, and bocce ball. True to their name, Punch Bowl Social also offers large, shareable drinks for groups. 

1485 E St, San Diego, CA 92101 


Coin-Op Game Room (4.4 miles away)

(Photo: @coinopsd)

This North Park staple (which recently opened a second location in the Gaslamp Quarter) was the first barcade in “America’s Finest City”, and it remains a mandatory stop for anyone on the hunt for beer, burgers, and bytes. Classically old-school gaming is always on offer here, as are specialty drinks like the “Kentucky Stucky” and “Guava the Hutt”. Hungry? Dig into a “Goomba Burger” (with a grilled mushroom cap, natch), or a Shrimpy Boy po’ boy-style sub. Just be sure to wipe the remoulade sauce off of your fingers before you start mashing buttons.  

3926 30th St, San Diego, CA 92104


The Smoking Gun (4.6 miles away)

(Photo: @thesmokinggunsd)

One of San Diego’s newest barcades offers a must-stop destination to the fun-seeking nightlife crowds that flock to the Gaslamp Quarter in search of a good time. The Smoking Gun’s neon-and-blacklight aesthetic will take you back to the heyday of the classic gaming hall, while the craft cocktail program and top-flight menu of elevated tavern fare keeps things decidedly contemporary. You can even stop in to catch some big-screen sports. 

555 Market St, San Diego, CA 92101 


Dyno Bar (4.9 miles away)

(Photo: @dynobarsd)

Blending two of San Diego’s favorite types of taverns (the barcade and the speakeasy), Dyno Bar is a hybrid haven for anyone looking for an off-the-beaten path evening. Nestled in the back room space at the legendary Aero Club Ale House, Dyno Bar has impressive amounts of all the things that make a barcade great: pinball, games, whiskey, beer, pool, and the trademark chill vibe that accompanies these pursuits of happiness. 

3367 India St, San Diego, CA 92103


Coin Haus (9.8 miles away)

(Photo: @coinhaus)

With dozens of retro games and pinball titles ready to test your skill, La Mesa’s Coin Haus won’t disappoint on the gaming nostalgia front. Their beer selection is also one of the best of any bar in the metro, with more than 40 drafts available. You’ll discover loads of locals’-favorite San Diego craft brews on tap, as well as a wide selection of household-name favorites — most on a self-pour system that lets you top off anytime.   

8361 Allison Ave, La Mesa, CA 91942


Brewski’s Bar & Arcade (11.9 miles away)

(Photo: @brewskisbar)

Brewski’s is like the game room you’d build yourself if you only had the space and budget. An ever-rotating selection of your favorite vintage video games is always ready to help you work on your hand-eye coordination, as well as air hockey, pool pinball and a host of other fun distractions. Be sure to check out their full menu of nachos, wings, fries, dogs, burgers and other crave-worthy eats, then wash it all down with a cold draft brew.   

8670 Miramar Rd San Diego, CA 92126


Stay and Play at Days Inn

(Photo: @daysinnhc)

The games in “America’s Finest City” are ready to play. Are you? Check out our Special Offers page, and reserve the San Diego gaming getaway your inner child has always dreamed of.