Gamers, check out the best video game bars in London 5 years ago

Gamers, check out the best video game bars in London

For gamers of a certain vintage, nothing quite matches the buzz of going to the arcade.

Going into a place full of sounds and lights blaring, meeting up with friends and potential challengers over by your favourite games. And sticking your money down by your best game to let everyone know you got next.


Home consoles and online play mean there aren't that many arcades about anymore. But what we do have instead is a wonderful bunch of videogame themed bars and pubs.

Pubs and bars have been springing up all over the country with a selection of retro games, arcade machines and brand spanking new consoles to bring the old school feel of arcades into the 21st Century.

So if you fancy playing some retro games with your friends, want to take a look at the work of eSports, or if you just want a nice pint in a friendly place; these are some of the best videogame themed bars and pubs in London.

So now gamers can get out the house and get their game on too.

We at JOE are also taking a look at some of the funniest, most inventive and entertaining pub and pub quizzes around the UK. You can send in suggestions for your city here via email, or by dropping us a line on Facebook


(Photo via Merlin Jobst)

Loading Bar - Dalston, Stratford 

One of East London's finest pubs, Loading combines a videogame inspired cocktail menu (we recommend the SkyRum) with a underground basement stacked full on games consoles old and new. It's recent opened Stratford bar is a mellow pub that frequently hosts theme nights -  we once popped in for a session of Rock Band Karaoke, it's grand. Boasts some of the friendliest bar staff in the capital to boot as well.


Four Quarters - Peckham


South London gamers are spoilt for choice in the excellent Four Quarters bar in Peckham. With close to 20 classic arcade cabinets on offer, there are few places in London better to play Street Fighter II (fun fact: the once was a black cab rank in Kings Cross where all the top level SFII players would go in the 90s). Better still, all the arcade machines are originals, so after a few games expect to see your excellent muscle memory from years of Pac Man games to kick in as you set a new high score. That is, if you don't drink too much of their impressive selection of ales first.


Two Bit - Shoreditch

Imagine, you spend al your teens being told off for being anti-social and playing vidoegames in your parent's basement, only to grow up and... spend time with a bunch of your mates playing videogames in a pub's basement.


Two Bit is the videogame themed underground level of the Brewdog bar in Shoreditch. Classic arcade games backed up with Brewdog's excellent batch of alternative booze? That's a winner in our book.

Meltdown Bar 640x360

Meltdown Bar - Islington

Meltdown Bar is a pub with a difference. Looking like a bit like your older brother's student house from when he got really into Japanese cinema, Meltdown is designed to put eSports at the core of its experience. Think a sports pub, only with crowds gathered to watch the next international League of Legends tournament rather than a Champions League final.


Computers here are completely free to use, and with friendly staff on hand to help you set up your own games, it's a decent place to get into eSports and PC gaming.


Simmons - Kings Cross


A lovely quaint bar in its own right, Simmons gets extra points for sticking a SEGA Megadrive goodness and a SNES in the corner. Come for old school games and the very generous Happy Hour. End up getting down to Craig David in their late night disco. Great nights all round.


Do you have a favourite gaming spot in your city? Let us know at [email protected], or drop us a message on Facebook.


While we're here, please enjoy this image of the time Bill Gates was in a promo for DOOM. Just because.

Bill Gates Doom

(.gif via Kotaku)