Whether it’s the inevitable Minnesota cold that drives you indoors or simply a yen to feel like a kid again, the Twin Cities offers a wealth of bars where you can eat, drink, and get your game on. Rain or shine, these spots promise hours of competitive fun through everything from pinball and skee-ball to bocce and bowling.
The Twin Cities has some stellar bars where you can sip craft brews, nosh on tasty snacks, and challenge your crew to everything from skee ball to pinball. Here are some of our favorites.
Can Can Wonderland
This one-of-a-kind art gallery meets bar meets mini golf course off University Avenue in St. Paul is not to be missed.
Sip locally made beer from the likes of Urban Growler, Dangerous Man, Elm Creek Brewing Company and more as you putt your way through 18 imaginative, artist-designed holes. like Grandma’s Living Room, Music Mountain, and Tundra Twister.
Beyond golf, retro pinball machines like Aquaman and Star Wars invite your quarters.
And don’t leave without trying the Instagram-worthy donut boat – cotton candy atop mini donuts atop sprinkles. With mini golf, art, pinball, and cool libations, Can Can Wonderland has fun and games covered from all angles.
With over 60 beers on tap and a barrage of 80s and 90s arcade faves like Donkey Kong, Ms. Pac-Man, Space Invaders and TMNT Turtles in Time, Up-Down in Lyn-Lake is arcade nirvana.
All games cost just 25 cents, and $4 gets you a slice of pizza, making for an affordable night of gaming and revelry.
Expect a lively atmosphere, especially on weekends when the joint is packed to the gills and the competition gets fierce. Get your crew together and challenge them to rounds of Skee-Ball, Duck Hunt, or multiplayer MarioKart.
Punch Bowl Social
The cheekily named Punch Bowl Social in the West End of St. Louis Park houses three bars, a full kitchen, karaoke rooms, bowling lanes, table games, arcade, and more under one very large roof.
Punch Bowl Social’s menu features creative riffs on classic bar fare alongside tropical, sunshine-inspired cocktails served in everything from punch bowls to traditional glasses.
Indulge in Southern comfort with the fried chicken sandwich doused in white barbecue sauce or pull apart cheesy baked rolls straight from the skillet. Cocktails range from the bite of the coffee-spiked Midnight Rider to the cucumber and aloe refreshment of the Steal My Sunshine punch bowl built to share.
With selections both filling and fun, Punch Bowl Social brings plenty of options for nibbling, sipping, and reveling the night away.
The Fair on 4
Located on the fourth floor of Mall of America, The Fair on 4 offers adrenaline-pumping fun through axes, go-karts, and more – all paired with tasty bites and creative cocktails.
Get your heart pounding on the multi-level electric go-kart track that takes racing excitement to new heights, literally. Zip through hairpin turns as you try to top your personal best time or beat your friends’ records in the thrilling karts.
Test your aim at the 11 axe throwing lanes, where coaches provide training and oversee safety so you can channel your inner lumberjack.
Refuel after all the action with steak fries loaded chili, cheese, and chimichurri or Street Tacos with your choice of protein. The Leadfoot Cubano layers ham, pork, pickles, and cheese between freshly baked bread.
Quench your thirst with the Backyard Hurricane, mingling coconut rum with fruit juices and a red wine float. Or sip the sweet Minne-Apple Sour, made with cinnamon apple liqueur, maple syrup, and lemon.
With axes, karts, and satisfying food and drink, The Fair on 4 offers hours of competitive fun at the Mall of America.
LITT Pinball Bar
With a rotating cast of over two dozen machines, Litt Pinball Bar in Minneapolis is pinball wizard heaven. Favorites include monster classics like The Addams Family and Attack From Mars alongside Batman 66 and Elvira. With the pull of a plunger, lights flash as bells and buzzers signal big combos and high scores.
Litt takes care of its flipper-obsessed clientele with smash burgers, Cubanos, and signature dogs like the Neon Relish topped Second City. Locally brewed beers from Loon Juice, ciders, and Twisted Tea quench thirst between games.
Cocktails add an extra dose of fun at Litt. The Slap Save mixes vodka and spicy basil, while the Victory Plunge layers tequila, honey, and orange bitters. For the full pinball experience, order a Wizard Mode with its chocolate rum decadence.
With machines for every skill level and libations aplenty, Litt Pinball Bar is the place for flashy, buzzing pinball magic in Minneapolis. Come set a new high score on an arcade classic and watch your initials flash in lights.
“It’s better to have played skee-ball and lost than never to have played skee-ball at all” says Pat’s Tap founder Pat. With 10 skee-ball lanes, this lively Minneapolis bar lets you perfect your ramp-rolling skills over local beers.
Refuel between games with Pat’s stick-to-your-ribs breakfast fare like the Two Fister ciabatta egg sandwich or the decadent Bloody Mary sandwich stacked with bacon and garlicky aioli. Rice bowls brimming with eggs, salsa, beans, and avocado provide a satisfying Tex-Mex style meal.
Of course you can’t miss their namesake mac and cheese, rich with gooey cheddar and parmesan. For heartier appetites, dive into the Bangers & Mash platter with grilled sausages and smashed potatoes. Vegans will delight in the coconut curry bowl piled high with mushrooms, carrots, broccoli and more over basmati rice.
With lanes for friendly competition and tasty grub for fuel, Pat’s Tap promises skee ball, suds, and satiation in equal measure. As Pat says, raise your glass – it’s always half full at this spirited south Minneapolis spot.
The Twin Cities’ stellar lineup of gaming bars and restaurants proves you’re never too old for a bit of friendly competition.
Whether you’re an aspiring pinball wizard, skee-ball champ, or beer pong pro, these hotspots let you challenge friends over frosty mugs and satisfying eats.
And it doesn’t really matter whether you win or lose – the joy is in the spirited camaraderie built over libations and fun. So the next time you’re looking to get your game on while enjoying local flavor, grab your crew and head to one of these stellar Twin Cities gaming bars. The games, grub, and good times await. Game on!