Arcade Hangouts: The coolest locations across the globe

arcade gaming hangouts

Cafe culture & gaming collide

It’s definitely true that cafe culture and finding the latest and most stylish hangout has become a more prominent trend across the globe. Today’s hangout spaces have really evolved and if you are a gaming fan, there’s plenty of arcade bars, cafes and other cool venues where you can hang out with friends!

Here are some of the most stylish gaming-focused hangouts trending across the globe right now: 

1. The Arcade Hotel in Amsterdam

Arcade Gaming Hotel


The Arcade Hotel specifically caters to passionate video gamers and keeps an impressive selection of vintage and modern video games behind its front desk so they can be hired by the guests at any time. Including games from Nintendo, Sony, Atari, and Microsoft, they have all the games consoles you could ever need! 

2. Barcade in Brooklyn, New York

Barcade Brooklyn

Website:   Image Credit: Timeout

Barcade prides itself on two things: providing delicious craft beer and classic video games. The first venue opened in 2004 in the notorious hipster neighbourhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. There are now three other locations in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. When you visit Barcade you can play Donkey Kong, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and more.

3. Joypolis in Tokyo, Japan

joypolis centre

Website: Image Credit:  

More than just an arcade, Joypolis is essentially a theme park including bumper cars, an indoor roller coaster and a huge variety of arcade games. 

4. The 1up in Denver, Colorado

Denver arcade bar Colorado

Website:  Image Credit: WestWorld

With two locations in Colorado, The 1up has more than 45 games in its nostalgia-ridden basement location, including pinball, Mortal Kombat and Mario Bros. On top of that, it serves excellent beer, food and tunes from a jukebox. 

5. 17 Below in Manchester

17 below arcade bar manchester

Website:   Image Credit: Timeout

This venue isn’t the easiest place to find, but it’s totally worth the added effort. In order to access it, you need to enter the Dogs ‘n’ Dough restaurant and walk downstairs as it doesn’t have an entrance of its own.

Once inside, though, you’ll find a bunch of arcade cabinets, such as Space Invaders, Donkey Kong, and Double Dragon – you can drink gaming-inspired cocktails, too. It’s one of Manchester’s best kept secrets, and a great spot for video game fans. 

6. Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines in St. Petersburg, Russia

soviet arcade museum

History buffs in search of rare, likely unheard-of games should book a flight to St. Petersburg! The Museum of Soviet Arcade Machines tracks down rare games produced in the mid-1970s and you can play them during the museum’s open hours.

Website:   Image Credit: Giant Bomb

7. Fab Café in Manchester

fab cafe manchester

Fab Cafe is a cult TV-and-movie-themed bar that also has something special in store for gamers. Some of the tables in the bar are fitted with classic arcade games – there are also cabinets to play. If you have an interest in geek culture, it’s a wonderful place to visit!

Website:   Image Credit: Timeout

8. Sega Republic in Dubai, United Arab Emirates

sega republic dubai

Dubai is no stranger to excess and its Sega Republic arcade is no exception. The indoor theme park is spacious and flashy, with 76,000 square feet, rides and more than 170 games. Go for the grandeur, stay for the gaming!

Website:   Image Credit: Dubai Travelator

9. Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum in Farmington Hills, Michigan

Marvin's Marvelous Mechanical Museum

A surreal wonderland of mechanical goods, Marvin’s is packed with weird artefacts. Items picked by founder, mechanical and electric gaming expert, Mark Yagoda surround you as you play pinball and Donkey Kong. It’s also been named one of the most unusual museums in the world.


10. Hold Fast in Manchester

hold fast bar manchester

Hold Fast is a fantastic bar for gamers that’s located in the Northern Quarter, inside a former bowler hat factory that’s been transformed into a hostel.

There are a bunch of retro consoles hooked up around the bar, which means you can play N64 games while sampling from the extensive cocktail menu. It’s the perfect place to unwind and play some Mario Kart.

Website:   Image Credit: Hatters

When it comes to finding other super stylish hangouts, it isn’t just cafes and bars that showcase unique and interesting spaces so here are some other examples: 

run a staff competition

The Rise of Coworking Spaces 

If you haven’t already noticed, coworking spaces have become some of the most stylish hangout spaces across the globe and many people who are self-employed or freelancing use these cool hangout spaces to meet new people, have a change of scenery from the usual office 9-5 and socialise with new people in similar industries. 

Employees usually thrive in these spaces and researchers have discovered that people who use coworking spaces can be more productive by changing their work environment more regularly, as opposed to doing their jobs in regular offices.   

Coworking spaces also have communal areas such as kitchens and breakout spaces where people can network and socialise with new and interesting people! 

As these places are usually the trendiest office spaces around you can usually find all the latest technology and often fun gaming equipment so coworkers can enjoy their time out there! 

Installing a retro cabinet or customised arcade machine into a coworking space would be a great way to get people to mix with each other, creating a fun yet competitive environment! Games machines could also be added into the reception or waiting areas too and if the coworking space has a creative look and feel, this would fit in so well! 

gaming cafe

Gaming Cafes 

Gaming cafes might be more popular in Asia than they are in the UK, but several new venues have been popping up across the UK and they’re a great way to create an engaging community of people who love hanging out and gaming in a fun and friendly way! 

Internet gaming cafes are a popular new way to meet up with friends with similar interests and here at Arcade Direct, we have a variety of gaming solutions on offer.

If your cafe needs a new attraction to bring in some new customers, why not recreate a classic arcade with retro arcade machines such as Pac-Man, Space Invaders, Time Crisis, Street Fighter and the beloved pinball machine. 

The games don’t have to be retro either! Did you know you can also enjoy more physical games such as Boxing Machines, Dance Machines and Shooting Machines too! 

gaming restaurants

Unique Restaurants

Wherever you go, there’s a hub of cutting edge restaurants offering something niche and quirky that you’ve never seen before! Whether that’s a personalised photo that can be printed on top of your coffee or foam cocktail or a unique performer on stage, restaurants are some of the coolest and cutting edge hangouts around.

If you want to eat out at the kinds of places that are serving the latest culinary trends or you’re looking to find that dish you’ve seen all over Instagram, there’s so many hotspots for you to enjoy! Here at Arcade Direct, we have helped some amazing brands to ensure they have the most stylish hangout areas ever so if you are looking to redesign a particular space, take a look at one of the links below to find your perfect machine for your next cool hangout space! We promise you won’t regret it!

Nell JonesNell Jones
12:22 29 Jun 22
We used Arcade Direct for a Boxing machine at the NEC. We chose them party due to the competitive price but also for the quick quote and helpful, clear communication. The machine was fully branded and looked fantastic. It was an absolute draw at the show and remarked on by many as the best entertainment there, bringing a lot of attention to our stand. During the show there was a part broken (no-ones fault) and Mark's support was brilliant with a courier sent immediately with a replacement to our Air bnb during the evening in time for the show opening the next day. We will definitely work with them on any future shows.
Alice ChambersAlice Chambers
17:08 18 Aug 20
Highly recommend Arcade Direct. Mark was so helpful when i queried the status of an order of a Gaming Chair. As the delivery date was longer than expected i had to cancel however the customer service i received was fantastic.
Kat SmithKat Smith
08:48 17 May 20
I recently ordered a gaming chair & was really happy with the service. Mark was really helpful & the delivery was much quicker than expected!
Lee GiacopazziLee Giacopazzi
09:58 31 Oct 19
I have had the pleasure of working with Arcade Direct several times. I can personally attest to their customer service and I have seen first-hand how their arcade machines transform events and venue spaces. I often recommend them to my personal contacts and clients.
Emily TylerEmily Tyler
13:08 16 Oct 18
Would highly recommend Mark & the team not only for hiring their Arcade Machines but for their event planning and theming too which cannot be faulted!