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The Fiver – Five Gaming Bars in London

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Would you like to play a game?  In recent years, gaming bars have popped up all over the world, from board game bars to barcades lined with old arcade machines.  These bars make for great hangouts where you can not only get a beer, cocktail, wine, and something to eat but can enjoy some good-natured competition.  London has its share of gaming bars of all kinds, so we thought we would share our five favorites with you, each one offering different games to appeal to everyone.  You can share some of your favorite gaming bars with us in the comments.

Four Quarters

Four Quarters is the original barcade in London, opening in June 2014 in Peckham and expanding to locations in Elephant & Castle and Hackney Wick, as well as several other cities in the United Kingdom.  Each location in London has its share of new and vintage arcade games dating from the 1970s to the present, and the Elephant & Castle location has the most at twenty-seven.  There’s no food to be had in Peckham, but the Hackney Wick bar offers pizza, and the E&C bar has the most varied menu.  There are also plenty of great beers on tap, along with wine, cocktails, and shots. 

Four Thieves

Four Thieves in Battersea probably has the widest variety of games that you’ll find at any London gaming bar.  Here, you can play with slot cars, arcade games, skeeball, virtual reality, and even belt out some karaoke or pit your mind against your fellow patrons in bar trivia.  Besides the drinks, there’s a great food menu here for pizza, burgers, and sandwiches, or on the weekends, you can get brunch and Sunday roast.  Four Thieves also has regular comedy nights, so you can try your hand at the open mic or watch some professionals yuk it up. 

Fairgame

Over in Canary Wharf, you can enjoy all the joy of a county fair without the questionably constructed rides or fixed games.  Fairgame is a bar that focuses on fair games from whack-a-mole to duck shooting and more.  Also, like a fair, you can expect to find a good variety of food here, with three street food vendors providing burgers, pizza, and tacos.  There’s even a candy stand that offers cotton candy, ice cream, gelato, and some boozy sweets.  As for the drinks, there’s beer, cocktails, wine, and slushies of all varieties at the bumper bar.  Truly a fun time for all.

Draughts

If a good board game is more your speed, you won’t find a better place than Draughts in Waterloo.  Draughts has quite possibly the largest board game library of any gaming bar, with more than 1,000 titles available to play.  For food, the bar offers small plates, burgers, tacos, and even desserts from churros to cherry pie.  They also have a kids’ menu if you want to make it a family game night.  Drinks are the usual selection of beer, wine, cocktails, soda, and spirits.  Lastly, Draughts offers package deals for food and drinks that range from £55 to £80 per person. 

Bad Moon Café

In the grim darkness of the future, there is only beer.  Bad Moon Café in Southwark promotes itself as a bar not only for board games but for the popular miniature wargame Warhammer.  In addition to a great library of board games, the bar also sells Games Workshop products, whether you’re into the original fantasy Warhammer or its sci-fi counterpart, Warhammer 40,0000.  There is a food and drink menu, which has a selection of pizza, coffee, cocktails, and British beers.  Just remember not to go wild like the Ork Boyz once you’ve had a few. 

Author: John Rabon

John is a regular writer for Anglotopia and its sister websites. He is currently engaged in finding a way to move books slightly to the left without the embarrassment of being walked in on by Eddie Izzard. For any comments, questions, or complaints, please contact the Lord Mayor of London, Boris Johnson's haircut.

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