Best Old School Arcades In Chicago

July 22, 2016 7:00 AM

(Photo Credit: emporiumchicago.com)

Over the course of history, certain types of establishments have become representative of an era. A prime example of this occurs when one elects to venture into a classic arcade as the unmistakable atmosphere and unforgettable entertainment elicits a light and uplifting nostalgic feeling. Arcades are a particularly potent exemplification of such an idea, and listed below are five excellent locations in Chicago.

(Photo Credit: emporiumchicago.com)

(Photo Credit: emporiumchicago.com)

Emporium Arcade Bar
1366 N Milwaukee Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 697-7922
emporiumchicago.com

The key characteristic separating this location from other bars in the area is undoubtedly its impressive array of arcade games which contribute to an overall excellent hybrid atmosphere wherein one is able to charge tokens to their bar tab. Boasting a superb fleet of pinball machines amidst a collection of other classic games, this location also features variety within its drink selection as its menu contains a cornucopia of beers and over 60 Whiskeys to try.

FTW Chicago
322 E Illinois St.
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 881-5000
ftwchicago.com

Painted in the captivating steampunk theme, this location proves itself to be a beautiful marriage of nostalgic arcade gaming and modern machines which accounts for its distinct aesthetic. Though it is also the first arcade in the world to unveil sega’s new demolition derby race simulator, this location’s most iconic feature is most likely its nine hole mini-golf experience. Take note that this establishment enforces a dress code, but calls only for neat, casual fitted attire to qualify as acceptable.

(Photo Credit: Logan Arcade's Facebook)

(Photo Credit: Logan Arcade’s Facebook)

Logan Arcade
2410 W Fullerton Ave.
Chicago, IL 60647
(872) 206-2859
loganarcade.com

Logan Arcade is very likely the closest one may ever be going back in time and enjoying a day or evening within the classic arcade environment, although this arcade manages to keep a refreshing and entertaining array of machines with which to pass the time. Most notably among these boxed experiences is the Killer Queen strategy game, as this arcade is the only Chicago location boasting this highly addictive and entertaining experience, which is reason enough for many of those who have previously played the game elsewhere to come by.

Related: Chicago Bars With The Best Arcade Games

Headquarters Beercade Lakeview
2833 N Sheffield Ave.
Chicago, IL 60657
(773) 665-5660
hqbeercade.com

Another modern melding of the classic arcade, and yet again it is a completely deserved nod. This establishment does an excellent job at blending the pure joy of discovering a new personal favorite craft beer and the excitement experienced while besting friends in memorable arcade moments. Though the craft beer selection is a draw for many, make no mistake in assuming that this arcade is completely wholly suitable for entertainment, and as an added bonus the games themselves are free. Although it can get somewhat understandably hectic during weekend nights, this establishment has also received praise for the expansive feel of its environment.

Uptown Arcade
4830 N Broadway
Chicago, IL 60640
(407) 761-9999
uptownupdate.com

This location, well versed in all things retro, is one worth checking out immediately despite its opening only being a mere two months ago. As the newcomers to the Chicago arcade scene, this location features a multitude of nostalgic features beyond only an older method of gaming. Alongside the machines are televisions screening vintage films as well as the opportunity for patrons to buy retro collectible cards, which is an undeniably awesome nostalgic experience for many. Somewhere between all the reminiscent memorabilia also lies another impressive beer list for those so inclined to imbibe while on memory lane.

Michelle Guilbeau is a writer, reviewer, teacher and business owner. She is also proud founder of CraftKitsForKids.com, MichelleGuilbeau.com and bestchicago.blogspot.com Michelle enjoys sharing her knowledge of cities, food, travel, education and parenting issues with her readers. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.