Best bowling alleys

Where to master that 7-10 split.

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  • Bowlmor Lanes

  • Leisure Time Bowl

  • 300

  • Photographs: Lizz Kuehl

  • The Gutter

  • Maple Lanes

  • Melody Lanes

  • Shell Lanes

  • Whitestone

  • Rab's Country Lanes

Bowlmor Lanes

Bowlmor Lanes

Bowlmor’s newer Midtown West location boasts 50 lanes divided among seven NYC-themed rooms: enter the Times Square of the 1960s through a naughty storefront, or warm yourself by the cozy fireplaces in the Bethesda Fountain–inspired bowling suite.
Deals: Night Strike—glow-in-the-dark bowling (Thu 9pm–1am)—includes unlimited bowling, plus shoe rental, for $24 per person.

  1. 222 W 44th St, (between Seventh and Eighth Aves)
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Brooklyn Bowl

  • Critics choice

The performance venue-slash-16-lane alley is set in the abyss of a renovated warehouse, which leaves more than enough space for an on-site Blue Ribbon. Gorge on comfort food favorites (like a sloppy joe or fried chicken platter) among fellow mid-20s brethren--the scene is decidedly a postgrad favorite.
Deals: Blanket pricing means there aren't any...you're paying per lane, per half hour--no matter what.

  1. 61 Wythe Ave, (at North 11th St)
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Frames

  • Price band: 1/4

The alley formerly known as Leisure Time Bowl offers 26 lanes (plus two more in the VIP room), two full-service bars, a steakhouse and a dance lounge; it’s one of the few clubs in the city where you’ll see bowling shoes doubling as dancing shoes.
Deals: The Ultimate Bottle & Bowl (Fri, Sat 11pm–close) gets you a reserved section in the dance lounge, a bottle of vodka, rum, whiskey or champagne and two hours of bowling for $39.95 per person. The Night Owl Special (Sun–Thu from 9pm, Fri from 5pm, Sat all day) buys two hours of bowling and an 11-pint beer tower for $29.95 per person. Both deals include shoe rental.

  1. 550 Ninth Ave, (at 40th St), 10018
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Harlem Lanes

  • Price band: 1/4

The 24 lanes, at-lane food service and VIP lounge are great, but the best thing about this joint are its theme nights, including black-lit Cosmic Fridays and open-mic Thursdays. Plus, the jerk wings are killer.
Deals: The Family Four Pack (available 11am–11pm Sunday), includes one hour of bowling plus shoe rental for $40; additional hours are $15.

  1. 2116 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd (Seventh Ave), (at 126th St)
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The Gutter

  • Price band: 1/4

You have to be at least 21 to bowl at this highly stylized hipster haunt, which features old-school score monitors, stained-glass lamps and a dozen taps loaded with American craft beers—including Chelsea Checker Cab.
Deals: Score two games for the price of one Sunday through Thursday (1am–close) and Friday (2pm–6pm).

  1. 200 North 14th St, (between Berry St and Wythe Ave)
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Lucky Strike Lanes and Lounge

The Hell’s Kitchen outpost of this national chain boasts 26 state-of-the-art lanes and 11 billiard tables ($15 per hour). Have a drink in the lounge or a meal in the restaurant while you wait for a personal buzzer to announce that your lane is ready. We recommend booking ahead for weekends; lane reservations can be made up to three weeks in advance.
Deals: The Monday Night Block Party (8pm–11pm) includes shoe rental and unlimited bowling with a $15 food and drink minimum per person, per hour.

  1. 624–660 W 42nd St, (at Twelfth Ave)
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Maple Lanes

  • Price band: 1/4

This alley is another nostalgic throwback, featuring a giant lounge dividing the 48 lanes, a snack bar that fits large groups and a well-labeled ball selection. Bowl for three hours on Sunday mornings for $25. (Arrive early—the lanes generally sell out by 8:15am.)
Deals: On Sundays after 9pm, pay a $6 cover charge and $1 per game. 10@10 Tuesdays offer an all-you-can-bowl deal for $10 after 10pm.

  1. 1570 60th St, (at 16th Ave)
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Melody Lanes

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice

This is the alley you grew up in—small and community-oriented, with a guy in a Totti shirt to your left and a little girl’s birthday party to your right. There’s no snootiness here—just classic (read: greasy) snacks and a full bar in a well-cooled, unassuming environment.
Deals: Midnight Glow offers unlimited bowling on Fridays and Saturdays after midnight for $22 per person, shoes included. Sundays and Mondays from 8pm to midnight, pay the standard $8 for round one, then $4.50 for each additional game.

  1. 461 37th St, (between Fourth and Fifth Aves)
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Showplace Entertainment Center

  • Price band: 1/4

You name it, they have it: dartboards, pool tables, a pro shop, a sweet game room with five Skee-Ball machines, a sports bar with bucket specials and a pizzeria-grill. Moreover, the pulsating Xtreme Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling makes for a wildly bright Friday or Saturday night.
Deals: From 9:30pm to 12:30am on Mondays, it’s Bowl-Till-You-Drop: all-you-can-bowl for $10 per person (minimum four people per lane). From 9:30am–11:30am on Saturday and Sunday, up to six people can rent a lane for $10 per hour.

  1. 141 E Service Rd, (at Wild Ave)
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Rab's Country Lanes

  • Price band: 1/4

A bumper system allows adults, kids and double-digit bowlers to all play on the same lane. We like the in-house pizzeria (owned by Gennaro’s), the on-site pro shop, the High Roller Lounge’s pool tables and darts, and the 100-ounce beer tube for $22.
Deals: The $50 Fun Pack includes shoe rental, an hour and a half of bowling, a whole pizza and a pitcher of soda for up to four people.

  1. 1600 Hylan Blvd, (at Raritan Ave)
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300 New York at Chelsea Piers

Everything here is big—the TVs, the lounge, the 32 lanes—so you’re never right on top of someone. Also, the arcade has duckpin bowling, Dance Dance Revolution and a photo booth for cheeky couples.
Deals: Tuesdays from 9pm to midnight are all-you-can-bowl for $28 per person; on Thursdays, games are $5 after 9pm.

  1. Eleventh Ave, (at 23rd St)
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Whitestone Lanes

  • Price band: 1/4

This alley is open 24/7. That’s a turkey right there, but we also dig the fab chicken wings and crispy french fries on offer at the snack bar. You can also have your bowling balls custom-drilled at the on-site pro shop.
Deals: Pay $19 for all-you-can-bowl on Saturday and Sunday mornings (8am–noon) as well as on Monday and Tuesday nights (10pm–2am). Also, $60 gets up to five people an hour of unlimited bowling, shoes included.

  1. 30-05 Whitestone Expwy, (at Linden Pl)
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Users say

3 comments
margie gonzalez
margie gonzalez

I WORK WITH THE SENIOR IN THE CENTER I WILL LIKE TO INVITE SOME PEOPLE OVER THERE TO PLAY AND HAVE FUN AND I WILL KNOW THAT THEY WILL SEE THE PLACE SO LET ME KNOW HOW MUCH IS TO TAKE LIKE 20 PEOPLE OVER OR CALL ME FOR MORE INFORMATION IS LIKE I SAID I WORK WITH SENIORS AGES 59 TOO 60 YEARS OLD MY PHONE IS 212-510-8340

miriam
miriam

love your arcade

miriam
miriam

i love ur bowling place