You might just slip in for a few rounds of Punch-Out or Galaga, but you’ll find yourself sticking around Echo Park’s Button Mash for its selection of craft beer and pan-Asian cuisine. The menu offerings, like crispy tofu balls, tamarind chicken wings, pork belly sandwiches and mouth-numbing dan dan noodles, are a far cry from the pizza rolls of your Nintendo days past, and offer more than enough sustenance to tackle a long night at the arcade. More than 30 cabinets—including classics like NBA Jam, Mortal Kombat and Mario Bros.—and 10 pinball options impress everyone from button-mashers to ranked champions, who sip cans of craft tallboys and cider as they play. A separate room offers some classic and contemporary pinball machines from Game of Thrones to Waterworld. Colorful wallpaper, an upbeat soundtrack and old Wrestlemania videos complete an atmosphere that brings out the kid in you. Got kids, yourself? This spot is all-ages until 9pm every night. And remember to trade cash for tokens on your way in.
Sipping cocktails while toppling high scores is that beautiful utopia where adulthood meets childhood: You can stay out as late as you want, the retro vibes never cease, the beer flows freely and games cost as little as a quarter. We’ve compiled a list of the best adult-friendly arcade bars in the Los Angeles area, the kinds where you can both order a cocktail, some natural wine or a beer and play some Space Invaders. From a trendy Arts District bar to an Echo Park spot that doubles as a restaurant, here’s where to unleash your inner pinball wizard in L.A., all grown up.