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Photograph: JF Galipeau | BoulZeye

Where to find Montreal arcades for geeking out and gaming on

From barcades with cheap beers and good times to entertainment multiplexes for the kids, Montreal arcades have it all

Written by
JP Karwacki
Gregory Vodden
Isa Tousignant

Geeking out and having fun has now emerged as part of the cultural zeitgeist right now, and Montreal arcades have never been better for old fashioned fun. (The arcade at Time Out Market Montréal is bigger and better than ever!) The future of gaming promises to be exciting, but old-school arcades don’t look like they’ll be going out of style anytime soon, with coin-operated pinball games, skeeball lanes and every arcade machine imaginable found throughout town. Even if you’re not a serious gamer, spending an afternoon at the arcade is one of the best cheap things to do in Montreal, one of the best things to do with kids in Montreal, and (we think) they sometimes figure in as some of the city’s best bars, too. 

Full guide to the best things to do in Montreal

The best Montreal arcades

A love letter to pinball wizards everywhere, Plateau bar North Star is the defacto embassy for Montreal’s pinball resurgence and is packed with a rotating roster of painstakingly restored vintage pinball machines that date from the 1920s to the present day. The bar itself doesn’t shrink from the limelight and boasts excellent bartenders, all-vinyl music, a battery of local beers and seasonal craft cocktails. North Star also holds events including regular competitions if you think you’ve got supple wrists enough to tangle with the best in town. Just remember: No drinks on the machines!

Having begun as a weekly pop-up event between friends, Arcade MTL is now a full-blown brick and mortar business that acts as a hub for the city’s gaming community, serving up a wealth of microbrews and nerdy-themed cocktails while it’s at it. A $7 cover charge gives you free plays of all of their impressive collection of retro classics like Mortal Kombat II, Ms. Pac-Man, Street Fighter II and Tetris, not to mention all the retro consoles that some readers here will only remember from their childhood.


Apt 200 is an open-concept loft bar with bottle service, craft cocktails, a snack bar and DJ sets. First and foremost, Apt. 200 operates as a nightclub and at first glance, it might not look like the sort of place to have a dedicated arcade section, but it does—and it’s no joke. They’ve got classic beat-em-ups like Mortal Kombat and Street Fighter, timeless racing sims like Cruis’n USA and a few oddballs sprinkled in. If you gotta game, even while you paint the town red, Apt. 200 has you covered.

For something completely different, Putting Edge specializes in indoor mini-golf courses in full blacklight. The impressive glow-in-the-dark courses are reason enough to give one of their three local venues a visit, but in addition to their 18 holes they’ve also got a lineup of arcade games including air hockey, claw games, skeeball and racing simulators, all lit up in day-glo colours under the blacklights. Putting Edge offers packages for kids and adults alike; be sure to call ahead to see what they can offer for your group’s age range.


Cobra is a chilled-out neighbourhood dive bar with a fixation on 80s and 90s nostalgia. Think skateboarding culture meets early hip-hop with a range of classic beers and cheesy action movies playing from VHS tapes on old TVs in the background. Of course, no nostalgic trip down memory lane could be complete without early video games thrown in the mix, and Cobra delivers with a smattering of retro games including the undisputed competition classics Mortal Kombat II and Street Fighter II.

Laser tag, bowling, escape rooms, VR games, an arcade, a restaurant serving decent poutine and jugs of beer—it's all here. There isn't a ton of places in the city that can accomplish combining all of those different things in one place, but BoulZeye is definitely one of them. When it comes to the arcade, they list 13 games at their disposal, with as many skeeball, foosball and basketball setups as there are proper titles like Mario Kart Arcada GP Deluxe and the Jurassic Park Envrionmental title. Fun stuff.


Located inside the Bell Center, this arcade has been setup by the folks over at North Star. That means that, in addition to hosting a bunch of different food concepts that go from Mexican to upscaled hotdogs and grilled cheese sandwiches, it's got a bunch of pinball machines and proper face-to-face arcade games to help you kill some time before seeing a show or watching a game if it's during the hockey season. 

Although most arcade spots in town are focused on an adult clientele, Funtropolis is aimed squarely at kids. The funtropolis complex features a colossal play structure, ball cannons, mini-golf, a “4D” virtual reality simulator and—of course—a huge arcade section featuring skill games, pinball machines, racing sims, crane games, table hockey and more. It’s everything a desperate parent might need to tire out their kids and maybe get some rest.


A longstanding pillar of the arcade scene, Amusement 2000 successfully weathered the waning years of arcade gaming’s popularity. Now it’s enjoying a newfound popularity as younger generations discover retro arcade gaming for the first time and older generations are returning to reexperience it anew. The parlor is full of modern pinball machines, fighting games, light gunners, race sims, dance rhythm games and more while remaining resolutely affordable for a wholesome night on the town in Laval.

Quilles G Plus is a Quebec-wide bowling alley chain with a number of locations on the island, but their Rose Bowl location in NDG features an ample games section big enough to whet the appetite of any arcade addict. Featuring a range of weird and wonderful games including light gun shooters, sit-down racing sims, a classic Dance Dance Revolution setup and skill-based games like skee ball and basketball, this place is just as good for gaming between bouts of bowling and beers as it is for a full birthday party for the kids.


Movie theatres have a close historical association with arcades, and during their heyday, it wasn’t unusual to find expansive arcade sections within movie theatres. The practice has certainly declined somewhat over the years but Cinémas Guzzo, a regional chain centered around the greater Montreal area, has stayed true to their roots and their Mega-Plex Marché Central IMAX location continues to offer race sims, light gun shooters, skill games, air hockey, bowling lanes and even an old-school bumper car arena. Just like the good ol’ days.

Another Montreal cinema that hasn’t given up the ghost, Cineplex Cinema Banque Scotia continues to dedicate a section of their downtown theatre to classic arcade games. Although not quite as extensive as the offerings at Mega-Plex Marché Central 18 IMAX, their collection is nothing to shake a stick at: Air hockey, rhythm games like Dance Dance Revolution, light-gun shoot-em-ups, and classic racing sims make up just a few of what you’ll find there. A great way to brush up on your skills if you arrive a little early before the show.


13. Arkad Amusement

With two locations in downtown Montreal, Arkad is a fun gaming spot with a ton of games to choose from, including driving games like Hot Wheels and Super Bikes 3 to dancing games like Pump It Up and a space adventure for two with Space Invaders. You can test the strength of your punch in Boxer, lose yourself (but hopefully not your head) in a Halo pod and then record all the magical memories you’ve made in the onsite photo booth.

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