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The best bars with games in NYC

Put your skills to the test while kicking back a few glasses of the strong stuff at the top places with bar games in NYC

By Time Out contributors and Christina Izzo

For a drink with a side of Ping-Pong, a beer-fueled Skee-ball session or a booze-addled break at one of the city’s best bowling alleys, these are the best places with bar games in New York City. Sure, a night out at one of New York’s best beer gardens, dive bars or cocktail bars is a good time in and of itself, but add the city’s best bar games to it and you’ve got a recipe for one legendary evening.

RECOMMENDED: More of the best bars in NYC

Best bars with games in NYC

11. Abilene

Bars Dive bars Carroll Gardens

This Carroll Gardens spot offers both classy (hot cider with rum or whiskey, $7) and lowbrow (a can of Genny and a well shot, $6) drinks, along with an array of sandwiches and comfort-food staples. Nosh on pulled-pork nachos ($11) while challenging your pals to Scrabble, putting together a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle or figuring out the rules to the Grape Escape (because, seriously, who has ever played the Grape Escape?). With a low-key vibe, crowd-pleasing tunes on the stereo and an amiable clientele, Abilene is the stuff of a Brooklyn bar-hopper’s coziest dreams.

Fat Cat
Photograph: Filip Wolak

12. Fat Cat

Music Music venues West Village

They don’t make ‘em like this any more (probably because Health and Safety would shut ‘em down). West Village hangout the Fat Cat is a basement bar and pool hall where the sofas are scruffy, the drinks are cheap and the ambience is jovial. There’s live jazz every night, and Fridays have formidable Brooklyn soul singer Naomi Shelton playing a residency with her Gospel Queens. Closing time is 4am.

Floyd, NY
Photo: Caroline Voagen Nelson

13. Floyd, NY

Bars Dive bars Brooklyn Heights

Modeled after the taverns in owner Pam Carden’s Iowa hometown, Floyd has everything you could want from a neighborhood bar: cheap beer (try the Crapacopia: $15 for a bucket of six assorted beer cans, including PBR and Genesee Cream Ale), a chilled-out indie-rock playlist and regulars who all seem like that cool cousin you keep meaning to hang out with. The joint’s free-to-use indoor bocce court gives you the chance to challenge old pals or new ones to some friendly competition.

14. The Library

Bars Lower East Side

This classic East Village dive has great drink specials (the bartenders give out buy-one-get-one-free drink tokens from 5 to 8pm) and a much-beloved jukebox (18 songs for $5). The standard sounds are punk and metal (the Stooges, Motörhead), but you can find hip-hop (Run-D.M.C.) and indie rock (the Walkmen) as well. Or just zone out and enjoy the movies that are often projected on the back wall, like The Goonies or a kung fu classic. The overall vibe is grimy but friendly, and the walls are hung with massive paintings. If you don’t want to leave the ’hood but are looking to avoid an impromptu “Sweet Caroline” scream-along by a gaggle of frat boys, the Library may be the place for you.

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