clock menu more-arrow no yes
Photo: Velocity Five

Eater's Summer Guide to Bars with Games

View as Map

Summer's always been the season of play.

In grade school, once June hit and classes were out of session, parents and teachers released kids into the wilds of neighborhood pools, baseball fields and parks.

But playtime doesn't have to stop into adulthood, does it? Bars, always in the fun and games racket, have plenty of activities in which patrons can partake while swilling down margaritas and gin and tonics. By and large, the old-school games like darts and foosball are still in the mix, though bar games have expanded, too. There are the (slightly) more athletic pursuits of Bocce and cornhole, while board games once reserved for quiet family bonding nights are now finding homes at pubs and nightspots too.

Here are 10 D.C.-area bars that grown-up gamers should put on their checklist this summer.
—Dena Levitz


Read More
Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. The Board Room

Copy Link
1737 Connecticut Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20009
(202) 518-7666
Visit Website
Any list of bars with games has to start with this year-old space revolving around dozens of board games available to rent. Challenge friends to Hungry Hungry Hippos, Boggle, even Settlers of Catan. The bar doesn’t serve grub, but the loser can be made to order from one of the nearby eateries and have it delivered.

2. H Street Country Club

Copy Link
1335 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 399-4722
Visit Website
If swinging clubs is more your speed, venture to H Street for eight holes of miniature golf – and backdrops that are D.C.-centric – on the second floor of this Mexican cuisine mecca. On Mondays and Tuesdays, patrons who order dinner play free. Downstairs features skeeball and shuffleboard.

3. Trusty's

Copy Link
1420 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003
(202) 547-1010
Visit Website
Customers can test their smarts over a Mason jar full of beer. This Hill East institution has Trivial Pursuit, Jenga and Sorry, amongst other board games. The recent addition of its patio “Bus Bar” on the second level also expands on the childhood theme with nostalgic touches like thermos chandeliers and lunch box lights.

4. Rock & Roll Hotel

Copy Link
1353 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 388-7625
Think of a boozier, grown-up version of the documentary “Spellbound.” Each turn at the microphone, the host might insult the contestant, force them to spell obscure pornographic terms or take pity on them with an elementary school-level word. That’s the crux of Rock n Roll Hotel’s Friday night "Spelling Buzz." Participating and spectating are equally entertaining.

5. Comet Ping Pong

Copy Link
5037 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 364-0404
Visit Website
Forrest Gump, if based in the District, might become a regular at this Friendship Heights pizzeria, which boasts an entire table tennis room. Comet is family-friendly while also attracting hipsters in search of live musical acts and an array of beers on tap. Even using the facilities can become a game, with a bathroom that’s hidden behind large paneled walls.

6. Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro

Copy Link
1940 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20001
(202) 332-9463
Visit Website
Step outside and you’re transported to a European courtyard that doubles as Vinoteca’s outside bar and bocce area. Mondays and Tuesdays this U Street neighborhood wine bar is overtaken with bocce league play; the rest of the time the court’s open to all.

7. Continental Modern Pool Lounge

Copy Link
1911 Fort Myer Dr
Arlington, VA 22209
(703) 465-7675
Visit Website
Clearly, there are pool tables. The brightly colored Rosslyn bar also boasts four full-sized shuffle board tables, skeeball, ping pong and Nintendo Wii to round out its selection of games. Most activities are rented out by the hour, and Continental serves up a large selection of tap beers to keep patrons refreshed.

8. The Fairgrounds

Copy Link
1299 Half Street Southeast
Washington, DC 20003
Adjacent to the Washington National’s Stadium is an ever-expanding hub of pre- and post-game activity. The Fairgrounds began as a small, tented beer garden and has now blossomed into so much more. It’s an outdoor festival of sorts with food trucks, merchandise, live music and games in the form of cornhole and Fast Pitch, where fans can try to be Strasburg.

9. Penn Social

Copy Link
801 E Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20004
(202) 697-4900
Visit Website
Spread out across a 13,000 square feet area Penn Social is many things to many different audiences: a place to hear comedy, a bar for sports-watching or a live music destination. The most fun, though, might be the bottom floor of games, including classic arcade, skeeball, shuffleboard and foosball. Penn Social also has become a major gathering point for Bocce and cornhole league participants.

10. Velocity 5 - Falls Church

Copy Link
8111 Lee Hwy
Falls Church, VA 22042
(703) 207-9464
Visit Website
Velocity Five (multiple locations) is known as a sports bar, but it's also the home to one of the city's social skee ball leagues. There's cornhole and a basketball shooting machine on the premises as well.

1. The Board Room

1737 Connecticut Avenue Northwest, Washington, DC 20009
Any list of bars with games has to start with this year-old space revolving around dozens of board games available to rent. Challenge friends to Hungry Hungry Hippos, Boggle, even Settlers of Catan. The bar doesn’t serve grub, but the loser can be made to order from one of the nearby eateries and have it delivered.
1737 Connecticut Avenue Northwest
Washington, DC 20009

2. H Street Country Club

1335 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
If swinging clubs is more your speed, venture to H Street for eight holes of miniature golf – and backdrops that are D.C.-centric – on the second floor of this Mexican cuisine mecca. On Mondays and Tuesdays, patrons who order dinner play free. Downstairs features skeeball and shuffleboard.
1335 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

3. Trusty's

1420 Pennsylvania Ave SE, Washington, DC 20003
Customers can test their smarts over a Mason jar full of beer. This Hill East institution has Trivial Pursuit, Jenga and Sorry, amongst other board games. The recent addition of its patio “Bus Bar” on the second level also expands on the childhood theme with nostalgic touches like thermos chandeliers and lunch box lights.
1420 Pennsylvania Ave SE
Washington, DC 20003

4. Rock & Roll Hotel

1353 H St NE, Washington, DC 20002
Think of a boozier, grown-up version of the documentary “Spellbound.” Each turn at the microphone, the host might insult the contestant, force them to spell obscure pornographic terms or take pity on them with an elementary school-level word. That’s the crux of Rock n Roll Hotel’s Friday night "Spelling Buzz." Participating and spectating are equally entertaining.
1353 H St NE
Washington, DC 20002

5. Comet Ping Pong

5037 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008
Forrest Gump, if based in the District, might become a regular at this Friendship Heights pizzeria, which boasts an entire table tennis room. Comet is family-friendly while also attracting hipsters in search of live musical acts and an array of beers on tap. Even using the facilities can become a game, with a bathroom that’s hidden behind large paneled walls.
5037 Connecticut Ave NW
Washington, DC 20008

6. Vinoteca Wine Bar & Bistro

1940 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20001
Step outside and you’re transported to a European courtyard that doubles as Vinoteca’s outside bar and bocce area. Mondays and Tuesdays this U Street neighborhood wine bar is overtaken with bocce league play; the rest of the time the court’s open to all.
1940 11th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

7. Continental Modern Pool Lounge

1911 Fort Myer Dr, Arlington, VA 22209
Clearly, there are pool tables. The brightly colored Rosslyn bar also boasts four full-sized shuffle board tables, skeeball, ping pong and Nintendo Wii to round out its selection of games. Most activities are rented out by the hour, and Continental serves up a large selection of tap beers to keep patrons refreshed.
1911 Fort Myer Dr
Arlington, VA 22209

8. The Fairgrounds

1299 Half Street Southeast, Washington, DC 20003
Adjacent to the Washington National’s Stadium is an ever-expanding hub of pre- and post-game activity. The Fairgrounds began as a small, tented beer garden and has now blossomed into so much more. It’s an outdoor festival of sorts with food trucks, merchandise, live music and games in the form of cornhole and Fast Pitch, where fans can try to be Strasburg.
1299 Half Street Southeast
Washington, DC 20003

9. Penn Social

801 E Street Northwest, Washington, DC 20004
Spread out across a 13,000 square feet area Penn Social is many things to many different audiences: a place to hear comedy, a bar for sports-watching or a live music destination. The most fun, though, might be the bottom floor of games, including classic arcade, skeeball, shuffleboard and foosball. Penn Social also has become a major gathering point for Bocce and cornhole league participants.
801 E Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20004

10. Velocity 5 - Falls Church

8111 Lee Hwy, Falls Church, VA 22042
Velocity Five (multiple locations) is known as a sports bar, but it's also the home to one of the city's social skee ball leagues. There's cornhole and a basketball shooting machine on the premises as well.
8111 Lee Hwy
Falls Church, VA 22042

Related Maps