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Where to Play Bar Games in the Bay Area

The Bay Area’s got game. A recent boom in bar diversions means you can pair your beers with bocce ball or your cocktails with Candyland. Here’s a list of our top bar games along with our favorite spots to play them. 

1. Plinko

The spot: S&R Lounge

The price is right for the tech sect with happy hour specials and a 30-foot Plinko game fed by a bin full of soccer balls. When you’re all plunked out, there’s also an Atari 2600 simulator, Wii, pool, shuffleboard, ping-pong, and an assortment of board games. // 55 5th St., San Francisco,

2. Miniature Golf

The spot: Urban Putt

You’ll need a caddy to lug your drinks around this fantastical mini-golf course (haha, not true! You can't take your drinks on the course). But there are two bars, a full restaurant upstairs, and 14 mechanically-enhanced holes, all playfully set in a former Mission mortuary. // 1096 S Van Ness Ave., San Francisco,

3. Bocce Ball

The spot: Make Westing

A downtown Oakland bar is a poor sub for a bucolic Napa estate, yet somehow the popular field sport works here. Colorful balls line two indoor courts while local tap handles line the bar. // 1741 Telegraph Ave, Oakland,

4. Skee Ball

The spot: Golden Gate Taproom

Three glowing skee ball machines hold down a corner at this Union Square bar and game room. The 100-strong beer list helps explain all the netting around the games. // 525 Sutter St. #2, San Francisco,

5. Pinball

The spot: Molotov’s

Pump some quarters into the Lord of the Rings game and enjoy the multi-player action. // 582 Haight St., San Francisco,

6. Super Nintendo

The spot: Soda Popinski’s

With props to the Russian roughneck from Super Punch Out!!, the eponymous California Street bar serves up Super Nintendo, Soviet-era decor, and oversized boots of Moscow Mules. Just take care not to end up with the boxer’s original moniker, Vodka Drunkenski. // 1548 California St., San Francisco,

7. Shuffleboard

The spot: Wreck Room

Classic bar games like pool and shuffleboard keep a sporting young crowd entertained at this Polk Gulch man-cave. // 1390 California St., San Francisco,

8. Darts

The spot: The Albatross

This bookish East Bay pub—which just turned 50—hosts the well-read and the Berkeley-bred with popcorn, a killer scotch selection, and six pro dart lanes. // 1822 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley,

9. Board Games

The spot: The Willows

Cards Against Humanity pairs well with craft beer or a cocktail at this SOMA gastropub. That is until someone whips out a _____________. // 1582 Folsom St., San Francisco,