Top 5 Video Game Bars In London

October 15, 2019 5:00 pm

In the run-up to EGX, London’s premier gaming expo, we’re shining a light on some of the wide and wonderful gaming experiences in, around, or about London. While gaming was once considered a fringe hobby only enjoyed by the most basement-dwelling of us all, gaming has exploded into the cultural zeitgeist in recent years. It’s now the most profitable entertainment medium on the planet, for better or worse (we’re looking at you, microtransactions). If you’re a gamer with a little extra cash burning a hole in your pocket, don’t go throwing it at any horse armour. Instead, drink it away at one of our top 5 video game bars in London!

 

Loading, Dalston

 

 

Dalston’s Loading bar has it all. Upstairs is mainly dedicated to board games, with a literal tonne to choose from. Head downstairs, and you’ll find the video games. They’ve got PS4’s, Xbox Ones and Switches, along with some retro goodies like the N64 and a Neo Geo arcade cabinet.

And, obviously, they sell booze too. Lots of booze. You’ve got all your standard choices; beer, cider, spirits etc. but if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, have a browse of their video game-themed cocktail menu. It’s influenced by some of gaming biggest franchises like Zelda, Fallout, and Elder Scrolls. If you’ve never heard of Loading, lucky you found this list. If you’ve never been, put your shoes on and finish reading this blog on the way there.

 

Four Quarters East, Hackney Wick

 

 

Another great spot if you’re further East, Four Quarters East in Hackney Wick specialises in craft beer and retro gaming offerings. Arcade cabinets line one wall, with two-player favourites like Street Fighter 2 on offer. Along the opposite wall, there are booths with Megadrives, SNES’s, N64’s and Playstation’s set up. And, if you’re hankering for a snack, they’ve got a pizza menu themed around the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If that doesn’t sound amazing, then you must be hard to please.

 

Meltdown, Caledonian Road

 

 

Boasting an impressive 27 bars across the globe, Meltdown’s e-sports brand of bar is already a big hit. Unlike the other bars on this list, Meltdown caters predominantly to the more competitive side of gaming. In fact, they host e-sports tournaments, giving attendees the chance to meet their favourite streamers. And all of their tournaments are hosted on Twitch too. But even if you’re not MLG, or don’t fancy spectating, there are a slew of consoles to play and, of course, a large assortment of boozy bonuses to imbibe.

 

Otherworld, Haggerston

 

 

While classing Otherworld as a bar might be a stretch, it’s an unmissable experience for anyone interested in the cutting edge of gaming tech – virtual reality. Otherworld whisks you away to another world, and that’s before you’ve even put the headset on. Entering it’s rather inconspicuous location beneath a railway bridge is like walking onto the set of Westworld’s labs, crossed with an Apple store. 14 sleek white booths stand around the edge of the room, with tables (and built-in iPads) along the middle.

Once you’re greeted and run through a quick explanation of the tech and what you can expect, you enter one of the booths and transported to Otherworld. A fantastical hub-world where you access a large number of VR experiences, from novice titles to more demanding games like Arizona Sunshine and Superhot. One of the first things you notice is that the built in aircon actually simulates wind, so when you stand on a mountain top you will feel the wind in your face. It has to be ‘seen’ to be believed. After you’re done, you can take a seat and order snacks and drinks, courtesy of the built-in iPad. Otherworld is the future of entertainment, today. Go.

 

Pimpshuei, Holborn

Pimpshuei is something else; ‘the world’s number 1 martial arts-themed bar’. We’re sure that piqued your interest. What you can expect to find is a friendly dive bar inspired by kung-fu flicks. This is reinforced by a projector playing some of cinema’s greatest martial arts movies 24/7. And, they also have arcade booths with fighting games like Street Fighter, as well as arcade classics like Time Crisis. And for drinks, they’ve got a cocktail menu inspired by kung fu cinema, as well as the usual bar stalwarts. Definitely one to check out if you’ve never been.

So, that’s our list of the top 5 best video game bars in London. If we missed out any of your favourites, let us know in the comments below. We’ll be sure to check them out. As if we needed an excuse. And while you’re here, did you know that London has its very own travelling gaming bus?

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