A Blast From The Past: London’s Best Arcade Game Bars

You’ll usually find me harping on about the next TikTok trend that’s gone viral but I can appreciate the good old days when entertainment was simpler and came in the form of a yellow circular face who happened to race around collecting coins charging away from two-dimensional ghosts. If you’re one of those who wishes they could turn back time and relish in their favourite childhood games, then I’ve found the best London bars for you… 

Introducing the arcade games bar, a space where millennials and above can relive their heydays, one game at a time. From Pacman to Street Fighter II, read on to scout out the best arcade bars in London.

Four Quarters

For the king of arcade games, look to Four Quarters for endless hours of entertainment. The UK’s original arcade bar, they have recently opened up a new venue in Elephant and Castle, packed with over 30 original arcade machines, four vintage console booths and two large screen projection gaming areas. 

Expect the likes of Street Fighter II, Pac Man, Point Blank, Space Invaders and Asteroids to be waiting for you at this retro inspired gaming bar. For every £1, you’ll receive four American quarters which can be used to play the arcade games. 

On the foodie menu, you’ll find burgers and bites, as well as 16 beers on draught to pair alongside. Plus a whole host of cocktails for those who want to win over their gaming first date in style.

Where: Elephant & Castle, Peckham & Hackney Wick
Website: www.fourquarters.bar

Heart of Gaming 

Croydon’s Heart of Gaming is well worth the extra twenty minute train journey for those serious about gaming bars. It’s packed with all of your favourite retro consoles including the SNEs, Megadrive and N64, as well as the newest consoles available like the PS4 and Nintendo Switch. 

Start off with the retro games, including Daytona USA and The Simpsons, and work your way up to the newer games and see how the graphics, speed and versatility changes. They offer a one day entry wristband, meaning you can blast on your favourite games all day long without the worry of running out of loose change. 

Where: 44-46 North End Road, Croydon, CR0 1UG
Website: www.heartofgaming.co.uk

Four Thieves 

Over in Battersea you’ll find Four Thieves serving up all of your classic pub vibes with a side of retro gaming. Located on Lavender Gardens, the pub-come-arcade bar is home to VR booths, Moonshine Racing and retro games.

Inside you’ll find them serving up proper pub grub from burgers to fish and chips, but venture further and you’ll see the illumination coming from the Victorian dancehall, home to all of your favourite retro games. 

The Moonshine Racing is another experience you won’t want to miss. Grab your closest pals and race the mini cars bumper to bumper around the race track.

Where: 51 Lavender Gardens, Battersea, SW11 1DJ
Website: www.fourthieves.pub

Gravity Wandsworth 

Despite only opening earlier this summer, Gravity Wandsworth is already a firm favourite with go-karters, gamers and The Handbook office. Inside the epic 100,000 sq ft venue you’ll find three floors packed out with eight immersive game stations, from the high tech electric go-kart racetrack to the bowling alley. And of course, the Funbox Arcade. 

Over at the arcade section, expect to fall back in love with all of your favourite gaming characters and nostalgic consoles. Insert your coin and see where it takes you…

Where: Southside Wandsworth, Wandsworth High Street, SW18 4TF
Website: www.gravity-uk.com

London Games Room

Anyone who knows anything about gaming will have heard of the London Games Room. With multiple venues over the city, from London Fields to Shoreditch High Street, it’s the place to go to while away your afternoon, one game at a time. 

These rooms are usually tucked away inside another venue, but are home to a whole host of games from classics including Pacman, Batman, Caveman Ninja, Contra and Robocop.

Where: Various locations
Website: www.londongamesroom.co.uk

Loading Bar

Known better for their board game selection – seriously, if you’re somewhat of a board game lover it’s an essential visit – but they also host a great selection of arcade gaming and console options too. 

Their Peckham venue is yet to launch, but over in Stoke Newington, expect to be bashing with your crazy animal friends in Donkey Kong or drive around the city in Crazy Taxi.


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WherE: Peckham & Stoke Newington
Website: www.loading.bar

Slice by Pizza Pilgrims

Arcade games with a side of pizza? Go on then… Pizza Pilgrims has recently launched a new concept filled with NYC-style slices, tasty tipples and, you guessed it, vintage arcade games. 

Opening up earlier this summer, Slice by Pizza Pilgrims is home to a rare selection of vintage arcade games. Munch down on your favourite slice and battle your way through the selection of games to try and wine the high-score.

Where: 266 Seven Sisters Road, Finsbury Park, N4 2HY
Website: www.slicebypizzapilgrims.co.uk

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