Not In Texas? 5 Fun Places Like Dave & Buster’s Near Me! 

You won’t believe it, but it’s been two years since I went to Dave & Buster’s for the first time. As a 90s kid, I was always late to the party. When the first “Dave & Busters” debuted in 1982, it quickly became a household name. After all, who else would have thought of combining a restaurant, arcade, and sports bar under one roof? As of January 2023, the company has its presence in 151 locations in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and Canada and offers guests the unique opportunity to “Eat Drink Play and Watch,” all in one location.

Initially, I didn’t understand why it crushed other modern arcade bars serving Obert arcade cabinets or craft beer. Does anyone think it’s a good time to play Pop-A-Shot and sip sugary drinks on a Friday night? Or like, is anyone having fun in places like Dave & Buster’s at all? Are there any fun places similar to Dave & Buster’s near me?

Only after dropping in a D&B myself did I realize why they are so popular amongst Americans; at first glance, it may seem like a throwback to the days of yore when it comes to “eatertainment,” but D&B’s mix of arcade, sports bar, and restaurant provides an atmosphere and gaming experience that appeals to many. From 11:30 AM to 1:00 AM, I spent 13.5 hours playing games, eating and drinking at the Dallas D&B, and enjoying one of the best get-together venues in the world. And here’s why.

Why Do We All Get Sucked to Dave & Buster’s?

I decided to pen my account of my day at Dave & Busters after the first sip of beer and D&B’s signature chicken fingers, hilariously named after the most incredible James Bond theme track, “Octopussyfungers.” Just kidding, they are Legendary Goldfingers!

There were around 50 folks at the “casino” at that time, a weird mix of children and adults. Unlike a casino, not everyone was drinking, and kids were running around like crazy. When I got there, I found a couple sitting beside me with a huge stack of tickets in their hands. The women said they finally won enough tickets from arcane games to win a Wii.

A steady stream of folks kept D&B busy with repeat purchases of those tickets. They could be redeemed at The Winner’s Circle’s “store” for real money or rewards. I was familiar enough with the games to know that it would take me a long time to save up for a PlayStation 4, but that didn’t make the console any less enticing to someone like me!

Some of the attractions of Dave & Busters (and I’m not just talking about the tickets alone!) become clearer from that vantage point.

A Kid-Friendly Place 

As previously noted, many young people are having a great time at Dave & Buster’s. Yes, D&B is a combination of sports bar and restaurant, so it’s not always the first place that comes to mind when thinking about kid-friendly activities. Don’t forget, though, that it’s also an arcade! The gaming area is stocked with fun activities for kids of all ages to entertain and give them fun for hours.

Dave & Buster's Birthday Party for Kids
With this many ways to Eat, Drink, Play, Watch, and Party — there’s something for your kids! Source: Dave and Buster’s

Next time, take your 5-year-old there if you’re looking for an exciting evening out and want to show him how to play Skee Ball, Carnival games, or activities with actual soccer or basketball balls. Desserts like sugar churros or strawberry shortcakes are a terrific way to cap off a special evening.

The only thing to remember is that on Friday and Saturday nights, some Dave & Buster’s locations enforce a curfew that requires all those under 21 to leave the premises by 11:00 PM. Therefore, if you want a family night there, you should probably schedule beforehand.

The Awesome Food

Dave & Buster’s is a network of entertainment centers where patrons can play the newest video games and watch the biggest sporting events. Dave & Buster’s co-founder, Busta Rhymes, got his start in the food and entertainment business in the 1970s by founding a restaurant recognized for its signature food and welcoming atmosphere.

Let me be the first to dispel the notion that all you can do here is watch sports, drink beer, and eat chicken wings. Having a quick look at the updated menu in the spring of 2023, I was convinced that Dave & Buster’s wide variety of delicious dishes would satisfy even the most discerning diners.

Dave & Buster's offers diverse dishes
Dave & Buster’s offers diverse dishes. Source: Pennlive

When I first visited a D&B, I ordered the “Korean Sticky Ribs” as they were widely regarded as the must-try dish among Redditors. I’ve had more racks of ribs than I can count from fast food joints, and I have to say that they tend to be lean on the dry side. But Dave and Buster’s ribs were exceptional; they were juicy, tender, and sweet in a way other restaurants didn’t even come close to. I brought the leftovers home and ate them next to my fridge at 10:00 PM and almost wept when they were all gone😋

Meanwhile, the Beastmode Bacon Burger, which has braised pig belly and applewood smoked bacon, was deemed the greatest burger by my dining companion. So that we can mix up a drink? Strawberry Watermelon Margarita indeed wins the award for best drink of the year! 

There’s Alcohol 

Truth be told: Adults are big fans of alcoholic beverages. We go to the pub when I want to get drunk with my pals. We have a few beers and go for a stroll while we play some games. But hilariously, your gaming skills will insanely suffer when you have too much to drink, and some young folks could start laughing at you.

A bowling lane is also available. You can get drunk and bowl at that place if you’ve not made up your mind. After you’ve worked up an appetite for bowling, reward yourself with a delicious lunch at the restaurant. Don’t worry, you won’t go thirsty since they’ll keep serving you beer. They know what’s up. When it comes to eating, nobody wants to get sober.

Once you’ve finished eating, head on over to their pool hall for a game. It’s your lucky day. Girls can serve you beer and keep you tipsy as you play. If you want a shot of tequila, don’t be bashful about asking for it.

Favorite Video Games 

Dave & Buster’s is the spot where you can easily get lost for an entire evening if you’re a fan of arcade games (and who wouldn’t?). Trust me when I say boredom isn’t likely to kill you, as there are no stories of dusty Pac-Man cabinets here. Dave & Buster’s is well-known for its electronic entertainment options, with more than $1.5 million arcades and interactive games. They have everything, not just traditional games like Skee-Ball, cutting-edge shooters, and interactives like Dance Dance Revolution.

You can potentially make a few bucks out of those games. Do you recall my prior mention of the tickets? Plenty of individuals camp in D&B and use their best gaming skills to collect these tickets that can be exchanged for cash. Those with exceptional talent can make as much as $50 per hour selling goods. In most cases, this isn’t an issue for the restaurants, but if the patrons are consistently winning large sums of money or are making it difficult for other customers to use the machines, the management may ask them to leave.

Special Deals & Discounts 

You can check out Dave & Buster’s website or Facebook page to stand a chance of getting a discount. As long as you check their promotion ahead of time, you can enjoy a fantastic time without spending a fortune. With discounts like half-price days and holiday sales, it’s simple to stay on a limited budget. That’s crucial in light of the current state of the global economy.

Are There Fun Places Like Dave And Busters Near Me? 

Why, then, haven’t I returned to Dave & Busters since then if it’s so great? Just a plain answer: All the locations are too far away from where I am. Although more than 150 D&Bs may sound like a lot, most are in one state: Texas. Much as I immerse myself in the welcoming atmosphere, it’s not worth my travel to Dave & Busters to play Pop-A-Shot or treat myself to Korean Sticky Ribs! 

So, as soon as I returned home, I set out to locate some places like Dave and Buster’s near me. I’ve compiled this list of alternatives when a stay at a D&B isn’t in the cards.

Places Like Dave & Buster’s in Atlanta: Bowlmor Atlanta 

Bowlmor Atlanta is a large entertainment complex perfect for a night out with friends. Similar to Dave & Buster’s, it’s mostly recognized for its excellent bowling lanes (the “best in Georgia,” as claimed by user Modelkimberley1), but it also features gambling, restaurants, and other facilities.

What makes Bowlmor Atlanta great? All of it, really. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is pleasant, and the service is first-rate. If you’re waiting your time at the lanes, try to eat at the restaurant and watch other people bowl as you do it. There is also a great DJ and a VIP section to relax in.

There’s enough to do here for the whole family, but if bowling is your primary interest, you should reserve a lane in advance. For parties and other special occasions, you can book private lanes.

Places Like Dave and Buster's in Atlanta: Bowlmor Atlanta 
Places Like Dave And Buster’s in Atlanta: Bowlmor Atlanta. Source: Meetselect

Places Like Dave & Buster’s in Los Angeles: Family Arcade LA

Shout out to the people of Los Angeles! In California, Family Arcade LA is the greatest substitute for D&B. For a day of carefree pleasure, this is the place to go. They take pride in their business’s cleanliness; thus, plenty of hand sanitizers are available.

Vehicles are welcome to use the free parking area just behind the structure. You can play and love a wide range of irresistible games on the arcade and pinball machines. The only drawback is that you can only pay with cash, but they’ve placed a unique on-site ATM. For $25, you can get an all-day play wristband that grants you access to all the games (excluding the claw machine).

Places Like Dave And Buster's in Los Angeles: Family Arcade LA
Places Like Dave And Buster’s in Los Angeles: Family Arcade LA. Source: Family Arcade LA

Places Like Dave & Buster’s in Houston: The Night Game Houston

The Night Game Houston is another restaurant-bar-arcade hybrid, but unlike other places like Dave and Buster’s, it does not welcome children. If you want to reserve a space, you need to be above 21 years old. Nonetheless, from 9:00 PM. to 3:00 AM, you and your makeout buddy can enjoy the largest and most magnificent night playground available.

In addition to a 1200 square foot dance floor, which features a dancing cage, two dance poles, and a shadow box for the hottest silhouette displays, I bet you have a great experience with fully-equipped private playrooms and security and cleaning staff. The Night Game Houston hosts top-tier DJs and music, a covered patio with tables and chairs, and free food and drinks.

Places Like Dave And Busters in NY: Laser Bounce 

You and the kids can spend all day at Laser Bounce since it has many exciting activities. The wide variety of available games makes up for its limited food selection. Games include shooting, virtual reality, laser tag, hockey, arcade, ping pong, and bowling. After winning, you can trade for fantastic prizes!

Many satisfied customers have left glowing reviews on TripAdvisor about the helpful staff at Laser Bounce. Various tickets are on offer, but the greatest deal is in the unlimited one-hour pass, at least to me. You can buy packages from Laser Bounce online!

Places Like Dave & Buster’s in Ohio: Chuck E. Cheese

You have probably heard of Chuck E. Cheese if you have been looking for similar places like Dave and Buster’s. This chain is Dave And Buster’s strongest rival, boasting 612 corporate and franchise locations. They have a significant advantage since, unlike a D&B, you can always find a Chuck E. Cheese.

There is a diversity of family-friendly activities to choose from, but not as many arcade games as a D&B. Yet, there are live acts for guests to enjoy every weekend.

Chuck E. Cheese is often regarded as the finest venue for celebrations of all kinds, birthday parties included. So that you can shop without worrying about your budget, they provide several attractive packages. Check out their website regularly, as it offers some great discounts.

Places Like Dave And Busters in Ohio: Chuck E. Cheese
Places Like Dave And Buster’s in Ohio: Chuck E. Cheese. Source: Restaurant Construction

Places Like Dave & Buster’s: Final Thoughts

Now, it’s easy to see why places like Dave and Buster’s are such a magnet for many. Whenever life throws you a curveball, or you’re just snowed under with work, D&B serves as an escape. It’s all about the games, the drinks, the relaxing vibes, and the people you meet. For a short while, you can leave your worries at the door and enjoy yourself in a setting that brings people together by its very nature. We all become closer via the games and drinks, whether you and the girl you took out on a date or the man you just met on a rainy day. 

Globetrotters eagerly looking for once-in-a-lifetime travel experiences? Head to our travel section to find the best guides and fun things to do in the highest-rated, most-loved overall places!

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