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Chicago Illinois is a city that offers something for everyone, and for pinball and arcade fans, it's a veritable paradise. The Windy City is home to some of the best pinball and arcade spots in the country, with a wide variety of options that cater to all tastes and skill levels. From classic arcades to modern barcades, and from vintage pinball machines to the latest and greatest games, Chicago has it all.
For pinball enthusiasts, Chicago and its surrounding area is particularly special as it's home to almost all of the major pinball manufacturers like Stern, Jersey Jack, American Pinball, and Chicago Gaming, meaning that you'll find some of the newest and most exciting games here before they hit other cities. It's also the city where pinball started its journey many years ago. Bally, Williams, and Gottlieb all once called Chicago their home.
But it's not just the new games that make the Chicago pinball scene so great - the city is also home to a number of world-class pinball arcades and bars that showcase the history and evolution of the game. Some of the most notable places for pinball in the Chicago area include Logan Arcade, Replay Lincoln Park, Enterrium, Galloping Ghost Pinball, and Prince Arcades.
Without further ado, here's our guide to the best pinball arcades in and around Chicago.
Galloping Ghost Pinball Arcade
Why You Should Play Pinball at Galloping Ghost
If you’re looking for rare and interesting titles, this is your ultimate destination. Galloping Ghost Pinball in Brookfield, Illinois boasts the most pinball machines on location in the entire area! As a pinball focused outpost a few blocks from Galloping Ghost Arcade, they offer an incredible variety of over forty two games all available on free play with just a $20 admission fee. Moreover, various membership options provide even greater value to the eager gamer; whether it’s weekly, monthly, yearly or even lifetime passes, they have something to suit every budget and style. Plus their selection of rare and classic titles including Joust (Williams), The X-Files (Sega) and Spirit (Gottlieb) means you can discover something new and exciting. They have the only location Predator (SKIT-B) machine that has really cool skull spines hanging from the sides as part of the art package. But wait there's more as they have many of the pinball video game hybrids like Varkon (Williams), Granny and the Gators (Bally), and Caveman (Gottlieb) that you don't usually see on location. But be warned - there's no bar or food here! Instead, walk next door to Danny's Italian Pizza & Beef when you get hungry.
Galloping Ghost Address
9211 Ogden Ave
Brookfield, IL 60513
Pinball Machines at Galloping Ghost
Why You Should Play Pinball at Logan Arcade
Logan Arcade in Chicago, Illinois is a must-visit for any pinball enthusiast. Home to 35 machines and counting that range from the latest Stern Pinball games to classics like Centigrade 37, Radical!, and Robocop, Logan Arcade has something for everyone. Logan Arcade proudly boasts three TWIPY awards for "Best Pinball Location" in the U.S., making it one of if not the best Pinball Bar in the country! With regular game release parties, tournaments, and other fun events, Logan Arcade ensures a great experience no matter what your skill level may be. All pinball machines are very well-maintained - especially for a public location - so you can feel confident regardless of what machine you choose. What's more, Logan Arcade also has a few retro arcade games on offer so there's definitely something for everyone here - just remember that Logan Arcade is strictly 21+ only!
Logan Arcade Address
2410 W Fullerton Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
Pinball Machines at Logan Arcade
Headquarters Beercade - River North
Why You Should Play Pinball at Headquarters Beercade - River North
Headquarters Beercade Chicago is the Windy City's outpost of a growing chain of pinball bars (see also, Nashville), with an amazing selection of 32 pinball machines. They cover all eras, from Bally's Eight Ball to Stern's Game of Thrones and Sega's Space Jam, offering something for everyone. Headquarters Beercade also features a full bar and elevated pub food options like pizza, burgers, and tacos - not to mention retro arcade games, skee ball, and other gaming favorites! With a unique and heavily decorated atmosphere, Headquarters Beercade Chicago is the perfect place to hang out for a few pints and some pins.
Headquarters Beercade - River North Address
213 W Institute Pl
Chicago, IL 60610
Pinball Machines at Headquarters Beercade - River North
Why You Should Play Pinball at Enterrium
Enterrium is a one-of-a-kind pinball arcade that has something for everyone. With 25 pinball machines on site, Enterrium has games like Stern's Kiss, American Pinball's Houdini, Jersey Jack's Godfather, and Bally's Paragon. Enterrium is in the suburbs not too far from O'Hare airport and very close to the factories for major pinball manufacturers. It was the location where Chicago Gaming put their first Pulp Fiction game for public play outside a convention. Prototype games or software are often tested here as well. Enterrium is also a massive complex with retro and modern arcade games, bowling, food, drinks and more. Enterrium is a family friendly option for your pinball and gaming needs, as kids are always welcome. It's also a huge tournament location and budding WPPR farm with their first monthly Tuesday tournament pulling in over 90 players in June of 2023.
2 Woodfield Mall
Schaumburg, IL 60173
Pinball Machines at Enterrium
Replay Lincoln Park
Why You Should Play Pinball at Replay Lincoln Park
Replay Lincoln Park in Chicago is the place to be for adult arcade fans who are looking for a night of fun and drinks with friends. Much more than just a pinball arcade, Replay also offers retro arcade games, skee ball, DDR, air hockey, and more. And don't worry about digging up quarters -- almost all the games are free play! Replay's 22 pinball machines include everything from Stern's Batman 66 to Creature from the Black Lagoon to Lord of the Rings. Replay Lincoln Park is guaranteed to give you a unique and unforgettable experience. In addition to pinball they also retheme the bar every couple of months, a few recent themes include Jurassic Park, Harry Potter, Taylor Swift, Clue, and It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Great for selfies and the themed cocktails never disappoint. Replay is 21+ only!
Replay Lincoln Park Address
2833 North Sheffield Ave
Chicago, IL 60657
Pinball Machines at Replay Lincoln Park
Emporium Logan Square
Why You Should Play Pinball at Emporium Logan Square
Emporium Logan Square in Chicago Illinois is an adult-only playland that combines the best of gaming and entertainment. As one of the bigger pinball barcades in the city, Emporium features sixteen classic machines, ranging from underrated favorites like Baywatch and Breakshot to out-and-proud fan choices like White Water and World Cup Soccer. Besides pinball, Emporium also offers foosball tables, air hockey, Super Chexx bubble hockey, arcade basketball and more for adult gamers looking for an ultimate pastime experience.
Emporium has a great selection of craft beers and cocktails, but it's important to note that you won't find any food here - you'll have to bring your own if you're looking for a snack. Overall Emporium Logan Square is a great spot for 21+ adults looking to tap into their inner child while enjoying a tasty beverage or two!
Emporium Logan Square Address
2363 N Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
Pinball Machines at Emporium Logan Square
Why You Should Play Pinball at Prince Arcades
Prince Arcades in Bolingbrook, Illinois is a great place to get your retro gaming fix. With 10 pinball machines and a ton of classic arcade games, it's perfect for anyone looking for a dose of nostalgia. The focus at Prince Arcades is solely on the games; there's no bar or restaurant here but it's in a plaza where they are plenty around. That said, it's one of the few places where you can get that full retro mall arcade experience, as it's located in an open-air shopping center. Best of all, games are on free play with a $15 admission fee. So if you're in the Chicago suburbs area and are looking for a great place to bring the family (or just want to relive your childhood), Prince Arcades is the perfect spot. And bonus you can play an Al's Garage Band Goes on a World Tour (Alvin G) which you don't see very often in public locations.
Prince Arcades Address
639 East Boughton Road
Bolingbrook, IL 60440
Pinball Machines at Prince Arcades
Why You Should Play Pinball at Yetee Station
Yetee Station in Aurora, Illinois is the perfect place to enjoy some classic arcade games. Plus you get tell people you've been to Aurora Illinois! With 10 pinball machines on site, as well as a wide selection of retro video games and dance and rhythm games like Jubeat and Guitar Freaks, there's something for everyone to enjoy. And because all of the games are on free play with a $15 admission fee, you can come and go as you please throughout the day. Yetee Station is also a great place to bring the family and children, as the games are kept in pristine condition so you're almost guaranteed to have a good experience playing here. It's a great spot to play in in a historic downtown with a lot of shopping, food, and a casino right around the corner.
Yetee Station Address
11 N Broadway
Aurora, IL 60505
Pinball Machines at Yetee Station
Emporium Wicker Park
Why You Should Play Pinball at Emporium Wicker Park
Emporium Wicker Park in Chicago IL is the perfect spot for adults seeking a gaming fiesta. This barcade offers not only an impressive array of 9 different pinball machines (including rare models like Chicago Cubs Triple Play and Austin Powers) but also an exciting selection of other classic arcade games like air hockey and foosball. Emporium does not have any food onsite, however you’re welcomed to bring in your own snacks! And, with a full bar there’s plenty of options to enhance your gaming experience even further. Emporium Wicker Park has all the ingredients for a fun night out in Chicago so come and check out what this pinball arcade has to offer!
Emporium Wicker Park Address
1366 North Milwaukee Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
Pinball Machines at Emporium Wicker Park
Why You Should Play Pinball at Mikerphone Brewing
Mikerphone Brewing was the first of now many brewery locations to pop around Chicagoland in the last year. What someone dubbed "Stern-eries" tend to have 4-6 Stern machines that were fresh out of boxes as well as a giant Insider Connected leaderboard. They also happen to be one of the best breweries in the suburbs with a large variety of beer styles including IPAs, sours, pilsners, barrel aged beers, beer slushies and some spirits as well. They host trivia nights the second Thursday of every month if you need a break from pinball and also recently started serving pizza and pretzels all the time as well as hosting a variety of food trucks on busier days. They host pinball tournaments the first Thursday of the month sponsored by Stern pinball. And who knows who you may see if you pay a visit since both Stern and Jersey Jack's factories are just a few miles away.
Mikerphone Brewing Address
121 Garlisch Drive
Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
Pinball Machines at Mikerphone Brewing
Why You Should Play Pinball at Ghoulish Mortals
The Fox River is the boundary of the "Chicagoland" suburbs. One of the coolest river towns to visit for food and pinball is St. Charles IL. And the coolest spot IN St. Charles is definitely the "Creepy. Cool. Fun." store Ghoulish Mortals that has 4 pinball machines on free play while you shop. Not only are they free, all the merch and props around them are themed along with the games. There's Stranger Things pictured above with a Demogorgon in Joyce's living room, Godzilla with some awesome merch, Halloween with Michael Myers hanging out next to you while you play, and a shiny new Alien where you can hear the sound of the Alien running through the ship in the ceiling above you as you play. When you are done playing some great games and buying lots of cool merch there's more pinball to check out in St. Charles across the street at Bogarts (21+) or down the road at the Arcada Theater concert venue and restaurant Rockin’ Za that has several rock themed pins. Definitely worth a trip outside the city to check out!
Ghoulish Mortals Address
228 West Main Street
St. Charles, IL 60174
Pinball Machines at Ghoulish Mortals
Chicago pinball players - did we miss anything good? Drop us a line and let us know!