Where gamers go to dine

The Force is strong with these five nerdy restaurants
Joystick Gamebar

Photograph courtesy of J Cassoni

If memories of He-Man on Saturday mornings, Marvel’s absurd comic storylines, or Starcraft matches on dial-up internet strike a chord with you, listen up. Armed with console games, nerd-trivia, board games, and arcade machines, these five restaurants are perfect for embracing your inner (or outer) nerd. 

Diesel Filling Station
870 N. Highland Ave

Enter this VaHi neighborhood bar for drinks and nerd culture galore. Start the week with a screening of the Walking Dead on Sunday nights, where cast and crew sometimes visit in secret. Nerd-core trivia takes place on Tuesday nights with a focus on anything from science and math to comics and games. If trivia isn’t your scene, try out vintage consoles such as the NES or Sega Genesis. Wednesday is D20 night, with strategic board and card games such as Settlers of Catan and Munchkin. You can also play Xbox on a one-hundred-inch projector screen. Bigger events include themed bar crawls (think Star Wars) and costume contests throughout the year. Leave the kids at home because Diesel is 21+ only. dieselatlanta.com

Joystick Gamebar
427 Edgewood Ave

Smash your piggy bank and rummage through the sofa because Joystick has quarter arcade machines. Popular titles such as Mortal Kombat and Donkey Kong surround the bar, and each game costs 25 cents. Stop by the old school Atari or pinball machines for another throwback. Beer and house cocktails will help wash away the nostalgia shellshock, but if you’re looking for food, Illegal Foods is now a permanent pop-up inside. Bring an ID but leave the cigarettes, Joystick is smoke-free and 21+ after 8 p.m. Minors must be accompanied by an adult before 8 p.m. joystickgamebar.com

Battle and Brew
279 Powers Ferry Rd

Located in Marietta, this gamer’s haven is all about console systems: Playstation 4, Xbox One, and even the original NES, all connected to four fortytwo-inch TVs around the room. Twelve PC setups are fixed around a pillar in the middle of the room with televisions that showcase the frequently heated and competitive matches in games such as League of Legends or Team Fortress 2. The cost to play titles such as the original Final Fantasy, Megaman and Left 4 Dead is between $6 to $7. Draft brews and six different bottled beer sections rotate weekly. The restaurant serves food, but stick to the brews and the games. battleandbrew.com

Honorable Mentions

Although they don’t have console systems or arcade machines, Villains Wicked Heroes and Savage Pizza deserve props for their themes. Villains reference pop culture such as ThunderCats, Scarface, and Batman in the names of every specialty sandwich. Silhouettes of evil characters adorn the tables, and a chalkboard wall hosts diabolical equations and master plans. Meanwhile, Savage Pizza is a superhero-themed pie shop in Little Five Points where large portraits of heroes like Superman and the Silver Surfer line the walls along with an impressive collection of action figures located in cases and hanging from the ceiling.  Make sure to stop by the restroom where the walls are covered with a wide variety of comic book covers. villains-atl.com; savagepizza.com