Playing Pinball around Seattle

Full Tilt Ice Cream, 5453 Leary Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107

This is what I think happened here. Someone asked the owners, name five things you love and create your happy place. They responded with pinball, ice cream, art, beer, and music. I’d say it’s working out really well, every facet is spot on! We’ll start with the pinball, because that’s our central theme of the day. There were plenty of machines and in perfect working condition including favorites like the Simpsons, Star Wars, plus arcade games like Street Fighter.

full_tilt_pinball_seattleThe ice cream was off the hook and flavors were wild! Thai iced tea, honey fig, horchata, rhubarb crumble…but most exciting of all for me was the blue moon with SIXLETS. If you didn’t know, sixlets are my only weakness.

full_tilt_ice_cream_ballardBright green and purple walls were home for some really interesting art. Records were hand painted with familiar faces like Bob Ross and Tobias Funke, posters of my kind of heroes – Anthony Bourdain and Carl Sagan, and a disco ball splashing some silver.

full_tilt_seattle_ballardThey have a great beer selection, on Tuesdays you get a dollar off. The option to make beer floats is a fun way of having the best of both worlds, with flavor suggestions such as stout + salted caramel, coconut porter + vegan chocolate, dry cider + sorbet. The music was right on during my visit, but I can only imagine the atmosphere during one of their live shows! This combination could be one of the best out there. There is always room for improvement though, consider adding some cats to the mix!

Flip Flip Ding Ding, 6012 12th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108

Georgetown is a quiet neighborhood of the city with some quality spots. There was a mural with a narwhal, a glassblowing shop, and some yummy smelling restaurants that were packed on a Friday night. Most importantly of all? The dive bar pinball and arcade spot.flip_flip_ding_ding_seattleThere is a back room and an upstairs level loaded with an excellent variety of machines. flip_flip_ding_ding_seattle_5Loved this place so much we came here twice, it’s just my kind of scene.

Unicorn/Narwhal, 1118 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122

Primarily a bar, an outrageously adorned oasis for the majestic souls of Seattle, with a handful of pinball machines downstairs.

unicorn_bar_seattle_2Upstairs is for Unicorns, downstairs for Narwhals. There are only a few machines, but what they lack in quantity they make up for in quality with choices like Monopoly and WWE! Other than pinball there are a few arcade games including skeeball. The games are just an added bonus at this popular watering hole. The bar has a popular trivia following and serves some charming food options including narwhal balls (fried cheesy potato croquettes), pop-icorn basket, corndogs, and unicorn droppings (fried peanut butter cookie dough).

Seattle Pinball Museum, 508 Maynard Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104

seattle_pinball_museum_3Pure pinball. They do serve beer, but you wouldn’t come here to drink and not play pinball. This is a pay admission and play as much as you want kind of place, which is my favorite kind. Machines were most plentiful here (a few arcade games too), two floors worth, and there are a lot of unique topics I’ve never seen before. Flinstones, Rocky and Bullwinkle, and Bugs Bunny were some fun favorites.

seattle_pinball_museumSome artfully place pinball panels embellish the walls, if you have a moment to look up in between balls. If you’ve worked up an appetite after hours of playing, the museum is located right in Chinatown so there are plenty of options for grabbing some grub nearby.

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