Where to Play Pinball in Nashville: A Local’s Guide to Pinball in Music City

Where to Play Pinball in Nashville: A Local’s Guide to Pinball in Music City
Words by
Photos by
Where to Play Pinball in Nashville: A Local’s Guide to Pinball in Music City
Graphics by
Where to Play Pinball in Nashville: A Local’s Guide to Pinball in Music City
Published on
January 9, 2023
Updated on
May 6, 2024
Read time:
4
minutes
No items found.

Image Gallery

Nashville is the beating heart of Tennessee. It’s not just the state capital but also home to a thriving pinball scene and there’s plenty of great places to play pinball in Nashville. From cozy neighborhood pinball bars to massive retro arcades with rare and hard-to-find pinball machines, there’s something for every pinball fan in Music City.

For those unfamiliar, Nashville is a vibrant and lively city known for its music scene and southern charm. Located in the heart of Tennessee, Nashville is home to a number of world-famous music venues, such as the Grand Ole Opry and the Ryman Auditorium, as well as a thriving live music scene in its many bars and clubs. In addition to music, Nashville is also home to a number of other attractions, including the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Johnny Cash Museum, and the Belle Meade Plantation.

Outside of the city, there are plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventures, such as hiking in the nearby Great Smoky Mountains or exploring the many state parks and natural areas in the region. Nashville is also home to a number of delicious southern-style restaurants, offering everything from classic comfort food to modern twists on traditional dishes. Overall, Nashville is a city full of culture, history, and southern hospitality, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Tennessee.

While Nashville may be best known for its music, did you know it also has a thriving pinball and arcade bar scene? From classic arcades to modern barcades, Nashville has something for everyone who loves the excitement of pinball and arcade games. If you're planning a trip to the Music City and are looking for something a little different to do, why not check out some of the city's best pinball and arcade destinations?

As an East Nashville resident, regular competitor on the tournament scene and editor of Pinball Tennessee, I asked our local pinball community, “What are your favorite pinball arcades and bars in Nashville?” This is our list of Nashville's best places to play pinball. It’s probably different from what a glance at pinballmap.com or a quick google search may lead you to believe.

Let me take you on a tour of the best pinball bars and arcades in Nashville from a local’s perspective. 

No Quarter

no quarter pinball arcade nashville tn

Why You Should Play Pinball at No Quarter

One of my favorite pinball spots is No Quarter Pinball Bar in East Nashville. They have a great selection of about 24 pinball machines that are well-maintained and include popular titles like Godzilla, Foo Fighters and James Bond 007. New games are always being added and machines get rotated in and out regularly, so there’s something new and fresh to play. 

As you may have guessed by the name, “No Quarter”, games run on tokens. They give you some tokens each time you buy a drink or they can be purchased directly from the bar. A token is roughly worth 50¢ and you only need a single token per play. So, this place won’t break the bank for a competitive player such as myself that will be pumping tokens into a machine trying to get that elusive wizard mode.  

With a nicely curated selection of craft beers and cocktails, a small menu of bar snacks and the Brave Idiot food truck parked right outside, It’s no wonder that this spot is a favorite hangout for Nashville’s local pinball players. 

For those that have a competitive streak, No Quarter is host to weekly knockout tournaments every Wednesday night and there’s also a  monthly women’s tournament too. Pinball tournaments at No Quarter are great for casual players because for just the five dollar entry fee you get a few hours of tournament play plus a handful of tokens. It’s a perfect introduction to competition pinball.

No Quarter Address

922 Main St

Nashville, TN 37206

Pinball Machines at No Quarter

23

Game Galaxy

game galaxy pinball arcade nashville

Why You Should Play Pinball at Game Galaxy

Next up is Game Galaxy Arcade in Smyrna, TN. I know it’s not technically in Nashville, however Game Galaxy is home to the largest collection of pinball machines in Tennessee and the entire southeastern United States. Currently there’s 175 pins plus a massive collection of arcade games. It’s definitely worth the short drive from the city.

The first time I walked into this place I was awestruck. The pinball gods smiled and showed me heaven. Some may call it a pinball museum, based on the fact that you can find the latest modern Stern, Spooky and Pinball Brothers plus rare Bally and Williams classics, it’s an impressive collection to say the least. 

This family friendly retro arcade has a one-price admission. Everything is set on free play, so you can play as much as you want all day long. It’s the perfect spot to practice your flipper skills and nudging techniques.

In addition to a weekly matchplay tournament, they also host some of the biggest pinball tournaments in the state too. Hours of Fun is a quarterly classics only matchplay tournament series that attracts players from all over Tennessee and neighboring states. 

If you’re a pinball fan traveling through Nashville or anywhere in middle Tennessee, Game Galaxy Arcade is a must-see destination.

Game Galaxy Address

3 S Lowry St

Smyrna, TN 37167

Pinball Machines at Game Galaxy

178

Game Terminal

game terminal nashville retro pinball arcade barcade

Why You Should Play Pinball at Game Terminal

Game Terminal, located in Nashville, is one of the larger retro arcades in the United States. They offer a nice collection of over 100+ well-maintained pinball machines. It is the most machines inside a single location that you will find within the city limits. 

From classic pinball machines such as Medieval Madness and The Addams Family to modern fan favorites from Stern Pinball like Godzilla and Jurassic Park.

In addition to pinball, they also offer a selection of classic video arcade games that are set on free play. Coin drops for pinball machines are set at $1 per play and have a $2 for 3 play deal. 

On most nights Game Terminal is 21+ and they offer a full bar with draft beers and specialty cocktails. If you’re feeling hungry there’s a menu packed with appetizers, burgers, pork sandwiches and snacks. Their outdoor patio is dog friendly and has more games like cornhole and jenga. 

Whether you're looking to relive your childhood or have some fun with friends, Game Terminal is the perfect place for you.

Game Terminal Address

201 Terminal Ct

Nashville, TN 37210

Pinball Machines at Game Terminal

94

Pins Mechanical Company

pins mechanical company nashville tennessee pinball arcade

Why You Should Play Pinball at Pins Mechanical Company

Pins Mechanical Company (Nashville) is another spot you may want to check out if you happen to be close by. It’s a popular spot located in The Gulch neighborhood. Inside this retro arcade bar, you will find 26 pinball machines. Most are popular titles from Stern with a few classics from Williams and Bally thrown in for good measure. 

While you may hit up this spot for pinball, they also have duckpin bowling and a nice selection of video arcade games. If you get hungry there’s food truck options outside plus a large selection of craft beers and themed cocktails at the bar.

Pins Mechanical Address

1102 Grundy St

Nashville, TN 37203

Pinball Machines at Pins Mechanical Company

26

Up-Down Arcade Bar

Why You Should Play Pinball at Up-Down Arcade Bar

Up-Down Arcade Bar in East Nashville is at the edge of the popular Five Points district. It’s a fun spot for a casual night of enjoying drinks with friends while playing classic arcade games and pinball machines. They have a great rooftop deck that’s perfect for a cool night and friendly conversation.

They offer up a selection of 15 pinball machines and a wide assortment of retro arcade games. If you get the urge for a late night snack, their pizza is pretty good and the bar serves up a variety of drinks.

I always try to be positive, especially pinball. However, the times that I’ve personally been to this location, the machines do not seem well cared for. Having visited several times over the last two years, the same problems exist on the same games. Understandably, pinball machines break and it comes with the territory but I’d like to see more attention to maintenance on these machines.

So, if you’re serious about pinball and you find yourself at Up-Down Nashville, just walk outside and directly behind the building at the end of the alley is No Quarter. You’re welcome.

Up-Down Arcade Bar Address

927 Woodland St

Nashville, TN 37206

Pinball Machines at Up-Down Arcade Bar

15

Competitive Pinball Tournaments in Nashville

If you're looking for the thrill of competition and want to get involved in Nashville’s competitive pinball community, there are several upcoming events to look out for. 

The annual Music City Multicon plays host to the Grand OGRE pinball tournament series with multiple events over three days. 

There’s also the Hours of Fun Tournament series at Game Galaxy which happens quarterly and is quickly becoming the biggest event in the state. 

Plus there’s regular weekly competitions at No Quarter, Game Galaxy and a monthly event at Eastside Bowl. There’s plenty of opportunities to boost your IFPA rank and get those all important WPPRs. 

Check out this calendar for more information on all the Pinball Tournaments in Nashville.

Go Play Pinball in Nashville

In conclusion, Nashville is a haven for pinball lovers. The city is home to numerous pinball bars and arcades that offer a variety of well-maintained pinball machines from modern titles to classic fan favorites. 

From cozy neighborhood pinball bars like No Quarter to massive retro arcades such as Game Galaxy and Game Terminal, there is something for every pinball fan in Music City. These pinball spots offer more than just pinball as they have a selection of craft beers, cocktails, and snacks making them a favorite hangout spot for locals. 

The pinball community in Nashville is vibrant and active, hosting weekly knockout tournaments and monthly women's tournaments, making it a perfect introduction to competitive pinball. If you are a pinball fan traveling through Nashville or residing in the city, these six essential pinball bars and arcades are must-see destinations.

Nashville pinball players - did we miss anything good? Drop us a line and let us know