Get In on the Fun: Trivia Nights, Comic Book Shops, Arcades, and More in Austin

Courtesy of Cidercade
Courtesy of Cidercade

While Austin is known for its outdoorsy activities, its musical prowess, and nationally renown dining scene, there’s something else afoot. Your Spider Senses might be tingling and here’s why: Austin is a certified hot-bed of all the Marvel madness, Atari activity, and trivia tomfoolery your fandom heart can handle. Check out our list below for the best spots to grab the newest Harley Quinn issues, play Dance Dance Revolution with beer in hand, and show off your slick random fact knowledge.

Best Comic Book Shops in Austin

Austin Books & Comics
North Loop
This Austin classic, which has been around since 1977, is not just the biggest, long-running comic book store in all of Travis Country, but in all of Central Texas as a whole. Accordingly, they certainly know their stuff. When it comes to stocking up on back issues and the latest releases by all your favorite publishers, including DC, Image, and Dark Horse, they’ve got it all. Austin Books & Comics has a solid selection of toys, such as Funko Pops too. The fact that it is next door to Guzu Gallery, which features pop culture art and prints, influences the cool, unique finds there as well. For instance, be sure to keep an eye out for cover variants by legendary Austin musician, and “Hi, How Are You” mural creator, Daniel Johnston.

Dragon’s Lair Comics and Fantasy
North Shoal Creek
While Dragon’s Lair does have a sizable comic book selection, this place is really built for the RPG game devotee. You can get your Dungeons & Dragons on, and all the accessories to do so, at their super large North Austin space. In addition to the huge selection of trading card games, miniatures, and the likes they have for sale there, they also have numerous tables for you to reserve to play them on. Follow their social media to keep up to date on the special events, such as creator signings, specific game play nights, and celebrations of nerdy heroes they have going down on a regular basis.

Tribe Comics and Games
South Lamar
While Austin Books & Comics, and Dragon’s Lair focuses more on games, Tribe hits the sweet spot right between the two. South Austin nerds call this spot their home base for all the latest comic issues and graphic novels, as well as tabletop games. If you don’t want to miss a single issue of Avengers, you can even be put on a “pull list,” which will collect all new and upcoming issues for you to pick up at your convenience. Tribe also sells fandom-inspired artwork by local artists to put a pop of pop-culture on your walls.

Courtesy of Pinballz

Best Arcades in Austin

Pinballz Arcade
Various locations
Mix childhood arcade favorites, like Pac-Man and Mortal Kombat, with adult beverages, and you get the joyous joystick destination that is Pinballz. This tried-and-true Austin staple, which opened the doors of their original spot in 2010, now boasts three locations throughout the greater metro area. Although Pinballz has a huge selection of classic and modern games, their name speaks to their stand-out attraction: a superabundance of themed, vintage pinball machines. While their South location has a biergarten and their Lake Creek location has a whisky bar, stop by the OG site on Research Boulevard to get the true Pinballz experience. This particular venue is still BYOB-friendly — and you’ll want those extra dollars for the coin machine.

Cidercade Austin
Travis Heights
If you’re looking for some player-one fun, and a break from the brewery scene, head to Cidercade. At this South Austin operation, the admission fee of $10 buys you a day of ultimate access to all their gaming attractions. And, since the spot has over 150 games, including arcade staples, driving simulations, and skee-ball, that Hamilton will take you far. When the competition turns cutthroat, you and the gang can broker a truce over Cidercade’s menu of pizza, wings, and, of course, plentiful pints of cider on tap.

​​Emerald Tavern Games and Cafe
North Shoal Creek
The words, “board game night,” may not have crossed your mind since the dreaded days of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, unlike sourdough and Tiger King, this is one quarantine staple that deserves to be revived. For the post-social distancing era, Emerald Tavern is an ideal place to roll the dice with friends. The joint’s welcoming, relaxing environment invites patrons to bring their own hobby or board games to play, as well as offers a large library of games to rent or buy in-house. Should you need to nurse your wounds after bombing at Bananagrams, their English pub-inspired food and full bar will help you do so.

Courtesy of Get It Gal Trivia

Best Spots for Trivia in Austin

Get It Gals Trivia
Various locations
Don’t let the name of this local, female-owned company confuse you: their events may be fueled by girl-power, but they are open to anyone looking to fact-test their skills. Wrangle together a team, and take on the trivia at one of their weekly, themed quizzes. Each Get It Gals event has trivia questions focused on a specific pop-culture topic, such as Sex and the City, Disney movies, or Bravo. Alongside the subject matter, the location of these meet-ups also varies from night to night. Some of the places they hit on a regular basis include Pinthouse Pizza, The Brewtorium, and Irene’s, which means you can show off your Scandoval expertise all around town.

Trivia 512
Various locations
Unlike the answer for who won the World Series in 1972, there’s no doubt in Austin trivia-heads’ minds about what their favorite local quiz night is. According to the prestigious Austin Chronicle “Best of” poll, Wednesday nights at Radio Coffee & Beer is the spot for brain-benders beyond compare. This trivia triathlon is run by local company, Trivia 512, and, should Humpday nights be a no-go for you, it is certainly not the only event they have on the books. You can also find them every Monday night at Lazarus Brewing, as well as random nights at a bevy of other beverage-friendly locations, such as St. Elmo Brewing, Sunny’s Backyard, and Family Business Beer Co.

Geeks Who Drink
Various locations
This national company is about as close as it comes to being a house-hold name in the trivia world. Amongst the hundreds of events hosted by their army of quizmasters across the country, there’s a solid amount to be found within Austin. For evidence of their extensive reach in the city, scroll down their website’s seemingly endless list of their weekly quiz meet-ups in the city. A few of the highlights from that selection include Mondays at Celis Brewery, Tuesdays at Gibson Street Bar, and Saturdays at Cherrywood Coffeehouse.

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