What do you think of when you imagine a bowling alley? Smelly shoes? Fried foods? Middle-aged men with pot bellies? Well, New York City has several bowling alleys that might just change your mind! These spots offer visitors and locals a fun, funky way to enjoy a night out -- complete with delicious food, fun drinks, and great music! One thing to note: many of these venues are adults-only in the evening hours, so if you're traveling with kids, check to see what their policies are before you head out.
Located in Williamsburg Brooklyn Bowl has everything you need for a great time. There is food from Blue Ribbon, a renowned restaurant. It has a stage where bands play lively live music. It has multiple bars with great (local) beers on tap. Each of the 16 bowling lanes have comfy leather couches where you can watch the live music or wait your turn to bowl. It can get a bit pricey depending on how much you eat and drink, but if you check their website and sign up for their twitter feed (@BrooklynBowl) there are lots of chances to get free tickets. There are even times when you can bowl for free.
Bowlmor might be the world's first venue for "cool bowling." Originally opened in 1938 Bowlmor Lanes was reinvented in the mid-90s with video screens, glow in the dark bowling, and food and drink service. They now have two New York City venues: Times Square and Chelsea Piers. There are also locations in Woodside and New Jersey. The city branches have over 50 lanes for bowling and delicious food by David Burke. It's also a social place with the teams often chatting to one another across lanes.
Located on Manhattan's far west side, at 42nd Street and 12th Avenue, Lucky Strike has 226 lanes for bowling, 11 billiards tables, live music from local DJs, and a full bar. They also have a LUXE Lounge with four lanes and a bar for private parties. It can be a hassle to get there, but with the music pumping and the beer flowing you'll never want to leave.
Calling itself a "Bowling Lounge," Frames, located in Hell's Kitchen, has 28 lanes of bowling, including private VIP lanes that can be reserved for groups of 10-20. They have food and drink service lane-side, but they also have a bar and restaurant if you prefer to keep your eating and bowling separate. Once you tire of bowling, you can head to their dance lounge to continue your evening of entertainment.
Located on the border of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, The Gutter offers 8-lanes of retro-style bowling, but with top-quality craft beers on tap and live music on weekends. They don't take reservations and the place is pretty popular, so be prepared to wait for a lane during peak times. It's worth it; you'll feel like you're part of a New York City secret. Do note that The Gutter is open only to those 21 and over.