This guest blog article is by Mia Moore.
In a city famous for its “Keep Austin Weird” motto, it should come as no surprise that there are a multitude of places to get your geek on. From comic book shops to arcades, Austin has venues to celebrate every genre of geek. Below, you’ll find my picks for top 5 geek spots in Austin.
Dragon’s Lair Comics and Fantasy
Tabletop games, miniatures, and comic books – Dragon’s Lair has a huge selection and storefront to match. In addition to traditional geekery, Dragon’s Lair also carries toys, vinyl figures, and even cosplay goods like Worbla and professional costume makeup. Dragon’s Lair also works with the local cosplay community, so you may spot a few of your favorite characters at Free Comic Book Day or other events.
Dragon’s Lair hosts regular meet ups for gaming, everything from D&D to Heroclix and classic board games. This summer, Dragon’s Lair is also hosting summer camps for ages 6 to 13.
Insider tip: Dragon’s Lair is located near the Alamo Drafthouse Village location. Check for anime movie showings or geeky quote-a-longs and stop by D-Lair beforehand!
Emerald Tavern Games and Café
If you’ve ever hosted a board game night with friends, then Emerald Tavern will be right up your alley. Half café, half game store, Emerald Tavern offers food, drinks (alcoholic, caffeinated, and otherwise) and a massive gaming library to try.
Bring a few friends and try out some new games in a relaxed setting, or raise a flag on your table to invite others to join you. Emerald Tavern also hosts events for beginners to learn specific games, and tournaments for advanced players.
Insider tip: It can be hard to fit larger groups in the store. Stick to groups of 6 or fewer and you should have no issues, even on the busiest nights. Rumor has it that Emerald Tavern may be expanding their seating soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
Austin Books and Comics
Austin Books and Comics is one of the largest comic book shops in the area, offering new releases, trade paperbacks, and a huge backlog of individual issues. At first glance, Austin Books and Comics appears to be an average-size shop. Once you round the front counter, the store seems to magically expand.
One thing I appreciate about ABC is their wide variety – they carry far more than the standard “Big 2,” DC and Marvel. Stop by to pick up your current reads or an older volume featuring your favorite character, and don’t forget to take a photo by the gigantic Hulk statue near the back. If you have some time, check ahead to see if they are having any in-store events!
As a bonus, Austin Books and Comics is located directly next door to its sister shops. Guzu Gallery has vinyl figures and geeky art (more on Guzu here), Outlaw Moon Games & Toys has tabletop games and old-school toys, and the Sidekick Store has even more discounted comics. Spend an afternoon browsing through each store – they all have unique atmospheres and offerings.
Insider tip: Austin Books and Comics will order any comic books you desire, so if you want something rare or sold out, ask the staff.
Game Over Videogames
Originally founded in Austin, but now located in cities around Texas, Game Over has “everything from Atari to Xbox.” Specializing in buying and selling retro games, an area many video game stores neglect, Game Over is a video game nerd’s idea of heaven. Trade in your classic games or pick up something new-to-you, and be sure to play whatever is currently available to demo on an in-house console.
Each Game Over location hosts its own schedule, including retro gaming tournaments, concerts, and other cool events. If you are ridiculously skilled at an old-school game, test your skills and you could win a gift card to Game Over.
Insider tip: Join Game Over’s mailing list for information on discounts and sales.
The age of arcades has come and gone, but Arcade UFO is keeping the tradition alive with the best in American, Japanese, and Korean arcade games. With regular tournaments for classic arcade games like Street Fighter, Arcade UFO is probably the best place in town to show off your retro gaming skills. If you have a favorite game from your past (like Dance Dance Revolution), this is the place to find it.
Insider tip: Their crane machine (AKA UFO catcher) updates its selection regularly, so check back.
Mia Moore is a Digital Media MBA student by day and a geek of all trades by night. She enjoys cosplaying, blogging at xo Mia, and exploring this wacky place called Austin.
What is your top geek spot in Austin?
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