Looking for a night of fun? Check out House of Targ!
When I learned about House of Targ from a friend of mine who lives in Ottawa, I knew that I absolutely had to go there. I’m a little bit obsessed with classic arcade games. Justin and I are regulars at our local Dave and Buster’s. While that isn’t a classic arcade and has more modern video games, we’ll take what we can get.
However, House of Targ is a place of dreams. Video games line the walls of the establishment. On one side, there’s a long row of pinball machines. On the other side, you’ll find retro machines of all kinds, from shooting games to driving games. There’s even a Super Mario cabinet and a Tetris machine.
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PINBALL MACHINES – NOT ILLEGAL IN OTTAWA
This might sound silly, but having more than two pinball machines in any establishment in Toronto is actually illegal.
Back when Justin and I first started dating, we visited Toronto’s Pinball Cafe quite frequently. It was a favorite spot of ours. The cafe was filled with retro pinball machines, and you could also order coffee and snacks. We’d bring a stash of quarters and loonies and spend the evening playing games. Unfortunately, the Pinball Cafe was short-lived, and not for a lack of customers. In Toronto, there’s an outdated bylaw that doesn’t permit more than two pinball machines in one place at a time.
Sadly, the Pinball Cafe closed down and we hadn’t seen a spot like it again…until now!
MY VISIT TO HOUSE OF TARG
Unfortunately, Justin didn’t accompany me on my trip to Ottawa. I felt a little bit guilty visiting this awesome spot without him. I know that we’ll both eventually go to House of Targ together.
The machines don’t take any tokens or anything like that. They take standard Canadian coins. For the classic arcade machines, it’s only a quarter to play. Pinball machines are $1 for a game. However, the best time to visit is Sunday night. That’s when I went to House of Targ. They unlock every machine for unlimited game play. Just pay $5 at the door after 9pm, and you can play all the games that your heart desires.
My favorite games included the pinball machine, Taxi and the Bubble Hockey machine. Grab a friend, or meet some new friends at House of Targ, and challenge them to a Bubble Hockey match. I grew up playing this game, so it was a real blast from the past to play it again.
The House of Targ website features a full listing of their pinball machines and video games, so feel free to take a look.
While I was super full from dinner and didn’t dine at House of Targ, they serve only one type of food – perogies! Perogies are delicious. Maybe it’s my partial Ukranian heritage, but I adore them. The one that caught my eye was The Vegan.
THE VEGAN: A faux “cheddar & bacon” perogi made with a traditional Polish dough. Served with a dill cashew cream sauce on the side & a generous portion of wine sauerkraut.
On the weekends, House of Targ offers a brunch option:
CRUCIAL VEGAN BREAKY: 6 Vegan perogies, cashew cream, mixed fresh fruit, white or brown toast, endless tea or coffee.
Sounds delicious, right? That’s another reason why I need to return to House of Targ.
Step 1: Bring Justin. Step 2: Eat pierogies.
There’s also live music and shows at House of Targ. There’s even pinball tournaments. For a full event listing, be sure to check out their website.
All shows happen after 9pm and they are 19+ events.
While I’m on the topic of 19+ events…House of Targ is family-friendly before 9pm. Families and kids are encouraged to visit and play the games. After 9pm, House of Targ transforms into a venue for adults only.
While I hadn’t heard about House of Targ until I talked to a local, be sure to pay this place a visit. If you’re looking for a unique venue to have a beer, you’re a fan of video games, or you just want to hang out with friends and eat perogies, you’re in the right place. I can’t wait until I get the chance to return, which will obviously be on my next visit to Ottawa.
Want to see more photos from my winter getaway to Ottawa? Check out my complete Ottawa travel photo album.
House of Targ
1077 Bank St.
Wed: 5:00pm – 11pm (or later if there’s a band booked)
Thurs & Fri: 5:00 pm – 2:00 am
Sat & Sun: 11:00 am – 2:00 am
Closed Monday and Tuesday
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What’s your favorite video game? Do you like the classic ones or the newer ones?