Review: Token Dublin – The retro arcade restaurant
I’m gonna say this straight off the bat: I have never had so much fun in a restaurant as I had when I went to Token. Of course, that’s because Token is more than a restaurant. There’s a bar, there’s excellent “high-end” fast food, and most importantly, all of your favourite retro arcade games. I visited Token on a Sunday evening expecting it to be quiet, but I was pleasantly surprised to see it was quite lively when we got there. I can only imagine how busy it gets on a Friday or Saturday evening, but it seems to me that any day is a good day to go!
How does it work?
This is the very question I asked when I entered. Token is a bar as well as a restaurant – and it’s over 18’s – so you don’t have to get food if that’s not what you’re looking for (although the food is so good, I wouldn’t be able to help myself). If you are eating, just ask the host for a table. You can also easily book a table online, just check out their website. If you’re just there to play some classic arcade games, then all you need to do is get yourself some tokens and get playing.
Each game takes one token (except for Super Mario, which takes two – expect to do a lot of hovering if you want to play Super Mario, this is a popular one), and you can buy single tokens for 50c, or get a bag of 10 for €5, 22 for €10, or 50 for €20. If you’re really looking to crack that high score, Token have an offer of 3333 tokens for €1111.11 – you know, just in case that’s something you’ll need. You’ll get your tokens in a little bag so you can carry them around from machine to machine. Where you enter is a bar, seating if you’re getting food, and rows of arcade games. Downstairs is another bar with a lounge and pinball machines.
Tip: Token require you to put any backpacks into a locker (keys for the lockers are €3, plus a €10 deposit) because the rows between machines are very narrow. Keep this in mind if you’re going and consider whether you could leave the backpack at home!
As well as space to sit down and eat food, with a well-stocked bar, this place has got everything you need.
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First, let me talk about the actual, physical menu. This is the greatest menu I’ve ever been handed – you’ll find it slotted into the first few pages of Nintendo magazines. Not only that, but when you ask for the bill, you’ll get it inside the box for a PS2 game. Amazing!
Anyway, what I really mean by the menu is the food. The range of options available at Token is really impressive, and it honestly surprised me to see such a diverse selection. It could be easy to just serve the standard burgers and chips that you can get anywhere else in Dublin, but clearly, Token weren’t interested in that. The main menu is divided into 5 sections, with plenty of options within each section: Pals (burgers x2), Doggs (Hot Dogs x2), Juans (Tacos x2), Love Me Tenders (Chicken Tenders), Packed Bowls (Salads).
Each meal from Token has something that makes it unique, and what makes this such a great menu is the wide range of vegetarian and vegan options. Each section has something vegetarian or vegan friendly, making Token a place where everyone in your group can be happy. All of the sides also sound incredible, but I couldn’t order them all so I had to restrain myself.
We ordered the Plain Love chicken tenders (€6.95) (above) and the Out n In Burgers (€7.95). The burgers are two small slider-style burgers, while the tenders are buttermilk chicken tenders with ketchup. I ordered some extra garlic dip to accompany my chicken, but while I was eating them I realised the hot sauce would have made the best pairing – since each extra dip is €2 a pop, I decided to stick with just my garlic dip this time.
Tip: The chicken tenders come with fries, but the burgers don’t – just something to be aware of. We didn’t realise this at first, but the extra portion of fries arrived really quickly once we asked.
I was a little disappointed to see that every table has jars full of plastic cutlery, I generally try to cut down on using plastic and disposable products wherever possible and I hate to see places using plastic products where they easily could have reusable. That being said, a lot of the main menu options are things you probably end up using your hands to eat, so it can be easy enough to avoid using them.
This is what you’ll spend most of your time doing at Token, and it’s also the reason why you’ll want to go back again and again!
I expected to enjoy myself at Token, but I didn’t realise just how much fun I was going to have. It’s been a long time since I played an arcade game, but after 2 or 3 goes, I got into a groove and just didn’t want to stop. The favourites for me were The Simpsons, Spider-Man, Super Mario, Space Invaders and Pac-Man. There’s so many games we didn’t get around to on our first visit, but I know we’ll be back and I’m gonna get through them all before long!
Now that I’m finished writing this, I really, really want to go back. I think that’s all you need to know at the end of the day – this will be the most fun you’ve had at a restaurant, and once you’re done, it will leave you wanting more.
Name: Token – Dublin
Where: 72-74 Queen Street, Smithfield, Dublin 7
Hours: 4pm – 11pm Monday – Wednesday
4pm – 12am Thursday – Saturday
12pm – 11pm Sunday
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Looking for places to eat & drink in Dublin? Check out my reviews of the coffee shops of Dublin!
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All reviews on Byrnewithme are completely independent and I paid for all food and tokens myself. GirlCrew mentioned to Token on twitter that I would be reviewing the restaurant for a short piece on their blog, but I didn’t make myself known to them when I was there.
- On September 25, 2017