15 Really Cool Places For Geeks & Nerds To Visit In NYC

by SharonKurheg

If you’re a visitor to New York City, there are literally hundreds of attractions you can see. The 9/11 Memorial and Museum, The Museum of Sex, or maybe even get some cheap tickets to a Broadway show. But if you’re a geek or a nerd, you may want to experience some things that are more up your alley. Well, the Big Apple has that, too.

We originally posted this list in the summer of 2019. At the time, we included ten places that geeks and nerds would enjoy.  Can you believe of the original ten, NINE of them survived the pandemic? I thought that was AWESOME! So to celebrate, we’re adding 5 more – those are at the end of the list. Enjoy!


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via Barcade / Instagram

If you’re into old-school arcade games, Barcade has several locations in NYC. Most games are still only 25 cents per play and include old favorites like Pac-Man Battle Royale, Frogger, The Empire Strikes Back, Tetris, Wizard of War and dozens of others. It’s a bar AND an arcade, so heads up that it’s 21+.

The Compleat Strategist

Compleat Strategist

via The Compleat Strategist

Established in 1975, it’s been New York’s gaming headquarters for four decades, and is called a ‘gaming mecca’ by many. They have board games, roleplaying games, collectible card games, miniatures, accessories, you name it. And it’s right around the corner from the Empire State Building.

Sleep No More

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Photo courtesy of the McKittrick Hotel

This macabre, ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ type theatrical experience tells the story of Shakespeare’s Macbeth in a completely immersive and innovative way.

Audience members wear masks and are encouraged to interact with the set – a five-story mansion (OK, it’s really a warehouse in Chelsea) dimly lit and filled with props – by opening drawers, examining clues, and more as they make their way through the mansion at their own pace. No two people have the same experience.

Sleep No More also boasts a restaurant and a seasonal rooftop bar.

Brooklyn Superhero Supply Co.

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Located in the Park Slope section of Bklyn, the Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company sells capes and costumes, cans of superpowers like immortality, antimatter, levitation and, for your villains out there, doom & gloom, and even hideaway books. And the best part about shopping here is you’ll also be supporting 826NYC, a nonprofit that promotes writing and literacy programs for students in New York. Because not all heroes wear capes ;-).

Nintendo NY


via Nintendo NY / Facebook

This 10,000 square foot store in the Rockefeller Center area has all kinds of Nintendo Memorabilia. The two floors showcase upcoming Nintendo titles (some of which you can even demo), a Zelda-themed chess set, Pikachu snapbacks, adorable Kirby plushies and a whole lot more. The store also hosts tournaments and launch parties that are full of door prizes and themed merchandise available for purchase.

The Way Station (Closed in 2020, a victim of COVID-19)

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via The Way Station / PC: Gail Heidel

“Music venue and Nerdvana.” That’s about it ;-). And if you’re looking for the spot where a TARDIS landed in Brooklyn, that also has Doctor Who-themed cocktail, this is the place to go.

Strand Books

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via Strand Books / Instagram

They say they have over 18 miles of books and I don’t think they’re exaggerating! Located near Union Square in Manhattan since 1927, the Strand is a book lover’s paradise, with the latest bestsellers, a bajillion used books and even a collection of rare, hard to find books!

The Paley Center for Media (formerly The Museum of Television & Radio)


via The Paley Center For Media / PC: Michael Priest

If there’s a TV show you saw once that never made it onto VHS, DVD or YouTube, chances are good The Paley Center for Media has it. The museum is dedicated to examining the intersection where society and media meet and its collection includes over 150,000 items that were broadcast on TV. You can pick one out and watch almost anything you want from your favorite no-longer-aired cartoons to historic American broadcasts.

Toy Tokyo

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Via Toy Tokyo / Instagram

Located on 2nd Avenue between E. 5th and 6th Streets, Toy Tokyo is a specialist in tiny blind boxes, rare collectibles, and limited-edition figurines from Japan.



Via Lovecraft / Instagram

Getting hungry yet? Lovecraft is a restaurant dedicated to, you guessed it, HP Lovecraft. They have a full dinner menu, full bar, bottomless brunch and even late-night fare.

New for 2022: Five More Places!

The Uncommons

a beer bottle and a glass of beer next to a stack of board games

PC: UncommonsNYC.com

It’s Manhattan’s first board game cafe. Or as they say, “There are game stores and there are coffee shops. We thought: why not combine the two, with a twist. Hence, a board game cafe, with seating for 65, a private room for parties, and plenty of food and drink options. We take our coffee- and beer- seriously too. Take a look at our menu!” Located a few blocks from Washington Square Park, they also boast one of the largest libraries of games on the East Coast.

Brooklyn Brainery

a table with food on it

PC: BrooklynBrainery.com

Consider yourself to be more of a classic intelligent nerd? Well, Brooklyn Brainery may be for you. It’s a learning spot that has classes for just about anything. From physics to Australian desserts, from HTML to shorthand and just about anything else you can think of.

Located at 190 Underhill Rd., in Prospect Height, their classes run from a few hours to a few weeks, and they eve do free stuff here and there.


a group of bottles on a table

PC: istolethetv / flickr / CC by 2.0

Established in 2008, and opened inside a former opium den, Apothéke’s lounge was modeled after old European apothecaries. Located in Chinatown, it’s been recognized as one of the “Best Speakeasies in the U.S.” by Architectural Digest.

Besides a full menu of drinks modeled after a pharmacy (drinks are listed under Health & Beauty, Aphrodisiacs, Pain Killers, Euphorics, Stimulants and Stress Relievers), they also host their Apotheke Academy for those who want to learn more about the fine art of drinkmaking.

Generation Records

a shelf with records on it

PC: GenerationRecords.com

Collect vinyl? You’re a nerd ;-). Most of the record stores in Greenwich Village are gone, but not Generation Records. It’s been in the same spot, with records, tapes and CDs from just about every genre of music, since 1992. They even have FREE stuff sometimes!

Society of Illustrators’ Museum of Illustration

a group of framed pictures on a wall

PC: Society of Illustrators / Facebook

Attention comic book and illustration fans! Founded in 1901, the Society of Illustrators is the oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the art of illustration in America. The Society has also been running the Museum of Illustration since 1981; it has year-round themed exhibits, art education programs and annual juried competitions. Their Permanent Collection houses 2,500 pieces that are cataloged for scholarly use and displayed periodically. And then, in 2012, they created the MoCCA Gallery with a focus on curated exhibits of comic and cartoon art.

The Society of Illustrators and Museum of Illustration can be found at 128 East 63rd St., in Manhattan.

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