Bowling, booze, burgers and other foods that don’t begin with ‘B’, the winning combination for any evening with friends, either celebrating a birthday, enjoying some free time or even bringing out your semi-athletic competitive side - and All Star Bowling Lanes in Stratford’s Westfield Shopping Centre is the place where you can do all of that.
This 14 lane bowling alley provides classic and timeless American style entertainment in a fun and relaxed setting. There are booths, high tables, and private areas for you to enjoy a meal either pre or post a game or two of bowling. Half of the lanes are reserved for walk-ins, though on weekends wait lists for a lane can reach up to 2 hours so booking is far more advisable if you’re not willing to wait. All Star Lanes are known for throwing legendary private parties in their luxuriously themed private rooms. With a dedicated events team, they can host birthdays, celebrations as well as corporate events and away days.
What To Expect When You Get There
This is very much the kind of place where you come for the bowling but you stay for the awesome drinks and food menu. I popped along on a Monday and while the restaurant wasn’t completely packed, the lanes certainly were, so we opted to dine first and work off the calories with some bowling later.
The menu celebrates many American classics, with all the comfort eating favourites including wings, ribs, and loaded nachos, which was our sharing starter of choice. They came piled high with cooling cream cheese, smooth guacamole and plenty of sweet, juicy jalapenos which kicked out with a subtle heat. Gooey cheese drizzled over the mountain of corn chips meaning every bite had a topping. This was all washed down with a couple of Happy Hour cocktails; mine, a Tom Seleck Sour which put a fruity (and little bit sexy, like it’s namesake!) twist on a Whisky sour, while my friend chose the Gin & Elderflower Julip Jar made with mint, lemon and apple juice and served prettily in a jar over crushed ice.
Our main dishes arrived (along with another round of cocktails - a bourbon based Buffalo Stampede and a classic Bramble) and we tucked in. My friend’s Fillet of Fish burger made with breaded cod came with a side of beautifully crisp sweet potato fries, as did my Sirloin steak cooked rare to perfection with a gorgeous smooth, creamy and lively bourbon pepper sauce.
We were so full by the time we finished our meal we almost needed to be rolled like bowling balls over to our lane which was waiting for us to play two games. Prices per person per game start from the off-peak price of £6.95, and luckily for my friend you don’t need to actually be any good at bowling to enjoy yourself (especially when you can drink your way through a few more cocktails as you play). There are guidance ramps available if you find your aim is a little wonky (naturally, or due to the drinks!) but no-one is going to judge you if your ball spends most of its time in the gutter. This is a place to have fun, no judgements - though bragging rights are in full force should you happen to get a strike on your first roll, like I did.
This is such a fun way to spend an hour or so with your friends, either for some casual leisure time, to celebrate a birthday or have some much needed bonding (and drinking) time with your colleagues. As I said, booking is definitely recommended, but if you’re hungry, your wait for a lane will certainly be a delicious one if you spend it in the restaurant.