Check out these 3 Vancouver theme bars with next-level menus

Bars with themed decor and ambience are nothing new, but On The Coast food columnist Gail Johnson says some bars in Vancouver are taking their themed menus to the next level.

For instance, she says the new Back and Forth bar replicates the feeling of being in a friend's basement better than any other.

"It's a rec room and a living room combined and is the city's first ping pong bar," she told On The Coast host Stephen Quinn.

"There are six ping pong tables that you can reserve in advance. It's got funky vintage couches sourced off Craigslist. And there are all sorts of board games like Pictionary, Settlers of Catan, Jenga and Cards Against Humanity."

Johnson says the food is unlike anywhere else in town: you can order Chef Boyardee, instant noodles, or pizza pockets and even bring in takeout or have food delivered from nearby restaurants.

Another fun spot is EXP Restaurant and Bar, decorated with video-game props and memorabilia.

The idea is to have an environment where you can hang out with friends and play video games together.

There are consoles from the original Nintendo to the new PS4 and a stand-up arcade for Street Fighter and Nintendo Smash Brothers all free to play.

"For eats, the focus is comfort food," Johnson said. "The Triforce Burger refers to the Legend of Zelda. It has the Triforce symbol branded on the patty … Commander Shepard's Chicken Pie is made with roasted, pulled chicken and garlic red ribbon mashed potatoes.

"So there's a real range; something for everyone."

Finally, for sports fans, Johnson recommends Sportsbar Live at Rogers Arena.

There are over 100 big-screen TVs, including one 16 feet long, which broadcast both sports and concerts at the arena.

"Being a sports bar, [the menu] has all the items you'd expect to see, like calamari and chicken tenders and nachos," Johnson said. "I do have to mention the foot-long grilled cheese, which is a foot-long hot dog in a grilled cheese sandwich with fried onions. Truly a guilty pleasure.

"You can even order a lobster roll, which is a decadent lobster salad on toasted and buttered brioche. So, it's a notch above most sports-bar menus."

With files from CBC Radio One's On The Coast