Good Sport

Where to eat and play

As kids, we were told to wait 30 minutes after eating before returning to our pool activities.

But these days, restaurants want food and games to be enjoyed side by side. From bocce to mini golf, chefs and bartenders are embracing the sporting life.

Brooklyn Athletic Club: Don't let the name of this new spot confuse you. It's in Houston (not Brooklyn), and it's a restaurant (not a gym). Get physical with the outdoor courtyard's three bocce courts, mini croquet course, Ping-Pong and cornhole. We recommend placing bets: Loser pays for an order of the Club's outstanding Reuben sandwiches (available at lunch only).

The Optimist: Ford Fry's Atlanta seafood shack has received plenty of attention for its kitchen, and rightfully so. On a recent visit, the fried oysters, scattered with small rings of Vidalia onions, were among the best we've had. But the patio deserves recognition too: It holds an impressively manicured mini golf course.

Vendetta: This just-opened Washington, D.C., restaurant with two indoor bocce lanes is continuing in the footsteps of its sister restaurant, H Street Country Club. In between rounds, try red-sauce reimaginings such as pasta all'Amatriciana or mussels peperonata.

NEXT UP!: Come fall, the West Coast will level the playing field. In San Francisco, Urban Putt will open with a full 18-hole mini golf course, with drinks by Trick Dog's Bon Vivants. And in Seattle, Josh Henderson of Skillet is set to open Hollywood Tavern, where cornhole and burgers will be prominently featured.