Life may not be all fun and games, but your next visit to a cafe or restaurant can be, where you are surrounded by wall-to-wall board games as you eat and drink. Set up more face time with friends at these games restaurants across the country. For most of the locations, entrance is $5 and that gives you access to all the games in the library.
(Photo of Settlers of Catan from Alisdair on Flickr.)
Snakes and Lattes, Toronto
Snakes and Lattes offers access to over 1000 board games alongside food and drinks. And in case you don’t know the rules to some of them, it has game gurus on site to help you navigate the rules and strategies of any game there, from the classic to the modern. The food menu consists of typical cafe fare: quiche, sandwiches, salads and comforting dishes like mac ‘n’ cheese. The drinks menu is an extensive one, including a range of espresso-based coffees, beers, wine, sodas milkshakes and smoothies. You might as well cancel your plans for the rest of the day because you’ll be spending a lot of time here.
Pips Board Game Cafe, Calgary
Sink your friends’ battleships or take all of their money in a game of Monopoly at Pips. With over 400 games to choose from (many of which are from the owners’ personal collections), Pips gives you plenty of options when it comes to bonding or competing with friends. Snack on a variety of dishes from bacon-wrapped and candied bacon to hummus and crispy chickpeas, for under $5 or less. Enjoy salads, flatbreads, sandwiches and burgers, comforting meat pies and local beers as you play familiar games or learn to play new ones with the help from Pips’ game masters.
Video games doesn’t have to be a solo activity done at home. Bartari offers social and nostalgic gamers the perfect venue to play retro Nintendo, Super Nintendo, PlayStation and Xbox games like Donkey Kong, Super Mario Bros. and Mortal Kombat. Munch on pub food, sip cocktails and quench your thirst with beer as you throw banana peels onto the track in Mario Kart.
Pizzeria Ludica, Vancouver
A night of pizza and games just got better. Choose from any of the 750+ board and card games, from the obscure to the common, to play at Pizzeria Ludica, as you sink your teeth into freshly made pizza and pasta and crush an Italian beer. The spot has been opened for two years and the collection is always expanding.
Board Room Game Cafe, Halifax
The first board game cafe in the Nova Scotia, Board Room Game Cafe offers over 400 games, espresso-based drinks, local craft beers and sandwiches to board game enthusiasts. Go for a casual night out or register for tournaments. It even has a Brownie Points loyalty program toward games.
Across the Board Game Cafe, Winnipeg
With a seasonal menu of fresh and healthy foods (plus a few Vietnamese-inspired dishes) and a library of 800 games to choose from, it’ll be hard to decide which to focus on at Across the Board. The room is open and decorated with more refined furnishings, and most of the food is made in house with a focus on lighter and healthier options than pub grub, which makes for a more elegant experience. While the place is good on any night, visit on Tuesday for beer night, Wednesday for wine and Thursday for highballs if you like some libations to go with your games.
From classics to new releases, Monopolatte has over 900 games to go with your snack platter, grilled cheese or panini and coffee. Even if you can’t find a group to go with, it offers drop-in night on Tuesdays so you can meet new like-minded, game loving friends. Like many other gaming cafes, Monopolatte has game experts on hand to help and answer any questions you have about its games.
House of Targ, Ottawa
Pinball and perogies come together at House of Targ, where you can play over 35 pinball and arcade games, choose from six choices of perogies and shout along to punk and metal live bands. With perogy options like Leek & Destroy and Kale ‘Em All, you know this isn’t a place for the timid.
Randolph Pub Ludique, Montreal
Montreal is full of high-end and stylish restaurants, as well as quaint cafes, but it’s also home to Randolph Pub Ludique, a gaming pub with over 1,500 games that are good for small groups to big parties. Snack on nachos and pretzels or order full meals with sandwiches, quiche or macaroni and cheese; and have them with a local Quebec beer, sangria or any of its cocktails.