Jenga and a mojito or Risk and a fresh roast?
The amount of Vancouver bars and cafes lining the streets is certainly high, but there are only so many offering board games with their booze and coffee beans.
Nothing is better than passing the time with good friends, food and a classic argument about rules and regulations. There always comes a pivotal game moment, right after the third or fourth pint, when the rule sheet gets busted out to fact-check and boast about winners and losers. Though we know it’s all in good fun, so that’s why we’ve compiled a list of popular Vancouver board game bars and cafes to get rowdy or relax while enjoying a beverage and game of your choice.
Go ahead and share this post with a friend if you need a board game challenger over a cup or a pint. But if you want to skip the board games and go straight for the alcohol and caffeine, check out our Vancouver bars and Vancouver cafes sections for a more complete listing of places.
Local denizens know that to come to the Prophouse is a trip as much for the ambiance as it is the coffee. Included in the vintage décor is a “jukebox,” consisting of hundreds of vinyl you select yourself or a functioning 8-track player. The bizarre paintings, chairs and lampshades make this spot as kitschy as it is cool and a great spot to have a cup of joe and hash out a board game duel. Prophouse has long supported poets, musicians and artists of all sorts, having entertainment multiple nights a week. With free wifi, live music appearances, good brunch and great baked goods, this is a stellar choice for an eclectic board game outing.
This place is all kinds of epic. From the décor to drink action, this is a genre-fiction fan’s dream watering hole. A licensed restaurant with plenty of menu options, both food and drink, the Storm Crow has lots more of appeal than that. The shelves hold Choose Your Own Adventure books while the walls display shields, swords, axes and lightsabers. Sci-fi and fantasy memorabilia of all sorts is included, like framed photos of Captain Kirk, Freddy Krueger and Peter Jackson. The Hound’s helm is here (fans of Game of Thrones know) and I’m pretty sure that’s Cthulhu on the wall. Their board games range from Catan to Cards Against Humanity with lots more fresh additions. $5 specialty shots are doled out depending on the skill of your D20 roll. Swing by and test your constitution.
Not quite as intense as the Storm Crow, La Fontana Caffe might still be a bit more of a geek haven than your regular coffee and bistro joint, but that doesn't diminish the experience for those who aren't inclined to love entirely awesome things. Some nights are sci-fi themed, others are for current TV show fans, even the owner is a fan himself willing to help out any group have a meeting for whatever their tastes. There’s a decent board game selection and the great wall trappings of films provide perfect ambiance. Who can’t help but be pumped about a board game showdown with a poster of Serenity on the wall? Coffees, sandwiches and homemade gelato as well, La Fontana Caffe is a friendly and fantastic spot for any caffeine or game fan.
If you’re down with arcade nostalgia, flashy neon and everything 70’s then it’s a safe bet you've already discovered the Rumpus Room. If not, here’s a quick rundown of what you have to look forward to: beer by the buckets, an impressive cocktail menu, vegan brunches, Donkey Kong (the actual arcade unit), blue cheese poutine, deep fried pickles and of course a slew of classic board games. Current board game stock includes Sorry, Yahtzee, Boggle, Hungry Hungry Hippos, Snakes & Ladders, Jenga, Operation and an Etch-A-Sketch. All of their food is homemade and fresh from scratch. They also have a stellar patio to enjoy a booze float in the hot summer months.
This Gaston joint is a happening spot every night of the week. The underground bar sports a unique vibe with frequent live entertainment. They host an array of music guests (with no cover), put on weekly burlesque cabaret shows and have weekend band showcases. Guilt & Co. has a great selection of board games, from vintage like Jenga to more modern classics like Apples to Apples, helping to keep the bar table fun up at a consistent level. Tasty treats like kangaroo tartar, vegetarian bahn mi and red velvet cake are a few of the options from the food menu, while the craft beer and cocktail selections compliment the dishes well. Don’t be afraid to sink a few pints in this den, the company and talent is well worth it.
Whether you like pairing your board games with a hot roast or a cold brew, the Smart Mouth café offers plenty of both to keep you indulged. The two-level joint provides ample table spots for its patrons and plays some good tunes for the atmosphere. Their food menu is perfect for brunch or lunch items, made fresh daily with special mention going to their fantastic soups. They use fair-trade beans for their coffee and have local beer in the taps. If you've got a morning off or an afternoon to spare, stopping by for a quick coffee and game is a good idea. Chances are there will already be good company waiting.
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