Life – it’s really just one elaborate game of chance, isn’t it? No matter how hard we try and shape our daily destiny, there are times when we’ll repeatedly pass “GO”, and other hours where we’ll come up snake eyes. Trying and tumultuous as those ebbs and flows may be, perhaps we’re just taking things a little too seriously sometimes? So, when the real game of life is testing your emotional fortitude, it might be a good idea to get together with some friends, grab a drink, and indulge in an interpretation of a life that lacks in consequence. These are the three board game centric cafés in Toronto that everyone should visit, at least once…
Snakes & Lattes
Snakes & Lattes is the first ever dedicated board game café in Toronto. Established in 2010, their catalog of over 3,000 board and card games is the largest public collection in North America. $5 will get you and your party in the door (provided you limit the crew to six people or less), though it’s worth factoring in the possibility of a wait time during peak hours – they don’t accept reservations. With extracurriculars like their Snakes on the Go program and retail store, they truly span the gamut when it comes to serious (or leisurely) gaming. Oh, since we know you were still wondering – yes, Snakes & Lattes is still the sole retailer of Cards Against Humanity in Canada.
Castle Board Game Café
Castle Board Game Café still claims on their website to be the newest board game café in Toronto… not so. Thankfully, their online accuracy doesn’t diminish their in-person allure. Located on Spadina just south of College, Castle makes for a marvelous night out in Chinatown. A little har gao and shu maii as an appetizer, some Settlers of Catan for the main, couple pints, then on to Kom Jug for a little late night chow mein action – sounds about right. These guys operate at a cost of $2.50/hour per person to sit down and play. On the plus side, you’re less likely to wait around for your table to be free.
Roll Play Café
Located above to the giant BMV Bookstore on Edward Street and Yonge (an attraction in itself) Roll Play Café is actually the newest board game café in Toronto. Having opened in September, their system works as such: patrons are welcome to reserve a table and there’s no cover charge, however, there’s a requirement to order something off the menu. There’s a rather large set of house rules, which clearly state that loitering is prohibited and staff can limit seating times. So should there be a line and you’re not finished your turn of Blokus, get ready to order another round of beverages or you may be prematurely handed the bill. On the plus side, their open seating arrangement and upbeat playlist makes it a comfortable spot to kick back with a pizza and a puzzle.