Are restaurants with tabletop activities a real thing?
When did they become popular?
Are they getting more popular?
Gameboard activity restaurants are very real, and although there aren’t a lot of them in the world yet, they are getting more and more popular every day. These restaurants have gained popularity beginning in the past decade, and they encourage visitors to play recreations together and bond with each other over a good meal and some drinks.
Here are a few reason why this type of restaurant works:
- These restaurants offer unique entertainment experiences that aren’t like those you can have at home.
- The restaurants make it easier to have a family recreation night without having to cook and clean at home for it.
- The restaurants are fun and exciting.
Check out our list below to help you find the best board game restaurant in or near your area. You may discover your new favorite place to go out to eat!
Option #1: Across the Tabletop
VISIT THEM HERE: https://acrosstheboardcafe.com/
With over 1500 gameboard games and a full-service menu, Across the Board is all about providing the best experience to its customers. There is a $6 charge to play unlimited activities, and many of the recreations can also be purchased from the on-site store. The restaurant offers weekly event nights, including Dungeons & Dragons night, miniatures night, and much more.
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 11am to 10pm; Friday and Saturday 11am to midnight; Sunday 11am to 10pm; closed on Mondays
Sample games: 221B Baker Street, Yahtzee, Age of Empires, Betrayal at House on the Hill
Sample menu items: Portabella mushroom burger, banh mi, sesame garlic stir fry, poutine
Option #2: Adventure Pub
VISIT THEM HERE: https://theadventurepub.com/
Adventure Pub focuses first on being a gaming lounge and second on being a gastropub. This restaurant includes fresh, unique, and upscale food items to enjoy along with your favorite tabletop activities. There are also live events regularly scheduled to keep players entertained even further while enjoying a relaxing night at this restaurant.
Location: Arlington, Massachusetts
Hours: Monday through Thursday 4pm to 10pm; Friday 4pm to midnight; Saturday 10am to midnight; Sunday 10am to 10pm
Sample recreations: Boggle, Cards Against Humanity, Escape Room
Sample menu items: Fried plantains, fennel and orange salad, breakfast poutine
Option #3: Bonus Round Activity Cafe
VISIT THEM HERE: https://bonusroundcafe.com/
Bonus Round Recreation Café offers simple café foods as well as a selection of beer and wine that players can enjoy along with their gameboard games. The employees know their board activities well and are ready to offer suggestions as well as help clarify anything in the instructions along the way. There is a food and drink minimum at this restaurant, so groups must order at least $10 per person to stay an hour.
Location: Chicago, Illinois
Hours: Monday through Thursday 2pm to 11pm; Friday 2pm to midnight; Saturday 11am to midnight; Sunday 11am to 11pm
Sample recreations: Santorini, Splendor, Spyfall, Forbidden Island
Sample menu items: Dill hummus plate, vegan quesadilla, grilled cheese
Option #4: The Castle
VISIT THEM HERE: https://www.thecastlebeverly.com/
The Castle offers a selection of tabletop games players can enjoy for a $5 cover charge per person. Whether or not to order food is up to the customer, but the food here is delicious and encourages repeat customers time and time again. The restaurant also offers regular events that encourage new players to pick up activities they might not have otherwise tried while bonding with those who are more experienced at these titles.
Location: Beverly, Massachusetts
Hours: Daily 11am to 11pm
Sample recreations: Carcassonne, Agricola, Clue, Jumanji
Sample menu items: Turkey Reuben panini, chicken tender basket, build-your-own burger
Option #5: Game Haus
VISIT THEM HERE: https://gamehauscafe.com
At Activity Haus, customers can pay a $5 charge ($7.50 on weekends) to access a library of over 1400 gameboard games. This is one of the widest selections available among any of the restaurants on our list. This cover includes unlimited play until the restaurant closes, and it also includes admittance to board recreation themed nights—such as those set aside for beginners.
Location: Glendale, California
Hours: Tuesday through Thursday 11am to 11pm; Friday and Saturday 11am to midnight; Sunday 11am to 9pm; closed on Mondays
Sample activities: Risk, Taboo, Monopoly, Carcassonne
Sample menu items: The Boardwalk tuna sandwich, The Valdora panini, various pizzas
Option #6: Game Train
VISIT THEM HERE: http://www.gametrainusa.com/
Activity Train offers over four hundred recreations along with delicious food and a unique train simulator experience all under one roof. Customers pay $5 per person to access the games, so buying food is not necessarily required when visiting this location. Tabletop recreation clubs can also bring their own activities on certain nights.
Location: Highlands Ranch, Colorado
Hours: Monday through Thursday 11am to 10pm; Friday and Saturday 11am to midnight; Sunday 11am to 8pm
Sample recreations: Balderdash, Backgammon, 7 Wonders
Sample menu items: Flatbread pizzas, pork belly tacos, baked rigatoni
Option #7: Good Move Cafe
VISIT THEM HERE: https://www.facebook.com/GoodMoveCafe/
Good Move Café encourages customers to come in, have a bite, and kick back with a favorite gameboard game for as long as they’d like. This restaurant serves food until an hour before closing and then allows players to finish their games before the restaurant shuts its doors for the night.
Location: Provo, Utah
Hours: Monday through Thursday 11:30am to 11pm; Friday and Saturday 11:30am to midnight; closed on Sundays
Sample activities: Alhambra, Scrabble, Underwater Cities, The Mind
Sample menu items: Turkey BLT, maple mac and cheese, veggie burger
Option #8: The Raving Gamer
VISIT THEM HERE: https://theravinggamer.ca
The Raving Gamer is a full-service café with a bar that offers private events as well as regular dining for its customers. This restaurant serves craft beers, handmade menu items, and more all while allowing customers to borrow and play board recreations throughout their meal. Each of the games are regularly checked to ensure they still have all their pieces.
Location: Langley, British Columbia
Hours: Daily 11am to 11pm
Sample activities: Hanabi, Apples to Apples, Pandemic
Sample menu items: Smoked Tomato Soup, Teriyaki Chicken Burger, Spinach, Bacon and Caramelized Onion Pizza, Krause Berry Farms Pie
Option #9: The Uncommons
VISIT THEM HERE: https://uncommonsnyc.com/
Located on the NYU campus, The Uncommons hosts tournaments for some recreations as well as offers regular activity options for most of its visitors too. This cafe offers after-school programs as well, so it has solidified its place among its local community.
Location: New York, New York
Hours: Monday through Thursday 8:30am to midnight; Friday and Saturday 8:30am to 1am; Sunday 8:30am to 11pm
Sample games: Magic: The Gathering, Abyss, Zombicide, Cards Against Humanity
Sample menu items: Bagels, pigs in a blanket, wrap sandwiches
Bars and Restaurants with Activities Keep Guests Entertained
What are some reasons to check these restaurants out? Is the experience different than having a meal and a tabletop recreation at home? Should you bother going to one, or is it just a waste of money?
This type of restaurant is well worth checking out, especially if you never have before. These restaurants can encourage more interaction and fun between you and your friends and family as well as strangers. They can also give you a chance to get out and experience something a little different than your traditional at-home family game night, too.
If you don’t have a gameboard activity restaurant in your town, be on the lookout for one the next time you go on vacation. You never know what you might come across!
5 Tips for Finding the Perfect Board Recreation Restaurant
- Research restaurants in your area that offer tabletop recreations. Look for reviews and ratings to get an idea of what kind of experience you can expect.
- Check out the menu before you go. Make sure there are options that everyone in your group will enjoy.
- Call ahead to make a reservation if possible. This will ensure that you have a table when you arrive.
- Bring cash or cards with you, as some restaurants may not accept credit cards.
- Be prepared to wait for a table if it’s busy. Some restaurants may have long wait times during peak hours.
ALSO: Ask the restaurant staff about any special game nights they may host!