Gone are the days where families would break out the dusty, forgotten Monopoly board to play only at Christmas.
Playing a classic game of Cluedo or trying your hand at Risk accompanied by friends, coffee and a slice of cake is a great way to spend an afternoon – or was until the Coronavirus pandemic hit.
But once the lockdown is lifted, where are the best cafes to visit? We’ve created a definitive list of the top 20 board game cafes across the UK to help you decide.
The Ludoquist, 63-67 High St, Croydon, CR0 1QE
Ludoquist offers a large range of cocktails, spirits, craft beer and of course, board games. It costs £5 per person to play as many games as you like for an unlimited time.
Fanboy3, 25 Hilton St, Manchester, M1 1EL
Specialising in organised play, miniatures games and role-playing, Fanboy3 is just a stone’s thrown away from Piccadilly Station. With board game hire just £3 per person, who wouldn’t be a fan?
Geek Retreat, 38 The Priory Queensway, Birmingham, B4 7LA
Living up to its name, this cafe specialises in trading card games, such as Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh and also plays host to comic book signings throughout the year.
Meeple Perk, 89 Clayton St, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 5PZ
Newcastle’s first dedicated board game cafe opened following a successful Crowdfunding campaign raising nearly £9K. The cafe brags a range of games, from the traditional Monopoly to newcomers like zombie-themed Dead of Winter.
Sugar and Dice, 33 Cornhill, Liverpool, L1 8DP
With over £12K raised from 183 backers, this is another cafe funded through public campaigns. A £5 fee will grant you access to 100s of games and all the sweet treats you can shake a stick at.
Dice Saloon, Unit 6, Longley Industrial Estate, New England St, Brighton, BN1 4GY
Converted from a Methodist church, this cafe now worships everything geek. Incorporated in one of the UK’s largest board game cafes is a shop and a whole seating section dedicated to Warhammer.
The Treetop Board Game Cafe, 41 Boston Street, Sheffield, S2 4QF
If a full wine list, top-notch gins and strong whiskies aren’t enough to convince you, Treetop also boasts a selection of over 500 games to choose from. A £5 fee enables you to play your favourite games for a four-hour session.
The Dice Cup, 68-70 Mansfield Rd, Nottingham, NG1 3GY
This award-winning cafe – it won the Nottingham’s best independent business accolade in 2019 – is in the heart of the city. £5 per person gives you unlimited hours of fun with friends, family and even pets. (Yes, dogs are allowed!)
Bean Gaming, 22 Silver St, Leicester, LE1 5ET
Opened in 2018, Bean Gaming is Leicester’s only premier board game cafe. With a contemporary design, pizza oven and an extensive cocktail list, this cafe offers a more cosmopolitan experience for high-end game players.
Random Encounter, 9 Gillygate, York, YO31 7EA
At £10 for all-day unlimited play, this is one of the more expensive cafes on the list but their large selection of games, freshly-blended milkshakes and homemade brownies more than make up for this.
Ludo Lounge, 34 Southbourne Grove, Bournemouth, BH6 3RS
Converted from an old Woolworths store, this cafe offers a fabulous pick and mix of board games. Not far from the beach with a pretty terrace and huge indoor interior Ludo Lounge offers a more relaxing vibe for your gaming experience.
Chance and Counters, 20 Christmas Steps, Bristol, BS1 5BS
After a Kickstarter campaign raised just over £13,000 in four weeks, Chance and Counters opened two cafes boasting over 500 games and seasonal food menus. All for just £5 for four hours.
Naughts and Coffees, 26 Morrison St, Edinburgh, EH3 8BJ
With its existence inspired by a Canadian appeal for more board game cafes back in 2014, this cafe provides a relaxing multicultural atmosphere for its gamers, offering a perfect mix of new and nostalgic games.
Thirsty Meeples, 99 Gloucester St, Oxford, OX1 2DF
With over 2,700 games to choose from 362 days of the year, this cafe adds more titles each week. Large assortment of snacks, beers and coffees are available for £7.50 for three hours.
The Dice Box, 137 Regent St, Leamington Spa, CV32 4NX
In the heart of a town that thrives on independent businesses, this cafe offers over 600 games from ages 3 upwards. At just £2 per person, per hour you can expect game gurus providing you with their expertise and table service.
Board in the City, 38-40 Onslow Rd, Southampton, SO14 0JG
Offering over 700 games and a dedicated, private function room kitted out with a projector, LED lights, surround sound and atmospheric effects, there’s no way you’ll be left bored in this cafe.
D20, 87 Queens Road, Watford, WD17 2QN
Open everyday 12 pm-11 am, D20 is Hertfordshire’s first and only dedicated board game cafe, where £1.50 per hour will grant you access to over 900 games to pick from.