Board games are beautiful things – simple boxes filled with wood, plastic and cardboard that can make a table of friends jeer, laugh and holler for hours. Thankfully, a few passionately nerdy venues have recognised the rising popularity of board games and have paired them with great food, drinks and atmosphere for top-notch tabletop antics.
Already feeling the urge to roll some dice and sip on cocktails? Read on for our Legit Nerds favourites!
With so many fantastic board games out there, deciding on your next purchase can be tough. Thankfully, the crew at BrainHackr have you covered – a measly $5 per person will get you access to their library of over 300 board games, card games and puzzles. And because they’re a retail store, if you fall in love with a game after unceremoniously beating your friends, you can take a brand new copy home the same day.
If you haven’t eaten lunch, inside BrainHackr is Holey Cheezus – the solution for board gamers with a hankering for cheese (which is most of us, I’m sure). Holey Cheezus serve cheese favourites like grilled cheese sandwiches and platters alongside drinks such as coffee, beers, ciders and themed cocktails. Be prepared to stay a while.
Queen of Spades
Located in all-too-cool Fitzroy, Queen of Spades is a board game café looking to lure in board gamers with desserts baked daily in house, fresh coffee beans from The Bean Cartel and local craft beers, ciders and wines. Food option match the quality of the drinks, with the three B’s (brunch, burgers and bagels) complemented by antipasto and sharing platters.
If you find you’re unsure about what kind of game you’re feeling, the staff are expert board gamers themselves and are happy to recommend something from their huge range. Best of all, it’s just $5 per person to play, so if something doesn’t stick you can try something completely different. Queen of Spades also host tournaments, themed evenings, and private functions to fuel your gloating after you beat your old (and new) friends.
With a huge selection of tantalising Taiwanese food, Marche’s menu offers unique fare compared to other board game cafes. Think Taiwanese style popcorn chicken, beef noodle soups and a range of delicious fresh bao. The food on offer can be paired with a drink and munched on while you’re playing a game from Marche’s huge, diverse range of board and card games.
Games can be played in the venue’s main room or you can choose to play in a private room if you like keeping your victories under wraps. Marche is especially worthy of mention for its karaoke rooms positioned right next to the board game rooms, meaning you won’t have to go far to sing your heart out (however good or bad it may be)
Sydney beer connoisseurs looking for their next board game fix need not look past Bitter Phew in Darlinghurst. The 12 taps are regularly rotated with interesting beers varying wildly in style from across the world, helping to distract from the analysis paralysis common with choosing a board game.
Once the delicious beers on tap whet your appetite and you’re well into trashing the competition, local foodie favourites Mr Crackles and BL Burgers deliver mouth-watering food right to your seat or table. It doesn’t get better than that!
If you’re not nearby one of these venues, , there are ample opportunities to visit your FLGS (friendly local game store) to play with other eager gamers. It’s an excellent way to meet like-minded board gamers and discover board games you’ve never even considered playing.
Popular country-wide stores like Games Workshop and Good Games host regular events, and there are many more like them in your hometown – it always pays to ask the staff!