Photo by Dan Clapson
There may have been a time where it was considered rude to play games during dinner, but in this age of cell phones at the table, the sociability factor of games is a welcome addition. Whether you’re interested in the new generation of board games or like the classics like Risk or Monopoly, here are five spots around Calgary where you can eat, drink and be merry with friends or family while testing your gaming skills.
Boxcar Board Game Cafe
This little space is located on the same block of 1st Street S.W. as the recently opened Ten Foot Henry. Look to Boxcar for local beers on tap, simple food likes paninis and a big wall of boardgames that come in all shapes, sizes and levels of difficulties. If you’re up for being as noisy as you are hungry, Hungry Hippos is a great option!
1215 1 St. S.W., 403-383-0000, boxcarcafe.ca, @boxcarcafeyyc
Home and Away
Clearly, the skee-ball and mini basketball hoops are the games you’ll want to play as soon as you’ve had a couple drinks, but don’t forget to ask for the jumbo-sized Connect Four. It’s perfect for some tabletop fun. Also, don’t forget to try the wagyu hotdog here for an upscale take on a ballpark favourite.
1331 17 Ave. S.W., 403-455-9789, homeandawayyyc.com, @homeandawayyyc
Metal Galaxy Social Social Games and Bistro
Though there are a lot of games to choose from here, most board game fans will tell you that Metal Galaxy leans to the more serious side, with a lot of its clientele playing multi-player strategy games. Games that require a lot of thinking can have you work up an appetite and the bistro offers a mix of sandwiches, salads and flatbreads for when that hunger hits. There’s beer by the bottle and wine by the glass as well.
4624 Macleod Tr. S.E., 403-253-1414, metal-galaxy.com, @metalgalaxy1
National on 8th and 10th
The two larger Nationals offer more things to do than just sip your way through the myriad of craft beer from the draught lines. Find ping pong tables at both locations (on the Stephen Avenue location you’ll find them on the roof) as well as bowling in the basement of National on 10th. After a few pints of beer and some tacos down at National Bowl, the gigantic, focal point clown statue will look a little less menacing.
3 locations, ntnl.ca, @ntnl8, @ntnl10
Pips Board Game Cafe
Located in Marda Loop, Pips has a lot to offer including draught beer and the most extensive menu of the three board-game cafes in Calgary. That includes burgers, chicken pot pie, wraps as well as a kids menu. The latter makes it perfect for a lively and fun night out with the whole family.
2015 33 Ave. S.W., 587-349-0047, pipscafe.com, @pipsbgc