While some Calgary spots have been hosting board game nights for years, the popular childhood pastime has seen a recent resurgence in popularity. Now, board game cafes like Pips Board Game Cafe, Metal Galaxy Social Games & Bistro and the soon-to-be-open Boxcar Board Game Cafe are popping up everywhere. Whether you prefer to play at a cafe like that or at your local pub or gaming store, there are plenty of options for the (board) gamers of Calgary.
Buttermilk Fine Waffles
You know what goes great with board games? The smell of freshly made waffles. On Wednesday nights, head over to Buttermilk Fine Waffles for its weekly games night. Bring in your own games or choose from Buttermilk’s selection, which includes Brio Labyrinth, Apples to Apples, Dutch Blitz and Scrabble. Classic waffles, which are topped with maple syrup and butter, are on sale for only $5 just for the occasion.
When: Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.
330 17 Ave. S.W., 403-287-9094, buttermilkfinewaffles.com, @buttermilkyyc
For the past three years, Sundays at Dickens Pub have been better known as Gamer Sundays. Patrons are welcome to bring in tabletop board games, video games and equipment, card games and more to play while they eat and drink. The pub also has some games on hand, such as Dungeons & Dragons, Settlers of Catan, Shadows over Camelot, Avalon and Jenga.
When: Every Sunday, all day (12 p.m. to 12 a.m.)
Cost: It’s free to come in and play, you just have to pay for your food and drinks.
1000, 9th & 9th S.W., 403-233-7550, dickenspub.ca, @dickensyyc
Metal Galaxy Social Games & Bistro
Blending a gaming store with a board game cafe and bistro, Metal Galaxy Social Games & Bistro re-opened in a new location in early 2016. There are plenty of board and card games available for purchase here, plus more than 100 games that can be played right at the cafe with a group of friends or family. The bistro menu includes antipasti, flatbread pizzas, sandwiches, snack foods and brownies for dessert.
When: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays), 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays), 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. (Sundays). The bistro opens one hour after and closes one hour earlier than these times.
Cost: $2.50 per hour, per person. Food and drinks are extra.
4624 Macleod Trail S.W., metal-galaxy.com, @metalgalaxy1
McLeod Trail SW
Pips Board Game Cafe
Calgary’s first board game cafe opened this past December, and it’s been a popular spot in Marda Loop ever since. Pips has a full bistro menu, so you can either snack or have a whole meal while you play a game. Chef Stefan Zuber heads up the kitchen here, where the menu includes items like mac ‘n’ cheese, sandwiches and shareable items like charcuterie boards and popcorn. There’s also craft beer, wine and coffee to wash it down. And with more than 500 board games ranging from Monopoly to Pandemic to choose from, there’s truly a game for everyone.
When: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays), 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Fridays), 7:30 a.m. to 1 a.m. (Saturdays), 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (Sundays).
Cost: $5 per person for as long as you want (maximum three hours during peak times). Food and drinks are extra.
2015 33 Ave. S.W., 587-349-0047, pipscafe.com, @pipsbgc
Revolution Games & Music
Every Sunday, the tables inside this game and music store are turned into a board game playing area. The store can fit around 18 to 20 people at their tables, but you can also call in advance to reserve a table just to be safe. Bring your own games or choose one from Revolution’s game library, which includes Ticket to Ride, Settlers of Catan, Descent, Dead of Winter and many more. You can purchase other board games, CDs, DVDs, video games and trading cards like Magic: The Gathering from the store. Patrons are welcome to bring their own snacks.
When: Sundays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.
#100, 3400 14 St. N.W., 403-282-5200, revolution-games.com
This gaming store has been in business for 35 years and they’ve held an open board game night on and off over that period. No registration is necessary. Patrons are welcome to bring their own games or choose from games supplied by Sentry Box like Small World and Ticket to Ride. Patrons are welcome to bring their own snacks.
When: Mondays from 6 p.m. to around 9:30 p.m.
1835 10 Ave. S.W., 403-245-2121, sentrybox.com, @thesentrybox
Opening soon: Boxcar Board Game Cafe
Tentatively set to open in March, this new board game cafe will call Victoria Park home. There will be more than 300 board games to play here, plus a food menu that includes sandwiches, flatbreads, sharing plates, beer from Village Brewery and Wildrose Brewery on tap, wine and a full coffee menu featuring Phil & Sebastian coffee.
1215 1 St. S.W., boxcarcafe.ca, @boxcarcafeyyc