Cafe Review: Ludica Pizzeria and Game Room

The Place We Played: Ludica Pizzeria and Game Room, Vancouver, BC

Played in: July 2014

Our Thoughts: We were very excited to check out Ludica, as it was the only Pizzeria on our list of board game cafés across Canada, and pizza is at the very top of Hogarth’s favourite foods. We were even more excited when we arrived and discovered we would be able to enjoy our games (and pizza!) out on a patio! We had spent some time earlier in our journey talking about whether it would be possible to game on a patio – rain, wind, dirt and seemingly numerous other possibilities for damaging the game made us think it would be unlikely that we would come across any open-air gaming. Luckily for us, we found Ludica, and scored a prime seat on their patio to check out the games. The inside space wasn’t huge, so I think we got prime real estate.

ludicaOne problem we encountered – they closed kind of early on the evening we got there; 10:30pm, so it didn’t give us lots of time to get into much. We ordered an awesome pizza, a couple of beers, and took the recommendation from someone (who may or may not have been a game guru) to try Race for the Galaxy. Other than the guy who recommended that game (who then sat down and was playing with his friends) there didn’t seem to be a game guru on staff, which is also a downside for us. The waiter was great, but seemed to be only serving and not teaching games.

The collection at Ludica wasn’t huge, but there was enough to find something worth playing. The food and beer was delicious, and we especially appreciated the little things; our bill came enclosed in a Scattergories folder, and our beers came served on Carcassonne-tile coasters (that we may or may not have kept for…um…research purposes). Also, Ludica was the first place we saw open gaming signs, which you could take to your table if you were open to new players joining in. A cool way of connecting people, while letting others game in peace.

Edited to add: We heard from Ludica with some updates. They said they have game stewards Friday and Saturday nights and for reservations who request one. And, they don’t charge a fee for gaming! Great news!

PWP Ranking:
Space: C
Collection: B-
Food: B+
Drink: B+
Staff: D
Look and Feel: B
Overall Score: B

Other Stuff we like:
Retail: Nope
Flat Fee: Yep! Updated: no fee for gaming! woo hoo!
Events: Yep!

Great for: Playing a game, enjoying some delicious pizza, with people who enjoy games and will get the references

What we played: Race for the Galaxy

Ellie Frederickson is an experienced player of many board games and has cred as a purveyor of games from a time working in a game store. She has an inclination towards Euro-style games, but isn’t especially picky. Reading rules is a particular skill of hers (and a source of enjoyment, oddly enough) and she usually gets a game right the first time she plays it. She has a keen eye for good designs; in art, cafés and games; and an aversion to sub-standard food and drink

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