Doing Board Game Café Food the Right Way

I’m no coffee snob, but I do know a thing or two about good food – or even better, good food choices for a board game café. A café doesn’t need to have a big menu; in fact it shouldn’t, allowing the café to focus on making those items the best they can. I want to support an owner that is as excited by their café, as I am to be there, therefor I seek out the subtle elements and crafty details they put into every dish.


Incredible Charcuterie from Across the Board (Winnipeg, MB)

One thing I have noticed while playing games is that my left hand is usually busy doing something like holding cards, moving a meeple, or hitting my forehead in frustration, leaving my right hand free to shovel food or drinks into my face. This leaves one hand clean and worry-free from board game sloppiness. The last thing I want is to open a game and have bright orange cheezy-powder all over the white meeple, or a chocolate fingerprint on a card for the longest train. One handed foods: Eureka!

Well, not quite a moment of enlightenment – but that is something I look for on the menu. That, and sharable food. I don’t know about you, but when I get food at a café I typically want to try everything on the menu – twice. I like items that let me say “If anyone wants to try one go ahead”. Usually someone will be thinking the same thing and voila: success.

Flat-breads are a common staple at a board game café; delicious, relatively clean and totally sharable. So are sandwiches, but if it’s just a boring sandwich then I don’t want it, I want an artisanal sandwich; handmade, using high-quality ingredients and great bread. In case you don’t know; the 4th Earl of Sandwich (an English nobleman) in the mid-18th century was said to have eaten food in this manner just so he didn’t need to leave the gaming table! For this reason, I think every board game café should have a signature sandwich.

Foods like salads, soups, spaghetti and sloppy joes are items that I don’t necessarily think you should get while playing a game but are great in-between or after. I would never want to be so arrogant as to say to never put these on the menu but, People: we need to make good food choices to be responsible and respectable to the property of the café and to the people around us.


Seasonal Candy from The Loft (Ottawa, ON)

My two favorite menu items on a board game café have to be… [drum roll please]… charcuterie and candy! These are two of the most interesting items to find on the menu because
1) They are made to share with friends;
2) One café can have a completely different concept than the next;
3) They can be as fantastically designed and fun as the café can imagine; and
4) They can include local, high-quality, homemade ingredients; unique café-specific twists that can be simply wonderful.

What do you think? What are your favourite (and least favourite) choices on a board game café’s menu?


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