Café Review: The Loft Board Game Lounge, Ottawa, ON

The place we played: The Loft Board Game Lounge, Ottawa, ON

When we played: November 2014
We finally had a chance to visit the Loft in Ottawa on a cold and snowy day in November. We coerced a friend to join us, and the four of us snagged a big table not too far from the roaring fire place and cozy couches in the Loft’s big open space in a cool, old building right downtown Ottawa. Like most downtown area locations parking can be a pain but there are paid parking options within a block.

loftWe were immediately impressed with the shelves of games which covered the entirety of one wall (and we mean covered, floor to ceiling) and spent the first 15 minutes just wandering the shelves, admiring the selection. We decided to start off with Takenoko, since we are long-time Bauza fans and this was one we had yet to crack the box on.

As soon as we started setting the game up, and ordered food and drinks, we noticed one of the coolest features of The Loft: their custom tables! These glass-topped tables have a large shelf beneath the top which can hold game boxes, plates of food, rule books etc. It was a huge help in keeping the table free for gaming without relegating game boxes to the floor (gasp!). We spoke to one of the owners at the end of the night and he said they are an Ikea hack, involving raising the table legs and dropping down the shelves to make them perfect. That attention to detail was a huge plus in our books and made the experience even more pleasant.

The menu was full of delicious choices, so we tried a variety of their offerings (perogies, flatbreads, candy bowls and of course nutella waffles!) and were impressed with all of them. The beer was on tap and local (you know how we feel about that) and the coffee was also delicious, according to our guest of the evening. A word of warning if you’re drinking a lot of liquids while you’re there: the bathrooms are quite a hike down a lot of stairs, so be ready for the trip.

We finished up the night with a round of Dixit (which was way more fun than some of us expected a ‘party game’ to be) and spent some time chatting with the owners while they closed up the bar. We were happy to hear they’ve been doing well, and that we saw so many people enjoying their evenings over great games, some good food and maybe a pint or two.

PWP Ranking:
Space: A+
Collection: A
Food: B
Drink: B+
Staff: B+
Look and Feel: B+
Overall Score: B+

Other Stuff we like:
Retail: Yep!
Flat Fee: Yep!
Events: Yep!

Great for: Those nights when you want to skip the bar scene but still enjoy great food and beer while playing an awesome tabletop game in a beautiful space.

What we played: Dixit, Takenoko


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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