Café Review: Monopolatte, Ottawa, ON

Where we played: Monopolatte , Ottawa, ON

When we played: January 2015

We visited Monopolatte in Ottawa on a cold day in January.  Monopolatte has had a lot of press in Ottawa and we were excited to check out the place everyone was talking about.

Monopolatte occupies the first floor of a small house, and the team has had to be creative about how to fit as many tables as possible into the area along with a large games library and, of course, kitchen and cash area. We snagged a big table at the front which was great for the large games we tend to play, but some of the gamers in the back seemed a bit…snug.

games_menuPicking a game was a challenge, as always, since Monopolatte has quite the large, varied collection of games. The way they organized their collection made it easy to know where to look (two-player section, abstracts, party games etc) and we soon had a long wish list for the evening. We also got some great inspiration from the game menu they bring to their table, which is perfect for those people who need a bit more guidance on what to pick.

The food menu itself was pretty standard, grilled sandwiches, snacks, requisite candy bowl (a personal favourite), although that night they had run out of quite a few items so it was hard to pick something. We had a few grilled sandwiches, pita and hummus, and a Jenga tower of garlic cheese bread (thus far, the only kind of Jenga tower we enjoy).


We were happy to see that they had a couple of local beers available, and also a monthly rotating mystery beer. Monopolatte was also the first place we saw that had the option of ordering growlers from local breweries for the table – what a great idea when you don’t have the space for a bunch of taps! Unfortunately there were no growlers left that night, which is a sign of a successful idea!

While we were there, the staff seemed to be going in and out of duty – we were not sure who was part of the staff and who was not. We were offered help in the game library by someone who we think was a guru and had a great grasp of the collection and suggested some options.

Overall, Monopolatte was a fun place to visit for a night. It had a great collection, great beer and enthusiastic patrons. However, the space itself is a bit worn down and could use some updates to make it feel more comfortable and welcoming.

PWP Rating:

Space: C-

Collection: A

Food: C+

Drink: B-

Staff: C

Look and Feel: D

Overall Score: C+


Other Stuff We Like:

Retail: Yep! (though not a huge selection)

Flat Fee: Yep!

Events: Yep!

Great for: A quick stop for a game and a beer before a night out.

What we played: Stone Age, Le Havre, Memoir 44

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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *