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Toronto Board Game Cafes

Published:  February 10, 2016

The New York Times came out with a great article about how popular Toronto's board game cafes are becoming. If you don't know board game cafes are normal cafes where you can buy coffee but are set up with tables and chairs for people to play tabletop games. The majority of these establishments provide several popular board game titles for their customers to try so they won't have to bring their own. 

Even on a sunny afternoon at Snakes & Lattes Annex, many Torontonians didn’t mind acting like kids inside. A few months ago, an elderly man traded pawn moves with a school-age girl. A cluster of millennials dug into the German-style strategy classic Carcassonne. Up front, where board games are sold, an Ottawa entrepreneur held a stack of boxes under one arm as he consulted Steve Tassie, one of the cafe’s game-teaching gurus, on what to stock in his own board-game cafe.

In walkable Toronto, every major street seems to offer a space for playing old-fashioned tabletop games, with drinks and snacks on the side. Several, like Castle Board Game Cafe near the University of Toronto, evoke dorm lounges with plain chairs and soft couches.

Shareable plates are a constant across the game cafes, but the beverages of choice vary. Each serves up its own blend, whether tea, beer, wine or espresso. But walk into any and you’ll hear the same conviviality: fast talk, laughter and rolling dice. The one thing you’ll rarely see is someone’s head buried in a glowing phone screen.

Why would

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