The Handbook
The Handbook

Ditch Animal Crossing f0r the night and head to one of London’s best board game cafes and bars for a real battle and some light hearted fun.

From the board game giants at Draughts to the cosy corners of Candid Cafe, here are seven of the best board game cafes and bars in London.

Draughts

The royals of the board game world, Draughts is the place to head for hours of endless entertainment with friends. 

Boasting over 1,000 games, including old time favourites and hard to find sets, Draughts first launched in 2014 and has become a favourite board game enthusiasts to explore their library of games, with two venues in London. There’s a £6 per person game charge but you’ll be able to play as many games for as long as you want.

Pair your battle with some of their tempting posh junk food style food, from vegan ‘fish’ and chips to beef brisket tacos, Korean style chicken to halloumi nuggets. 

Both of their Hackney and Waterloo locations have new outdoor space too, perfect for soaking up the summer rays while battling it out over a game of Monopoly.

Hackney & Waterloo
www.draughtslondon.com

97 Stoke Newington Road, Stoke Newington, Dalston N16 8BX
www.loading.bar

LOADING

Whether you’re a hardcore videogamer or you prefer the old school dice and board games, LOADING offers the perfect sanctuary for gaming fans looking to one up their friends by battling through the varied selection of games.

Expect everything from the latest PS4 or Switch game to classic board game classics, including the 90s Dream Phone board game – if you know, you know. 

Escape the city and head to their Brighton location that’s located right on the seafront with views of the pier and sea in sight.

Cakes & Ladders

For the quirkiest board gaming experience in the city head to Cakes & Ladders, the double decker bus in Wood Green known for serving up great coffee, stellar cheese toasties and boasting over 500 board games to try and play with pals. 

They’ve reopened since lockdown and can be found serving up food and drink socially distanced and have outdoor seating, perfect for al fresco gaming.

5 River Park Road, Wood Green N22 7TB
www.cakesandladders.co.uk

86 Kew Road, Richmond TW9 2PQ
www.librarypot.uk

Library Pot 

Expect rows upon rows of board games lined up along the walls when you step inside Richmond’s board game lair Library Pot. 

Willing board game bandits can come along and grab some food and drink to keep themselves well fed during serious game seshes. Sessions cost £5 per person per session, plus a £10 minimum spend per individual too. 

Deep dive into their epic list of all of their new arrivals and complete list of games by category. Some personal favourites include Monopoly Cheater’s Edition, Rhino Hero Super Battle and Magic Maze.

Bad Moon Cafe

For the tabletop gamers Bad Moon Cafe boasts a wealth of gaming options, with over 100 board games in their library available to play. 

Pop your detective hat on as you curiously question your friends in Codenames or play the all-time family favourite Jenja. Check out their games directory here.

Located just a short walk from Borough Station, it’s the perfect place to head post Borough Market shopping.

159a Great Dover Street, SE1 4GZ
www.badmooncafe.co.uk

The Book Club

Don’t be deceived by the name as this isn’t no book club! The Victorian Warehouse is, by day, a  meeting space, bar and cocktail haven who have jumped (battle)ship and boast a wealth of board games too.

Head on over for a good bit of check mate-ing as you sip on drinks and have a lazy gaming Sunday. Also why not take it into the evening and enjoy some ping-pong and a DJ set.

100-106 Leonard Street, Hackney EC2A 4RH
www.wearetbc.com

The Candid Cafe

You’ll find a vintage gaming gem at The Candid Cafe. Part of the Candid Arts Centre, the cafe boasts plenty of gaming options for those looking to curl up in a cosy corner and play a game of Scrabble for hours on end.

Order in the coffees, choose your gaming weapon of choice and while away your afternoon with a spot of gaming and cake.

3 Torrens Street, The Angel EC1V 1NQ
www.candidarts.wordpress.com