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Checkmate! 7 Brilliant Board Game Cafes in London

Checkmate! 7 Brilliant Board Game Cafes in London

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Looking for the best board game cafes in London? Unleash your competitive streak at one of these brilliant spots for gaming.

What once was a nerdy pastime has become rather cool in recent years, if the number of gaming cafes popping up in the capital is anything to go by. With expansive games libraries and custom-built tables, board game cafes make it easy to play pretty much any game you can imagine.

Whether you fancy a slice of cake as you play Catan, or something stronger as you battle it out in Dungeons and Dragons, these London board game cafes have got you very much covered.

Best Board Game Cafes in London 


Hackney + Waterloo

Draughts boasts two London locations – though, if we had to choose, we would head to the Waterloo offering located underneath the station in the Leake Street graffiti tunnel.

Both are among the best board games cafe London has to offer, with more than 1000 games spanning Exploding Kittens and ObamaLlama (yes, that’s a real game – we checked) to Monopoly and DungeonQuest.

Food-wise, expect plenty of small plates and tacos at both locations, with plenty of heartier options including vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free to help you recuperate after a really intense gaming session.

Ensuring you stay hydrated, the bar offers craft beers and cocktails, as well as a good selection of wines. 

Opening hours Mon 12.00 – 00.00, Tue to Thu 11.00 – 00.00, Fri 11.00 – 01.00, Sat 10.00 – 01.00, Sun 10.00 – 00.00

Price: Gaming admission is £6 per person. 

The Ludoquist


A Croydon institution, The Ludoquist has been supplying locals with their board game fix for years.

With an almost overwhelming selection of games to choose between, from family puzzles to eccentric board games from the far reaches of Japan, you’re spoilt for choice at The Ludoquist.

This London board game cafe also knows what’s up when it comes to snacks, offering bowls of sweets and chocolate to graze on as you make your way around the board. If you fancy something heavier, we can vouch that the pizzas are particularly delicious, with vegan cheese an option too. Yes, we will be ordering the Hawaiian.

The bar serves up several craft beers on tap, backed up with even more in cans, plus some wines and a good selection of cocktails. Alcohol-free and low alcohol options are available too.

Opening hours Mon to Thu 3.00pm – 10.00pm, Fri 3.00pm – 11.00pm, Sat 11.00am – 11.00pm, Sun 11.00am – 8.00pm

Price: £6 per person during peak hours, £3 for off-peak sessions.

The Library Pot


We’d make a bet that The Library Pot is one of Richmond’s most fun hangouts. Not only do they have a wide selection of games but they offer meet-ups for solo players and special events where you can learn how to play classics such as Mahjong.

Food is an eclectic mix of curries, burgers, and snacky bits with many vegan options – their veggie katsu curry is particularly popular amongst gamers. Plenty of gooey desserts are on offer for those sweet-of-tooth.

Drinks-wise, there’s a reasonable range of beers, plus some wines and cocktails – the big surprise is the extensive sake menu alongside the teas and coffees.

Opening hours Thu to Sun, two sessions per day.

Price: £5 per person per session, plus a minimum charge of £10 per person on food and drink.

Badger Badger Gaming


Badger Badger Gaming is one of the newer game cafes the capital has to offer, an extension of the great neighbourhood pub, Badger Badger.  Well known for its Japanese street food, the pub is well set up for fuelling gamers with yakitori and beer.

From the hottest new releases to classics, as well as a whole host of card games, you’ll be dying to return for a rematch. Badger Badger has more than 600 games on their shelves, including 2 player games, multi-player strategy games, fun party games and more. The friendly  team is on hand at all times to help you find the perfect game.

This London games cafe also offers a membership for £5 per month, which gives access to discounted game sessions, events and the shop.

Opening hours  Mon – Thu 10.00am – 11.00pm, Fri 10.00am to 1.00am, Sat 12.00pm to 01.00am, Sun 12.00pm to 11.00pm

Price: £5 per person per session.

Bad Moon Cafe

London Bridge

With its ultra-cool interior and huge games library, Bad Moon Cafe brings all the good vibes. From family favourites like Bananagrams and Monopoly to Catan and Warhammer, you’ve got plenty of options to choose from.

Bad Moon has 15 custom-built 6×4 gaming tables, which are perfect for those huge fantasy games (like Warhammer). Not only that, but the tables have customised terrain to match each game perfectly.

Pizza and beer are the main cafe offerings here, though there’s a few hot drinks to choose from should you need a mid-morning pick-me-up. For afternoon and evening sessions there’s a wide selection of beers and wines, plus a great choice of classic cocktails.

Opening hours Mon to Fri 2.00pm – 10.00pm, Sat 10.00am – 10.00pm, Sun 10.00am – 6.00pm

Price: £15 per table per session – for up to three people. £5 per person after this.


Multiple Locations

With locations in Stoke Newington and Peckham, as well as another stellar branch in Brighton,  Loading is one of the top board game bars London offers, with a wide selection of games and an even better selection of cocktails. Because nothing quite fuels competitiveness like a margarita.

All the bars offer game themed food with burgers, chips and snacks on the menu.

Though not content on just having more than 80 board games to choose from, Loading also offers retro arcade games and modern gaming consoles, so you can booze as you thrash your friends at FIFA.

Rogues Quarter

Kentish Town

If it’s variety you’re after, you won’t get bored at Rogues Quarter in North London. Specialising in Wargaming, the cafe boasts huge 8×4 tables and even hosts Magic The Gathering events throughout the year.

Whether you want to flex your skills in 7 Wonders or use your creativity in Hive, this board game cafe in London is filled with an abundance of games to sink your teeth into. 

But what about the food? You won’t be disappointed with the food offerings, either. With any four tapas plates for £13, you and your pals can snack as you duel. Or, take on the nacho mountain if you dare.

Opening hours Mon 6.00pm – 11.00pm, Tue to Fri 2.00pm – 11.00pm, Sat 10.00am – 11.00pm, Sun 10.00am – 6.00pm

Price: Board game hire costs £5 per person for three hours.

London’s Board Game Cafes: Map 

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