Board game cafés in Amsterdam
Why should kids hold the monopoly on playing games? In recent years, board game cafes have popped up across the city, and you’ll also find countless cosy pubs with games on offer. We’ve listed a few of our favourite spots, so you’re not scrabbling around to find them. Shuffle the deck, roll the dice and settle down for some fun!
While away a few hours on a rainy afternoon at Café Bosco in Oud-West, where the warm living room atmosphere and games selection will keep you going for hours. Play classics like Settlers of Catan, Cards Against Humanity and Rummikub - all complimented by hearty pub food, sandwiches, beers and bar snacks.
With its friendly vibes and excellent beer selection, our favourite neighbourhood joint in Oost, Bar Joost, is the perfect bar to cosy on down with a board game or puzzle for the night. The owners are super clued up and passionate about the local brewing scene, so be sure to wash down your games night with a sit-down beer tour.
House of Watt
Play everything from 30 seconds to Risk or Monopoly at House of Watt in Oost, which has a cupboard full of board games, as well as three shuffleboards and table football. This spot welcomes game meetups and has ample space for larger groups, so they’ll be sure to squeeze you in if you fancy organising a regular game get-together.
Word on the street is that 2 Klaveren in Oud-West is the absolute top when it comes to retro game cafes in Amsterdam. Lose yourself for hours in a game of Scrabble, Poker, Go, Majong or Darts. Or join their dedicated meetups for Backgammon, Bridge and Magic the Gathering, with tournaments happening weekly. The bar snack menu is just as traditionally Dutch as the atmosphere!
Armoury Bar in the Jordaan is a medieval-style board game tavern with over 250 tabletop games, board games and videogames to explore. The staff are highly knowledgeable and passionate about everything gaming, so they’ll be sure to help you choose the right game to suit your playing style - or suggest something completely new to try.
This low-key bruin cafe (brown bar) in Oud-West offers the perfect opportunity to find some quintessentially Dutch cosiness on a wet and windy afternoon. The menu at Café Thuys is as soul-warming as the atmosphere, with snack plates, soups, stews, burgers and more to feast on. Have a rummage through their great range of retro board games, cards and trivia quizzes.
TonTon Club West
The ultimate gaming Valhalla! This arcade hall lives up to its motto as a play paradise for adults. At TonTon Club West, you can play everything from fighting and shooter games like Street Fighter to FIFA and air hockey. But they also have a whole host of traditional board games on hand for when you fancy winding down with something a little less intense.
Festina Lente is a living room cafe in the Jordaan that prides itself on taking life a little slower. That makes it the perfect cosy spot to get stuck into an afternoon board game for a few hours or perhaps a round of cards with a great view of the canal. And if you keep an eye on their Facebook page, you’ll also find a great range of pub quizzes and other activities on the agenda.
The Boardroom, Haarlem
This cosy boardgame café in Haarlem has a colossal offering, which makes it feel like you’re browsing through a retro video rental store in the 90s. All the games are categorised by difficulty level in relation to the Settlers of Catan and colour-coded into themes. That makes it super easy to know what you’re in for when you pick something out - though, of course, the staff can give you top-notch advice. For €5 per person, you can play as many games as you want and you also get a discount on purchases in the adjoining shop.
Schaakcafe Het Hok
“Beer and food and sports. Jazzy after eight.” is the appropriate tagline of this shabby chic pub - something of a hidden gem around the more commercial Leidseplein area. Schaakcafe Het Hok has been a household name in Amsterdam since 1972, known for its cheap pints, chess and backgammon tables. In the evening hours, you can enjoy live music to soothe the pain of your brain melting.