An alternative title for this article could be ‘Cafés to visit when you’re tired of Clarke Quay and Club Street’. It can be hard to think of things to do with your friends in Singapore on the weekends that don’t involve going to the bar – doubly so, if you would prefer to go somewhere indoors and air conditioned. Here’s our roundup of Singapore’s board game cafés that will fill that Saturday void for you in a wholesome and competitive way.
Coffeemin is essentially a deluxe board game café. Besides an impressive collection of standard board games, they also offer up a dozen Xbox games and a handful of LAN games. Not wanting to leave anyone out, Coffeemin is happy to host people who want to use the space for co-working and they also have the facilities to host corporate and other events.
The Mind Café
Cafe, Contemporary, North American, Ramen
The Mind Café is the best place to go for an afternoon (or nighttime) spent playing board games. At $3 per hour per person on weekdays and $4 per hour on weekends, public holidays and the eve of public holidays, you’ll be hard pressed to find a cheaper nighttime activity. Besides having Singapore’s largest collection of board games, The Mind Café also has Game Facilitators who can help you with setting up the games and learning the rules. When you’re feeling peckish, dive into their menu where you’ll find Singaporean café staples like lasagna, chicken with rice and more.
Battle Bunker, located in the heart of Singapore in Bugis+, is the country’s largest game location. Battle Bunker is divided into two sections; one side is retail, where the shop carries a large selection of merchandise ranging from popular board games and trading cards to modeling kits and action figures. The second half is the huge Gaming Arena where you can rent games from their games library – the vast setup is perfect for holding large-scale tournaments and even team bonding events followed by casual gaming sessions. Battle Bunker currently only sells bottled drinks, and furthermore they do not allow food at the gaming tables, so plan your visit to include a stop at one of the many restaurants in Bugis+.
Cafe, Contemporary, North American
Settler’s Café opened over a decade ago, in 2003. It was the first board game café to open on the island and offers the widest selection of table-top games. At Settler’s, the hope is that by spending time playing board games, you will actually get off your phone and talk to your friends! They hope that by having the board games, it will cut the stress of trying to make small talk. Settler’s Café also has a comprehensive food and beverage menu and most purchases will get you and a friend a few hours of complimentary gaming time.
Old School Delights
Cafe, Fusion, Asian
Old School Delights doubles down on the themes with both retro and school cafeteria themes. The store is stocked with vintage toys, with the décor to complement it. Think CRT televisions, rotary phones and typewriters. Although not a traditional board game café, the shop is full of the classic games you played in your childhood. For food, expect typical hawker fare such as laksa, nasi lemak and mee siam, with a modern twist.