A Guide to the Best Board Game Pubs in Brussels

Chess  |  © iluvgadgets/Flickr
Chess | © iluvgadgets/Flickr
Photo of camilla colavolpe
12 April 2017

It is a cold and rainy afternoon in Brussels; you don’t want to stay at home but the idea of going to the cinema or grabbing a beer for the millionth time is equally unappealing. What about challenging your friends to playing a few board games in a comfortable café or pub? Switch up your plans and head out to these Brussels hotspots to spend your evening with friends, board games and drinks.

Cafè Kafka

Cafe, Coffee, $$$
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Café Kafka | © Eoghan Olionnain/Flickr
Café Kafka | © Eoghan Olionnain/Flickr
Stepping into the Café Kafka means entering another world. In fact, this cultural café changes its atmosphere several times a day. From a quiet spot where to read a book or playing board games with friends, to a lively place with numerous events, this place is in a constant metamorphosis, finding its inspiration in Kafka’s masterpiece.

Au Bassin

Cafe, Coffee, $$$
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Just around the corner from the lively Sainte Catherine’s square, is a 19th-century industrial building, formerly part of the Brussels harbor, which has been recently been transformed into a bar. Au Bassin Brussels is the perfect place to explore new worlds – thanks to its vast selection of travel books – or an opportunity to challenge your friends with one of the many board games piled high on its shelves. Get lost in a great read or play some games indoors under the café’s charming terrace with a stained glass rooftop. Au Bassin is definitely an address to keep in mind where you are looking for a place to handle the rainy day blues.

Café Des Halles

Market, Coffee, $$$
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Café des Halles | © Oscar.dj / Courtesy of Café Des Halles
Café des Halles | © Oscar.dj / Courtesy of Café Des Halles
Launched in 1882, Café Des Halles was initially a market. Nowadays, its airy and lean architectural lines make this place very versatile. Hosting several cultural events related to the city of Brussels, its vast selection of beers make this place an established hang out for locals and expats. But few know that this is also a great place to play the most classic of board games: chess. As it is the only board game allowed, it is not rare to spot couples challenging their horses and queens from morning till night.

Monk Bar

Bar, Restaurant, Cafe, Belgian, European, $$$
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Monk Bar
Monk Bar | Courtesy of Monk Bar
Situated in the picturesque Sainte Catherine’s area is this spacious yet intimate bar named Monk Bar, which has games such as chess, checkers, playing cards and even a classic Flemish game called Pitjeback. If this isn’t enough for your tastes, fear not – your own board games are allowed.

CHAFF

Bar, Brasserie, Restaurant, French, $$$
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Place Jeu de Balle, the true heart of Marolles, is very well known for its 365-day flea market, which gathers both locals and expats from all over Brussels. After some intense bargain-hunting in the square, why not play a board game at CHAFF? In this nearby bar/brasserie, attended by an artsy clientele, you can also enjoy a live concert and sip a drink.

Théâtre Royal de Toone

Bar, Beer
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Théâtre Royal de Toone | Courtesy of the Théâtre Royal de Toone
Théâtre Royal de Toone | Courtesy of the Théâtre Royal de Toone
Tucked away in the cobblestoned alleys of the historic center of Brussels, Théâtre Royal de Toone, a vintage puppet theatre, is a typical Brusseleirspace which stands out from the crowd. The bar inside displays an enchanting environment made up of wooden walls, handmade puppets and posters for sale which all serve as the backdrop for the perfect board game night.

La Belladone

Cafe, Beer, $$$
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The Belladone is a plant with a fascinating history dating back to ancient times. But in Brussels, when you mention Belladone, you are referring to an enchanting Eastern European cultural café in haute Saint-Gilles, with warm wooden walls and a shiny round counter. Here, between a sip of beer or of the aromatic vodka named nastoïki,you may lose yourself in a game (or two) of chess.

Chez Moeder Lambic Original

Bar, Beer, $$$
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Chez Moeder Lambic | Courtesy of Camilla Colavolpe
Chez Moeder Lambic | Courtesy of Camilla Colavolpe
Besides its outstanding choice of beers and the assistance offered by helpful waiters in choosing your perfect brew, Moeder Lambic Original also offers a great selection of board games, Moreover, customers are warmly welcomed to bring their own games.

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