Who says games are for kids? Sometimes all a night out with friends is missing is a board game (or two). From hardcore geeky game spots to chilled-out card nooks, we’ve lined up the best places to drink and play board games in Paris.
For The Adventurous:
Le Dernier Bar avant la Fin du Monde
Bar, Cocktail Bar, Vegetarian, Vegan, $$$
Courtesy of Dernier Bar avant la Fin du Monde | Le Dernier Bar avant la Fin du Monde, Paris
This self-proclaimed ‘space for the expression of imaginary cultures,’ sits in the very center of Paris and is home to all things geek, sci-fi, and fantasy. Le Dernier is a 400-square-meterheaven for playing an enormous variety of games, drinking delicious, original cocktails (try the ‘Poison Ivy’) and chilling in an anti-zombie bunker. Thematic soirées are held on a regular basis, but the ambience is always a bit off the wall: life-size dolls, comics, carefully curated medieval and steam-punk décor, and a sci-fi library.
This hidden Saint-Germain gem revolves around cartoons, comics, Disney and childhood games. Each cocktail (yes, it’s a bar after all!) is named after a cartoon character, and in order to get your Olaf or your Lucky Luke – served in a customized baby’s bottle – you need to draw the character on a little board first! There are board games at your disposal, and sometimes, when the customers are in the mood, a communal trivia round is played, with the winners getting free lollies and shots! It’s recommended to call in advance for reservations, as this bar is as popular as it is tiny.
The hippest bar on the list, Le Fantôme is not dedicated exclusively to games but it is all the more exciting for it. This big space mixes futurist and retro aesthetics, particularly appealing for those in search of an 80’s nostalgia hangout. What you’ll find here are video games, as well as Pinball, PacMan, Foosball… Just a couple fun games to accompany their elaborate cocktails, delicious pizza or to entertain yourself while waiting for its clubbing hours to start. Either way, there is nothing missing at Le Fantôme!
In the calm Sorbonne area, facing the Cluny square, Le Watt is an airy, luminous, open space were students and families alike fill their bellies with delicious, simple plates (making for excellent brunch on the weekends). On the second floor there’s a library with books, board games and cards, and the atmosphere is so relaxed and familiar that even a full poker game is encouraged! With a generous happy hour and a broad and customizable menu, entertainment is made easy!
If when strolling around Rue Mouffetard you feel like sitting down for a nice pint (Happy Hour 3:30 – 8:00) at a bar with a low-key atmosphere, Teddy’s bar is the perfect choice. Walls covered in leopard skins, Teddy’s serves a broad and monthly-changing selection of beers and cocktails, which you can sip while playing with any of their board games. Open until 5am on weekends, the life of the party is no other than René, the house cat who has got more friends on Facebook than you.
Courtesy of Le Nid | LE NID - Cocon Ludique, Paris
Between Arts et Métiers and Étienne Marcel, this ‘playful cocoon’ means business, but don’t let its thoroughness (more than 500 games available) intimidate you, it is also a charming wooden bar that will save you from many rainy afternoons. They hold a variety of events, a Sunday brunch, and the friendly staff will help you out with any advice you may need, if you’re feeling a little too overwhelmed by choices. Le Nid is also a shop, in case you want to take one the games home! Open until 1am, it’s only a few euros to play plus a drink, and you’re free to try as many games as you want!
At L’Oya there’s a very similar concept to that of Le Nid, but the peculiarity of this place is in the games themselves. Games are hunted down in the original version from all around the world, and if they become successful at the bar/shop, they will personally translate them. What’s even more special, they sometimes publish their own games, with amazing illustrations and fun rules, tailoring each of them so that every game is unique. Not so much a bar, it looks more like a club: no food is served, but for a fiver you get a drink and any of the 500+ games you may want!
Last but not least, Meisia is not to be found in the center but it’s definitely worth going out of your way for. In the creative area of Belleville, open from 2pm to midnight, you’ll find everything a board gamer can possibly ask for. Thematic soirées are held almost daily, there’s a video game night every Wednesday, tournaments and happy hours to make it even better. Meisia is also a restaurant serving tasty burgers, salads and milkshakes, and the only condition to get the dice rolling is to grab something every hour or so. If this sounds handier, they have recently opened a Meisia 2.0 at 84 Rue René Boulanger, just by République.