Top 5 Board Game Pubs and Cafes in Manchester

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Whether you’re an aficionado or a newbie, board game cafés are great places to get together with friends and play!

Board games can afford you hours of fun (and just maybe a little frustration - seriously, we still can’t talk about Christmas ’08), so what if we said you can play a wide range of retro games with your best friends and a pint in your hand? Manchester is full of fun places to play - here’s our list of the best:

Fan Boy 3

25 Hilton St, Manchester M1 1EL

FanBoy 3 was voted the UK's favourite boardgame store in 2019 by UK Boardgaming Trading and Chat, and it’s easy to see why - they’re mad for board games, card games and all thing fantasy! With a cafe to keep you fed while you play, you can book tables in advance or simply show up, with table space available from 11am-5pm on weekdays and subject to availability up until 10pm (evenings and weekends get pretty busy). Everyone is super friendly and staff are very knowledgable and keen to introduce newbies to their favourite games!

For just £3 per adult (and £1 for under-14s) you get access to their library of over 500 games, including Dungeons and Dragons, Pathfinder, Tales from the Loop and many more. If you want to play miniature games, just bring your armies and they provide mats and scenery for £4 per person.

Check out their website for their online shop, huge list of in-store events (more than any other board game cafe in the UK), or to book a table.

GoodTime Games

Image © Facebook via @GoodtimeGames.Manc

212 Burton Way, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2LW  

As they say themselves, “Let the Good Times roll!”

If you’re new, this is how it works: you book a table for a £1.50 deposit which will be taken off your tab (walk-ins are possible but, with only 7 tables, booking is advised), and you can book for up to 3 hours at £3 per hour (capped at £8).

When you arrive a member of staff will usually bring you a few recommended games and teach you one of them - you can, of course, choose your own, however they want to make sure that you get the most out of your visit by playing something that is appropriate in terms of skill-level and the amount of time you have at your table.

Everything on the menu is vegan or vegetarian, ethically sourced and selected for minimal packaging, with a wide-selection of drinks including teas, locally roasted coffee (with alternative milks at no extra cost), smoothies and milkshakes PLUS a range of alcoholic drinks including vegan wine, draft beers and cocktails!

Click here to book a table, or check out their great Games Library with filters for playing time, game mechanics, themes and much more, so that you can choose the perfect game(s) to get lost in on your visit.

Buzzin’ Meeples

219 Bury Old Rd, Prestwich, Manchester M25 1JF

This is technically not a cafe - but hot and cold drinks and snacks are available in store from 'The Tuck Shop'. After 6pm alcohol can only be consumed on-site (by adults) for a corkage fee of £3.

Buzzin Meeples has a very local and independent community feel to it, with games (over 600 of them) available for in-store play and take-home rental if the owners know and trust you. They also have a small selection of games available to buy in-store AND, if you really enjoyed playing a game that in not available to take away, the owners are more than happy to source it themsleves through their network - now that’s customer service!

From £2.50 per person per hour, you can book a table here

Cosy Club

Corn Exchange, 37 Hanging Ditch, Manchester, M4 3TR 

Manchester’s Cosy Club is a great spot for a group of friends who can’t decide what they want - you can get breakfast, dinner, hot meals, little snacks, baked goods and a whole host of cocktails. This Instagram worthy hangout is perfect for a board game tournament with friends, and they have a wide selection of games for you to use, from Dominoes, chess and Scrabble to Connect 4, Pictionary and Cranium. 

The Cathedral Room has long tables that are perfect for parties with plenty of players.

Book a table here


Image © Facebook via @HOMEmcr

2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN 

While it’s not a board games cafe per se, you couldn’t have a list like this and not mention HOME - known officially as the centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film, the building boasts two cinemas and an open social space split across three floors which is perfect for bringing your board games and setting down to play for as long as you like, with  a bar that serves coffee, snacks and alcohol - enjoy yourselves and do your best to reign in your competitive side!

No need to book - there’s plenty of space!