is North America's premiere board game café. Located steps from Bathurst station at the intersection of three eclectic neighbourhoods, we offer a library of thousands of playable games old and new.
Visitors can choose and play any games that pique their interest. If picking a game is too daunting a proposition, our patrons can enlist the services of a GAME GURU: mystical, benevolent beings we employ to recommend and teach games.
We offer a full menu of food & drink, painstakingly put together by our talented baristas and top-notch kitchen team. Refreshments are hand-delivered to the table by friendly and attentive servers with a passion for games and a knack for good service. Try asking them about their favourite board games sometime.
We love games, and we want you to feel the same way. Conversely, we don't want you to feel rushed or have to abandon a game, so our cover charge is simply five dollars per person. Whether you come for a thirty-minute Jenga duel or for an afternoon of Eldritch Horror, we are happy to have you, to feed you, and to put coffee in you.
We also have a vast retail selection both in-store and online, so that we can put the best games in your house, even though it might mean we'll see less of you.
Come roll the dice with us; you won't be disappointed. Game on!
Snakes & Lattes opened in Toronto in autumn of 2010, the first board game café in North America. Renovated from a former Coffee Time (we had to tear down the smoker's section) and with a capacity of about fifty people, our aim was to create a space for tabletop culture, a venue where guests could revisit rainy-day classics from their youth as well as check out modern games from all around the world while snacking on delicious food & drink.
We had no idea what would happen next.
The city went bonkers for board games; the place was packed constantly, with a two-hour wait for a table even on Mondays. We purveyed a novel experience, a chance for groups of friends to snack and socialize while playing the largest private collection of board games in North America. The first couple of years saw us forge ties with an amazing roastery in Te Aro (now Pilot) and with an array of exemplary board game companies who were watching what we were doing with great interest, including the loveable jerks responsible for Cards Against Humanity.
So we got bigger, because we had to.
When the electronics store next door decided to move, we had a great opportunity. We tore down the wall between the units and doubled in size, and since then we've grown even bigger, taking up a fair chunk of Bloor between Markham & Palmerston streets. All the better to bring board games to the people of Toronto.
Soon we were big enough for two, and in 2013 Snakes & Lagers came to be; the board game bar was now a thing. Boasting an impeccable menu and 19 beer taps, our sister bar is nestled in the heart of Little Italy, nearly a straight line south from the original location. They're well worth a visit; there's something primally satisfying about mixing cocktails with Battleship.
All throughout our history, we've been deeply involved in local community, working together with the Harbourfront Centre and the Toronto Public Library as well as with Greater Toronto Area youth groups, teaching the value of games for conversation and cooperation. Our annual Movember Catanathon raises thousands of dollars for charity while simultaneously subjecting our staff to a grueling mental battery. We also sponsored a junior baseball team! (Baseball is a game, right?)
The concept has caught fire worldwide, with board game cafés and bars as close as Montreal and as far-flung as Bahrain claiming us as their inspiration. There even opened a handful of unaffiliated cafés right here in Toronto! It may be corny, but we're ecstatic that board games are transcending borders both physical and cultural, and we believe that it's not where you're playing, but who you're playing with. (Also, what you're playing is pretty important.)
Though we may never be as ubiquitous as Starbucks or as big as our neighbour Honest Ed's, we're constantly trying to improve and to engage our customers. Above all, we want yoy to have fun! There's a relevant saying about all work and no play that we have written down somewhere around here...
What does the future hold? We don't know, but we'd love for you to be there as we find out.