What is Snakes & Lattes?
Snakes & Lattes offers a full menu of food & drink alongside a library full of games. Delivered by savvy baristas, creative bartenders, a talented kitchen staff, and table side service, the staff are available to help guests not only by making suggestions of the menu but also of the games.
A $5 admission provides access to a public library of games, with a diversity from the classics to the modern, from dexterity to trivia, from strategy to party. Whether you come for a thirty-minute Jenga duel or for an afternoon of Eldritch Horror, Snakes & Lattes is happy to host you.
Guests can choose and play any number of the available titles that pique their interest. If picking a game ever feels like a daunting proposition, guests can invite the services of a game guru: mystical, benevolent beings that Snakes & Lattes employs to recommend and teach games.
Beyond the menu and the games libraries, Snakes & Lattes also offers a vast retail selection, whether you prefer to shop in store with the help of our staff or online with free Canadian shipping.
Snakes & Lattes opened in Toronto in autumn of 2010, the first board game café in North America. Renovated from a former coffee shop, and with an original capacity of about fifty people, the aim was to create a space for tabletop culture: a venue where guests could revisit rainy-day classics from their youth or check out modern games from all around the world, all while snacking on delicious food & drink.
We had no idea what would happen next.
The city went wild for board games! The place was packed constantly, with a two-hour wait for a table - even on Mondays! We were offering a novel experience: a chance for groups of friends to snack and socialize while playing one of the largest private collection of board games in North America. The first couple of years saw us forge ties with some amazing people, from our guests, to local hobbyists and designers, to publishers, to local coffee roasters, to our distributors, to our fulfillment clients.
So we got bigger.
When the 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 street between Markham & Palmerston. All the better to bring board games to the people of Toronto.
Soon enough, even our expanded seating capacity at Snakes & Lattes Annex wasn’t enough, and in 2013 Snakes & Lagers came to be; the board game bar became a thing. Boasting an impeccable menu and 19 beer taps, our sister bar was nestled at 488 College street in the heart of Little Italy, nearly a straight line south from the original location.
But we couldn’t stop there.
Snakes & Lagers was relatively small, and with our growing celebrity and the huge local demand we looked (across the street) to a bigger venue. What had once been the home to Toronto’s acclaimed bar, Andy Pool Hall, was redeveloped into our biggest project to date: Snakes & Lattes College. Boasting 300 seats, a library of games comparable to that of Snakes & Lattes Annex, and food and drink to rival the local bar scene along College St., Snakes & Lattes College opened its doors in September 2015.
Above all, we want people to have fun! 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. Our annual Catanathon raises thousands of dollars for charity while simultaneously subjecting our staff to a grueling mental battery. We also sponsor our local junior baseball team!
The concept has caught fire worldwide, with board game cafés and bars as close as Montreal and as far-flung as Bahrain naming us as their inspiration. 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.
What does the future hold? We don't know, but we'd love for you to be there as we find out.