Places To Do: Snakes and Lattes – Toronto

“I’ve been working here for almost two years, and this place is always under renovation,” jokes the waitress as we’re waiting for a table in Toronto’s west end, just a few steps from Bathurst Subway Station at 600 Bloor Street West. It was no wonder why we had to book a table a couple of weeks in advance, as even with the expansion into the space next door, the cafe was still full to the brim with gaming enthusiasts spending their sunny Saturday afternoon tabletop gaming at Snakes and Lattes.

The premise of Snakes and Lattes is simple, novel, and uniquely stands out from the hundreds of coffee shops that you can find in the urban sprawl of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. It’s a place for friends to congregate and enjoy a delicious caffeinated beverage (or an alcoholic one on the bar side of the establishment), take in some snacks, and sit down for an hour or two with your favorite tabletop game, or perhaps a new one altogether. The cafe sports a massive collection of games on their shelves that you can rent for $5.00 per adult or $2.50 per child (under 10), that range from popular games such as Monopoly (including the Canadian and Deluxe Anniversary editions), to lesser known but highly enjoyable titles amongst the over 2,000 games available to play.

The establishment has two sides; the first side where you enter has the coffee bar with all of the featured drinks and delicacies written out on a chalkboard menu. The other side, not quite finished from a recent expansion, looks a bit more rustic, but nonetheless features an exceptionally pleasant atmosphere with hardwood floors and sharply contrasting reds, browns, and off-whites adorning the walls. The soft overhead lighting makes reading easy on the eyes and really adds to the decor.

Matt Prestwich, Cassandra Marshall, Victoria Liu-Anderson, and I sat down at our table and grabbed Cards Against Humanity to start off our experience. While we played the card game and laughed aloud at the risqué responses that we were concocting in the game, our drink and snack order arrived. I picked up a Nutella Latte to start, which was absolutely delightful – so much so that Victoria stole a sip or two while my head was turned. We also shared a meat quiche which was also quite tasty. For those with a taste for vegan delicacies, these options are also available.

As the afternoon continued, we decided to try a board game that was a bit different from what I was used to playing –  a game called Carcassonne. Carcassonne is a German board game where players select a tile each turn that has a road, a city, a cloister, or a combination thereof. The object is to complete roads end-to-end or build cities to earn points that allow you to progress along the game’s scoreboard. Once the last tile is placed, the person with the most points accumulated wins. It’s an excellent game that requires forethought and long-term strategy in order to win. While one would think that such a sprawling board game would make it difficult to also have snacks and drinks on a table of four people, the table space was more than ample to accommodate, and could have probably allowed for another one or two to be seated comfortably.

Snakes and Lattes is an excellent place to go if you’re looking to spend an afternoon with some tabletop games, hang out with your friends or family, or just enjoy a nice hot drink as the winter rolls in, bringing the colder weather along for the ride. Aspiring game creators can also bring their board games in on special Game Designers’ Nights to have like-minded designers and fellow enthusiasts take a look at the game and provide some feedback. The cafe’s homely atmosphere, excellent menu, and reasonable prices make this one of Gamer Living’s favorite Places To Do.

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