Step into Pitstop Café, and you’re immediately surrounded by dozens of friendly faces you’ve never laid eyes on before. Almost every inch of the walls is covered with photos of smiling visitors, giving the cosy café a warm and homey feel. Take off your shoes and get comfortable as you tuck into home-made Western fare and gourmet coffee; you can take your pick from grilled teriyaki chicken chop, fish and chips, happy wings and more. Each day of the week is a different theme: Students’ Night on Monday, Ladies’ Night on Wednesday and Corporate Night on Thursday. With over 200 fascinating games and the beats of 98.7FM pumping in the background, there’s no room for ‘board’-dom here. 14B Circular Road (6535 5383, www.pitstopcafe.com.sg). MRT: City Hall. Mon-Thu 2-11pm, Fri & Sat noon-3am, Sun noon-11pm.
As the first board-game café to set up shop in Singapore, Settlers has left a trail for others to follow since 2003. Started by four friends in their late twenties with a mutual love for board games, the chic hangout is decked out mostly in black with a few splashes of colour. Feel free to lounge on the snug couches, or get hyped up playing one of their 550 carefully selected board games from all over the world. Munch on unique snacks like Settlers Strips ($3.90) made out of crispy fish strips, or try their Purple Dinosaur ($4.90) blackcurrant soda. This trendy, laidback haunt and its friendly staff are ideal for hanging out with friends and family, or even to host corporate seminars and workshops. Be sure to make a reservation to beat the crowd. 39 North Canal Road (6535 0435, www.settlerscafe.com). MRT: Clarke Quay. Tue-Thu 2-11pm, Fri 2pm-1.30am, Sat noon-1.30am, Sun noon-11pm
The Mind Café
Another early pioneer of board-game cafes, The Mind Café has four outposts with the flasghip outlet at Boat Quay. Enjoy scenic views of the Singapore River as you recline on lush sofas scattered over three levels. With over 2,000 games for all ages and interests, you can head over for family outings, birthday parties, company events and gatherings with friends. If you’re unable to take your pick from their wide selection, the friendly crew will give you the lowdown on games of strategy, action, memory, medieval, fantasy and more; you won’t be lacking choice here. Take advantage of their promotions like happy hours, party hours, Night Fever and Midnight Fever – all under $20 and inclusive of hours of board-gaming, free-flow of drinks and discounts for the delicious variety of pastas, snacks, lasagne and rich desserts. 68 Boat Quay (6334 4427, www.themindcafe.com.sg). MRT: Raffles Place. Tue-Thu & Sun 2-11pm, Fri & Sat 2pm-2am.
De Coder’s Café
Situated in the heartlands since 2007, De Coder’s Café promotes a holistic concept of engaging the mind, body and soul by creating an inviting environment, offering reasonably priced services, games for leisure and good food. With a simple red and black theme covering everything from chairs to pillows to soft toys, the place is stylish yet welcoming. A good mix of English, Chinese and Korean songs entertains students from nearby tertiary institutions, who make up the bulk of the customers. The extensive menu boasts pastas, wings, noodles, burgers, tortilla wraps, ice cream, cakes, milkshakes and more. Treat your tastebuds to their original items like Black Pepper Pasta ($9.90), Teriyaki Pasta ($9.90) and Peanut Butter Milkshake ($4.50). Choose from over 400 games to play, including the locally themed Journal Singapore, Weird Tales and Moneytalk. Blk 320, Clementi Avenue 4, #01-15 (6779 4845, www.decoderscafe.com). MRT: Clementi. Tue-Thu & Sun 2-10pm, Fri & Sat 2pm-2am.
All on board!