Cafe Taktik, Gothenburg: Sweden’s first board game cafe

Cafe Taktik

While it might not be in the top tier of European tourist destinations, Sweden’s second city Gothenburg has plenty going for it: Liseberg Amusement park, the cobbled shopping streets of Haga, great second hand record shops – and Sweden’s first board game cafe.

(2020 update: Unfortunately, Cafe Taktik is no more – but I wanted to leave this post up for my own memories and its historical value. However, visitors to the city should instead now head to Science Fiction-Bokhandeln – a fantastic book and board game store in the city centre that also has a lovely cafe. It has a small selection of games to play, but many more to buy – and you can bring your own.) 

Cafe Taktik has a great central location on Wadmansgaten,  just a mile from the station and a few steps from the nearest tram and bus lines (Berzeliigatan). Its closed on Mondays, but otherwise you can game from lunchtime until 10pm in a lovely relaxed atmosphere.

The game selection is impressive, with 450+ titles, so you won’t have a problem finding something to play. I saw pretty much every classic I could want to find and their website has a full alphabetical list if you want to check it before going. The only slight criticism was I saw very few titles from this year’s Essen on display (they did have Codenames).

On entering we were given a warm welcome and asked if we needed any help in choosing a game. Once we said no we were politely left to our own devices – just about the perfect reception. The table cover charge is generous too – probably too generous. 50kr (about £4) and we could play for the whole day, despite arriving at about 1pm.

cafe taktik cakeThat said, we did spend plenty of food and drinks. The coffee was really good and if you just took filtered you could get top-ups for just 20kr (less than £2) all day.

I also had a really lovely slice of home-made choccy cake and possibly the most ill-advised lunch you could want to serve in a board game space – a super greasy and overflowing melted brie and salami sandwich on a tiny plate. It was small, but pretty cheap (under £3) and really tasty.

I really enjoyed our afternoon in Cafe Taktik. We played four games (Jaipur, Stone Age, Africana and Kingdom Builder) and if we hadn’t have had other plans I’d have happily returned another day for a second session. There was a steady flow of customers, despite it not being the best of days, so its clearly doing things right.

It’s hard to find a downside, but the lack of tables was a shame – I think there were eight in total, with one large enough to take two groups (or a big game like Arkham with expansions). It filled up a couple of times while we were there and I can see them having to turn people away on even a slightly busy day, which seems a shame. Perhaps a less prominent but bigger space may be a better option.

I’m lucky to have friends in Göteborg (the native spelling) and always enjoy my time in the city. Now I’ve got yet another reason to keep going back regularly – and a stop in at Cafe Taktik will definitely be on the agenda for future visits.

*Photos taken from the official Cafe Taktik Facebook page

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