This Board Game Cafe in Peterborough Ontario Puts A Local Twist On Classic Cooking

The Boardwalk Lounge combines local artisan comfort food with a vast collection of group entertainment. This board game cafe in Peterborough is a can’t miss experience for food and fun.

board game cafe peterborough

If there is one thing that I love nearly as much as food and travel, it’s having a fun night out with friends and family. On a recent visit to Peterborough, Ontario I was introduced to a place that manages to combine the best of all three into a fun-filled experience that pairs artisan comfort food with a huge selection of board games.

On a recent tour of Peterborough and the Kawarthas with my family, I took in a lot of amazing experiences. This region of Ontario, Canada holds a special place in my heart. I was born and raised here before moving away at 20 and beginning a life of travel that has carried me through over 40 countries and counting.

The city is the gateway to cottage country in the province and sits in that sweet spot within easy reach for the Metropolitan Toronto area as well as the nation’s capital of Ottawa, but just far enough away that it offers a sense of escape from the hustle and bustle of the larger cities.

Dylan and Connor Reinhart pose with the Wagar Family at Boardwalk Lounge Peterborough
My family posing with Dylan (center-left) and Connor (center-right) Reinhart of the Boardwalk Lounge Peterborough

This city has begun to embrace its cottage-country vibe. And a new generation has given rise to a phenomenal food scene that caters as much to locals as it does to the crowd of weekend warriors making their way to the innumerable lakes and rivers that draw visitors from around the world.

In recent years, Peterborough has been on a tear of exciting attraction launches that include a world-class escape maze, ax-throwing clubs, one of the world’s best free-to-enter small zoos, and a free summer concert series that draws world-class entertainment. In fact, I was introduced to this board game cafe on one of my most entertaining weekends in Peterborough.

Introducing Boardwalk Lounge

Family playing board games at a cafe in Peterborough
The moment my son realizes he made a big mistake.

The Boardwalk Lounge is one of the new breed of engaging experiences in Peterborough. This downtown cafe, located on the main drag, George St. is the brainchild of brothers Dylan and Connor Reinhart. Connor, an experienced chef whose experience has focused on high-end cuisine, and Dylan, a self-professed “boardgame nerd” combined their skill sets to draw locals and visitors out of their homes for some fun and food, and they’ve lit a spark in the downtown scene while doing it.

Boardwalk Lounge has 10 tables available. And far from an in-and-out experience, this lounge is all about taking your time and enjoying the experience. There are even multiple copies of the most popular games to ensure that everyone has a chance to play their favorites.

There are more than 400 board games for guests to choose from. And, if you aren’t keen on reading instructions, worry not. Dylan is more than happy to share his ridiculously vast knowledge of the games on offer to help fast-track you and your party to the starting line.

Something that I absolutely loved about Boardwalk Lounge Peterborough was that the fun doesn’t have to stop when the food is done and the games are put away.

Boardgame sales helped Dylan and Connor survive the business downturn that resulted from the 2020 pandemic. And guests can purchase the board games that they fell in love with during their visit. There are many games in stock for purchase and others can be ordered to pick up on your next visit.

The Food At Boardwalk Lounge

Let’s face it, board games are a blast. But you come to Flavor the Globe to hear about the food. And Boardwalk Lounge Peterborough delivers. Chef Connor has a background in fine cuisine. But, as a man with a solid understanding of his audience, he opted to pair the Boardwalk Lounge atmosphere with the type of dining that encourages a fun and social atmosphere.

The Boardwalk Lounge menu is lined with traditional Canadian comfort food. All of the dishes on offer are crafted using local ingredients and take Connor’s unique approach to healthy, locally-sourced takes on classic Canadiana.

While the menu features classic meals such as sandwiches and cookies, a perfect example of this unique and creative approach to casual dining is Connor’s signature ‘mac & cheese’.

Boardwalk Cafe Mac & Cheese

classic mac and cheese from Boardwalk game cafe in Peterborough
Connor’s classic mac & cheese

One of the most tried and true Canadian comfort foods is the cheese powder-based Kraft Dinner, or KD as it’s affectionately known. Canadian kids grow up with ‘KD’ as the go-to easy weekend lunch. And it’s become a staple among families across the Great White North.

While many Macaroni and Cheese chefs tend to steer as far from the Kraft model as possible when creating their delicacies, Connor took the opposite approach. He designed his signature mac & cheese to be as close as possible to that classic dish, but rather than using the chemicals and food coloring of the original, he uses all-natural local ingredients.

I was hesitant about whether he could pull this off. But pretty soon I was shoveling mouthfuls and begging for more.

The mac & cheese dish can be eaten classic style, or be mixed with fillers including pulled chicken, bacon, pulled jackfruit, pickled jalapeno, and much more.

Sandwiches

Chicken and Brie Sandwich from the Peterborough board game cafe
Braised brisket and brie sandwich with kettle chips

Sandwiches are another popular dining choice at the Boardwalk Lounge Peterborough. These again, are all made in-house. You’ll find classic favorites such as the braised brisket and brie grilled cheese mixed in with unique offerings including their roasted sweet potato sandwich which combines spiced sweet potato, red onion, arugula, garlic aioli, and cranberry-apple chutney on a sweet roll with a side of kettle chips. Perfect finger food for a night of board games and friends.

Cookies & Cream

Boardwalk Lounge Chocolate Chip Cookies
Classic chocolate chip cookies with Kawartha Dairy Ice Cream

It wouldn’t be a complete night out unless there were some treats to be had. And sticking with the comfort food theme, chef Connor whips up some delectable homemade cookies that are perfectly moist on the inside and satisfyingly crunchy on the edges.

The cookies, which are baked fresh and need to be ordered about 25-minutes ahead of time, are worth the wait. Each face-sized cookie can be paired with a side of local Kawartha Dairy ice cream in flavors that include vanilla, Salted caramel, and chocolate.

There is no finer way to end a night of board game fun than with the classic chocolate chip. However, if chocolate chip cookies aren’t your thing, Connor also offers ginger molasses, oatmeal raisin, and apple crumble for guests to enjoy.

Local Craft Beers

Keeping their finger on the trigger of the ‘buy local’ atmosphere that is ripe in the city, Dylan and Connor offer a wide range of local beers to enjoy with your meal and board game fun. All of the brews on offer come from within the Kawarthas, many from Peterborough itself. You’ll find Paddler’s Ale, which is brewed by the Peterborough-based Publican Brewery and whose sales support the very cool Canadian Canoe Museum which lies within the city.

You’ll also find beers from local establishments including the light and refreshing Raspberry Wheat by Kawartha Lakes Brewery, and a personal favorite, Scottie by Old Dog Brewery, which is based in nearby Bobcaygeon.

Classic Cooking Mixed With Social Fun Shows That Boardwalk Lounge Peterborough Has Their Finger On The Pulse Of The City

The past two years have been a challenge as society carefully emerges from strict lockdowns amidst a pandemic that some feared would change the world as we know it.

As groups slowly begin to test their social circles once more, this board game cafe in Peterborough offers the ideal setting for friends to meet up and enjoy quality food, local beers, and good times together.

I love it when creativity combines with fine cooking to create something new and exciting. This local business in Peterborough, Ontario has withstood the hard times and is poised to become of the most popular things to do in Peterborough.

Disclosure: This article was made possible with the support of Peterborough and the Kawarthas Tourism for more information on the wide range of experiences in and around the city please visit their website. I would like to humbly thank them for their support. All opinions remain our own.

Pin This Post For Later:

Peterborough board game cafe

Leave a Reply