Apartment Living BlogFood & Entertaining › Bored in Portland? Go Play a Board Game!

Although it’s hard to imagine being bored in a city with as much to do and see as Portland, visitors and local dwellers who are looking for a bit of lighthearted mental stimulation might consider gathering a group of friends together to go out and play … board games! Game nights, always popular with families, have extended beyond the home and have now become a fully viable option for kids of all ages. Portland has a variety of bars, restaurants and shops that allow patrons to borrow any number of classic and modern board games to enjoy while eating, drinking or simply relaxing. Here is a list of several standout locales.

The Critical Sip
345 SE Taylor St.

If a bar is located within a game store (namely, Portland’s Guardian Games, which bills itself as Nerdopolis), you better believe there’s going to be some good entertainment served up with the brew. Every night is busy at the Critical Sip, where a solid wall of board games awaits to please even the geekiest of gamers. The low-key atmosphere is perfect for adult birthday parties or just winding down after work with some Dungeons & Dragons, ale and a few buddies. Some nights feature pizza and BYO game activities, and you may even find love at one of its singles’ gaming events. Obviously, you can’t take the kids into this area, but Guardian Games itself has plenty of activities for the under-21 set, including game leagues specifically for youngsters.

Tea Chi Te
734 NW 23rd Ave.

Not in the mood for a beer? Tea Chi Te is the spot to be. With more than 120 varieties of teas (including a full menu of bubble/boba!) plus an inviting vibe and charming outdoor patio, it’s easy to see why this tea room has been featured on multiple seasons of Portlandia. It’s the perfect spot to roll dice on a first date or with a small group of friends. There are two locations: the original in Nob Hill and the newest in Sellwood.

Thinker Toys
7784 SW Capitol Hwy.

If you’re tired of shelling out ever-increasing numbers of Hamiltons for games your kids end up deciding are “bo-o-orrrring,” take the family over to Thinker Toys in Multnomah Village. This fun locale has a huge variety of board games suitable for all ages, many of which can be test-driven in the store’s own “game library.” Stay and play awhile! Thinker Toys also wins customer raves for its overall inventory of unique toys, so be sure to stop by when looking for a cool birthday gift for your favorite kid.



Tugboat Brewing Co.
711 SW Ankeny St.

This cozy spot downtown offers up a warm, speakeasy-meets-library feel with a variety of craft beers ready on tap (try the Chernobyl Stout). And, of course, a nice variety of board games — as well as books — makes it the perfect spot to relax with a friend or even by yourself. Feel like playing cards? Ask the bartender for a pack, kept behind the bar. Many locals cite this as a classic place to take out-of-towners to get a real “Portland” vibe.

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Green Dragon Bistro & Pub
928 SE 9th Ave.

This roomy pub in southeast Portland has plenty of space — both indoors and out — to accommodate a crowd without feeling cramped. Bring all your friends! The board game selection encompasses everything from Scrabble to Jenga, so down one (or two or three) of 56 rotating beers on tap and get to work playing. The Green Dragon also has an interesting menu, including such fare as kimchi fries and a chorizo mac ‘n cheese. Kids are allowed before 8 p.m., and dogs are welcome anytime, so long as they stay out on the patio.

Is reading more your thing? Check out the 7 Best Bookstores in Portland.

Are you now convinced to make the move? Check out all available apartment homes in Portland, OR here.

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Amber is the Director of Content Marketing for ForRent.com and has been with the company since April 2007. In her role, Amber strategizes, executes and optimizes a content and social media plans across multiple channels and platforms. This includes blogs, social networks, video sharing sites, and other conversational media. She spends a great deal of time building relationships with consumers, social media influencers, and bloggers to generate awareness of the ForRent.com brands. In her free time, Amber loves running, #hashtags, and DIY projects.

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