Where to play games in Raleigh, NC

A full house for Dungeons & Dragons | Photo by Side Quest Game, Lounge + Bar

Whether you’re a serious Dungeons & Dragons adventurer or you simply enjoy the nostalgia of board games, Side Quest Game Lounge + Bar (317 W. Morgan St.) may be the spot for you. 

William Parker and Mike Reid opened this gamer sanctuary in 2021. Side Quest is the only strictly gaming spot in Raleigh with a full bar, offering 300+ familiar and specialty board games, adult ice cream floats + food to bring you back to a child-like-state (think: ants on a log).

“The bar is a combination of life misspent,” William told RALtoday. “When I was growing up and felt like an outsider or an outcast, this is a place where I probably could have come and hung out and everybody would be like, ‘Hey, it’s good to see ya.” 

Every Tuesday night, the bar hosts a Dungeons & Dragons night starting at “7ish.” Both beginners and pros are invited to join. If you’re a first time player, we recommend showing up early to set up your character (don’t worry — experts will walk you through the process). 

Side Quest is a place where you can be your true and authentic self through gaming explained William. “You go to your day job everyday, and then you can come here to participate + be creative.” 

On the weekends, gamers and families set up shop with different board games (some players stick around all day). Make a reservation to secure a table.

It’s always fun to come in and see folks that maybe wouldn’t feel as comfortable walking in somewhere else. And they come in here and they have a great time,” William said. Everybody’s welcome here. It doesn’t matter who you are.”

Below is 10 more places to get your game on in the Triangle.

Board games

Mid-game at The Kitchen Table | Photo by RALtoday

Side Quest, 317-113 W. Morgan St. | Monday-Thursday, 5-11 p.m. + Friday-Saturday, times vary

The Kitchen Table, 629 Creedmoor Rd. | Wednesday-Sunday, times vary 

Cary Board Tavern, 107 Edinburgh S. Dr., Cary | Monday-Sunday, times vary  

Meeple’s Brew | 821 Bass Pro Ln., Cary | Tuesday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Arcade games

Boxcar Bar + Arcade, 330 W. Davie St. | Monday-Friday, 4 p.m-1 a.m. + Saturday-Sunday, times vary

Tobacco Road, 505 W. Jones St. | Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. + Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.- 12 a.m.

Boxcar Bar + Arcade | Photo by RALtoday

Pool

The Avenue, 3 Glenwood Ave. (plus a few arcade games) | Monday-Thursday, 4 p.m.-2 a.m. + Friday-Sunday, times vary

Pantana’s Pool House, 3112 Hillsborough St. | Sunday-Friday, 3 p.m.-2 a.m. + Saturday, 12 p.m.-2 a.m.

Circa 1888, 412 W. Davie St. | Monday-Sunday, 3 p.m.-2 a.m.

Yard Games

Bowstring, 1930 Wake Forest Rd. | Monday-Sunday, times vary

The Crazy Axe, 3141 Capital Blvd. | Monday-Thursday, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. + Friday-Sunday, times vary