Game Site Reviews

Game Venue Review: Mancala Monk

We reviewed Mancala Monk in Hamilton, Ontario - a modern style gaming cafe with lots of room

Mancala Monk

1229 Cannon St E, Hamilton, ON L8H 1T8 | (905) 393-6815
Gaming Cafe

Rating ♟♟♟♟

Rating Breakdown

Cost to Play ♟♟♟♟♟ Accessibility ♟♟ _ _ _  Atmosphere ♟♟♟_ _

Menu Cost ♟♟♟♟_   Parking ♟♟♟♟ _ Community ♟♟♟♟ _

Admittedly, I’ve never played Mancala. I’ve seen it back on Neopets back in the day, but never fully understood it. Luckily no knowledge of the game was necessary for our visit to the Mancala Monk.

Mancala Monk is situated near Cannon and Ottawa and has a welcoming exterior. There is a small curb to get past getting into the door which does not have an accessibility access.

Once inside the interior is nicely appointed and decorated. Games line the walls with easy to access shelving. When I first saw all the games waiting, I was overwhelmed with what to try. My gaming partners and I picked out some new ones to try and ordered some snacks.


The snack costs fell in line with what we have experienced in previous venues like Gameopolis. The snacks are on the higher side cost wise, but are still delicious and refreshing. Portion sizes were considerable though, less the tiny Perrier that one of my associates ordered. Liquor licensed, I didn’t really see any drinks being ordered as we were in the midday rush, but it was a nice option.

Cost of admission was $5 for 3 hours of play which is loosely enforced. My comrades and I played for 3.5 hours and definitely felt like we got our money’s worth.

Sidewalk sign from Mancala Monk board game cafe in Hamilton ON

In the time we were there, the store seemed to ebb and flow from full to half-full. We came at a prime time on a weekend, and called ahead. When I asked about reservations, they recommended making one and took it easily. I love the great customer service here.

When we arrived and checked in, they knew about the reservation and took us right away. Nearby, a couple of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) sessions played. There was plenty of space for the dungeon masters to play and host sessions of 3 players up to one with 7!

They also support product lines from Wizards of the Coast including:

  • Magic the Gathering: drafts, Modern, prereleases
  • Dungeons and Dragons – Adventurer’s League

They also offer special days where you can game. Half-priced Tuesdays and TGIFridates where you get two admissions, non-alcoholic drinks, and two sandwiches for $30.

If I had to make two requests to the Mancala Monk staff it would be to increase the level of table service (which I know can be hard in busy weekends) and to make the entrance and bathrooms accessible. This is a big opportunity for all retailers to include all members of the community.

The wall of games at the Mancala Monk board game cafe in Hamilton, Ontario

Overall, thank you for the opportunity to play, and I will be recommending this gaming cafe in the future. Big shout out to Chris from Elev8 Dance who came out to game with us!

Gamers play at the Mancala Monk Board Game Cafe


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