All Fun & Games

Making connections through boards games, craft coffee, and tasty meals.
Published: Feb. 16, 2024 at 1:32 PM EST
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Are you prepared for the most epic fantasy adventure? Maybe you want to flex your vocabulary skills, or ace a game of trivia, or even just revisit some childhood classic board games like Battleship or checkers. Whatever you fancy, Boards and Bites in Tyler has the gaming experience you are looking for, along with many wonderful food and coffee options.


“We have a full espresso bar. And in our kitchen, if we can make it from scratch, we do.”

To set the record straight, Matt Gayestki, owner, shares that Boards and Bites is indeed a fully functional café. You do not have to play any board games to come in and enjoy all the creations from their kitchen and espresso bar. Speaking of java, Boards and Bites offers a huge number of coffee drinks, ranging from your standard drip and lattes to flavorful seasonal drinks. Some of these limited time drinks include The Mystic Vale, a huckleberry chai latte with nutmeg, and the Splendor, a latte with caramel, brown sugar, and butter.

While sipping on a coffee, why not pair it with something from their extensive food menu? Since being a fully operational kitchen, Boards and Bites is bound to have something that will make your stomach growl. Start off with a little bit of their made-in-house salsa or hummus. Then, try some of their classics like The Cuban, a pulled pork sandwich with additions of honey ham, Swiss cheese, and pickles. All rested between two pieces of white Italian bread. When you stop in for a visit, be sure to check out their seasonal food menu too!

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“We also have like 800 board games.”

The main attraction to Boards and Bites is without a doubt the games. As you walk down the hall of the shop, you are met with towering bookcases filled to the brim with board and card games. They have all the classics, like Trouble, Battleship, and Uno. These tend to get the most attention, according to Matt. After all, there is a reason they’ve been played for generations now! From there, they offer more involved games, such as Catan. These titles require a little more thinking and strategy, but are loads of fun. These medium difficulty leveled games are considered “gateway” games, as they tend to lead players, who love them, into more challenging and immersive board games! Boards and Bites has tons of these long-form RPG-style games which contain full-on adventures!

For just $5 per person, you can enjoy any number of games for the entire day. There are no sessions or time limits at the shop. Visitors can use Boards and Bites’ color-coded system to understand which game may fit their skill level or number of participants. On the shelves, you can clearly distinguish what games would be easy for anyone to enjoy to ones that very complex and could very well take you hours to complete.


“We want you to do those things that forge connections with other people.”

For Matt, his mission is to help bridge the gap of human connection. Being a university professor for many years, Matt noticed that the majority of his students loved to bond together over an activity, such as a fun board game. This discovery is what helped create Boards and Bites. Over the years, Matt and the crew have seen this play out in many different ways. Whether its an elderly group of women playing Mahjong or a teenage Dungeons and Dragons crew, Boards and Bites has created the perfect atmosphere of fun and belonging. The shop is also a great date spot, which they see a lot of. Matt wants people to know that they are rooting for you when your date is going well. (And, even more so when it is going poorly.)

We love Boards and Bites, and we know you will too. Whether you’re looking for just a causal fun time with friends, wanting to embark on a full role-playing adventure, or just wanting to grab a coffee and lunch, Boards Bites is a wonderful spot for community and recreation.

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