Les Arpenteurs gameboards bar Lyon

Reading time: 5 minutes.

I stumbled upon this bar by chance, yet I find myself returning willingly. Perhaps it’s because it strikes a good balance between a game bar and a classic bar, making even a casual player like me feel at home.

It’s a bar with a homely feel, an intimate place where you feel like entering the living room of a longtime friend and sitting down for a night of tabletop games.

I know you might say, ‘Why go to a bar to feel at home?’ Because it gives off the vibe of a beautiful place, with a warm atmosphere but without frills. Like that cool friend who doesn’t need the latest fashion to stand out. It’s reliably cool, an excellent companion for an evening.

This bar, for me, is an old friend.

Tabletop game bar lyon 5 Les Arpenteurs
Some of the games available.


Every time I’ve walked in, I’ve felt welcomed and at home. The bartenders and managers are relaxed, not looking down on anyone, and not putting on spectacular shows to attract customers. They don’t need to. People come here for the ambiance and the kindness of the managers, and it’s no wonder they have a fairly large community of loyal customers.


As a foreigner, I’ve always appreciated how the managers interact, trying to speak English or communicate even when there’s a language barrier. Many of the games are classics, making them perfect for international customers who often already know the rules. Some games in their library are also easy to learn for those who speak little or no French.


Local game creators often come knocking at their door (I’m an example) to present their games. The managers take the time to listen, animating and giving space to the local community of creators to showcase their games to the public and allowing customers to test new releases and support the local creative community. Kudos for this and especially for the attitude with which it’s done, always treating the creators with extreme kindness and professionalism (as they do with customers).


It’s small, and for someone like me who doesn’t like large bars and loud background noise, it’s a great advantage. You can talk at the table without having to shout to be heard on the other side and leave without a headache. The tables are few, though, which means you either come early or risk being left empty-handed, the main strength and also the drawback of this bar. I strongly recommend coming at opening time to secure a table.


It’s located in the city center, a 5-minute walk from Place des Terreaux. Perfect for gathering with friends, as it’s a good middle ground in terms of distances from all neighborhoods in Lyon. Additionally, it’s right in front of the Hot Jazz Club, the oldest jazz club in Europe, and it’s not uncommon for some jazz club customers to come to the bar for an aperitif before the 8 pm (usual concert time). If the tables are full, you can try asking other customers (obviously without disturbing and politely) if they are waiting for a concert, so you can arrange to take the table when they leave.


Compared to other bars, it doesn’t have a huge selection of games, but you’ll surely find something you like. I remember that they don’t charge customers any extra fee for using the games, and the selection remains extensive (the bar originated as a game bar). So, it’s an excellent solution, especially if you’re in mixed groups of regular and occasional players. Many classics and some novelties. Well-chosen games that are perfect icebreakers, perhaps among people who have recently met.


No extra charge for using the games, and a menu that won’t force you to empty your wallet. The average blonde beer is around 6.70 euros, a glass of wine starts at 4 euros, and a cocktail is 9 euros. Considering it’s a bar where people tend to stay for a long time, and there’s no extra charge for using the games, I don’t find the menu expensive at all. There’s no proper restaurant service, but rather an offer of finger food prepared on the spot. It’s extremely plentiful and will easily replace a meal. Of course, if you prefer a more dish-oriented service like burgers, meat, salads, etc., maybe this isn’t the bar for you. But I eat a lot, and I’ve never left with an empty stomach. Among the offers, there are mixed or just cheese “planche” (appetizers selection), and the mythical ‘tartinades,’ homemade savory spreads that are absolutely amazing, abundant, and at a very low price (we’re talking about 5.50 euro for a portion accompanied by plenty of bread that serves as your dinner and is homemade). Also, the ‘tartinades’ are vegan (hummus, poicamole for a guacamole made from peas, which is definitely more eco-friendly than Peruvian avocado, and my favorite, black olive tapenade). If you want to play it safe, order a ‘tartinades,’ and you won’t regret it. God bless their tapenade. A final applause for the choice of local beers.


This is a place I would definitely recommend for small groups who don’t enjoy overly noisy places, perhaps composed of both occasional and regular gamers or solely occasional ones. If you’re a large group, each with a collection of games at home, looking to have dinner together and spend the evening playing a new game you’ve never seen before, perhaps other bars are more suitable. There are other game bars in Lyon with a different kind of service, such as a larger game library, restaurant service, and staff to explain the games to customers. However, keep in mind that this comes with a slightly higher average price (justified by the cost of these extra services). So, it’s not a matter of a better or worse bar, but rather what you’re looking for that evening and the needs of your group. For my habit as a casual gamer who doesn’t like overly crowded places, “Les Arpenteurs” is definitely my top choice among classic game bars (non-associative) in Lyon.




Les Arpenteurs – Bar, mystères et jeux de société

13 Rue Lanterne, 69001 Lyon

Monday 17:00–22:30 Tuesday 17:00–00:30 Wednesday 17:00–00:30 Thursday 17:00–00:30 Friday 17:00–00:30 Saturday 15:00–00:30 Sunday 15:00–22:30





(photos from Les Arpenteurs fb page)



The bar is small but cozy, entirely made of wood. There's a selection of board games available, with fewer than twenty tables, including some large ones.


Not a restaurant menu, more like finger food. However, they are plentiful and homemade. Vegan options are available. Drinks include cocktails and local beers.


Intimate atmosphere, like home, low noise, and no loud background music (thank you!). Perfect for small to medium-sized groups, not recommended for large groups. Extremely friendly staff.


Tapenade prepared on the spot, finger-licking good, and generous portions. Many evenings featuring presentations of games by local creators with themed animations.

On Key

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