211 Victoria Street . Te Aro . Wellington

(04) 891 2345

About Counter Culture

The idea for Counter Culture was inspired during a trip to Ahmed’s native Toronto in 2012, when he and Emma stumbled across Toronto’s fabulous Snakes & Lattes board game café. Ahmed was already quietly amassing a sizeable board game collection, while Emma rolled her eyes (but secretly enjoyed trouncing him at Splendor. Every time). They were also leaving a wake of game enthusiasts as they moved from New Zealand to Abu Dhabi and back again. They taught all kinds of people (aged 4 – 100, literally!) all kinds of games (Ticket to Ride, Catan, Cards Against Humanity, Codenames, Scopa, Ghost Blitz, Pandemic Legacy, Rat-a- Tat-Cat, Agricola, Scythe, Dixit, Loopin’ Chewie, Camel Up, and many more).

They decided to give up the academic life in Abu Dhabi and combine their passion for good food, good coffee, good beer and good games to provide Wellingtonians with a welcoming space to meet friends, make friends, learn games and play games. Come and get your game on!


​Ahmed is at his happiest playing games, talking about games, buying games, reading rules for games, looking at games, holding games, moving games around on the shelf, being surrounded by games (you get the picture) so basically, he’s found his happy place. He also uses his kids as the perfect foil to feed his Lego habit. He’s a big kid at heart.


She is half way through her degree in Communications. She’s the reason why the response time to messages on the Counter Culture Facebook page was reduced from over 2 hours to less than 15 minutes. This woman knows her social media! Cass loves dogs and dreams of having her own one day. She also designs amazing jewellery.


Baker, kitchen all-rounder and game guru. She plays loads of board games and is a real natural at teaching them. Charlotte loves social deduction games, especially One Night Ultimate Werewolf. She recently completed her degree in philosophy, religion and English Lit, so she is now fully qualified to write a fantastic sci-fi or a cracking self-help book.


Emma’s keen on the more light and fluffy games on the shelves. She squeezes in stints as a game guru when she’s not doing her day job or running round town trying to find obscure costume items for her children. She’s your go-to person if you want to learn Century: Spice Road, Codenames, Santorini, Splendor. Newsflash: She has finally played Bananagrams. And it’s great!


Euan is our coffee and tea guru. The coffee machine is like an extension of his arm. It’s quite magical. He could probably even read your tea leaves if you asked him nicely. Euan is making his way round the shelves learning all the games. He loves Ethnos and Carcassonne.


​Kieran has recently discovered the Hardieboys Lime Aid in the fridge, so he’s willing to forgive the fact that we don’t have sushi on the menu. Kieran loves hockey and soccer. Cats and dogs. And Lime Aid. Lots of Lime Aid.



Matt knows all the games. Yes, all the games. Or if he doesn’t, he’s well on his way to learning them. He’s English, so he sometimes says odd things like “Where are you sat?” to customers. After gesticulation, waving and some friendly smiles, they can usually figure out what he’s trying to say. Matt used to work at Chance & Counters, a board game cafe in Bristol, so he knows what’s what. Just ask him. He’ll tell ya.


Patrick studies architecture, so he is skilled at creating interesting sculptures out of everyday kitchen objects. When he’s not keeping the kitchen immaculate and helping out back of house, Patrick designs some pretty amazing digital illustrations.


Sam is steadily building up his knowledge of the games on the shelf, so test him out by asking him to teach you something. Sam is our beer guy. We have him to thank for the excellent range of craft beers on tap. He’ll give you good advice, tasters and big friendly smiles every time. He is also our resident vegan taste-tester.


You’ll find Tim in the kitchen, rocking a pink bandanna. His pastries and sweets are out-of-this world and should come with addiction warnings. Especially the caramel slice. And also the macarons. And also the ice-cream sandwiches. Tim is the reigning Counter Culture champion of King of Tokyo. ​He is literally the King. Of Tokyo.

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