Here’s Your Games and Noms Menu for International Tabletop Day

We’re counting down the days International Tabletop Day 2018, happening this year on April 28th! As we get closer to the big day, we’ll be looking at the gamut of tabletop gaming, from the stories of the games we play to remarkable people who love them. Be sure to join in on the fun on April 28th on our official ITTD Twitch Stream, hosted by Ivan van Norman and donate to charity:water, the worthy cause we’re supporting this year.

You’re all fired up for International Tabletop Day, but sometimes life happens and all of a sudden you’re faced with the harsh reality of not being ready for the big day.

With so many gaming and food options available nowadays, how are you expected to come up with an entertaining menu for your guests?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here’s a five-course gaming menu that’s sure to satisfy any gamer’s appetite on the big day. We’ve even paired each game with a dish so nobody goes hungry.

Game and eat on!

Appetizer: Zany Penguins (24)

Most appetizers are quick and tasty bites to wake up your taste buds. Zany Penguins does the same thing for your gaming taste buds, offering a quick and tasty combination of card drafting, area control, and set collection. Players try to take over the world by collecting penguin cards, playing cards in front of them to control each faction. Each round you’ll pass cards to the players on your left and right. After eight rounds, whoever controls each faction scores points for the penguin cards left in their hand. It’s a delicate balancing act of playing and giving away your penguins.

Pair Zany Penguins with sweet plantain chips. They’re a nice change from regular potato chips and Trader Joe’s sells them by the bag.    

Salad: Harvest Dice


Like a hearty salad, Harvest Dice is light but more substantial than you might expect. In this roll-and-write game each player drafts dice to plant veggies in their garden. Dice represent carrots, tomatoes, and lettuce and each round one will go to market, increasing in value for end-game scoring. If you can’t use a die, you’ll feed it to the Pig. As the pig fills up on food, it’ll give you special abilities such as changing a die’s color or increasing/decreasing its pip value.

Pair Harvest Dice with a robust salad that you can make yourself, like this one featuring marinated chickpeas, salami, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, Asiago cheese, and a red wine vinaigrette.

Main Dish: Terraforming Mars


Terraforming Mars is a meaty and hearty game, a centerpiece of your gaming experience like the main course at dinner. You and your opponents represent corporations set on terraforming the red planet. Play is card-driven and give you nearly limitless options, from introducing plants to building cities. Each player builds their engines to produce MegaCredits and earn bonuses and those elusive victory points. This is a minimum two-hour game no matter what player count, but it is one of the most satisfying gaming experiences you can have on International Tabletop Day.

Pair Terraforming Mars with a good steak, cooked to perfection in a cast-iron pan. David Chang’s recipe is an excellent reference point.

Dessert: Go Nuts for Donuts


Nothing’s better than a little sweet treat after a satisfying meal. Go Nuts for Donuts has a similar set collection mechanism as Sushi Go!, but its drafting mechanism is different: each turn you’ll bid on a community set of donut cards and if you’re the only one bidding on a card, you claim it. If you and another player bid on the same card, you both get nothing. You’ll build sets of donuts and the highest score wins.

Pair it with chocolate chip cookies. Donuts are the obvious choice here, but we prefer them in the morning. Cookies are easier to make, too. Go with this favorite from

Coffee: Happy Salmon (25)

You don’t want your guests to go home in a food coma, so a quick game or two of Happy Salmon will get everyone’s blood flowing. You and your opponents each have a deck of cards you’re trying to get rid of and you play one card at a time, trying to match someone else’s card. Each time you do, you perform the action depicted. So, if you and your opponent show the high-five card, you’ll do the high five and both lose that card. First one to get rid of all of their cards wins. There are four actions in total and after you play it once, you’ll always remember the secret Happy Salmon handshake.

Pair it with a nice cup of coffee. Support your local coffeehouse and pick up some of their house blend beans, grind them yourself, and send your guests home happy. And be sure to learn about our favorite bean on The Oatmeal

What are your favorite foods to eat while gaming? Tell us in the comments! And be sure to join us on April 28th on Twitch for our International Tabletop Day stream hosted by Ivan van Norman, and help us support charity:water to raise money for a project to get water to a community of people who currently lack access to clean water. 


Image Credits: Ruel Gaviola

Ruel Gaviola is a writer based in Southern California. He loves board games, books, cooking, traveling, Star Wars, and date nights with his wife. He reviews games and reports news for iSlaytheDragon, podcasts with The Five By, and his name rhymes with Superman’s Kryptonian name. Follow him on Twitter and read his blog here.

Leave a Reply