Pick 10: The Best Geeky Things to Do in Saskatoon

best geeky things to do in saskatoon)

There are all different types of words people use to describe those who are incredibly passionate about games. The negative meaning behind dork, geek, and nerd has been thrown on its head by modern society. That’s why there was no shortage in choosing the best geeky things to do in Saskatoon.

Over the past ten years there’s been a transformation that’s turned some of the bullied into billionaires. People who have a knack for coding or comics have reached a new level of cool. And Saskatoon knows it.

People have called me a nerd for years. But I’ve never identified with the fangirls of Star Wars and LOTR, or played a MMORPG. I was in a bit of denial at first, but now I’ve learned to embrace the term. Geeky things I love to do are actually really fun. It’s like you get to be a kid again and the only thing people can say is, “What a geek!” Burn.

I have a message for the fellow geeks that stumbled here: there is no shame in embracing your passions. From arcades to comic book stores, read on to journey into the best of Saskatoon’s geekdom.

*This list has been edited to reflect business changes on March 25, 2018.

Don’t miss Riversdale, a.k.a. home of the best geeky quadrant in Saskatoon: Mana Bar, King Me Boardgamery, Deadlock VR, and Bartari.

Mana Bar 523 20 St W

Owner Chris calls it “a nerdtopia for those into every geeky subculture”. And he’s working very hard to satisfy every niche of nerd across the city. Whether you’re into Magic or live streamed e-games, this is a bar with a pixelated heartbeat. Check their calendar for specialty nights like trivia to meet and compete with other bespectacled people of the prairies.

Pro Tip: Make sure you visit the gender-neutral Star Wars and Zelda-themed washrooms that play music from their respective titles while you pee.

Update: Chris makes specialty waffles on Wednesdays (Jalapeno Popper, Mac N Cheese, and Gingerbread to name a few). He also has a selection of bourbon and scotch for tasting (November 18, 2017).

King Me Boardgamery and Cafe 527 20th Street West

Best Geeky Things to Do in Saskatoon King Me Boardgamery and Cafe interior
Photo via King Me Boardgamery website.

Next door from Mana Bar, you’ll find King Me where your fiver goes far with All You Can Play board games. They’re open seven days a week, so you can plan your regular board game night here.

The thing I like about King Me is that you can try out the latest board games at a fraction of the cost of buying to avoid overspending on games that you may not want to play again. Check out the board game library to see if they have the one you want.

Update: According to their Facebook Page, King Me has started offering solo player promotions on Tuesdays (November 19, 2017).

Deadlock Virtual Reality (added March 25, 2018)

While I haven’t personally experienced this gaming arcade, Chris from Mana Bar tells me that it’s worth a visit. Deadlock’s new second location offers a combo of escape rooms and virtual reality gaming options. There are 6 stand-up VR stations with dozens of multiplayer games to challenge your nerdy friends.

Bartari 511 20th Street West


Walk a few doors down from Mana Bar to grab a table for you and a few friends to play unlimited games all night for $5. You can choose from a vast collection of retro and new console games, or arcade style pinball. Start a battle with your friends and the servers will fuel your evening with treats like milk and cookies between rounds.

Ruckers 2 locations: 2910 8th St E and  2301 22 St W

So maybe Ruckers isn’t the geekiest place Saskatoon, but you’ll have fun reliving your nostalgic arcade days. Spend around $30 to get over 100 tokens to play. Take your friends, or plan your next date here. The east location is part of a fun centre that includes: Putt ‘n Bounce mini golf, The Rock climbing wall, Grand Slam batting cages, and one of the only Fuddruckers locations in Canada.

Pro Tip: pack your hand sanitizer.

Pokey’s Pinball 211-B 33rd St W

Do Sask goes to Pokey's Pinball

What originated as a pinball servicing company is now a licensed cafe in the burgeoning 33rd Street neighbourhood. Pokey’s is made for Saskatoon’s most dedicated pinball fans. They have a rotating wall of games and regular pinball leagues. Order some nachos and a pitcher, then get some tokens and play the afternoon away.

Note: You won’t be able to find much of Pokey’s online, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t worth a visit!

Aspect Virtual Reality Gaming Studio 2218 Millar Ave *Edit permanently closed

I first heard about ASPECT VR after reading an article in the StarPhoenix, so naturally we had to check it out for our next date night. The owners say this is the only Virtual Reality Studio of this quality anywhere in Saskatchewan. They also do large parties (a.k.a. the quietest birthday you’ll ever have).

When my date (my husband, Chris) and I walked into the space we could tell it was a very expensive room. We opted for the immersive experience of the Zombie story, but there are other options for folks who want ease their way into VR.  See what it feels like to be completely inside of a video game.

Pro Tip: We played for an hour, but we recommend limiting yourself to a half hour your first time.

Your nearest Saskatoon Public Library location.

Conversations already happening by the fireplace in the new Round Prairie branch #yxe #saskatoon #roundprairiemetis

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I’ve always found the library to be a comforting space. It’s somewhere I can explore the world without leaving my city. The library is the perfect spot for geeky dates because they have so much going on to satisfy all different types of people. Membership is free and gives you access to a world of knowledge. Check out a location near you, or visit the new Round Prairie branch location in Stonebridge.

Note: Do Sask’s book club is open to join and free if you borrow instead of buy. Check out the book of the month from the library, then come out to a meeting to discuss. Sign up to the newsletter to get updates on where and when we meet. Everyone’s welcome!

U of S Observatory

Best Geeky Things to Do in Saskatoon U of S Observatory
Photo via U of S Observatory website.

I remember going to the U of S a lot as a kid. The observatory was always one of the highlights. It’s open every Saturday year round, but typically you can get the best view in the summer months. For a romantic take on the best geeky thing to do in Saskatoon, pack a midnight snack and take a peek at the universe through a 6 inch diameter lens to see planets, clusters, galaxies, and even comets. There’s a small Astronomy museum with a tour of our solar system!

Pro Tip: Check out their hours to see how long they’re open for this Saturday.

Escape Rooms

I experienced my first escape room a few years ago in Calgary at a place called The Locked Room. Essentially we gathered a group of five to play a live action puzzle in which we had to take steps to find and unlock ourselves from the room to successfully save humanity from a zombie apocalypse. (FYI We made it to the last piece when the buzzer rang… Fail.)

We didn’t make it out in time… hence this horrified look. #escapecity #ladiesnightout #yxefashion #yxedatenight

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Saskatoon has a handful of escape rooms to choose from. I’ve only tried Keller’s Magic Emporium at Escape City, so tell me which one is the best! Here’s where you can find them:

Canadian Light Source 44 Innovation Blvd

Best Geeky Things to Do in Saskatoon Canadian Light Source Synchrotron
Photo via Light Source website.

Canada’s hub for STEM research is right here in Saskatoon at the internationally renowned multidisciplinary synchrotron. Take a free tour of the spot that has grabbed the science world’s attention. The Canadian Light Source gives free tours every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 2 p.m. You can drop in at that time, or request another time (for groups of 5 or more).

Amazing Stories  2508 8th St E

Can you connect the dots?? #dottodot #connectthedots #spiderman #amazingstoriescomics

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If you’re going to check out a comic book store, why not head to one of the world’s best? Amazing Stories has more than comics – check them out for everything geek culture from collectibles to clothes. They’ve got a lot of community events, so check here to see what’s going on this week.

Honorable mention: Create Cafe 510 Cir Dr E

3D Printed Brain Lamp from a MRI Scan #MadeForSinterit @MyMiniFactory @Sinterit #3dprinting #yxe #yxeart #brainstorming #3ddesign

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Learn how to use a 3D printer and grab a coffee with your friends at the same time. Create Cafe has three Makerbot printers that you can rent by the hour for a very low cost. Two stations are set up for you to design and prep your project. You can send your design to be printed, or work on it at the cafe. According to their website, workshops are coming soon!

Whether you play esports, read manga, create epic Magic character-lines, enjoy a simple social board game, or have all of the game shops on speed dial to get the NES Classic Edition – you name it, there’s a spot in Saskatoon that satisfies your specific geeky needs.

Do you agree with these ten picks, or did I miss your favourite? Join the Do Sask Facebook group to have your say in the discussion on your favourite geeky things to do in Saskatoon.

Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook if you would like everyone to know your pick 10.

Pick 10: Best Saskatoon Coffee Shops for a Casual Date

Top 10 Best Saskatoon Coffee Shops

Some people prefer slow conversations that encourage comfortable silence and embrace the simplicity of being around someone special to you. My cousin is one of those people. She would rather have a meaningful conversation than an adventurous outing on the town. When I asked what her ultimate favourite thing to do was, she said she loved spending time with friends in the best Saskatoon coffee shops.

The thing my cousin enjoys doing the most is not an extravagant outing to the latest event, but having a simple chat with a good friend over a nice local mug of comfort. Sometimes everyone needs to take a break over a coffee or tea, so she inspired me to write this top 10.

The Best Saskatoon Coffee Shops

Going for coffee is perfect for casual meetups with new acquaintances and catch-ups with old friends. If you’re not ready for the full night on the town with your new mate hit up a great local coffee shop and break the ice. Do Sask likes our coffee and tea local, and these are a few of the best according to my cousin.

1. Collective Coffee

It’s a beautiful day and we’re having fun. Come join the party!

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Folks who co-work from The Two Twenty are in and out of Collective Coffee on 20th Street more times than they’d like to admit it on any given day. But did you know that they’ve just opened a new location across from St. Paul’s Hospital on Avenue P? Check it out today, so your addiction isn’t so obvious.

P.S. My cousin says their latte is the best in the city. Order it to taste for yourself!

2. Drift Sidewalk Cafe

Drift has an amazing local feel with a great view close to River Landing. It’s got one of the best hot chocolates by far, but their baristas and local focus on events keep us coming back. Plus, the interior decor makes you feel like you’re somewhere tropical – even in the middle of winter.

3. Citizen Cafe

From the look of this cookie, the Americano is almost a secondary reason why you’d want to go to Citizen! Make sure you plan your coffee date during the day because they aren’t open late.

4. City Perks

According to Saskatoon sub reddit user nlddancer, “City Perks on 7th Ave is incredible. They have drip coffee, french press, pour over and aeropress, as well as espresso based drinks. Their cappuccinos are the traditional six ounce size too, so it tastes great and not too milky.” City Perks also has a location in Stonebridge.

5. Calories

So it may seem unfair to add Calories to the Top 10 two times in a row, but you can’t deny that they’ve got a good thing going. Yes, their hot cuppa’s may be a few bucks more than average, but their creativity with flavour will take your taste buds to a whole new level that’s worth an extra loonie or two. That’s why they’re one the best Saskatoon coffee shops for a casual date.

6. Mystic Java

First pic of the year, hope your a good one 2017 ?

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You can skip coffee and order a milkshake to share with your date. That’ll take a casual coffee to a cute connection in an instant. Or, keep it cool with a quick black coffee. Your choice!

7. Museo Broadway

@brockfehr wants shorter cup, we make shorter cup.

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Locally roasted beans with one of the best pour-overs in town set this cafe ahead of the pack. No need to say more.

8. The Underground Cafe

Go to the Underground for the coffee, stay for the karaoke. This joint is one of the few places I’ve been to that makes a seamless connection between fun and frappe.

9. d’Lish by Tish Cafe

One of the few local cafes with a patio for the nice, hot days we get here in the summertime.

10. Little Bird Patisserie

Again, the coffee is secondary to the French pastry chef’s amazing gastronomical achievements. Little Bird is the place to go to impress your date with a lavish slice of heaven while relaxing in a bright vintage setting.

Do you agree with these top picks, or did we miss your favourite cafe? Join the Do Sask Facebook group to have your say in the discussion on your favourite coffee shops in Saskatoon.

Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook if you would like everyone to know your pick 10.

Pick 10: Best Vegetarian Food in Saskatoon (including the veggie burger)

Top 10 Best Vegetarian Food in Saskatoon

Pick 10 is a new series that’s asking local Saskatchewanians about the best our province has to offer. Members of Do Sask contribute their favourite things to do in Saskatchewan, so they can share the fun with everyone. Before we get started on the best vegetarian food in Saskatoon according to Maygen Kardash, let’s talk about where this series fits in with Do Sask.

Why ask locals for their recommendations?

Sometimes we have a bad habit of choosing the most popular activities again and again.

Rather than getting adventurous about the path less traveled, we look for things everyone else is doing. Case in point: Trip Advisor’s number 1 thing to do in Saskatchewan is the Western Development Museum. Now, I’m not knocking the treasure that is Boomtown, but there’s more to explore in this province than its history.

You’ll get to places that are off the beaten path.

Locals help you get to places that are less known, but often more rewarding. If you are a Saskatchewanian then you’re more likely to explore places close to home recommended by people like you!

Now, without further ado…

Top 10 Best Vegetarian Food in Saskatoon

In the last few years, Saskatoon’s culinary scene has seen a boom, landing us on must-visit lists in blogs, papers, and magazines. With so many options, it can be hard to choose when you finally get a night out! Here are my current favourite (ovo-lacto vegetarian) bites in town:

1. NOSH Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos

These soft tacos are technically shareable, but you’ll want to order a plate for yourself. Spicy, tangy, and a little bit sweet, these guys top my list.

2. Calories Organic Buckwheat Crepes

As I typed “organic buckwheat”, I realized how boring this main sounds, but trust that it is a winner in the best vegetarian food in Saskatoon. The crepes are filled with kale, garden dill labneh, and wild BC ginger (reminiscent of an elevated nalysnyky, if you’re a Ukrainian food fan) and are served with honey glazed carrots. P.s. The pinot gris pairing balances with perfect lightness—order it.

3. Leyda’s Ayurvedic Soup and bread

I’m not even a soup lover per se, but Leyda’s Ayurvedic is pretty unreal. Kale, quinoa, sweet potato, coconut milk, and a fantastic blend of spices have kept loyalists ordering this since the opening of this gluten-free, nut-free restaurant (which otherwise has a bit of a rotating menu). Oh, and Leyda’s bread is one of my favourite loaves in Saskatoon, gluten-free or otherwise.

4. Brown’s Socialhouse Blackened Chicken Cowboy Salad (with tofu sub)

When Brown’s opened in my neighborhood, I was thrilled to find so many vegetarian substitutes available on their menu but it was trying the tofu in place of blackened chicken that really made me fall in love. This salad is hearty with dates, feta, nuts, black beans, lots of greens, and a soft breadstick that I hate sharing with my two-year-old.

5. Odd Couple Tomato Curry with Tofu

I ate this every Monday for a year when I worked downtown and still order it often. A thick, flavourful sauce coats the just-crunchy tofu that when combined with sticky rice is a satisfying addition to the best vegetarian food in Saskatoon.

6. Little Grouse on the Prairie Ravioli

Nothing compares to fresh, handmade pasta. Have you tried ours?

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Sometimes it’s the simplest dishes that make me the happiest. Little Grouse’s ravioli is fresh-made in house with ricotta di campagna and sage butter. Every bite is decadent.

7. Kabab King Mushroom Caju Mutter

When I order Indian food, I’m suddenly in a sharing mood so it was hard to pick just one item from Kabab King’s delicious menu. However, that’s the theme, so my pick is Mushroom Caju Mutter. It’s so rich, two spoon fulls on my plate is enough to love but alongside their fresh naan, those two spoon fulls are a necessity.

8. Congress and/or Ayden TIE Veggie Burger

Get your burger and veggie fix all at once this week with our colourful veggie burger!

A post shared by Ayden Kitchen and Bar (@aydenkitchenbar) on


Go eat them both and then you try to pick! Both feature house-made veggie patties that would satisfy a carnivorous appetite. Ayden’s features a fried farm egg whose runny yolk serves up saucy goodness and Congress’ is loaded and served with their double-fried French fries. Both have my vote.

9. Konga Café Not-on-the-menu Veggie Meal

The tastes of the Caribbean are alluring, but not so fun is being vegetarian at a beachfront cookout. Luckily, right here in Saskatoon, the Konga Café makes a wicked veggie plate with all the sauce I want and none of the meat I don’t!

10. Una 4-Maggi Pizza

The 4-Maggi looks like a plain cheese pizza with no sauce but it ain’t a photo that captures taste. This wood-fired pizza features provolone picante, friulano, fior di latte mozza, and pecorino romano and is topped with truffle oil and local urban honey. I could eat this with greens every day of my life.

Note this!

Due to rotating menus, I’ve yet to try the latest veggie offerings at the Hollows and Prairie Harvest, but I’m willing to bet they’ll make my list when I next visit those tried and true haunts.

This Pick 10 for the Best Vegetarian Food in Saskatoon was generously contributed by blogger, Maygen Kardash of Our Collective Muse.

Do you agree with these top vegetarian picks? Join the Do Sask Facebook group to have your say in the discussion on your favourite vegetarian food in Saskatoon.

Become a contributor!

Contact Do Sask, or reach out on Facebook if you would like everyone to know your pick 10.

6 Reasons You Should Go to Table Mountain Regional Park This Weekend

Table Mountain Regional Park this weekend

Yeah, we all know it ain’t the Rockies.

Before I get started on why you should hit the road to Table Mountain Regional Park this weekend I have to tell you that wasn’t always my favourite place in the world. In fact, my first memory of learning to ski there included a too-tight pair of boots, followed by extreme pain in my feet and crying like a baby to switch into a larger pair. I was young enough that the older kids pitied my tears, but old enough to remember that blubbering in public probably wasn’t cool anymore.

Sadly that experience turned me off from skiing for a very long time. Every year following that experience I traded in my ski boots for an inner tube. I finally got over the trauma in my adulthood and am actually enjoying the skis.

Table Mountain is the spot that many Sask kids learn to ski and snowboard. Here are six reasons you’ll love it as an adult:

1. It’s close. If you call Central Saskatchewan home, Table Mountain Regional Park isn’t too far of a drive for a day trip.


You can hit the road there and back in the same day with enough hours on the hill that you’ll feel like the time spent in the car is well worth every minute. That beats 16+ hours in a car to and from the Rockies any day!

2. It’s dirt cheap.

Post xmas situation ?. Ready for 2016 to be over #emptywallet

A photo posted by Vinh Ton (@v1nh9293) on


I don’t know many places you can get a full day of fun for $50 (that includes ski and boot rental along with your lift ticket). It’s definitely accessible to most folks… even if you spent most of your cash on pizza.

3. It has patio beers.

When it’s nice outside you should take a break from the hill for a cold one on the patio.
 Table Mountain Regional Park Patio Drink
Table Mountain’s chalet offers a variety of bottled bevvies, plus your standard hi-balls. There’s nothing as refreshing as sipping on a refreshing drink as you look out onto the snow-covered hills.

4. It’s not crowded.

I used to think waiting in line for the lift at Table Mountain Regional Park was a drag.

cutting’ some sick pow today?? #justkidding #tablemountainsask #?

A photo posted by s b (@savannabowley) on


After experiencing how long you will wait at some of the larger Canadian ski resorts I’ve changed my tune. If you time your trip right and show up early for the day you’ll beat the rental and lift ticket lineups. Then when you’re on the hill it takes about 10 minutes to get up to the top. You won’t wait long to scoop a seat on the lift.

5. It has onion rings.

You won’t be able to resist a snack at the chalet when the whole hill smells like crispy onion rings. It’s smart marketing.

6. It has a run for you.

Beautiful day at #tablemountainregionalpark #explorebattlefords #skiing #snowboarding #saskatchewan

A photo posted by Kyle Green (@green_machine87) on


Whether you’re a skilled skier, or a novice boarder  – Table Mountain Regional Park has 11 hills that will be perfect for you from the bunny hill all the way up to black diamond moguls. If you’re a fan of trying trick boarding or skiing, there’s a terrain park to hone your skills. Not into either? They have tubing passes for $10.

Whether you’re into relaxing at the chalet with a few bevvies, or non-stop action at the terrain park you’ll definitely have a good time making new memories at your childhood resort.

Give Table Mountain Regional Park another shot this weekend.

Join the Do Sask Facebook group to have your say in the discussion on your favourite things to do in Saskatchewan.

My recommendations are voluntarily written. I have not accepted any payment from Table Mountain Regional Park.