Coffee and Games in Panama City
I love creative third places — those special hangouts beyond work and home that do things a little differently. Amavida Coffee in Panama City, Florida, is one of those. The cafe specializes in locally roasted coffee, but their menu has plenty for a hearty meal. When I interviewed them in January, they were just launching a lineup of grown-up grilled cheeses. I tasted one, buttery and rich, the perfect foil for a side salad. My favorite dish was the avocado toast, followed closely by the oat bar. The avocado, microgreens and radishes on the toast were a brilliant combination, and I’m no fan of radishes.
In classic cafe style, Amavida also has free Wi-Fi, plenty of hookups for your laptop, great service and an excellent location. You’re right in the heart of the historic St. Andrews district, so you can walk to the waterfront park or other neighborhood attractions.
But none of that is what really made Amavida exceptional. They also have — board games. Sure, there are plenty of board game cafes popping up in major metro areas and some smaller cities, but they usually charge a cover fee, and the food is often (though not always) underwhelming. At Amavida, the games are free. Just order a coffee or something to munch and play to your heart’s content.
They’re still building their collection as you can see, but the plan is to fill this bookcase with games. When they finish, it’s going to be beautiful.
Coffee, food, games, friends — exactly the type of atmosphere I want to be in once this COVID-19 mess is behind us.