Beyond Bestsellers: Food Board Games and Book Pairings

By Kaley C.

It’s been awhile, but I’ve got another round of Board Games and Book pairing ready for you. This one is food-themed so we can celebrate this month of Beyond Bestsellers while playing these super fun games.

Pie might be my all time favorite thing to both eat and bake. If you spend as much time as I do thinking about pie, this pairing is for you. The Secret Ingredient of Wishes is a contemporary fantasy book, so if Arthurian wizards are a bit too much but you don’t mind when an author breaks the rules of reality a bit, this might be for you. It starts with Rachel who has left her hometown after her ability to make wishes come true has a disastrous result. She lands in North Carolina where she’s taken in by a sassy elderly woman named Catch who has a magical ability of her own. There’s a dash of romance mixed in here as well. I’ve paired it with the game Pie Town which requires you to manage your business while keeping your recipe a secret from other players.

I obviously had pie on the brain while planning these out, because next up is a pizza themed book and game. Slice Harvester is a memoir that started as a blog by Colin in 2009. He started with a goal of reviewing every cheese pizza in Manhattan, but it grew with such wild popularity he found himself on various radio shows and newspapers. Despite all this new found attention, his life is spiraling out of control. It’s a fascinating slice of punk life, exploring his relationship issues and addiction, as he tries to put his life back together. New York Slice is a family game which puts you at the head of a NYC pizza parlor trying to make the best pizza one slice at a time. It isn’t exceedingly complicated and can be a quick fun play!

Marrow IslandMarrow Island, a fictional island in the San Juans, was devastated by a deadly earthquake. Lucie grew up there, and finds it difficult to return after barely surviving it. She’s drawn to it after a strange group of people claims to have resurrected it. I’ve paired this intense book with Morel, which is definitely less dramatic but equally fun. This is a game for two, so grab a partner and whether it’s day or night start foraging, selling, or eating what you’ve searched for. Beware the poisonous mushrooms, though!

Eight Hundred GrapesThis might be the closest pairing I’ve done yet. Eight Hundred Grapes has a lot going on in it. Georgia’s relationship falls apart just days before her wedding. She attempts to escape to her family’s vineyard only to find out things aren’t faring much better there. It’s an interesting exploration of familial relationships imbued with wine. Viticulture has the potential to be an intense game, depending who you play with, how competitive your opponents are, and what your resources look like. It’s a strategy game where each person tries to build the most successful winery. Your product has to be good, and you have to manage workers and volunteers efficiently.


I really wanted to figure a way to fit Food Chain Magnate in here but there are so many moving parts to it! I couldn’t quite make it work. Can you think of one? Or if you’ve got another idea instead of one of my pairings, let me know!


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4 responses to “Beyond Bestsellers: Food Board Games and Book Pairings”

  1. Marina says:

    We play Morels in our family and it’s very cutthroat. Mostly because we not only challenge to who gets the most morels in the game but also in real life. Because my parents raised my sister and me on mushroom hunting and camping.

    • Kaley C says:

      I have to reel in how intense I can be during games, but that real-life aspect of it has to intensify competitiveness!

  2. Emily Z says:

    Now I’m thinking about pairing food with games… Most of the time my gaming group just pairs pizza with everything (Anomia, Pick Your Poison, We Didn’t Play Test This at All, Mansions of Madness, Cards Against Humanity, etc). If I had my way, every time we tried to continue our D&D campaign at least, everything would be period-appropriate. Like, stuff from this Medieval Cookbook or at least from this Game of Thrones cookbook .

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