More and more Philly restaurants are putting thought into zero-proof drinks that offer an interesting alternative to booze. Those abstaining from alcohol now have options beyond soda and seltzer — even if it’s not always printed on the menu. Here’s a guide to no-hangover happy hours (and even happier mornings) around Philly, in Dry January and year-round.Read More
13 Philly Bars and Restaurants With Irresistible Alcohol-Free Cocktails
None of the booze, all of the flavor
At Nunu, the Japanese bar in Fishtown from the Cheu team, nonalcoholic options include a grapefruit mule with house-made grapefruit cordial and a take on an old fashioned using oolong tea. Cheu Fishtown next door and Cheu Noodle Bar in Washington Square West offer a rotating selection of juices.
As a family-friendly spot with more than 800 games, Thirsty Dice offers several alcohol-free drinks. They’re named after classic games, like the Jumanji with pineapple and black cherry soda.
South, a great spot for live jazz and Southern fare, also has a mean mocktail list. A half-dozen offerings include a virgin julep made with ginger ale and a sweet black tea and grenadine punch.
V Street in Rittenhouse is an ideal meet-for-drinks spot for those who want to unobtrusively eschew alcohol. Abstainers can sip zero-proof drinks every bit as interesting as their boozy counterparts, like the Cloud Nine, which makes use of sweetened oat milk and grapefruit.
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K’Far’s pink and gold bar makes for a lovely place to linger over a drink, regardless of its alcohol content. The new cafe from the Zahav crew features three zero-proof drinks that run the gamut from vegetal to frothy to caffeinated.
The Library Bar and Bar 210
Within the swanky setting of the Rittenhouse hotel, choose between two bars that offer appealing nonalcoholic cocktails. Bar 210 at the restaurant Lacroix pairs raspberry with tonic in one drink and lemon, lime, and agave in another. At Library Bar, go for an Angel Eyes featuring grapefruit, pomegranate, and ginger or a Take the Coltrane that combines green tea with orange and lemon.
Abe Fisher offers several alcohol-free choices, like the Truly Spicy Water with sour cherry and jalapeño. Other virgin drinks at this Center City spot get equally creative with ingredients like fermented black carrot, sage, and white orchid root.
At vegan destination Vedge, diners can toast some of the best plant-based food in America with an equally alluring alcohol-free drink. Try the Sweet Chai of Mine, which pulls together the flavors of chai and lemon.
Charlie Was a Sinner
Plant-based eats pair well with booze-free drinks, right? Charlie Was a Sinner in Midtown Village makes it easy — and tasty — to go dry with options like a herbaceous basil, fennel, and lemon soda.
At Nick Elmi’s French brasserie in Old City, the section of the menu labeled “temperance” includes the photogenic, very purple Lavender Bow Tie.
Han Dynasty (multiple locations)
Hop Sing Laundromat’s Lê created the cocktail menu at Sichuan favorite Han Dynasty. Most of the drinks can be made without alcohol, and he also included three mocktails. Go for the green tea matcha smoothie that’s perfect for cooling the palate after Han Dynasty’s spicy fare.
Another reason to add “Zahav reservation” to that 2020 wish list: The restaurant has a cocktail menu that appeals to drinkers and teetotalers alike. Try the sour cherry ice tea or a drink with non-alcoholic verjus blanc made from wine grapes.
Order a drink made with Seedlip, a nonalcoholic distilled spirit, at East Passyunk Avenue’s cocktail bar ITV or at Laurel next door, both from Nick Elmi. Seedlip is wonderful paired simply with tonic and lime, but the bartenders also offer a rotation of zippy virgin cocktails with clever names like Rocket Fuel.
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