The Best Mocktails in NYC
At these NYC bars and restaurants, the zero-proof cocktails are just as exciting as the boozy ones.
Mocktails have come a long way in the past few years, which means you won’t be stuck sipping a Shirley Temple while your friends are having something barrel-aged on the rocks. From kitschy, witchy bars to restaurants with non-alcoholic apéritif menus, here’s where you can find the best mocktails in NYC.
photo credit: Alex Staniloff
We love to hit the bar at midtown’s 53 for late night drinks and dim sum, and the mocktails here are just as exciting as the standard cocktails. The space is next door to the MoMA, it’s sophisticated, huge, and has tons of unique decorative elements like hand painted wallpaper in the elevator. The Godai uses a house-made faux whiskey that tastes so close to the real deal, you’ll wonder whether the bartender made a mistake, and the Singapore Spring Fling is fruity and tangy in all the right ways. Get an order of their excellent burgundy truffle xiao long bao, sit back, and feel fancy AF.
Lord’s feels like a cross between a Hogwarts professor’s office and a trendy Greenwich Village restaurant, and we love it for casual date nights. This place doesn’t just have a great selection of mocktails, this Soho hotspot also has a full section for non-alcoholic apéritifs—and they’re the perfect bitter, herbaceous counterpoints to the rich British pub food they serve here. The Lyre’s whiskey sour and Pentire white negroni are both especially good options from the “teetotaling” portion of the beverage menu.
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Koloman in Nomad doesn’t serve mocktails, they serve “soft cocktails,” and we appreciate the distinction. This is a place you come to for fancy European food in a casual setting, which is why it’s one of our favorite restaurants in this part of Manhattan. The Alpine Swizzle tastes like a breath of fresh mountain air, and the juxtaposition of non-alcoholic beer and huckleberries in the Huck Finn is positively delightful. They also serve Leitz sparkling riesling and rosé, and it’s the most convincing N/A wine we’ve ever tried.
This fun Thai spot in Union Square is close to NYU, can seat big walk-in parties, and feels like Disneyland’s take on a Thai restaurant. Their mocktails aren't just N/A riffs on standard cocktails or amped-up juices, they're actually quite unique—which makes it an ideal choice for dinner with your friend’s 20 year-old cousin who wants to “pick your brain” about your industry. The Ma Na, which combines salted plum with Amass Riverine, is our favorite, but the Manee is basically a liquid jackfruit creamsicle, and that’s also pretty great.
Hekate Café & Elixir Lounge
This sober bar next to Enchantments in the East Village serves a combination of mocktails, teas, and coffee drinks. It feels very much like the kind of place where everyone shopping for spell candles next door would want to hang out after. If you have a certain type of obscure taste in music, someone in your friend group will be shrieking “omg I love this song” as the playlist transitions seamlessly from unplugged versions of Yes songs to The Replacements covering the 101 Dalmatians theme.