Barhopping is a favorite pastime for many people in Los Angeles. With more than 1,640 taverns to choose from, there’s no shortage of great places to stop and grab a drink. Here in Southern California, partying is a way of life for many. However, sober lifestyles in LA are also incredibly vibrant, especially as the market for alcohol-free beverages continues to increase. Now, you can find nonalcoholic cocktails at most saloons and lounges throughout the city, but which ones are the best?
If you want to take a break from booze without missing out on all the fun, visit one of the bars below. Each one offers at least one delicious mocktail that’ll quench your thirst and keep you sober. That way, you can fully enjoy your time on the town — and avoid a dreadful hangover the next day.
1. Idle Hour
It might look like you’re walking into a giant wine barrel, but Idle Hour serves more than just vino. This cozy North Hollywood lounge has an extensive list of signature cocktails and spirits and one cheeky mocktail that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds. The Virgin Presbyterian offers a delicious blend of ginger syrup, lemon juice, pineapple, bitters and club soda. Throw a few back and be sure to save room for a slice of the famous Nutella chocolate layer cake.
2. The Varnish
If you’re headed downtown, make a quick stop at The Varnish. The dark, moody speakeasy is hidden behind Cole’s bar and has racked up countless accolades with its quality booze, talented bartenders and well-balanced cocktails. The Varnish also serves several nonalcoholic beverages, including shots like the Facemelter, which has anti-inflammatory properties and includes pineapple, sea salt, ginger syrup, lemon and cayenne. It’s perfect if you’re feeling under the weather or simply appreciate creative flavor combos.
Take a step back in time at the Sassafras Saloon, a Savannah townhouse turned bayou bar. With antique mirrors, portraits of Southern patriarchs and cozy wicker chairs, you might forget you’re in the heart of Hollywood. Go for a swing-dancing party and try one or two of its signature mocktails. Ingredients like house-made grenadine, fresh ginger syrup and various botanical infusions stimulate the palate and evoke spirits like gin, tequila and vodka. Cheers!
Pasadena’s Magnolia House might have amazing margaritas and Insta-worthy avocado toast, but this unique hideaway also serves two delicious mocktails. Try the Not-So American Dream, which features flavors like mint and strawberry, or the Snappy Ginger, which consists of lime, ginger, blood orange, seltzer and rosemary. After tasting one of these, you may never go back to drinking regular old cocktails again.
For those who love Mexican cuisine, there’s Gracias Madre in West Hollywood. This popular spot serves a mouthwatering selection of vegan tacos and a variety of virgin margaritas. It also features a delicious Michelada Sin Cerveza, a nonalcoholic beer that consists of jalapeno basil ice, dry-hopped grapefruit kombucha and habanero bitters. Come for the drinks and stay for the food. Whatever you order, it’s sure to be spicy and savory.
If you’re looking for a classy atmosphere with stunning views, look no further than 71Above. Located on the top floor of the tallest building in LA, this one-of-a-kind bar offers a 360-degree view of the city below. It’s not a bad place to grab an alcohol-free tipple, either. The bartenders specialize in making thirst-quenching mocktails that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Who needs booze when you’re already in the clouds?
Keeping It Classy
These bars serve high-quality drinks that deserve to be sipped, not guzzled. So kick back, relax and sip away. Who says you have to imbibe to have a good time? Stay sober — and keep it classy with virgin beers, wines and cocktails. With so many to choose from, you probably won’t even miss the alcohol.