Not A Drinker? Here Are Some Destinations With Alcohol-Free Options
Photo Credit: Photo by Roberto Vivancos

Photo Credit: Photo by Roberto Vivancos

Not A Drinker? Here Are Some Destinations With Alcohol-Free Options

london , losangeles , newyorkcity , seoul , tokyo , Korea , Sri Lanka
Spencer Jones
Spencer Jones Nov 22, 2022

In a world where most adults imbibe, it can be tricky (but not impossible) to find your way if you don’t drink. Whether you’re avoiding alcohol for health reasons, or you just don’t like the taste, you might get some side-eye from others. They may ask, “well, what’s the point of hitting up a nightclub or going to a party if you aren’t going to sip a lil’ something?”

Enjoying a few drinks here and there is one thing. But when alcohol becomes a coping mechanism, it can portend trouble. USA Today reported in September 2021 that “nearly 1 in 5 Americans consumed an unhealthy amount of alcohol,” in response to the pandemic.

The publication added, “of the 6,006 U.S. adults aged 21 and older,” who participated in the online survey, “1,003 engaged in heavy drinking.” The survey specified that “heavy drinking” meant four or more alcoholic drinks for women and five or more alcoholic drinks for men.

Check out these destinations for some sober-friendly solutions.

New York

 

Wait, huh? How can New York make this list when you can’t even walk a block without encountering a bar or some other establishment where alcohol is served?

It’s true, 9 out of 10 of us like a glass or wine, a beer or something harder after a tough work week. But there are more sober bars and retailers popping up lately- allowing non-drinkers to join in the fun.

Secret NYC compiled a list of such places this year.

In Brooklyn, there’s Getaway, offering tasty mocktails.

In lower Manhattan, visit non-alcoholic retailer, Sèchey.  According to Secret NYC, “it serves over 75 booze-free brands including Spiritless, De Soi, and many more.”

Also in lower Manhattan is the the cleverly named retailer Spirited Away. Their tagline is: “rewrite revelry.” Head to their Mott Street location to stock up on non-alcoholic wines, cocktails and beers.

 

Sri Lanka and Korea

 

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The Huffington Post interviewed several travel experts and bloggers about alcohol-free travel.

Of Sri Lanka, world-traveler Carrie Hoffman said, “a large percentage of the local people don’t drink alcohol for religious or cultural reasons. In predominantly Buddhist or Muslim cultures, sobriety is totally normal.”

Of Seoul, Jee Choe said, “with restaurants, cafes, and spas that are open 24 hours, there’s so much to do that’s not centered around drinking. I don’t drink alcohol but I drink a lot of tea, so I’m always seeking out tea houses scattered around Seoul. There’s a wide range from modern to traditional tea houses, and it’s always fun for me to try them out.”

Japan

Jessica van Dop, a blogger and travel media specialist, said that beer and sake are readily available in Japan. But the pressure to imbibe isn’t like in the U.S.

“You can easily pair your meal with tea or water,” she said.

Time Out compiled a list of bars in Tokyo where you can get a nice buzz sans alcohol.

They reported, “mocktails are not the saccharine, neon-colored concoctions of the past, but curated blends of shrubs, ferments, kombuchas, infusions and non-alcoholic liquor. These inspired, inventive drinks equal the breadth and creativity of cocktails, but minus the alcohol.”

In the Peninsula Tokyo Hotel, there’s Peter The Bar. The menu has, “non-alcoholic versions of classic cocktails including an aperol spritz, gin and tonic and negroni, as well as booze-free twists on the bar’s signature drinks.”

Looking for a spot with a moody kind of feel? Check out Low-Non Bar, one of several  run by the same management. The bartenders there are true artists.

London

 

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Pub culture is huge across Britain. After work, you link up with colleagues or friends for several pints and do the same thing the next day.

For all the pubs London has, there are also alcohol-free establishments. There’s Pinq on Baker Street, the elegant Lyaness, and Hari Hotel Bar, with its variety of mocktails.

London offers so much to do that doesn’t center alcohol. Catch a show, visit world class museums and some fantastic markets, like the Portobello Market in Notting Hill and Borough Market in Southwark.

Los Angeles

 

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Stock up on items to take home at Soft Spirits, the first non-alcoholic bottle shop in the city.

The following LA bars offer alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages:

Death & Co, a moody, sexy kind of spot, lists four non-alcoholic drinks. However, it may be possible to ask for virgin versions of the standard drinks.

The London West Hollywood is a chic hotel with bars and restaurants on site.

According to Eater, “start things off on a balanced note with the London Sour, which gets a bit of sweetness from apple juice, a bright touch from lemon juice, and herbal accents from Seedlip Garden 108 and fresh rosemary and thyme.”

 

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