Ready for Dry July? It’s hot so even if you’re not drinking, we know you need A Drink. Fear not! Taking a break from booze definitely doesn’t mean you ditch cocktails, or the buzz. Some of the best restaurants in Los Angeles have added non-alcoholic drink options to their menus and they are nothing like the Shirley Temple-saccharine mocktails of memory.
A world of zero-proof spirits mimicking everything from tequila to rosè to gin means bartenders across the city are eager to mix up their best with alcohol-free alternatives. Need a little more heft? The emerging genre of “functional” or “adaptogenic” drinks claims they can give you a Weekend-worthy buzz without the hangover. Too good to be true? Drink to believe it!
Olivetta – This Melrose hotspot, which shares the street with paparazzi-magnet Craig’s, is the new destination for chic happy hours so they make sure there’s something for the NA set. The fresh, coastal Mediterranean-inspired menu goes hand-in-hand with a tantalizing beverage program that features an entire page of booze-free drinks. Their many options include sips featuring functional favorites like Ghia and Three Spirit, as well as flavor-forward cocktails with zero-proof spirits from Seedlip and Amass.
Asterid – Nestled inside the cozy, reflective tangle that is Walt Disney Concert Hall, Ray Garcia’s Asterid knows you’re there for a show stopper. Echoing the refinement of their California-centric menu, their tight list of non-alcoholic options includes a dreamy Coconut Milk Punch which is just as complex as its full-proof cousins courtesy of Lyre’s Cane Spirit, a proxy for dark rum.
Gracias Madre – LA’s favorite Mexican vegan establishment (which has locations in West Hollywood and Newport Beach) knows how to take the edge off. Their beverage program includes a rotating cast of lip-smacking Aguas Frescas, which you can spike with a pack of VYBES dissolvable CBD powder or have totally virgin.
Ka’teen – Going past the thatched archway may be a scene, but the flavors certainly show up at Wes Avila’s clubby Hollywood ode to Yucatan cuisine. The puree of the mango margarita is so lush, all it needs is a Tajin rim instead of a shot of Don.
Soft Spirits – Summer BBQ season isn’t slowing down and there are plenty of NA options to snag on the way to the backyard or the beach at this retail spot in Silverlake. Along with the best non-alcoholic beers, you can snag a bottle of zero-proof Surely bubbles or Monday’s alcohol-free mezcal, ready to make a jug of mean spicy margs to share. For fuller effects, hit the functional shelves for De Soi aperitifs (Katy Perry’s delicious pet project) or Bonbuz, a lip-puckering N/A spirit with a zesty, energetic vibe.
As the world of non-alcoholic drinks continues to grow, more and more places are likely to start putting out better and better options throughout the Los Angeles area. We’ll be sure to keep this list updated, so keep checking back for exciting new additions.