For the thirsty New Yorker, there’s no shortage of bars in NYC. In fact, when it comes to boozy beverages, the NYC bar scene is just the tip of the iceberg. There are breweries, cider factories, distilleries, restaurants with special drink menus, and bodegas selling beer on almost every corner. If you’re a drinker, this is all great news. But what about those of us who choose to not drink alcohol? Luckily, New York City has a ton of great non-alcoholic drink options for the under-21 crowd, people in recovery, or anyone who simply chooses to abstain from alcohol.
Sodas at Brooklyn Farmacy & Soda Fountain (Brooklyn)
The Brooklyn Farmacy started off as an apothecary housed at 513 Henry Street in Brooklyn. From the 1920’s all the way through the 1990’s, the apothecary (aka drug store) served the surrounding neighborhood until finally closing its doors for 13 years. Interestingly, while the exterior of the building decayed, the interior of the building remained nearly untouched, filled with vintage ephemera and original architectural details. Finally, after a little help from a television show titled Construction Intervention, the Brooklyn Farmacy opened its doors in May of 2010, serving some of the finest ice cream treats and fountain sodas in NYC.
The Brooklyn Farmacy has a huge menu, featuring a variety of old school hand-mixed fountain sodas, egg cremes, ice cream floats, hand-dipped milkshakes, coffee drinks, malted milk, hot cider, hot cocoa, and more! If you’re looking for non-alcoholic treats in NYC, the Brooklyn Farmacy should be your first stop.
513 Henry Street, Brooklyn, NY • http://www.brooklynfarmacyandsodafountain.com/
New Orleans Iced Coffee at Blue Bottle Coffee (various locations)
What do you get when you take a New Orleans coffee favorite, perfect the recipe in Oakland, and then sell it in New York City? Easy! Blue Bottle Coffee’s New Orleans Iced Coffee. This sweet, creamy, fragrant blend is reminiscent of the cafe au lait from NOLA’s famous Cafe Du Monde. The coffee grounds are mixed with southern Chicory, cold-brewed for 12 hours, then mixed with organic cane sugar and whole milk to create a coffee experience that tastes less like coffee and more like caffeinated chocolate milk. Grab one to go or stay and drink in one of dozens of NYC locations.
Various locations • https://bluebottlecoffee.com/
No-Proof Drinks at Pok Pok NY (Brooklyn)
Located on a historic stretch of the Brooklyn waterfront, Pok Pok NY serves authentic Northern Thai food with a modern twist. There are dozens of amazing dishes on the menu, but we’re not here to talk about Pok Pok’s food, we’re here to talk about their amazing selection of non-alcoholic drinks, or as they call them, No-Proof drinks.
In most NYC restaurants, non-alcoholic drinks are usually relegated to an obscure bottom corner of the menu - if they’re even on the menu at all. Heck, many restaurants’ non-alcoholic drink menu consists of nothing more than the usual selection of sodas. But not so at Pok Pok! An entire column of their drink menu is dedicated to No-Proof options. We love all their No-Proof drinks so much, we decided to share their entire menu below. Keep scrolling!
While all the No-Proof drink options at Pok Pok are excellent, the standout is their selection of Pok Pok Som Drinking Vinegars. While the name may sound odd, Som Drinking Vinegars taste more like tangy fruit juices. Than you might think. They are refreshingly sweet and tangy, with amazing seasonal flavors and tons of options to choose from. Pok Pok Som Drinking Vinegars are bottled by Pok Pok using organic cane vinegar and fresh whole fruits, herbs and spices.
Pok Pok Som Drinking Vinegars: Tamarind, Pomegranate, Honey, Thai Basil, Ginger, Pineapple, Turmeric, Celery or Apple. Mild, sweet and tart drinking vinegar, mixed with soda water. Plus seasonal Pok Pok Som flavors.
Cha Manao (Thai iced tea with fresh lime juice)
Cha Yen (Thai iced tea with evaporated milk)
Naam Manao (Fresh squeezed limeade, Thai style)
Kafae Boraan (Old school Thai-style coffee with condensed and evaporated milk, served iced or hot. Made with Stumptown coldbrew concentrate.)
Stumptown Coffee (Best coffee in town, roasted right up the street. All shots are doubles.)
Espresso, Americano, Cappuccino, Latte, Steve Smith Teas
117 Columbia St, Brooklyn 11231 • https://pokpokny.com/ • https://pokpoksom.com/
Bohemian coffee at Caffe Reggio (Greenwich Village)
Caffe Reggio was hip before hipsters, and cool before the cool cats came to town. In fact, Caffe Reggio has been at 119 Macdougal Street since 1927. You read that right, Cafe Reggio has been around since before the great depression! Some of the coolest and most interesting people in New York City history have enjoyed Caffe Reggio’s European-style coffee drinks, including Lou Reed, John Lennon, John F. Kennedy, and countless others. The cafe has been featured in dozens of TV shows and films as well, including The Godfather Part II, Shaft, Serpico, and more. There’s even an authentic antique bench from the Florentine Medici family of Renaissance fame. The bench isn’t even roped off! Guest sit on this famous historic bench just like any other seat in the cafe.
As far as non-alcoholic drinks go, Caffe Reggio is famous for its European-style coffee drinks served in a hip, laid back environment. Get a double espresso, latte, or cappuccino, and do what hip cats have been doing at Caffe Reggio for over 90 years: just chill, daddy-o.
119 Macdougal Street between West 3rd Street and Minetta Lane • caffereggio.com
Try the Kyoto Method at Birch Coffee (various locations)
If you’re looking for the ultimate iced coffee experience, forget plain old cold brew and try the Kyoto Method at Birch Coffee. While the glass test tubes and slow drip-drip-drip of coffee through the system may seem like a showy science experiment, it actually does make a damn fine-tasting cup of coffee. The slow drip method preserves the coffee’s natural aromatics and delicate flavor notes. Iced coffee from Birch Coffee has a delicate flavor best enjoyed black, over ice, no sugar or milk required.
Multiple locations • http://birchcoffee.com/
Mocktails at Saxon + Parole (the Bowery)
If you’re looking for wild non-alcoholic concoctions made with the same care and attention to detail as today’s finest artisanal cocktails, try the artisanal mocktails at Saxon + Parole. With an old-timey flair and a modern feel, the non-alcoholic drink menu at Saxon + Parole is a dream come true for non-drinkers. The award-winning bar staff puts the same amount of effort and energy into every drink, whether it contains alcohol or not. And these drinks aren’t your average Shirley Temples and Roy Rogers. Infused with housemade bitters and out-of-this-world ingredients like red bell pepper juice, chili tincture, star anise tincture and more, the Saxon + Parole mocktail list is simply mind-blowing. We couldn’t pick a favorite, so we’ve included their complete mocktail menu below, but make sure to ask about their daily mocktail drink specials.
SALIA'S HOUSEMADE SHRUB: Local seasonal fruits & herbs with organic vinegar and sweetner
BELL PEPPER LEMONADE: Fresh red bell pepper juice, lemon, organic agave, chili tincture
GARDEN TONIC: Fresh celery juice, celery bitters, lime, house made tonic, herbs
BOWERY PUNCH: Fresh pineapple & orange juices, ginger, lime, nutmeg, perrier
SPICED ICED TEA: Orange pekoe tea, star anise tincture, mint, lemon
CUCUMBER & THYME FIZZ: Fresh cucumber juice, lemon, thyme, perrier
316 Bowery, NY, NY • 212-254-0350 • saxonandparole.com
Sometimes being a non-drinker in New York City can be hard, but with fun, delicious non-alcoholic options like these, you can’t miss. For more articles about the alcohol- and drug-free lifestyle in NYC, bookmark the Life Assurance Recovery blog!
Life Assurance Recovery offers recovery services in the greater New York City area, including Recovery Coaching, At-Home Detox, Safe Sober Transportation, Alcohol and Drug Counseling, and more! For more info visit http://lifeassurancerecovery.com and Contact Us.
-- Life Assurance Recovery 2018