Mocktails are so hot right now. Thinking outside the booze is quickly becoming a requirement for most establishments and Austin bars and restaurants have stepped up to the challenge. Regardless of whether you’re sober, sober-curious, taking a night off, or just looking for a really tasty beverage, you’ll find a bevy of non-alcoholic beverages.
Head south for a laid-back atmosphere, great live music, tasty food trucks and craft mocktails made with fresh juices. All of Armadillo Den's draft mocktails start without alcohol (with the option to add for those who want it), so you have a number of tasty libations to choose from. The Southside Sipper is delightful on a sunny day, made with fresh watermelon and lime juices and mint.
While "cocktail" is in the name, don't be fooled by the options as this hip Austin hang. Check out both their south and Saltillo locations for delightful coffee drinks and highballs that can be made into zero-proof mocktails.
Hang out in a 1950's drugstore-turned-restaurant and sip on house-made sodas with non-alcoholic or CBD-infused options. Order a Knickerbocker made with raspberry and lime or the Pickpocket with strawberry, basil and balsamic. Insider tip: you can also get any of their cocktails alcohol free!
If you're looking for a vibey spot to enjoy a top notch dinner and mocktails, Pecan Square Café is the place to be. This intimate restaurant can turn just about any one of their cocktails into an n/a bev with the help of local Slow Luck non-alcoholic spirit. Their knowledgeable bartenders will be sure to make you something tasty and beautiful, without any of the guilt.
Built in 1929, the Roosevelt Room oozes speakeasy vibes (without the secret knock element.) Dark interiors, plush booths, something sultry on the speaker gives it that timeless air. They are experts at their craft and that craft is cocktails. Incidentally, it’s also mocktails. The bartenders here know every bottle behind the bar and so if you tell them your flavor, they’ll give you something that can knock your socks off. They also have a non-alcoholic menu. Choose from the Glitter & Marigold with bold orange, vanilla, and cinnamon, The Castaway with its coconut-mint-ginger vibes, and the Na’Groni, made with Zero Proof gin and gentian tea.
This bar made all the headlines a couple of years ago when it opened. This spot is—as its name implies—completely sans booze. This unassuming Congress Avenue bar is all about the sober community and hosts weekday and weekend events like karaoke, storytelling, comedy, local markets and more. Their selection of non-alcoholic liquor, beer, and wine is top notch and they’ve got new ones in the rotation all the time. Join them in person to connect, make friends, and hangout. Open for regular hours on Fridays only from 6 PM - 12 AM.
Some restaurants have disappointing mocktail options (ever been told seltzer water with grapefruit juice is the best a restaurant can do?), but that's not the case at Uncle Nicky's. Take your pick at a number of inventive non-alcoholic options, like their refreshing Porch Swing or unusual Fluffy Orange Mule.
Heaven is a field of puppies and that’s what you’ll find at Yard Bar. Both a bar and a dog park, Yard Bar is a popular spot for dog owners and dog lovers of all kinds. Sit outside, shaded by a huge tree, and hang with four-footed friends whilst enjoying a cold Strawberry Fields (Seedlip Garden, strawberry, mint, lime) or a Burnt Orange Blast (Seedlip citrus, vanilla, orange.) Other mocktails are the Pineapple Express and the Afternoon Delight.
You might stop in this jungalow paradise for eats, drinks, or even a dip in the upstairs pool. Located in the Austin Marriott Downtown, Zanzibar is lush, it’s tropical, and their menu is like a vacation. Pair your pulled pork sliders with a Spice Island mocktail (hibiscus, ginger, allspice, lime) and your Kahuna Burger with a Clean Wave (pineapple, peach, mint, lime.) Because they channel all the tiki vibes, bartenders can go off-script and whip up any number of frothy, frozen, fabulous confections.
Looking for other ways to keep your mind sharp and body healthy? Check out these places to workout in Austin, other than your hotel gym.
Contributed by Kelly Stocker.