Last year I wrote a post that compiled options of what to drink when you’re not drinking from the north end of the Strip to the south.
But the thing is, unless we work on the strip, most of us locals really don’t spend much time there.
For Dry January 2019 I wanted to create a post for locals (and adventurous travelers) beyond Las Vegas Blvd., so I’ve been working to put together a list of places to get something interesting and alcohol-free in the downtown area.
The list here is by no means all inclusive or comprehensive.
Almost everywhere I’ve visited downtown will at least have a coffee, seltzer, or soda, but these are the places that seem to have gone out of their way to offer options to those of us who are in recovery, taking a night off of drinking, pregnant, designated drivers, or off the sauce for one reason or another.
If there’s a place you’re visiting that isn’t on this list and you’re hoping to ask for something sober-friendly, I recommend reading over last year’s interview with local bartender Bobby Franks. Although he’s no longer at Downtown Cocktail Room, his advice is solid for how to best request something alcohol-free if you don’t see an option on the menu.
Allrighty–onto the A-Z list of what and where to drink when you’re not drinking, DTLV edition:
Atomic Kitchen/Atomic Liquors offers Hop Water and one of my personal household faves, Old Milwaukee Non-Alcoholic Beer, and Director of Operations Katie Cruz said they’re working on offering a specialty non-alcoholic cocktail in 2019…can’t wait!
The Barrymore has an entire spirit free menu, including the Domesticated Mule (ginger shrub, limeade, sparkling water), the Peach Bellini (white peach puree, fever tree ginger beer), and the Fauxito (lime, mint, fresh berries) as well as Buckler, a non-alcoholic beer
Carson Kitchen offers specialty sodas such as Mr. Q Cucumber Soda, Fever Tree Ginger Ale and Virgil’s Microbrews
Eureka has some multiple sober friendly options including Sparkling Hop Water, Ginger-Lime Soda, Charcoal Lemonade, Lavender Iced Tea, Turmeric Nectar, and Blood Orange Soda
Flock and Fowl offers Adam’s Wellness Shot (with apple, ginger, turmeric)
Jammyland has an extensive alcohol-free menu with mocktails featuring ingredients such as Seedlip, Liquid Alchemist and Shrubb & Co. Managing Partner, Danielle Crouch says,
“We actually take a lot of pride in our non-alcoholic offerings. We believe that those who choose not to imbibe shouldn’t feel left out and stuck with a boring old club soda. Just like our spirituous cocktails, we utilize all fresh ingredients for our driver friendly offerings. We juice daily, not only fresh citrus, but fresh pineapple and ginger amongst others. We make our own syrups from our incredible house orgeat, pomegranate reduction, roasted pineapple syrup and more.”
They wanted to feature the n/a version of the Brazilian Necktie created by Danielle’s partner Allan Katz. Danielle explains,
“This is a great example of where we are able to utilize a product like Seedlip to keep things interesting for those who choose not to partake in spirits. We muddle cucumbers and add fresh lime, raw sugar, cucumber + thai spice bitters and Seedlip Spice. We shake it all together and top it with Maldon smoked sea salt and cracked black pepper.”
Last year Jammyland even hosted an event for Recovery PAC (Nevada’s recovery political action committee) so as far as I am concerned, they get a Sober in Vegas GOLD STAR!
La Comida offers bottled Jarritos and has bottled non-alcohlic St. Pauli beer
Le Thai has an extensive tea list, including Japanese Sencha, Pomegranate Oolong, Chai Roobis
Makers and Finders has a huge amount of options from traditional coffee and tea to offerings to specialties like the Mexican Spice Latte (spiced mocha syrup, clove) or the Lavender Infused Latte (featuring their house made lavender syrup). They also have GT’s Kombucha and housemade Nitrobrew coffee on tap!
Mob Museum Speakeasy has an entire section of their bar menu dedicated to non-alcoholic offerings such as the Keep Sober Cocktail (Grenadine, Lemon, Elderflower Tonic), the Rosemary Grapefruit Fizz (Grapefruit, Rosemary, Tonic) and the Raspberry Lavender Fizz (Raspberry, Lavender, Lemon, Soda Water)
PublicUs has an ever rotating menu. Some of the most intriguing items I’ve seen have been Iced Lemon Lime Green Tea, various and seasonal Fresh Fruit Shrub, and the Fresh Mint and Cream Iced Coffee
Rachel’s Kitchen specializes in fresh and healthy options like fresh juices and smoothies. Some of the specialties include Popeye’s Secret (Apples, spinach, carrots, celery, beets & parsley) or the Acai Berry Smoothie (Açaí berry, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, pineapples, pineapple juice & nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt)
Vegenation has so many offerings to choose from….the Orange Burst Smoothie (orange, carrot, ginger, turmeric, pineapple), the Perky Potion (superfood coffee blend with jasmine green tea, cacao, hemp seeds, and coconut oil, sweetened with organic agave) or the Jamaican Hibiscus Punch (hibiscus leaves, all spice, juniper berries, rose petals, and star anise, sweetened with organic agave) in addition to traditional tea and coffee menu items
Velveteen Rabbit offers a number of options for non-drinkers, including the Baby Love which features muddled cucumber and rosemary with house made simple syrup and fresh lemon juice. It’s served in a Tom Collins glass, and garnished with burnt rosemary.
I absolutely love this one! On a personal note, it means so much when bars take as much time and thought on non-alcohlic offerings–even the simple addition of a garnish makes us feel included and welcome. Thank you Velveteen Rabbit!
Vesta Coffee downtown has so many unique handcrafted hot drinks like the Black Sesame Matcha, the Miso Honey Latte (Shiro Miso and local honey), and the Golden Milk (turmeric, ginger, vanilla, cinnamon and almond milk)
As I mentioned before, this list is ever changing, ever growing, and by no means comprehensive.
In doing the research for this post, and in emailing with different restaurants and bars in DTLV, I was blown away by how many places are starting to take notice of the sober and non-drinking community by offering alternatives.
I know that Las Vegas will probably always be known on some level as a city of excess and partying, but it warms my heart to see our town make space for sober.