Celebrate the sober lifestyle with sophisticated non-alcoholic mocktails, drinks and brews at these Toronto bars and restaurants.
Step aside, Shirley Temple. Inventive, delicious—and even sexy—no-alcohol libations are a hot trend across the city. There are plenty of sophisticated pours to enjoy, whether by lifestyle choice, spiritual strictures or participation in a dry month following a busy social season. Here are 10 spots to sip an elevated no-buzz drink.
The Oxley Public House
Everyone from uni students from the nearby University of Toronto campus to elegant Yorkville sophisticates crowd into The Oxley Public House, a popular British-style pub. Order a Plum Fizz, made of plum cordial, lemon and soda after a tough day shopping at nearby Chanel and Gucci. Or sip on its sister, the Pom Fizz made with pomegranate molasses.
The Library Bar at the Fairmont Royal York
If you're partaking in Union Winter festivities, make time to head across the street to the elegant Fairmont Royal York hotel, home to local cocktail institution The Library Bar. The plush lounge features a highly curated cocktail menu, including non-alcoholic options like the Temperance Time libation with Seedlip alcohol-free spirits, cucumber, Fever Tree lemonade, soda and mint.
Taylors Landing at The Shops at Don Mills
After you heed the retail call of one of Canada's fave apparel chains, Aritzia, or you've loaded up at preppy Brooks Brothers or boho-chic Anthropologie, duck into Taylors Landing for a bite to eat and a Blueberry Nojito.
This no-booze twist on the mojito includes house-made blueberry coulis, cane syrup, fresh lime juice, fresh mint, and soda. Alternatively, chill with a Corona Sunbrew, the zero-ABV version of the classic beer.
The Shameful Tiki Room
If you're living the low-ABV life, you can still get in on the OTT shenanigans at The Shameful Tiki Room, Parkdale's famously flamboyant cocktail bar.
Among the Polynesian-inspired drinks, you'll find low-alcohol concoctions that include Uka Aku, a blend of grapefruit, lemon, coconut and passionfruit, with a Marsala float. Or go zero-alcohol with the Designated Driver, a house blend of lime, cinnamon, orange, pineapple, bitters and soda.
The craft suds pour freely at this local brewery's Ossington Brewpub in trendy Ossington Village. Here, the sober curious can partake in the crisp delight of a fresh draft beer this Dry January and beyond.
Visit the cozy, loft-like pub to sample the citrusy and refreshing zero-alcohol Stay Classy IPA on tap. Or go for bottles of two other no-buzz IPAs, the Cascade, or the Citra, Mosaic and Simcoe—both offering clean, hop-forward experiences.
Famous Last Words
Stay sharp for Book Trivia nights with virgin cocktails like the Cherry Ames: Private Duty Nurse, a blend of zero-alcohol gin and black cherry flavours, or the herbaceous Lightning Thief, also starring "gin," in addition to pear juice, lemon, honey-thyme syrup and walnut bitters.
Greta Solomon's Dining Room
East end's quaint Leslieville neighbourhood plays host to the sweet French restaurant, Greta Solomon's Dining Room. An extensive wine list is the focus of this cozy space, and sober folks are included in the bounty with a selection of Teetotaler wine from La Mancha, Spain.
Pick from the zero-alcohol Tempranillo red or sparkling rosé, or the classic Airén white, to go along with your côtes courtes (short ribs) or loup de mer (sea bass).
Her Father's Cider Bar + Kitchen
Aside from its elegant Victorian red brick architecture, the Annex-adjacent Harbord Village is known for its fine dining scene. Among the swish restaurants is the down-to-earth Her Father's Cider Bar.
Snuggle into a velvety banquette and order a fresh cider served chilled or hot and mulled. If it's the zippy bubbles of hard cider you're after, sans alcohol, go for the sparkling pear or apple ciders from Spirit Tree, an apple orchard and cidery north of Toronto.
Looking for an otherworldly Queen Street West experience? Look no further than Offworld Bar, a futuristic concept bar with 3D holograms and space-themed virtual windows. Elevated cocktails with celestial names are a big focus in this rather elegant space that's less Dune, and more Star Trek: The Next Generation.
What would an off-duty Captain Picard order? Probably Other Suns, made with Tanqueray 0.0%, lychee juice and orange bitters. Or perhaps a Solar Flare, with house-made raspberry syrup, lemon juice, orange bitters, and ginger beer.