A sober night out in London no longer has to be dreary evenings in with this roundup of the best alcohol-free restaurants, bars, alcohol free drinks menus and alternative late-night activities that will seamlessly help you through a month of a booze-free October.
Late night ice cream
Pop into Gelupo (7 Archer St, W1D 7AU) near Piccadilly Circus open until 11pm/midnight depending on the day, for an exciting menu that changes daily. Some of their well-known flavours include avocado and roasted plum. Similarly, Venetian import Grom (16–18 Piccadilly, W1J 0DF) serves until 11pm with pure authentic gelato that is bound to make tame all your worries of an alcohol-free October.
Alcohol free Bars
Though moving all meet-ups to November sounds appealing and an easy way to power through Sober October, Redemption Bar brings a glimmer of hope with its alcohol-free bar/restaurant in Covent Garden, Notting Hill and Shoreditch. Redemption Bar prides itself with a menu low in refined sugars, gluten-free and vegan. Smoothies, alcohol-free wine and beer, and ‘fruities’ are the bar’s answer to mocktails whilst an apple mockjito – apple presse, fresh mint and lime, and sparkling mineral water make for a fantastic refreshment to keep the booze blues at bay.
Bubble tea is worth trying once, if not for the hype or sheer taste at least for the texture and colour pile-up. This Taiwanese invention is often sweet, containing grains of tapioca ‘bubbles’, and is available in countless flavours including rose, mango, oolong, honey and even Earl Grey with many more flavours in store. You can usually mix and match your base flavour with your bubble flavour. Mooboo with venues in Camden and Harrow, Biju in South Kensington, Soho and Westfield, and the infamous Bubbleology with many liquid options around London.
Alcohol free craft beer
Nirvana Brewery’s Kosmic Stout in Leyton will make you forget about booze with its hints of vanilla and dark, rich and deep aromas of chocolate, all well-balanced by a smooth toasted malt base. For more of a caramel taste, opt for Tantra Pale Ale, the traditional English pale ale made with lightly roasted barley, giving a caramel malt body that is balanced with a lingering crisp hop bitterness. Lagers and IPAs are all available in 0% form. Keep an eye out for their products in Borough Wines stores around London.
For alcohol-free restaurants, take a trip to Bonnington Café in Vauxhall, a community friendly veggie/vegan eatery (11 Vauxhall Grove, SW8 1TD) budget-friendly and community focused, with a rotating team of local members chipping in with the delicious cooking. For another warm and unique ambience: Persepolis, the legendary Persian corner shop/restaurant (28–30 Peckham High St, SE15 5DT) serve fragrant Persian tea with cardamom, mango smoothie, and sour cherry juice that will have you leaving your bottle of booze at home.
By Laura Reynolds, Contributing Editor at Londonist
Londonist Drinks: A Spirited Guide to London Libation (AA Publishing) is out now