Sometimes you want to enjoy the bar scene without getting tipsy, or you simply can’t drink but still want to socialize with your friends. Whatever your reason for not imbibing, Philadelphia bars are becoming more innovative with mocktail offerings, and others have activities besides drinking you can partake in. With that said, here are the top bars for non-drinkers in Philadelphia.
1114 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19123
Barcade is perfect for those who enjoy vintage video games. In fact, it has a room full of classic arcade games and each one costs just a quarter a game (a change machine is on site). The room features many favorites from the 1980s, like Donkey Kong, Super Mario Brothers, Ms. Packman and Frogger. Barcade also serves great and inexpensive food. Come in during happy hour for half off small plates (pierogies, nachos).
Charlie was a sinner
131 South 13th St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Charlie was a sinner is the newest vegan bar to hit Philadelphia and Midtown Village. The food and drinks are all “plant-based” and do not use a single animal product. Along with its selection of delicious food (try the chickpea fries for a snack) and cocktails, the bar offers creative and interesting mocktails for only $6. Although changing with the seasons, some mocktail examples include the raspberry ginger soda (raspberries, ginger, lime), basil fennel (basil, fennel, lemon, sparkling) and spicy apple (apple agave, cayenne pepper).
1210 Frankford Ave.
Philadelphia, PA 19125
You might think a German beer garden would not make the list of bars for a non-drinker, but Stephen Starr’s Frankford Hall has so much going on that even the biggest teetotaler is guaranteed a fun time. The giant picnic tables in the outdoor area (it’s heated during the winter months) allow for large groups to gather and enjoy conversation or board games, such as Jenga. There’s also a full-size ping-pong table and delicious treats, like Bavarian pretzels, sausages, cupcakes and alcohol-free milkshakes.
Vernick Food & Drink
2031 Walnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19103
Vernick Food & Drink opened its doors in the Rittenhouse area in 2012 and Chef Greg Vernick’s worldly travels influenced his menu, creating fresh and flavorful dishes using seasonally changing ingredients. Although it has an impressive selection of cocktails and alcoholic beverages, its mocktails includes ginger & lime soda (sparkling water, fresh lime juice and ginger syrup) and mint fizz for only $6. And, if you want to try something new, the bartender will create a special mocktail just for you. Stick around after dinner for dessert – berry rhubarb crisp and chocolate cream pie are just two of the mouth-watering options.
White Dog Cafe
3420 Sansom St.
Philadelphia, PA 19104
White Dog Café is famous for strictly using organic and locally sourced ingredients when creating its palatable and ever-changing menu. Only the best ingredients are used when concocting its drinks, too. Although the menu frequently changes, White Dog always has a few non-alcoholic cocktails to keep you satisfied. Some examples include the “Russell, Wilderness Explorer,” made with lime syrup, fresh lemonade and concord grape, or the “Oh, Good Grief!,” made with fresh pumpkin, ginger ale and apple cider.
Kelly Neilson is a freelance writer living and working in Philadelphia. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.