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A series of bottles holding spirit-free drinks.
Smyth offers top-notch n/a pairings.
Galdones Photography

18 Chicago Restaurants and Bars With Excellent Booze-Free Beverages

Patrons might not miss booze when they drink at these spots

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Smyth offers top-notch n/a pairings.
| Galdones Photography

Thanks to a new genre of alcohol-free sprits like Seedlip and Curious Elixirs, it’s easier than ever for restaurants and bars to up their booze-free beverage options beyond lemonade and iced tea. While some bars in Chicago serve a wide range of non-alcoholic drinks, and others offer just one or two, restaurants like Smyth and Elske are upping the game with sophisticated new beverage pairings that sidestep spirits, too. Below, a guide of where to find Chicago’s most interesting alcohol-free cocktails and innovative n/a beverage pairings for designated drivers, and those who choose to avoid booze.

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Young American

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Creative cocktail bar Young American in Logan Square offers a bevy of non-alcoholic drinks with the option to add CBD isolate. New to the menu is “#7,” with rooibos, tangerine tea, melon, ginger, lime, and cinnamon; and “#8” with golden oat milk, strawberry, lemon, and mint.

A pink cocktail in a tall glass.
Young American’s Ginseng Along
Young American [Official Photo]

Daisies

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Seasonal new American spot Daisies in Logan Square added a new booze-free drink to its bar menu this past fall. Designed by bartender Kevin Murphy, the earthy elixir “Mushroom Sour” blends shiitake mushroom, demerara sugar, lemon, and egg white.

A bar interior
Daisies’s “Mushroom Sour” doesn’t contain alcohol.
Daisies [Official Photo]

Bar director Olivia Duncan over at hot Israeli addition Galit in Lincoln Park is mixing “On the Back Burner.” Available since the restaurant’s opening bar menu, the warm n/a drink calls for apple cider, fenugreek, and ginger.

A peach-hued drink in a rocks glass.
Galit’s “On the Back Burner” cocktail
Galit [Official Photo]

Clever Rabbit

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Vegetarian restaurant Clever Rabbit in Wicker Park serves n/a drinks named “Cottontails.” Expect spirit-free beverages like the “Charred Grapefruit Aqua Fresca,” with lime, agave, pink peppercorns, and grapefruit Topo Chico sparkling water.

A charred grapefruit and bottle of sparkling water next to a cocktail.
Clever Rabbit’s “Charred Grapefruit Aqua Fresca”
Clever Rabbit [Official Photo]

Le Colonial Chicago

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Gold Coast’s upscale Vietnamese restaurant Le Colonial serves a number of fruit-focused, alcohol-free libations, such as the “Mua He” with pineapple, mango, lychee, and lemon juice; and “Mua Dong” with cucumber, ginger beer and lime juice.

A golden-lit bar.
Inside Le Colonial.
©www.neiljohnburger.com

Pacific Standard Time

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One Off’s breezy, California-inspired restaurant PST in River North definitely embraces spirit-free sips. On January 1, bartender Scott Stroemer added a number of new no-ABV drinks, including a Spanish gin and tonic-inspired option: “Orchard Tonic.” The drink calls for apple cider reduction, clover honey syrup, citric acid, and Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic.

A light and bright dining room.
Pacific Standard Time doesn’t skimp on n/a offerings.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Flora Fauna

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Flora Fauna, the Latin American and Southeast Asian-inspired number from industry vets Liz Pearce and Jonathan Meyer, has created a unique beverage program. The bar offers draft cocktails designed in a way that guests can customize. Drinkers can choose from five different bases and order one of those solo, or add an extra flavor blend to make it their own. They can also order any booze-free addition as a n/a drink with soda and lime, or tonic and lemon.

An orange cocktail held by someone with long red nails.
Flora Fauna offers an array of customizable booze-free cocktails
Flora Fauna [Official Photo]

Gibsons Italia

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Gibsons’ newer Italian hotspot balances pasta with cocktails. Bar manager Stephen Gleich is behind options such as “Ginger Grapefruit Fizz” with grapefruit juice, lemon juice, honey, and ginger beer; and “Melon Spritz” with watermelon juice, lime, agave, and cucumber soda.

A pale orange-hued cocktail.
Gibsons Italia’s Ginger Grapefruit Fizz
Gibsons Italia [Official Photo]

The Publican

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At Fulton Market icon the Publican, bartender Will Owen is serving “Forest of Gold” for those looking to skip booze. On the menu since this past winter, the mocktail incorporates verjus rouge, grapefruit, spruce and juniper syrup, coriander, black pepper, allspice, and star anise. 

A pink cocktail in a stemless wine glass.
The Publican’s Forest of Gold cocktail
Isabelle Langheim/One Off Hospitality

Chef Noah Sandoval’s two-Michelin-starred West Loop tasting menu haunt Oriole offers drinkers the option to sign up for a spirit-free beverage pairing ($95), or to order n/a drinks a la carte. Helmed by drinks expert Julia Momose (Kumiko), options include “Hammersmith Palace” with banana, tarragon, and lime; and “A ∩ B” with Duche de Longueville sparkling cider and genmaicha tea.

A green cocktail in a tall glass.
Oriole’s “Hammersmith Palace”
Sammy Faze

Over at lauded Japanese-inspired cocktail lair Kumiko in the West Loop, Julia Momose is mixing and muddling a number of spirit-free drinks. “Protea” calls for adzuki, purple sweet potato vinegar, Seedlip Spice 94, verjus rouge, Fever Tree club soda and Top Note Tonic; “Pepperberry Tonic” incorporates Tasmanian pepperberry, sansho, angelica root, and grapefruit, and Fever Tree elderflower tonic; while “Remedy” mixes kinmokusei, fennel seed, angelica root, and Top Note Tonic.

A clear cocktail in a short glass.
Kumiko’s “Remedy” mocktail
Sammy Faze

At chef Paul Virant’s new West Loop Japanese pancake pusher Gaijin, bartender Julius White is offering the n/a “Hibiscus Fizz.” with Rare Tea Cellar Hibiscus Dream syrup, umami shrub, and high pressure club soda. 

The inside of a dark-hued restaurant and bar.
Gaijin diners can pair Japanese pancakes with n/a drinks.
Gaijin [Official Photo]

Two-Michelin-starred Smyth is on top of non-alcoholic beverage pairings. Helmed by head chef Luke Feltz, the drinks, priced at $105, $70, and $45, incorporate ubiquitous preserved ingredients — items grown at Smyth’s agricultural partner, the Farm. Expect blends such as blackberry, juniper, and Earl Grey tea; and honeycrisp apple with fig leaf.

 

Bottles lined up on a wooden table.
Smyth’s offers excellent non-alcoholic beverage pairings
Galdones Photography

Bad Hunter

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Veggie-focused Randolph Street restaurant Bad Hunter offers n/a drinks, too. “Petty Before Bitter,” designed by Vinny Starble and Brandon Thrash, was inspired by the tart citrus bitter notes found in apertif wines or amari. The drink calls for dried and fresh citrus peels, dried red berries, hibiscus, rose hip, cinchona bark, gentian root, angelica root, vegetable glycerol, and sparkling water.

A bright red drink in a tall glass with a metal straw
Bad Hunter’s “Petty Before Bitter”
Bad Hunter [Official]

Danish-inspired Elske in the West Loop offers seasonal booze-free drinks on its a la carte cocktail list, as well as a juice pairing to complement its set menu. Individual drinks include spirit-free “Shaken” with celery, hops, and lemon; and “Collins,” with carrot, ginger, lime, and curry.

Four stemmed glasses sit on top of a bar.
Elske offers n/a options like “Shaken” and “Collins.”
Carolina Mariana Rodriguez

Marz Community Brewing Company

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Experimental Bridgeport taproom and brewery Marz Community Brewing Company isn’t just focusing on beer. It also offers many booze-free options, including “Flower Power,” a CBD-fueled elixir with ingredients like hibiscus, chamomile, and cinnamon; and “Juniper Fizz,” also spiked with CBD, and enriched with vanilla bean, spruce, and blood orange.

Virtue Restaurant

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Virtue, Erick Williams’s Southern restaurant that hit Hyde Park just over a year ago, offers spirit-free imbibing options. “The Hummingbird” is flavored with basil and bitter lemon, while “the Duke of Earl” calls for Earl Grey tea, star anise, lemon, and egg white.

A stemmed cocktail glass with a yellow cocktail topped with white foam.
Virtue’s “the Duke of Earl”
Virtue [Official Photo]

Mesler Kitchen | Bar | Lounge

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Hyde Park’s new American Mesler Kitchen Bar within the Sophy Hotel embraces seasonal, non-alcoholic elixirs. Consider the “Winter Persuasion” (cranberry, lemon, rosemary), or warm up with a “Hot Cider Situation” (hot apple cider, caramel, maple whipped cream).

Young American

Creative cocktail bar Young American in Logan Square offers a bevy of non-alcoholic drinks with the option to add CBD isolate. New to the menu is “#7,” with rooibos, tangerine tea, melon, ginger, lime, and cinnamon; and “#8” with golden oat milk, strawberry, lemon, and mint.

A pink cocktail in a tall glass.
Young American’s Ginseng Along
Young American [Official Photo]

Daisies

Seasonal new American spot Daisies in Logan Square added a new booze-free drink to its bar menu this past fall. Designed by bartender Kevin Murphy, the earthy elixir “Mushroom Sour” blends shiitake mushroom, demerara sugar, lemon, and egg white.

A bar interior
Daisies’s “Mushroom Sour” doesn’t contain alcohol.
Daisies [Official Photo]

Galit

Bar director Olivia Duncan over at hot Israeli addition Galit in Lincoln Park is mixing “On the Back Burner.” Available since the restaurant’s opening bar menu, the warm n/a drink calls for apple cider, fenugreek, and ginger.

A peach-hued drink in a rocks glass.
Galit’s “On the Back Burner” cocktail
Galit [Official Photo]

Clever Rabbit

Vegetarian restaurant Clever Rabbit in Wicker Park serves n/a drinks named “Cottontails.” Expect spirit-free beverages like the “Charred Grapefruit Aqua Fresca,” with lime, agave, pink peppercorns, and grapefruit Topo Chico sparkling water.

A charred grapefruit and bottle of sparkling water next to a cocktail.
Clever Rabbit’s “Charred Grapefruit Aqua Fresca”
Clever Rabbit [Official Photo]

Le Colonial Chicago

Gold Coast’s upscale Vietnamese restaurant Le Colonial serves a number of fruit-focused, alcohol-free libations, such as the “Mua He” with pineapple, mango, lychee, and lemon juice; and “Mua Dong” with cucumber, ginger beer and lime juice.

A golden-lit bar.
Inside Le Colonial.
©www.neiljohnburger.com

Pacific Standard Time

One Off’s breezy, California-inspired restaurant PST in River North definitely embraces spirit-free sips. On January 1, bartender Scott Stroemer added a number of new no-ABV drinks, including a Spanish gin and tonic-inspired option: “Orchard Tonic.” The drink calls for apple cider reduction, clover honey syrup, citric acid, and Fever Tree Mediterranean Tonic.

A light and bright dining room.
Pacific Standard Time doesn’t skimp on n/a offerings.
Barry Brecheisen/Eater Chicago

Flora Fauna

Flora Fauna, the Latin American and Southeast Asian-inspired number from industry vets Liz Pearce and Jonathan Meyer, has created a unique beverage program. The bar offers draft cocktails designed in a way that guests can customize. Drinkers can choose from five different bases and order one of those solo, or add an extra flavor blend to make it their own. They can also order any booze-free addition as a n/a drink with soda and lime, or tonic and lemon.

An orange cocktail held by someone with long red nails.
Flora Fauna offers an array of customizable booze-free cocktails
Flora Fauna [Official Photo]

Gibsons Italia

Gibsons’ newer Italian hotspot balances pasta with cocktails. Bar manager Stephen Gleich is behind options such as “Ginger Grapefruit Fizz” with grapefruit juice, lemon juice, honey, and ginger beer; and “Melon Spritz” with watermelon juice, lime, agave, and cucumber soda.

A pale orange-hued cocktail.
Gibsons Italia’s Ginger Grapefruit Fizz
Gibsons Italia [Official Photo]

The Publican

At Fulton Market icon the Publican, bartender Will Owen is serving “Forest of Gold” for those looking to skip booze. On the menu since this past winter, the mocktail incorporates verjus rouge, grapefruit, spruce and juniper syrup, coriander, black pepper, allspice, and star anise. 

A pink cocktail in a stemless wine glass.
The Publican’s Forest of Gold cocktail
Isabelle Langheim/One Off Hospitality

Oriole

Chef Noah Sandoval’s two-Michelin-starred West Loop tasting menu haunt Oriole offers drinkers the option to sign up for a spirit-free beverage pairing ($95), or to order n/a drinks a la carte. Helmed by drinks expert Julia Momose (Kumiko), options include “Hammersmith Palace” with banana, tarragon, and lime; and “A ∩ B” with Duche de Longueville sparkling cider and genmaicha tea.

A green cocktail in a tall glass.
Oriole’s “Hammersmith Palace”
Sammy Faze

Kumiko

Over at lauded Japanese-inspired cocktail lair Kumiko in the West Loop, Julia Momose is mixing and muddling a number of spirit-free drinks. “Protea” calls for adzuki, purple sweet potato vinegar, Seedlip Spice 94, verjus rouge, Fever Tree club soda and Top Note Tonic; “Pepperberry Tonic” incorporates Tasmanian pepperberry, sansho, angelica root, and grapefruit, and Fever Tree elderflower tonic; while “Remedy” mixes kinmokusei, fennel seed, angelica root, and Top Note Tonic.

A clear cocktail in a short glass.
Kumiko’s “Remedy” mocktail
Sammy Faze

Gaijin

At chef Paul Virant’s new West Loop Japanese pancake pusher Gaijin, bartender Julius White is offering the n/a “Hibiscus Fizz.” with Rare Tea Cellar Hibiscus Dream syrup, umami shrub, and high pressure club soda. 

The inside of a dark-hued restaurant and bar.
Gaijin diners can pair Japanese pancakes with n/a drinks.
Gaijin [Official Photo]

Smyth

Two-Michelin-starred Smyth is on top of non-alcoholic beverage pairings. Helmed by head chef Luke Feltz, the drinks, priced at $105, $70, and $45, incorporate ubiquitous preserved ingredients — items grown at Smyth’s agricultural partner, the Farm. Expect blends such as blackberry, juniper, and Earl Grey tea; and honeycrisp apple with fig leaf.

 

Bottles lined up on a wooden table.
Smyth’s offers excellent non-alcoholic beverage pairings
Galdones Photography

Bad Hunter

Veggie-focused Randolph Street restaurant Bad Hunter offers n/a drinks, too. “Petty Before Bitter,” designed by Vinny Starble and Brandon Thrash, was inspired by the tart citrus bitter notes found in apertif wines or amari. The drink calls for dried and fresh citrus peels, dried red berries, hibiscus, rose hip, cinchona bark, gentian root, angelica root, vegetable glycerol, and sparkling water.

A bright red drink in a tall glass with a metal straw
Bad Hunter’s “Petty Before Bitter”
Bad Hunter [Official]

Elske

Danish-inspired Elske in the West Loop offers seasonal booze-free drinks on its a la carte cocktail list, as well as a juice pairing to complement its set menu. Individual drinks include spirit-free “Shaken” with celery, hops, and lemon; and “Collins,” with carrot, ginger, lime, and curry.

Four stemmed glasses sit on top of a bar.
Elske offers n/a options like “Shaken” and “Collins.”
Carolina Mariana Rodriguez

Related Maps

Marz Community Brewing Company

Experimental Bridgeport taproom and brewery Marz Community Brewing Company isn’t just focusing on beer. It also offers many booze-free options, including “Flower Power,” a CBD-fueled elixir with ingredients like hibiscus, chamomile, and cinnamon; and “Juniper Fizz,” also spiked with CBD, and enriched with vanilla bean, spruce, and blood orange.

Virtue Restaurant

Virtue, Erick Williams’s Southern restaurant that hit Hyde Park just over a year ago, offers spirit-free imbibing options. “The Hummingbird” is flavored with basil and bitter lemon, while “the Duke of Earl” calls for Earl Grey tea, star anise, lemon, and egg white.

A stemmed cocktail glass with a yellow cocktail topped with white foam.
Virtue’s “the Duke of Earl”
Virtue [Official Photo]

Mesler Kitchen | Bar | Lounge

Hyde Park’s new American Mesler Kitchen Bar within the Sophy Hotel embraces seasonal, non-alcoholic elixirs. Consider the “Winter Persuasion” (cranberry, lemon, rosemary), or warm up with a “Hot Cider Situation” (hot apple cider, caramel, maple whipped cream).

Related Maps