Here’s Where to Drink Creative Mocktails around Boston

All of the fun, none of the hangover.

A mixed drink, served tall, has an orange layer, a pink layer, and an orange slice.

Café Sauvage’s hibiscus sunrise mocktail. / Courtesy photo

It’s no secret that labels like “mocktails” and “zero-proof” are populating the bottom of drink menus everywhere these days. An increased interest in spirit-free drinks as creative as traditional cocktails has taken hold of the restaurant and bar scene in Boston and other cities alike.

Don’t be embarrassed to order an alcohol-free mixed drink—for many bartenders, it’s not a nuisance and may even be a fun challenge. The biggest difference between making a cocktail and a mocktail is not the alcohol (or lack thereof) but the flavor of the base, says Roberto Cibrian, erstwhile general manager of the excellent-but-shuttered Fort Point cocktail destination Drink. “With mocktails, you don’t have the structural background [of an alcoholic base], and you have to be more creative in your use of flavors.” Cibrian says. “We actually look forward to doing them due to it stretching our creativity more.” Bartenders can use non-alcoholic spirits as the base, such as those made by popular brands Seedlip and Lyre’s, or opt for simpler choices such as different juices, water, or tea.

From speakeasies and rum runners in Prohibition-era Boston to the classic Lansdowne sports-centric drinking culture to the more recent renaissance of serious cocktail bars livening up Boston’s nightlife, it’s clear that the city of Boston has an ever-changing relationship with alcohol. Even though drinking culture in the city is alive and well, it can cost new restaurants in Massachusetts hundreds of thousands of dollars to purchase a liquor license on the open market—and $18 cocktails can rack up a bill from a night out easily. For restaurants that can’t afford a license, and for drinkers looking to save a buck (or avoid a hangover), there’s an increasing demand for spirit-free beverages.

Read on to learn about these local spots that take alcohol-free libations to the next level.

This guide was updated in January 2024; stay tuned for periodic updates.

A brown cocktail sits next to a bottle of liquor.

Backbar’s Wolverine mocktail. / Courtesy photo


A Somerville favorite, Backbar features whimsically fun drink creations behind an unassuming door tucked alongside a back parking lot. Think serious cocktails made by a cat- and Star Wars-loving staff, with décor to match. Owner Sam Treadway (who also teaches the in-house cocktail-making classes) does not shy away from themed menus nor non-alcoholic libations. “Usually [non-alcoholic options] are on the menu, but occasionally it’s just a verbal offering,” Treadway says. When this guide was originally published in July 2023, Backbar was featuring a comic book-inspired menu with a mocktail named Wolverine. “It tastes like a smoky old fashioned but with no alcohol,” says Treadway. Other popular spirit-free favorites one might find at Backbar, depending on the current offerings? A spicy, tart pomegranate ginger beer concoction and a smoky bourbon negroni, the Magic Man, made with non-alcoholic vermouth and bitter amaro.

7 Sanborn Ct., Union Square, Somerville,


Barlette is Brookline’s most exclusive (and only) BYOB bar—that’s right; you supply the booze (if you choose), and the Barlette team supplies the mixers, garnishes, snacks, and ambience. With reservations booked far in advance and an experiential approach to the art of cocktails, Barlette welcomes all sorts of curious drink experts. While the style of this cozy, speakeasy-esque spot is to bring your own spirits, you can also partake of a variety of mocktails. From a faux Negroni to an espresso martini featuring a house-made zero-proof coffee liqueur, drinking at Barlette is an experience, with or without alcohol.

318 Harvard St. #11, Brookline, 601-301-2024,


This Best of Boston Mexican restaurant is a Union Square staple that brings all the punchy flavors, sizzling entrees, and flavorful non-alcoholic drinks. The standout offerings include the hibiscus-infused agua fresca, a mouthwateringly tart and memorable purple drink served with a mint garnish, and a mystery mocktail of the day that’s up to the bartender—usually something fruity, light, and fizzy. Pair one of these drinks with the tender cochinita pibil or tangy cactus salad for an ideal date night.

23a Bow St., Union Square, Somerville,

A clear mocktail, served tall with a slice of cucumber and sprig of mint, sits on a metal drink rail outdoors with city buildings in the background.

No booze but plenty of views: Blue Owl’s Give ’em Lip mocktail on the rooftop. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Blue Owl

Note: The Blue Owl is temporarily closed for winter 2024. 

Tucked away atop 907 Main, a Sonder hotel in Cambridge’s Central Square, this hip rooftop bar has a small but mighty non-alcoholic menu, with each drink’s base being a non-alcoholic spirit rather than a simple juice or club soda. The springy and floral Give ’em Lip mocktail with herb-infused Seedlip, elderflower, and ginger ale pairs perfectly with the green Thai curry powder-dusted popcorn. Another unique zero-proof offering is the Phony Negroni from Brooklyn’s St. Agrestis distillery, a non-alcoholic take on the classic bitter drink with hints of juniper and citrus. Bonus: Seasonally, you can sip on the delicious drink of your choice outdoors in the breeze with a lovely view of Cambridge, but there’s cozy indoor space, too, if the weather turns.

907 Main St., Central Square, Cambridge, 617-349-2968,

Brick & Mortar

This hip Cambridge bar, known especially for its adventurous cocktail menu and craft cocktail classes for groups, does not neglect its alcohol-free patrons. The zero-proof menu is stacked with a classic Negroni, a jumbo strawberry-infused spritz, and the not-quite-a-mocktail Hong Kong Garden, featuring spicy ginger syrup, pineapple juice, bitters, and Seedlip. (It has an ABV of 0.2%, lower than the average ABV of a kombucha).

567 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge, 617-491-5599,

Five different mocktails sit on a white marble table with a green velvet couch in the background.

Café Sauvage’s assortment of mocktails. / Courtesy photo

Café Sauvage

This Back Bay nook brings all the Parisian vibes—and all the fruity zero-proof drinks. The small restaurant, known for hearty brunch and French dinner, has a packed cocktail and mocktail menu ready for all times of day. The highlight of the drink menu is the unique, tart North African bissap juice made from hibiscus flower: Find it in the Moulin Rouge (hibiscus juice, lemon, and ginger beer) and the hibiscus sunrise (hibiscus juice with passion fruit, orange juice, and bubbly soda). Looking for something that packs a little punch? Try the No Problemo, essentially an alcohol-free margarita with mango, lime, agave, jalapenos, and a salt rim.

25 Massachusetts Ave., Back Bay, Boston, 857-226-4799,

Shelves of bottles and cans line a nonalcoholic bottle shop.

Dray Drinks. / Photo by Elisabeth Hadjis

Dray Drinks

This one isn’t a bar or restaurant, but we’ve got to mention Boston’s very first non-alcoholic bottle shop. This fall 2023 arrival operates under the slogan “all of the spirit, none of the booze” and is stocked with everything from zero-proof beer, wine, whiskey, and liquors to non-alcoholic cocktails in a bottle. The store is an essential addition to Boston’s zero-proof scene—and better yet, the team also donates a portion of all profits to Boston local alcohol and drug recovery causes through their non-profit, Dray’s Better Days.

18 Union Park St., South End, Boston,

An interior of a bar features lots of structural wooden details, white tiling, and bubble-like light fixtures.

Good Company. / Photo by Elissa Garza

Good Company

This recently opened, “farm-to-glass” Charlestown cocktail bar takes zero-proof drinks seriously. With a focus on local and seasonal produce, seasoned bartender Seth Freidus—this is his first solo venture—crafted both the alcoholic and non-alcoholic menu with the same thought and care. The spirit-free libations include a trio of veggie-forward takes on classic drinks like a white Negroni, a habanero margarita, and a carrot, curry, and lime mule. Each pairs beautifully with the light menu of small plates like smoked salmon croquettes topped with yogurt and salt roasted beets with Pink Lady apple pieces.

100 Hood Park, Charlestown, Boston,

A jazz club features a variety of eye-catching light fixtures and gold palm leaves at the top of large black columns.

The stage at Grace by Nia. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal

Grace by Nia

Does it get any better than watching live jazz in the Seaport with a drink in hand? This luxurious new venue—sibling to Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen in the South End—not only offers carrot-cake waffles with chicken, Cajun jambalaya, and all the best musical acts, but the spirit-free drinks are also a must-try. Several of the mocktails use either a zero-proof bourbon or tequila: Try the Pear Pressure drink, which has alcohol-free bourbon, fresh pear, Madagascar vanilla, and lemon. Or the Free Your Mind, with alcohol-free tequila, blood orange, lime, and agave. Whether for brunch or dinner, make sure to snag a reservation for this in-demand spot.

60 Seaport Blvd., third floor, Seaport District, Boston, 617-927-9411,

A fizzy yellow drink with a lemon wedge sits on a table on a restaurant patio.

Gufo’s Garden Party mocktail. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal


There’s something for everyone at 2023 newbie Gufo, and not just the quirky, delicious Italian dishes. Pair fun dinner entrées like the squid ink bucatini and swordfish Milanese with equally lively mocktails: the Garden Party, a refreshing mix of green tea, basil, lemon, and pineapple, or the Non-Baldi, a classic red bitter with orange. These simple, well-made drinks fit Gufo’s relaxed vibe, especially when sipped sitting on the all-season patio (which is taking on alpine ski lodge vibes this winter, complete with a special seasonal menu).

660 Cambridge St., East Cambridge,

Hecate. / Photo by Adam DeTour


This mystical, intimate spot was named for “a badass witch” of Greek mythology and is located behind a secretive door in an alley off Newbury Street, below its sibling restaurant Krasi. The leather-bound book of spells which details each enchanting drink (each one inspired by old folklore) also holds unconventional spirit-free options under the “Dry Spells” label, such as the elaborate Baba Yaga with red beet, mirepoix cordial, beer malt vinegar, ginger, and pickled onion. This place’s magical atmosphere is sure to be a treat, whether with cocktail or mocktail in hand.

Public Alley 443, Back Bay, Boston,

A foamy pink cocktail is served in pineapple-shaped glassware on a glossy wooden bar.

A mocktail at Hobgoblin. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal


Hobgoblin is a cozy, enchanted gastropub nestled in downtown Boston. The mystical motif pairs with a menu of cocktails dubbed “Magic Potions,” and the spirit-free offerings, named after Greek goddesses, are just as magical. Try the Goddess Innana mocktail for a Moscow Mule vibe, a combination of pineapple, apple, lemongrass, makrut lime, and ginger beer, or the Goddess Eos with lemon, orange, saffron, and grenadine for something citrusy and refreshing.

48 Temple Pl., Downtown Crossing, Boston, 857-991-1528,

A foamy pale green cocktail is topped with lots of fresh mint.

Pagu’s makrut mojito mocktail. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal


This Central Square spot is known for owner and chef Tracy Chang’s creative menu, which touches on Spain, Japan, and beyond, not to mention her extensive community service efforts. The Pagu team knows how to whip up a proper mocktail, too, coming up with combinations that are nothing short of innovative. Take the Bara No Bara, for example, which combines tart blood orange and pomegranate with rice vinegar and cacao rose water, or the makrut mojito, a fun twist on the classic minty libation with added creamy coconut milk.

310 Massachusetts Ave., Central Square, Cambridge,

A yellow cocktail sits on a white marble bar in front of an elaborate framed mirror.

SRV’s Pea-azza mocktail. / Photo by Rachel Leah Blumenthal


Upscale Italian is the name of the game at this South End favorite, from the same folks behind Gufo (see above). The careful techniques on the food menu are matched by a small but mighty selection of zero-proof cocktails with hints of Italian influence. There’s the Non-groni, for example, featuring aperitif syrup, grapefruit, and orange blossom water. The creative Pea-azza—with snap pea, toasted rice, mint, and pineapple—feels especially well-suited to a night out where your mocktail is just as exciting as your dining companions’ boozy concoctions.

569 Columbus Ave., South End, Boston, 617-536-9500,

Stoked Pizza Company

When you think of Stoked, you probably first think of the exemplary pizzas—sometimes topped with honey bacon and whipped ricotta, sometimes topped with caramelized onions and cremini mushrooms, always delicious. At the Cambridge location, Stoked’s fantastic tropical cocktail menu includes a trio of simple, juicy, kid-friendly zero-proof options, the perfect accompaniment to a good slice of pizza. We’re partial to Stampy, a tropical fruit juice blend served in an elephant-shaped glass and topped with a circus peanut. How can anyone resist? A traditional Shirley Temple and the Dry Dock, a bubbly fruit juice blend, round out the options. Nothing fancy—just fun!

1611 Massachusetts Ave., outside Harvard Square, Cambridge, 617-945-0989,