Sober dating is hard enough without being infantilised with a sorry selection of soft drinks, as our recent Sober Diaries series shows. It’s a whole lot easier, however, if you’re holding a drink that allows you to feel included.
So we thought we’d put our heads together with some of our brewer friends from the non-alc community and make a few suggestions. In no particular order, these great spots for sober dating are guaranteed to stock an adult-oriented non-alcoholic drink that puts sugary soft drink nonsense to shame. Spread the word!
And if there are any other great sober dating venues that cater to the non-drinker (beyond your standard sugary soft drinks), let us know. We’re very conscious that this is heavily London-centric. It shouldn’t be! We’ll happily add your suggestions into the post.
- Shani’s Sober Diaries
- Our podcast with Soberista-in-Chief, Lucy Rocca
- Going alcohol-free at weddings
Sober dating at the cinema
A decent list of sober dating night spots needs to start with a decent set of cinemas. So, if you’re in London and you want something with a bit more class than a carton of stale popcorn and bucket of cola, book your seats at Curzon. You’ll find Real Kombucha being served at Curzon Soho, Aldgate, Victoria and Bloomsbury, so you’re guaranteed something that works well as a non-alcoholic alternative to Prosecco, an alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and an alternative to cider. Get stuck in!
If you’re more of an Everyman Cinemas couple, you’ll find the best non-alcoholic lager in the country served across their bars. We’re talking about Lucky Saint, of course. Have it poured slowly into a chilled, frosty glass… it doesn’t get much better than that.
Sober dating at the theatre
Lucky Saint have you covered once again, especially if you’re heading to The Globe. Book a table at The Swan pre or post-performance and you’ll find that amazingly crisp non-alcoholic lager right there on the menu.
Further along the Southbank you’ll find The Understudy, which is part of The National Theatre. They’re serving Real Kombucha as a great non-alcoholic alternative. Insist that they pour it into a nice wine glass, no ice, and enjoy those exquisite flavours. There’s really no need to settle for anything sugary with a straw.
Sober dating: Games Night
If you want to really test the mettle of your new date, Mac & Wild in Devonshire Square has a big screen arcade shooting range. OK, so it’s not the most romantic suggestion, but – because they’re stocking Feragaia (a top-notch non-alcoholic spirit from the wilds of Scotland) – they’ve got some truly delicious non-alcoholic cocktails on the menu.
(It’s also worth noting that Feragaia can be found on the menu up at Gleneagles, where there’s golf, mini golf and a spa, or at the Doune Dining Room in Knoydart, where you’ll find amazing hiking, biking and boating. But maybe that’s more for your first romantic getaway than an initial date. Up to you, of course…)
If a round of ping pong is more your thing, head to Bounce (Farringdon and Old Street), where you’ll find both the aforementioned Lucky Saint and Real Kombucha behind the bar. On occasion, they’ll even throw together an amazing non-alcoholic cocktail. Check out this bad boy!
Jen from Club Soda recommends Inamo Restaurant for a bizarre but intimate sober date. “Not only does Inamo serve fantastic food, they also have great non-alcoholic cocktails and the tables are interactive – so you can order your food without speaking to anyone and play Battleships with your date while you’re waiting.”
Sober dating for the culturally curious
Whether you’re sober dating or not, it’s hard to imagine a more peculiar occasion to start necking alcohol than on a trip to a museum. Talk about dulling your senses!
You can now order a very refreshing and mind-opening Real Kombucha if you head to either of London’s Tate museums, or over at the extraordinary-looking London Design Museum. Let those bubbles tease your brain. It can only be a good thing.
Sober dating for foodies
If you’re looking for restaurants that know how to pair great food with great non-alcoholic options, you’ve come to the right place. Real Kombucha is now in around 60 Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as hundreds of foodie favourites across the nation. Take a look at our stockists map for a full list, and follow us on Instagram or via our newsletter for a weekly update.
We also love what Everleaf (non-alcoholic aperitifs) are doing. We had an Everleaf spritz at an event recently and it was everything we’d hoped for. They’re on the menu now across the Pizza Pilgrims restaurants, so if it’s a pizza you want to meld your minds around, head in that direction.
Sober dating events
Perhaps you’re sober dating with another sober person? Or maybe you’re keen to get out and about with people that are already sober curious and meet someone new? In which case, Club Soda should be your first port of call.
The Club Soda events page is packed with amazing social events that highlight the fact that sobriety is anything but a dull word. They’ve got everything from walking events to sober bar crawls, from Queers Without Beers to non-alcoholic cocktail masterclasses. It’s a non-stop calendar of sober socialising. Get involved!
If you’re keen to get going immediately, Mindful Mixers are launching the first of their Mindful Pub Crawls on October 14th, and it’ll feature many of the breweries and brands you’ve just read about in this blog post (including Ceders Alt Gin, Thomson & Scott Noughty, Lucky Saint Beer and, of course, Real Kombucha). It’ll also introduce you to some of London’s most sober-friendly bars. Things kick off at Fora on Dallington St, Clerkenwell, at 6pm.
One last thing, well worth noting: if you’re simply looking for a bar, restaurant or hotel that really gets where you’re coming from and has a wide range of non-alcoholic options, the Club Soda Guide is one of the best lists out there. You can search according to your location and you’ll get a comprehensive selection, each addition given a rating out of five – the top score going to those with the best and broadest selection.
If your local is failing you, show them this website and demand that they up their game. Your loyalty is worth huge amounts. It’s up to them to earn it.