A Bella Hadid-Approved Drink Collab, Sleek Saunas, and More Booze-Free Fun in NYC
The best sober activities to do in NYC instead of drinking for Dry January and beyond.
For many New Yorkers, booze just ain’t boozing like it used to. And while the plethora of reasons behind choosing to live sans alcohol runs the gamut, thankfully, we’re now at the point in culture where asking “How come you don’t drink?” is considered cringe AF.
Another era we’ve finally reached is the abundance of booze-free ways to stay social and enjoy the city beyond sipping soda waters at a bar. From mindful workouts and cold plunges to non-alcoholic wine and mocktail collabs with a beverage co-founded by Bella Hadid, here’s a year-round sober guide to NYC for Dry January, Sober October, and beyond.
Non Alcoholic Wine and Non Alcoholic Drinks in NYC
Through February 14
East Village, $13
Exciting collab alert: The Standard, East Village is offering a limited-time mocktail special concocted with Kin Euphorics. The Bella Hadid co-founded beverage brand specializes in Ayurvedic-based drinks formulated with adaptogens and nootropics. Made with Kin Bloom, for Dry January, order up the Madame Ruby and sip on hints of white grape and tarragon at the hotel’s onsite all-day bistro, Café Standard, or watering hole, NO BAR, which serves food until 10 pm and closes at 2 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
Non-Alcoholic Wine and Drink Shops
Manhattan and Brooklyn, Prices vary
Dedicated non-alcoholic wine and drink shops are now a thing. Boisson has the largest reach across the Big Apple with five locations in two boroughs (Cobble Hill, Upper East Side, Upper West Side, West Village, and Williamsburg). Located in Nolita, Spirited Away touts itself as the country’s first booze-free bottle shop. Head to its Mott Street locale and peruse over 100 brands or opt for delivery available within Lower Manhattan.
Non-Alcoholic Cocktail Pairings at Restaurants
Citywide, Prices vary
Practically every bar and restaurant that’s with the times now offers zero-proof cocktails and beverages on their drink menu. To pair one with some quality food, head to Naks in the East Village for Filipino-inspired dishes; Gulaabo in Midtown for Punjabi flavors; Sailor in Fort Greene for bistro fare; and Meduza Mediterrania in the Meatpacking District for Mediterranean cuisine.
Upper West Side
The suburbs-born Granola Bar welcomes its first NYC location this week. Expect an all-day menu with their signature namesake homemade granola via baked treats, parfaits, and more, along with health-conscious dishes, smoothies and mocktails like Chile-Lime Pineapple Soda. However, the spot is far from granola—also on offer are dishes like the Hot Honey Chicken Sandwich and booze options such as beer, wine, and a bevy of house sangrias.
Citywide, Prices vary
The unparalleled cafe culture of South Korea’s capital, Seoul, has arrived in the Big Apple. For your next hang, forgo booze and loud music for creative coffee and tea menus within super cool spaces. At Elorea in SoHo, grab one of the Korean perfumery’s handful of back seats while basking in alluring eau du parfum and home scents. The gorgeous tea pavilion at Genesis House is designed after traditional Korean architecture and is a much-needed oasis in the Meatpacking District. And the whimsical and Flintstones-chic aesthetic of GongGan in Flushing, Queens extends to its menu of colorful drinks and desserts.
Waking up without a hangover truly opens up a whole new world of possibilities in the mornings. Reward yourself with a jumbo-size coffee paired with pancakes, omelets, and more diner-style dishes at eateries like Golden Diner in Chinatown, Waverly Restaurant in the West Village, Old John’s Luncheonette in the Upper West Side, Court Street Diner in Long Island City, and Breakfast by Salt’s Cure in Carroll Gardens.
Wellness Activities to Do in NYC Instead of Drinking
Flatiron, Starts at $60
The Flatiron location of Bathhouse marks New York City’s latest sleek bathhouse destination, and the second branch after the brand’s first in Williamsburg. The 35,000-square-feet space was once an underground parking garage and now features everything from saunas (dry and infrared), a banya, Bitcoin-heated pools, and 19 treatment rooms to pamper yourself with massages and scrubs. Grab a bite from the all-day cafe for items like Green Egg Frittata at breakfast or Porchetta Meatballs in the afternoon
SoHo, $55 and up
Head to ModernHaus SoHo for a private pampering session in a room on the hotel’s 17th floor. The limited-run wellness collab includes an infrared sauna followed by a cold plunge and then spray tan to cap off the sessions with a tropical glow. The joint program between HigherDOSE, Edge Theory Labs, and TAN-LUXE is available in 30- and 60-minute appointments for up to two people. And if you’re just looking to just sweat out toxins in the sauna, services can be booked individually.
Midwood, Starts at $99.28
Some spas are ideal for recharging solo, but others are just too good to experience it alone. Gather the crew to detox and sweat it out at the many experiences and saunas at World Spa, a must-try spot that’s both massive and gorgeous. You can easily spend a day hopping between the array of spaces like a grand banya, Turkish and Moroccan hammams, Japanese onsens, and sizable swimming pool. If you get hungry or want a fresh juice, just head to the onsite restaurant. Afterwards, cool yourself with a cold plunge or make snowballs in the super cool Snow Room. Treatments are also available and private parties are welcome.
With our attention spans hanging on by a thread, this Tribeca gym helps strengthen those mindfulness muscles through the practice of somatic workouts. Through strength training, guided meditation, and cardio, classes take place on mats and are music-driven. Choose from 45- or 60-minute sessions and leave with a deeper connection to your physical and emotional self, along with greater appreciation for the present moment.
Various locations, $60 and up
With locations across Manhattan and Brooklyn, Glowbar streamlines the experience of facial-treatments through easy 30-minute sessions. Each visit with an esthetician counting over 600 training hours under their belt helps assess any skincare needs without the overwhelming pressure of having to opt for more treatments or add-ons. Their Upper West Side branch is their latest, and general treatments include dermaplaning, extractions, and chemical peels, along with facials like LED, high frequency, and microcurrent.
Williamsburg, $80 and up
During winter, The William Vale’s fourth-floor terrace transforms into an outdoor wellness haven. Against the Manhattan skyline in the background, take a deep soak in cedar hot tubs against or book a session in your private panoramic barrel saunas with natural light peeking in through its window. This al fresco experience is available until the end of March and while you’re at the hotel, grab a meal at the all-day Southern Italian-inspired restaurant, Leuca, from renowned chef Andrew Carmellini.
Cannabis in NYC
Yes, dabbling in cannabis even if you’re taking a break from alcohol is a thing (West Coasters dubbed it “California Sober”). During Dry January, head to the women-founded dispensary and concept store, Gotham, to try their ongoing drink collab with Cann. Flavors include Lemon Lavender, Blood Orange Cardamom, and Grapefruit Rosemary, and while you’re at the flagship Bowery location, shop for cannabis goodies, fashion items, and plenty more within the two-story shop and gallery.