Best non-alcoholic drinks in Philly (for when it's not 5 o'clock anywhere)
I write a lot about happy hours and finding the best drinks in the city, but the sad truth of the matter is that, occasionally, there comes a time when I want something fun to drink that can't involve alcohol. If I'm craving something at noon on a Wednesday, I can't head over to a bar on my lunch break, even though drinking helps the creative process just look at Hemingway. So, I need a backup that will feel like a treat and also keep me out of trouble with HR. Luckily, there are some great non-alcoholic options around the city that are perfect for a mid-afternoon work pick-me-up.
Vivi Bubble Tea (145 N 10th St)
There are a ton of places to get bubble tea in the city (and in Chinatown especially), but I personally like Vivi's. They have an overwhelming number of options, so just pick one and assume it will be good (may I suggest the ginger?). And yes, you do want the boba.
Mint Lemon Rosewater Limonana
Kamal's Middle Eastern Specialties, Reading Terminal (51 N 12th St)
This drink is aggressively green, so try not to be alarmed. If you can get over that, though, the combination of rosewater, lemon and mint is the perfect summer day treat. It's not too sweet and none of the flavors are too strong. Basically, it's the perfect cup of lemonade you never knew you needed.
Tahini Milk Shake
Goldie Falafel (1526 Sansom St)
If you haven't tried the tahini shake from Goldie's, stop what you're doing and get one now. No, seriously, this isn't a joke. These ridiculously decadent (and vegan!) shakes had even my boyfriend, who isn't a milkshake fan, sneaking extra sips. I order the Turkish Coffee, but you can't go wrong with any of them.
One Shot's Specials Menu
One Shot Cafe (217 W George St)
I'm not one for specialty coffee drinks, but I make an exception for One Shot. Follow them on Instagram to check out their rotating specials menus, which have themes like "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" and "90s TV Shows", and pick up drinks like blueberry and Guatemalan mocha or amaretto and turmeric chai.
Franklin Fountain (116 Market St)
Want to feel like a kid again? If you can resist the allure of Franklin Fountain ice cream, they also make 25 different flavors of phosphates (a soda-like drink) and a few specialty ones. And if you really can't resist, you can always get an ice cream soda.
Iced Vietnamese Coffee
Cucina Zapata (3101-3141 Ludlow St)
If you're around Drexel University and find yourself in need of a cold drink, head over to the Cucina Zapata food truck for their iced Vietnamese coffee. The line will undoubtedly be giant, but it's worth the wait. They also do a good Thai iced tea.
Four Seasons Juice Bar, Reading Terminal (51 N 12th St)
You know how half the time you order a smoothie and instead get some lackluster slushy thing with the calories of a milkshake but none of the fun? That's not Four Seasons Juice Bar. They use fresh fruits and veggies and have a ton of options, including letting you make your own. You can even add wheatgrass juice if you're feeling ambitious.