Living in a very chaotic yet charming city like Manhattan, I've come to realize that the existence of juice bars is some sort of necessity, addiction really, to us city dwellers that long for convenient and healthy options at our fingertips. While yes, we can whip up our own morning smoothie or shop for the dozens of ingredients to throw into our salads, you just do it so well. There's such a clever way in which you combine ingredients that I never imagined would pair so well, while always keeping optimal health in mind.
I've managed to meander about, paying frequent visits to you to the point where I personally can deem you all the best of the best. Anything from the most clever smoothie names to the most indulgent raw sweets, you clutch on to something that makes you so unique. And keeps me coming back for more.
And to that, I thank you and kindly gift you with a bit of royal treatment that everyone else in this city should hear, too.
Organic Avenue: Cleanest & Friendliest Approach, Best Booster Shot Selection, Best Cleanse, Most Tech-Saavy
This place made me fall in love with the NYC juice bar scene. The atmosphere is clean and warm, the staff are extremely friendly and attentive, and it's hardly ever chaotic. Their juice cleanses are chosen strategically for optimal results and they now have their own app so that you can pay more easily, rack up rewards points, find the closest locations near you and view your recent purchase history.
For a morning "pick-me-up" to get you through your commute, I suggest the Matcha Chia Glo - a delicious blend of pumpkin seed, chia seed, matcha powder, coconut sugar, vanilla bean, chlorophyll, cardamon, himalayan pink salt. I don't know the magic of how this is done, but it's addicting and keeps you sustained well into the lunch hour.
Whatever ailment you may have, there's a booster shot for that. Wheatgrass, Lemon, Turmeric, Ginger, Aloe, Dragon's Breath (flu be gone!)
The salads are extremely healthy, perfectly portioned, and extremely satisfying. They're branching out by offering whole wheat wraps and their new Bleecker & Crosby location now serves made-to-order smoothies/smoothie bowls, coffee (with a splash of their delicious Cashew Hemp Mylk, if you so choose) and teas.
Juice Press: Flexibility in Made-To-Order Smoothies, Largest Variety on the Menu, Clever Smoothie Names, Most Inventive
This place takes the cake for the most delicious made-to-order smoothies. They can certainly adapt to meet your needs, for example by replacing agave with dates, swapping nut milks, adding a scoop of almond butter, etc. They offer the most extensive list of smoothies, with the most clever names to boot.
My favorite Smoothie picks include the Cactus Cooler (orange juice, young thai coconut water, ginger meat, aloe water, mango, pineapple, dates, hemp protein, spirulina, coconut oil), Heaven on Earth (raw almond milk, banana, dates, raw almond butter, rice protein powder, raw cacao powder, cinnamon), Peaching to the Choir (young thai coconut water, banana, pineapple, aloe water, raw agave, ginger meat, fresh mint, cinnamon), Hawaain Healer (young thai coconut water, banana, pineapple, aloe water, raw agave, ginger meat, fresh mint, cinnamon), and Shake Strawberry Milk (homemade raw almond milk, strawberries, agave, raw almond butter). Their pre-batched probiotic smoothies are also a favorite, however there are easily at least twenty other options on their smoothie menu alone.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner or snack, they offer the most variety in their raw food & juice selection and continue to release new items that keep you coming back for more.
Liquiteria: Best Downtown Pick-Me-Up, Best Seasonal Pumpkin Pie Smoothie, Weekend Breakfast Staple
As an Upper East Side resident, there are sadly no Liquiterias within close proximity, however they are quickly expanding and there just so happens to be a new one right around the corner from my office! I have found that I fancy this place the most for breakfast, pairing a Coffee & Cocoa, Green Monster, Mudslide Smoothie, or Almond Butter Acai Bowl with their amazing take on the PB&J...3B&J as they call it. It's a spread of organic almond, peanut, and cashew butter, sliced bananas and fruit spread on seven grain bread.
Heartbeet Juicery: Best Pop-Up Juice Bar, Favorite Nut Milks, Hottest Up & Coming Juice Bar
I had seen and heard about this juice bar, but never gave it a chance until I found myself downtown and right around the corner from it. It currently exists as a pop-up bar located on Stanton Street, however they do deliver. Their logo is adorable and although their selection seems limited, they pair some of the most amazing ingredients and bottle them in their glass jars.
While I'm still familiarizing myself with their brand, I've found that their nut milk blends are indeed my favorite. I have paired their Almond Masala (almond milk, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, vanilla, cardamom) with their coconut flax "tidbits," which was a satisfying combination of walnuts, figs, dates, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds, cacao nibs, coconut flakes, coconut oil. Other Flavors include cocoa goji, pistachio chia and almond goji.
I'm itching to get my hands on their Pear Pumpkin Smoothie (pear, pumpkin seeds, banana, tahini, vanilla, dates, coconut water, spirulina) and then we'll see where they stack up. I imagine that as soon as they begin to grow their brand, they'll eventually open up more pop-ups or hopefully even a storefront to reach even more New Yorkers.
Juice Generation: Best Variety & Generosity in Acai Bowls, Best Juice "Farmacy"
I pay a visit to this spot solely for their acai bowls. They're the only ones that I've found which offer the most variety and serve them in the most generous of portions. The Amazing Green (acai, banana, spinach, kale, almond milk, hemp seeds, hemp granola) is, well, amazing...and I of course have them add a scoop of almond butter on top. You can't even taste the greens, however if that's not your thing or you'd like to ease your way in, I would suggest their Almond Butter Bliss or Coconut Acai Bowl. When I want to get really crazy, I scoop in some of their chia seed pudding. Yes, my acai bowls are a work of art.
During the cold season, I find that their Ginger Fix really packs a punch. It's warm blend of ginger, chai spices, and almond milk. Like sipping on a latte, but better for you and your digestive system. Also available in their "pharmacy" is the Cold Warrior, Lemon Lozenge, and Dr. Bombay which contains the ingredient turmeric that I just love so much.
One Lucky Duck: Best Hidden Gem, Most Indulgent Raw Desserts & Snacks, Largest Salad Helpings, Best Parfait
Maybe you've heard of Pure Food & Wine, the upscale raw food restaurant that sits on a quiet block of Irving Street. Maybe you haven't. Well, it's delightful and little did you know that right around the corner (and nestled into Chelsea Market) there's a juice & takeaway bar called One Lucky Duck that's owned and operated by the same group as PF&W. I find it to be a little hole in the wall that totally catches you off guard with their charming yet edgy menu. Their all raw/all vegan sweets lineup alone is enough to make your visit well worth it. Everything from classics such as tiramisu and chocolate ganache tarts to their inventive chocolate cupcakes with jungle peanut butter frosting and infamous mallomar, which is a chocolate coated pecan cookie with vanilla cream. I've spent eighteen bucks on their raspberry thumbprints and enjoyed every last bite, in one sitting. Steep prices, but you pay for what you get.
In terms of their shakes, how does a "Millionaire's Milkshake" sound? A whole pint of vegan ice cream and cashew milk. Maybe that's a little aggressive, so there's the option of "The Rich But Not That Rich Milkshake" which has a measly half pint of vegan ice cream with almond or cashew milk. For the best raw yogurt parfait that you've ever had in your life, theirs is a shoe-in. Chewy buckwheat and hemp seed granola layered with this amazingly dense cashew cream and sprinkled with seasonal fruit (pomegranate, as of late). I've gotten my non-vegan co-workers hooked and love watching their faces melt every time they take a bite of it.
While I obviously fancy their indulgences, it's all counterbalanced by their generous salad portions. It's like the salad that will never end, but you don't even want it to. Personal favorites are the Pumpkin Seed and Herb (greens, kale, parsley, cilantro, mint, hemp seeds, pumpkin seed macadamia parmesan, pumpkin seed lemon dressing...and I of course add avocado) and S&M (greens, avocado, hemp seeds, dulse, rosemary crackers, pumpkin seed lemon dressing).
And...they even sell all-natural dog treats from Bocce's Bakery in flavors like PB&J, Apple Pie, and yes, Green Juice.
The Butcher's Daughter: All Around Best for a Sit Down Meal, Most Unique Juice Pitchers, Best for a Juice Mood or a Craft Beer Mood, Most Creative Website
Interesting choice for the name of a juice bar, huh? Their explanation behind it is that they treat fruits and vegetables as a butcher would meat. "We chop, fillet and carve fresh produce into heathy vegetarian dishes and press them into pretty juices." Fair enough. This somewhat of a hidden gem in SoHo is light and bright, both in terms of the cozy and rustic interior to the well curated menu. As Immaculate Infatuation puts it, "it smells like a combination of Kiehls and the rain forest."
You can find simple juices, which they name by color, alongside a list of craft beers on tap as well as biodynamic wines - by the glass or bottle. The Heritage Juice Pitchers are what you really want to stop in for. The Honey Bee is a sweet blend of grapefruit, turmeric root, yuzu, kumquat, anjou pear, honey, and bee pollen. There's also the Hangover Killer - thai coconut water, pineapple, yuzu, chili, evening primrose oil, and cilantro.
They offer things like Egg Sandwiches with a cashew carrot cheese as well as Smashed Avocado Toast and Almond Butter & Jelly sammies for breakfast. For dinner however, there are table snacks and appetizers such as Beet Deviled Eggs, Kale Chips, salads and crostini as well as larger plates like Raw Pesto Linguine (made with zucchini ribbons), Bangers & Mash (made with a white bean & fennel "sausage") and their signature Vegetable Black Bean Burger on a brioche bun.
Their website is pretty stellar, showcasing a produce calendar which will let you know which fruits and veggies are currently in season that they gather from local upstate farms. This month, turnips and green apples steal the show and they allow you to see which menu items incorporate these gems.
You geniuses successfully manage to empty my wallet, however I thank you for keeping me happy, healthy, and more than pleased to live within arms reach of you. I'll be seeing you soon.