One of my favorite things about Chicago is how easy it is to walk everywhere—and I mean everywhere. My friends tease me for considering anything under 55 minutes a “reasonable walk,” but when weather permits, I’d much rather skip the crowded CTA, pop in a podcast and enjoy the architecture and city ambiance en route to my destination. Of course, this sometimes gets me into some sticky (read: hungry) situations. When I’m miles from home with a growling stomach, I’ve come to rely on Chicago’s fantastic smoothie options for a healthy and satisfying snack. Here are a few of my go-tos:
Real Good Juice Co.
My favorite smoothie: The Kale E. Kopowski, or I’ll make my own.
Real Good Juice Co. has been popping up all over the city lately, each location serving up several yummy and cleverly-named smoothie concoctions in addition to acai bowls and cold-pressed juices. Stop into the Real Good Juice Co. location on Wells Street after a Flywheel class and you’ll basically feel like a celebrity the rest of the day.
Left Coast Food + Juice
My favorite smoothie: Fairways + Greens and Mornin’ Buzz
It didn’t take me long to fall in love with Left Coast—everything from their grain bowls to their breakfast burritos is delicious. Left Coast’s smoothies are some of my favorites in the city, and I’ll almost always pick up a Mornin’ Buzz at their River North location if I’m heading downtown.
My favorite smoothie: Apple Ginger Zing
I know, I know, a grocery store is certainly a surprise nominee. I have to thank my friend Lauren O. (hi, Lauren!) for telling me about the smoothie bar at Mariano’s—it’s SO GOOD. Every smoothie is all-natural, contains about ten different kinds of fruit, and costs $5 less than any smoothie you’ll get elsewhere. If you frequently head to the grocery store after the gym like I do, a Mariano’s smoothie is a great way to make sure you’re not shopping on an empty stomach.
My favorite smoothie: The Purple Line
Bru Chicago is one of my favorite spots in Wicker Park to get some work done, not just for their amazing coffee but also for their abundant snack options. If I plan on staying for a while, I’ll make sure to order a smoothie along with my cappuccino.
Peeled Juice Bar
My favorite smoothie: Rapper’s Delight
If you read about how much I love Sweet Mandy B’s in my Lincoln Park Neighborhood Guide, you better believe I’m happy that I live equally close to a place that makes kale taste really good. I’ve never had a bad smoothie at Peeled, and I’m also a fan of their booster shots for when I really want to feel healthy.
Share your favorite Chicago smoothie spots in the comments—I’d love to hear them!