We are not alone in our interest to consume whole, plant-based foods. In fact, in my city, it is common to pass people on the street enjoying green beverages. Juice shops are popping up all over NYC, which is a great convenience for getting your greens. It is also a ton of fun to visit these wonderful establishments serving up health! Follow me, an experienced juicer, as I take you on a juice tour of NYC green juices and smoothies.
A cold-pressed juice is made using a juicer that separates the nutrient-rich fluid from the flesh of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. A smoothie is made using a blender to synthesize plant-based foods and a liquid base. Both are wonderful ways to incorporate or increase an intake of nutrients.
When to Juice
I am a big fan of having a green juice or smoothie for breakfast. Traditional Ayurveda medicine calls for fasting periods to aid digestion and detox the liver. So to start the day, I have hot water with lemon and later drink a green juice and nothing else until lunch (maybe some fresh fruit if I'm still hungry). It is also nice to have a green juice or smoothie before dinner. Salads are so important before dinner as the high fiber content helps us to digest other heavier foods that come later, while creating an internal alkaline environment, which is great for digestion. It can be really fun to drink your salad for a change, and follow up with your dinner.
For any time of day you choose, I think you will find the juice culture to be super fun.
I do suggest avoiding agave, which is one of the only unhealthy ingredients that will sometime sneak up in fresh juices. I never buy a smoothie that claims to be healthy, but has loads of added sugar, such as those at Jamba Juice. Also, processed juices you find in the supermarket such as Naked, Odwalla, or Boathouse Farms are pasteurized. Cooked juices do not have the same nutritional benefits as fresh juices made out of raw, uncooked fruits, and vegetables. These often also have added sugar.
Support businesses that make their juice like you do, right in front of you in a blender or juicer, with loads of healthy whole, plant foods. (Many juice places have pre-bottled juices for takeaway and that's okay. It's still fresh, just made earlier in the day.)
What to Order
For the mornings, I like to stick to very green drinks. Smoothies help me to reach my daily green goals which can be upwards of 80% of my diet, however, I suggest trying what you like first and then branching out. Remember that certain flavors are more powerful than others so if you really love pineapple, a green drink with pineapple will taste mostly like pineapple, so give it a shot! Also, listen to your body and try some tonics and elixirs if you have certain aliments. For instance, an Immunity Boost beverage when I'm feeling a cold coming on with ginger, grapefruit, yuzu, and more, can really clear my sinuses and power the immune response.
NYC Juicing Guide
Here is my guide to NYC juice vendors by neighborhood. This list is not comprehensive (there are many more), but I only wanted to list the places that I have visited and can personally vouch for and note my favorite orders. I still have more to visit. For instance, my next place to try is The Butcher's Daughter, the awesome-looking West Village spot I've been hearing good things about.
Brooklyn (near my home!)
Cobble Hill/Carroll Gardens/Gowanus
- Farsk Juice (inside Konditori cafe) - I like the Green Glow juice the best. Farsk has another location in Prospect Heights. Ask them for a frequent juice card!
- Whole Foods Brooklyn - This Whole Foods has a raw juice bar, with ready-to-go juices and a made-to-order smoothie counter. I like all green juices and the Almond Delight smoothie with a maca boost. It is always affordable and easy to stock up on their cold-pressed juices (they last about 3 days refrigerated). For cold-pressed, I rate this Best Price In Brooklyn.
Park Slope/Prospect Heights
- Brooklyn Crepe and Juice - You can find locations on both Flatbush Avenue and 5th Avenue. The whole menu is wonderful! My favorite juice is the Super Green and my favorite smoothie is the Pineapple/Coconut/Mango with an almond milk base.
- Sun in Bloom - I love the Sweet Lady Green and Green Dream juices. All of their food is AMAZING! Stick around for lunch! They also have a takeaway cafe in Tribeca.
- V-Spot - I like the Alive Green and the Flu Fighter.
- Healthy Nibbles - I Am thankful for Health Nibbles! (All of their menu items start with "I Am.") My favorite juice is the I Am Alive. Yes, I am!
- Foragers - This is a lovely market with a tasty juice bar. Try their beet mix to give you a boost. There is also a location in Chelsea. Perfect for food lovers interested in sustainability as all things are fresh from the farm.
- Treehaus - This trendy, foodie place is right by my office on the east side. My picks are the Mighty Green and the Gentle Green juices and the Speed Green smoothie.
- Terri - My favorite is the Green Power Smoothie with almond milk instead of soy milk. I will return soon to try their awesome looking cold-pressed juices. No joke, I found this gem on the way to a comedy show at UCB.
- Blossom Du Jour - I love to have their Thrive smoothie before dinner (or before the movie theater, which is close by). You can also find them in Midtown on 9th Avenue near 43rd, and the UWS on Amsterdam near 67th, and Amsterdam near 81st.
- Peacefood Cafe - With another location uptown on Amsterdam and 82nd, Peacefood has a lot to offer for vegans and plant-based eaters, as well as yogis, as this is near one of my favorite studios. For beverages, I like the Green Lemonade and the Ginger Latte with almond milk.
- One Lucky Duck - Also located in Chelsea Market, this baby shop of Pure Food and Wine is super wonderful. I'd always walk away with the Mean Green, and sometimes a Pumpkin Seed Salad when I worked in the neighborhood.
- Bread and Butter NYC - These made-to-order lunch spots have a great juice bar. Other locations include Park Avenue near 28th, East 31st near 5th Avenue, and Third Avenue near 47th. The Green Detox is a great way to start the day!
- Hu Kitchen - While this place might draw me in for their raw vegan hot chocolate, I don't forget that there is also a lovely fresh juice bar. Try the Organic Demi Vert juice or the Smooth Avocado smoothie.
- Siggy's Good Food - Great options with plenty of character. I like the Flu Defence. And sorry, Brookyners, I hear their DUMBO location has closed. :(
Learn about the bigger juice chains, and you will almost certainly find a juice place close by.
- Organic Avenue - My favorite order is the Lite Weight Smoothie, but trying more and more at every visit. Locations abound all over NYC.
- Juice Generation - I like the Supa Dupa Green. Watch out for agave on this menu. You can find this shop from 86th to Williamsburg. You might see Scott placing his order if you visit the location near Grand Central.
- Juice Press - With a large takeaway menu, and many pre-made raw snacks, this is a great stop if you are on the run. I like the Chocolate Shake and Banana Shake as little pick-me-ups, but try their green juices as well. Watch out for agave here too.
Well + Good has created a map of NYC juice bars, so be sure to check it out and save it to your phone!
And For the Pennsylvania Team...
I didn't forget you! For Janny's fan club in Pennsylvania, I just recently heard rave reviews about Bee's Juice Bar at the Paramount Sports Complex in Annville, PA. I can't wait to visit my Mom to try out this juice bar for myself!
Did I Miss One?
Do not see your favorite juice place listed? Comment about it below and share it with the Forkful of Love community!