The holiday season — any season, to be honest — can be tough on the body, a time when travel disrupts sleep and exercise schedules just as everyone’s gathering for big meals filled with heavy food and lots of alcohol. Luckily there are plenty of places around Chicago that make it easier to be more health conscious, serving raw and vegan fare along with smoothies and juices meant to fuel workouts or reset the body for a diet change. For anyone whose New Year’s resolution involves eating better or who just wants to counter that second helping of prime rib, these juice and smoothie bars provide a way to drink plenty of fruit, vegetables, and extra nutrients.Read More
Chicago’s Best Juices and Smoothie Bars
Get an early start on those New Year’s resolutions
Deep Purpl Acai Bowls
Deep Purpl has been growing fast since it was founded in 2020 and now boasts eight locations across the Chicago area ranging from Evanston to Hyde Park. All of them offer the same core menu centered on acai, a deep purple fruit blended into smoothies or served in bowls with unlimited toppings such as almond butter, kiwi, and shredded coconut. This is one of the shops that also carries plant-based empanadas from Fons.
Loving Heart Vegan Cafe
This tiny Uptown restaurant uses primarily organic ingredients in fresh-squeezed juices, fruit-infused lemonades and smoothies. The sunny, plant-filled space also serves up an eclectic food menu including a roasted portobello mushroom burger, curry and nachos, plus desserts such as chocolate chip cookies and gluten-free carrot cake for those feeling just a bit indulgent.
Level Up Nutrition
Energy combos are the most popular order at Level Up Nutrition, providing a meal replacement smoothie along with either a protein-infused coffee or a sugar-free energy drink meant to provide a boost to the metabolism. Take the drinks to go or nab a spot on the couch and linger with an protein-packed doughnut or a mango bowl topped with shredded coconut and granola.
The Smoothie Joint
The Wrigleyville spot has the CTA map painted on the wall and uses it as inspiration for the names of its smoothies and juices like the Green Line (coconut water, kale, grapes, apple, orange, banana and pineapple) and the Yellow Line (pineapple, apple, ginger and turmeric). The menu also lists the benefits ascribed to its ingredients so customers can choose based on whether they’re looking to improve their digestion or boost their immune system.
The fast-growing New York-based juice bar franchise arrived in Chicago two years ago and now has locations in Lincoln Park, Wicker Park and Fulton Market. All of them offer bright, plant-filled spaces with hanging chairs perfect for relaxing with a protein-packed superfood smoothie or cold-pressed juice made with local and organic produce. Pure Green offers juice cleanses geared towards newbies and veterans plus a variety of steel-cut oatmeal bowls for diners looking to start the day off right. Order online here.
Head to Logan Square for a seasonally shifting selection of smoothies packed with fruit such as the Tropical Sunset (mango, pineapple, cherries and yogurt) along with fresh-squeeze orange juice spiced with ginger, cayenne pepper or turmeric. For something more filling, try some gluten-free empanadas, arepas or hearty vegan chili. Place an order online here.
Pegasus Protein Juice Bar
The Lincoln Park spot makes its own protein powder which is mixed into shakes with fruit and either almond or oat milk or acai bowls with topping such as peanut butter, cacao nibs and chia seeds. For drinkers who don’t want the extra boost, Pegasus also offers smoothies and iced matcha lattes. A large dog-friendly patio is a big draw during warmer months. Order online through Toast.
A cozy coffee house filled with pillow-strewn couches and plush armchairs, Brü serves Chicago-themed drinks like the Purple Line protein shake (strawberry, blueberry, peanut butter, organic almond milk and whey protein). Linger and take advantage of the free WiFi while having gluten-free almond cookies or crepes or chia pudding as a snack.
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Take advantage of the free WiFi and get some work done while sipping a green smoothie made with fresh spinach and pineapple or an energy-boosting cucumber lemonade. The Wicker Park shop also offers pre-workout drinks, teas boosted with probiotics and fiber, and protein bowls featuring fresh fruit, chia, granola and coconut. For a more indulgent way to build muscle, try a protein doughnut or crepe.
With colorful art and plenty of plants, Sol provides a bright and dog-friendly space to get some work done or just pop in for a drink after working out at the gym next door. The West Town spot, which opened in 2020, offers vitamin-packed smoothies, protein-infused coffee and doughnuts, and energizing teas made with aloe and electrolytes, all served in large portions.
The Gold Coast restaurant offers a wide variety of raw vegan fare to go along with packages to provide food and drink for a full week of meals. Drink in the water of a freshly cracked coconut or try one of their juices or smoothies like Crimson Love (red cabbage, apple, ginger and lemon juice) and Cinnamon Crunch (banana, cinnamon, hemp seeds, granola and almond milk). A sampler platter offers a great option to try Chicago Raw’s food, providing a garden burger along with ravioli and mock meatballs. Order online through DoorDash.
For more than a decade, JuiceRx has been producing a wide selection of cold-pressed, small batch juices, which are often packaged together in cleanses. They’re also known for superfood smoothies and açaí bowls. The Streeterville location has a full coffee menu using oat milk, Intelligentsia coffee and tea from Kilogram. JuiceRx also has shops in Bucktown and Lakeview and ships bottled juices nationwide.
HI-VIBE Superfood Juicery
Improve your vibe in River North with cold-pressed juices such as Adrenal Dream (orange, coconut water, magnesium and pink salt) and and Kill Shot (camu camu, oil of oregano, echinacea, turmeric, ginger, green apple, lemon and honey). Beyond offering a variety of cleanses, superfood smoothies and acai bowls, HI-VIBE also serves matcha lattes, bone broth and granola bars made with brazil nuts, hemp and pumpkin seeds. Place a pickup or delivery order online here or visit the second location in Lakeview.
Grab raw, vegan fare to-go at Uncooked in Fulton Market, which also eschews refined sugar and agave in favor of sweetening with monk fruit. The drink selection features smoothies like That Fuel, a protein-packed blend of avocado, cauliflower, kale and almond milk, plus cold-pressed juices, a CBD-spiked hibiscus cooler, and cold brew infused with lion’s mane mushrooms, which are said to improve brain function. The food side features sushi, salads and doughnuts. Order online here.
Jubilee Juice & Grill
A West Loop staple for more than 20 years, the family-owned Jubilee Juice & Grill offers an extensive selection of fresh-squeezed juices and smoothies like the Citrus Nirvana (orange juice, frozen yogurt, strawberries and bananas) and Mango Madness (pineapple sherbet, mango and mango juice). The food menu aims to offer a healthy alternative to fast food with mushroom burgers and grilled chicken sandwiches. Order online through DoorDash.
Belli’s has grown since its start in Pilsen working out of Thalia Hall. At the end of 2022, the locally owned business moved to a new location with wraps and bowls. But the heart of Belli’s has always been its juices and smoothies. There are cold-pressed offerings like Green Glow (celery, kale, cucumber, grapefruit, ginger) and Pitaya Power (pitaya, plant milk, coconut water, banana, maca) and Yutaro (cacao, banana, plant milk, local honey).
Fruvé xPress Juicery
With locations in both the South Loop and Hyde Park, Fruvé xPress Juicery offers acai bowls and wellness shots made with wheatgrass and alfalfa sprouts. The friendly staff will explain the benefits of cleanses and recommend individual selections from the fridge stocked with cold-pressed juices such as the Kiss, a blend of apple and mint meant to soothe the stomach. The place is also a popular destination for pre- or post-workout smoothies like the protein-packed Gym Rat made with blueberries, banana, goji berries, almond milk, and peanut or almond butter.
Core Juice Bar
With locations in Gage Park and Brighton Park, Core Juice Bar aims to bring healthy fare to underserved communities in the city’s southwest side. The affordable menu features protein-packed shakes designed to drink after workouts plus cold-pressed juices filled with fruits and vegetables to stave off colds. Acai bowls featuring granola, banana and coconut provide satisfying snacks. Order online here.
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Soul Veg City
Soul Veg City is the update to Chicago’s iconic Soul Vegetarian, a pillar in the meat-free community for decades. The new space offers more fast-casual service but retains the juice bar. They are wizards with coconut milk and mix the ingredient in many vegan items including the mind-blowing pineapple supreme smoothie. It’s a great stop along 75th Street.
Bani's Beets Cold-Pressed Juicery
Auriel Banister founded Bani’s Beets a decade ago with the goal of promoting healthy living, popping up at farmers markets and festivals before establishing a brick-and-mortar shop in Beverly. Cold-pressed juices are available individually or as part of subscription plans or detox packages. Stop by during the monthly Mic’d Up Mondays for panel discussions, live music and cocktails. Order online here.