Get Juiced: Juice Bars

drive by fruiting.

drive by fruiting.

Squeezing the bejeezus out of fresh veggies and fruits into green smoothies has been a health craze for quite a well. Drinking your daily dose of vegetables has never been so easy. Sip it in the car on the way to work. Slurp it while reading Lady Clever. (Heh!) Or put it in the fridge for a later snack.

The process of making a green smoothie, though, takes some effort. The juicing machine itself is an investment, upwards of $400 to $1,000 for the fancy high-performance models. Then comes the time-consuming part: You still have to buy the vegetables, wash them and dice them before dumping them in the juicer. All that work could be a worthy investment for die-hards, but fortunately for the rest of us, more juice bars have been popping up along the West Coast. You don’t have to shell out hundreds of dollars for a Vitamix. For a few dollars more than yet another caffeine-soaked coffee drink, you can get a tried-and-true green beverage at your own convenience.

Juice bars have become quite popular in San Francisco, concentrated in neighborhoods such as the Sunset, Castro/Mission and SOMA districts. You’ll find every variation here of a green smoothie here, from gluten-free options at Herbivore to smoothies with blue-green algae at Judahlicious and drinks with chlorophyll powder at Daily Health Food & Deli. Other juice bars take their health charge very seriously, with detox smoothies and even hot smoothies for chilly nights.

Take your pick: Juice bars are also sprinkled around the West Coast, with Kure and Canteen in Portland and the Juicebox food truck in Los Angeles. (Kure offers “shots” of wheatgrass, aloe and straight ginger. Wow.) Even if you’re put off by the green color, there’s still something healthy for everyone. Most juice bars also serve healthy bowls of fruit and granola.

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