IMAGE VIA GREENHOUSE JUICE | FACEBOOK
Toronto’s health-conscious food industry seems to have exploded in a matter of minutes. And since fruits and veggies have taken on a whole new, liquified meaning, words like cold-pressed, acai, and superfood are now commonplace. This is the world of juice, T.O.
As you navigate the pre-workout, post-workout, or no-workout fuel, we’re here to make sure you know where to go and what to order for the absolute best juice and smoothies in the city.
The lovechild of a group of new grads, Greenhouse Juice quickly grew from a cozy cottage at Yonge and Summerhill to an unstoppable force on the juice scene. Each of their nearly 15 Toronto locations serve organic, non-GMO, fresh-pressed goodness with a unique commitment to sustainability. They favour the “less-loved” produce from farmers and always send the pulp right back to be used as compost for their crops. And while each juice, elixir, kombucha, nut milk, and booster is nourishing and yummy, their smoothies are particularly crave-worthy — try one. Fitt Tip: Greenhouse released an unreal cookbook filled with recipes for ALL of their products, plus insanely-delicious plant-based meals — we can’t stop making the mac and cheese with oat crumb crust!
With a name as clever as any of their superfood creations, The Grow Op is a welcomed healthy addition to the Ossington food scene. True to their pun-intended name, their signature base is house-made hemp milk, and they combine that with pretty much every good-for-you ingredient you can think of: bee pollen, spirulina, turmeric root, chlorella. This is a go-to for acai bowls (served in a 24oz. cup — you may have noticed their Insta-fame), nutrient-dense power potions, juice, and kombucha (on tap!).
With six distinctly different locations across the city, Village Juicery works closely with nutritionists to make the most nutritious foods more accessible for the everyday drinker (or eater!). While each location is designed in their signature natural wood and greenery aesthetic, each location offers a little something different — like the cute and cozy vibe at Yonge and Eg, or the modern and trendy feel at Yorkdale Shopping Centre. They serve warming elixirs, tonic mixtures, breakfast bowls, snacks, and salads, in addition to a solid variety of cold-pressed juice. Then there are the seasonal craft kombuchas we can’t stop drinking. And luckily we won’t have to — Village Juicery now offers DIY kombucha workshops.
This little, bright green storefront smack in the middle of Queen West can’t be missed, and the friendliness is palpable the second you walk through the doors. Bolt partners with ELXR Juice Lab (read about them below) for all of their juice, but their smoothies, salads, and customizable grain bowls are all their own. And the food options are impressive for this little narrow shop — a stand-out is the Kale Caesar, complete with Brazil nut cheese, soy-free tempeh, and chickpea croutons. But you absolutely must treat yourself to a generous dollop of coconut whipped cream with your acai parfait.
ELXR is a place where first, second, and third base actually refer to juice, and “mylk” is a protein-packed, non-dairy concoction of superfoods. With products stocked in 15 retail locations across the GTA, ELXR finally took the plunge and opened THREE much-anticipated permanent locations in Yorkville Village, at King and Spadina, and Bayview Village, making their perfectly designed “introductory” cleanse package available for everyone. Fans of the juice lab know the nutrient-dense fruit and veggie combos here go beyond just juice. ELXR recently released an entire menu of plant-based sandwiches, salads, and soups — and we can’t forget about the vegan sweets!
A list of the best juice bars in the city would never be complete without a nod to Fresh, the original fresh-pressed juicer in Toronto. Fresh is notorious for their vegan grub, but their current fame stems from humble beginnings as a juice bar back in 1990. Since then, the bar became a restaurant, opened five crazy-popular locations, and added everything from soups to burgers to tacos on their menu. Juice remains a passion for Fresh, and their unique “build your own” option is an awesome departure from many of the standard juice bar flavours. Power shakes, green smoothies, cold-pressed juice, and immune elixirs are all done perfectly and continue to make Fresh an unstoppable force in T.O.’s health food scene.
“Juice Bar” is all the big blue sign in the middle of Dundas West reads, but The Raw Chemist is so much more than that. Their cold-press juices and smoothies are perfectly thought out and their elixirs will arm you with whatever superfood you’re looking for. But the real shining stars are their unique range of powders. In the most adorable packaging ever, The Raw Chemist has combined clever blends of herbs in their most concentrated form to promote beauty, build immunity, calm nerves, and improve skin and hair. Each game-changing powder can be mixed with water or incorporated into a smoothie.
Daily Press is all about making the intake of fruits and veggies enjoyable, convenient, and an easy habit. Their little Queen West location has been joined by a Yonge and Wellesley spot, and their juices can be found in multiple cafés around the city. And if that isn’t convenient enough for you, Daily Press offers a delivery service. We love ordering any of their juice kits that strategically combine a group of their products to fight a hangover, build up your immune system, or detox with a huge dose of greens — pretty much any situation imaginable.
Standing in front of the enormous fridge in any of the six Revitasize locations is like looking at a magical rainbow of every colourful, vitamin-rich juice known to man. Their selection of juices, smoothies, bowls, and on-the-go snacks is seriously impressive and they seem to have a product for every possible ailment. This family-run shop sells exactly what you need to combat the sniffles or low energy. Their Maca Power smoothie is better than chocolate ice cream (this is not an exaggeration) and promises hormone balance, healthy fat, magnesium, and, of course, downright deliciousness. But if you’re simply looking for your daily dose of green, they have a whopping rotation of nine different green juices for you to choose from.
This juice bar/coffee shop hybrid is a unique player in the juice game. Their three cute little locations—in The Village, on Front, and in York Mills—aim to educate and inspire their customers to live healthier lives. From their absolutely enormous shake menu (we’re talking really, really enormous) to their famous butter coffee, they elevate whatever drink you’re looking for. For seven days of Fuel+ fresh juices, speciality shakes, and enhancers, you’ll want to try the Clean Fuel program. Get ready to reset and energize your body!
With a slightly lower price point than some of their competitors and prime locations throughout Toronto (downtown at the Eaton Centre, midtown in Davisville, and at Mapleview Shopping Centre in the GTA), Refuel has a lot to offer. Their juices are jam-packed with superfoods and their staff are quick to explain the benefits of each. We love their Power Punch with turmeric, pineapple, ginger, and cayenne pepper, and their delicious Cinnamon Cashew Milk. Fitt Tip: while their smoothies are certainly yummy (especially the Choco Maca), many of them use an orange or apple juice base, so keep an eye out if you’re limiting sugar.
Nothing says health and wellness more than sipping on a refreshing juice in the middle of a garden oasis. Plants line every wall and hang from all over the ceiling at this Kensington Market spot. Enjoy the fresh vibes with over 10 cold-pressed juices to choose from—made out of immune-boosting combinations of fruit and veggies—or sit down and relax on the couch in the back with a superfood smoothie. Fitt Tip: make a stop here on the weekend and you’ll likely find plant-based treats being served.
**Updated by Marie Waine, February 2019