Summer. You know what they say: hair gets lighter, skin gets darker, water gets warmer… and juice bars get busier. Even though the really hot days here in Montreal haven’t been very many so far, summer is definitely the best season to visit the juice bars scattered around the city (uhm, not sure if anyone is up for a cold juice in the middle of the winter when it’s -30ºC outside, but I’m afraid I won’t be here to check).
If you remember my tips on How to keep a healthy lifestyle while travelling, I suggested having a refreshing mix of blended/juiced fruits and veggies as a way to ensure you get your daily dose of vitamins – which, by the way, also applies when you are not on the road Moreover, healthy juices and smoothies make a delicious and fun treat, the combinations are endless so it never gets boring!
So let’s see what Montreal has to offer when it comes to juice bars:
With an extensive menu of what they call “functional beverages”, the five Montreal stores offer what might be the most nutritious drinks in town, using 100% plant-based organic ingredients (including maple syrup, of course!). From “meals in a cup” to acai bowls, they use lots of superfoods for which your body will thank you. You can also customise your drink, for example adding some protein powder to keep you full for longer. Take out is the best option as the stores are quite small, so it’s perfect for a snack on the go.
Must try “meal in a cup”: Tornado (orange, banana, strawberry, raspberry, mango, protein powder and ginseng).
My second home at the moment, not only for their nice fresh juices but also for their welcoming rustic-chic bistro and friendly staff on Mont-Royal Avenue. They also make healthy sandwiches, salads, soups aaaand the best French toast, amongst other slightly unhealthier dishes, for the weekend brunch.
Must try smoothie: Bonté Verte (“green goodness”, on the featured image), made with coconut water, spinach, bananas and peach.
Four locations offering vegan and organic food, including falafel, decadent desserts (such as carrot cake with macadamia nuts and “viramisu”), energy balls and a wide selection of smoothies in a functional yet cosy space.
Must try smoothie: Choco Maca (cashews, cocoa, maca, banana, coconut milk and rice milk).
Being part of the Amenzone Fitness centre, this bar a santé sells organic, vegan and gluten-free snacks as well as very well-thought-of drinks, all detailed on their menu, with the ingredients of each beverage plus their health benefits. The waiting time is a bit long, so it’s best to go when you are not in a hurry, although you can kill time trying their free chlorophyll water.
Must try juice: Green Kick (pineapple, cucumber, kale, apple, lemon, parsley and jalapeño).
This juice bar/café/vegan bistro is located in the Plateau Mont-Royal area, like most of the above, and again offers healthy meals and beverages of all kinds. Apart from that, they are popular for their detox programmes, which go from 1 to 5 days (or from 50 to 230 CA$) of only drinking juices (5 per day) to help reset your body.
Must try smoothie: Goji Balance (goji berries, spinach, berries and almond milk).
Crudessence has three restaurants and several health counters across Montreal and is a bit fancier (aka pricier) compared to the other spots, although this applies mostly to their meals (raw living cuisine), the price of the juices and smoothies doesn’t vary much amongst all these places (from 7 to 10 CA$ each, after tax). Chocoholics: their raw brownie is to die for.
Must try juice: Glow (carrot, coconut water, aloe, turmeric and lime).
Montreal’s first vegan restaurant (since 1997) is the place where vegans and omnivores alike can enjoy a healthy lunch with ethnic touches and where friends can meet for brunch and indulge in some organic blueberry pancakes or hearty huevos rancheros.
Must try juice: Nectar (apple, carrot and beet).