Published in YogaCity NYC August 2013
Best Place For Their Mix of Juices: Liquiteria
Best Place To Go When You Need To Feel Like Part Of The Family:Salud
Best Because the Iconic Melvin Major Squeezes Here – Need We Say More? Melvin’s Juice Box
Best Unique Ingredient Combinations: The Butcher’s Daughter
Best Drink Name: The Squeeze’s “I Have a Heart On”
Best Thirst-Quencher: One Lucky Duck’s “Blue Grape”
Best Green Juice: Tiny Empire’s #4
Best Place To Go On A Budget: Juice Hugger
Best Place To Meet Someone Standing In Line: Punchline
The recent juice boom has sent health-lovers into the streets searching for the perfect balance of taste and phytonutrients found in cold-pressed super-foods. Though there is no denying that the big names like Organic Avenue and Juice Press offer dependable products, it is worth the time to sip around some of the smaller businesses because they are more creative, definitely more idiosyncratic and usually care more about mixing up the perfect drink more than the chains.
To make it easier, YogaCity NYC has gotten the scoop on our favorite indie squeezes.
The East Village’s Liquiteria pioneered cold-pressed juice in NYC back in 1996 — long before the Vitamix was around. They often make the list of best juiceries in America because of their incredible menu – 20 different juices often made of up more than 25 ingrediants that are all yummy. The staff is friendly and if you’re looking for a cleanse, they’ve got coaches to help you through. If you’re lucky, you might run into hunky Daniel Craig picking up his squeeze. The best time to go is mid-day, because the line in the morning is known to wrap around the corner.
Further downtown in Soho, there are a few stellar places to pop in to sip on something flavorful.
Family owned and operated Salud’s newly opened location on Thompson Street is perfect for those days you need a little spicing up. Arakaren Gonzalez, one of three family owners of the business says, “we are very passionate about organic and healthy food, and we all grew up in Soho so we love this community.” Originally based in Brooklyn, this location stays true to its promise to offer organic ingredients, some of which are imported from Mexico such as their alfalfa mint and aloe vera. ”Our mission is to put a healthy spin on traditional Mexican American food.”
Around the corner is another cultural gem, Melvin’s Juice Box, the colorful offspring of Miss Lily’s Caribbean hot spot next door. This cultural social club is a great place to go if you have the time to sit and admire the eclectic vibe inside. Though a part of Miss Lily’s, Melvin’s Juice Box was started by Melvin Major jr., a juicing icon known for the delicious bevs he’s served for over 20 years in Greenwich Village. If your lucky you can catch Melvin mingling among the customers like an old friend. Another perk? Some of the proceeds go to the Rockhouse Foundation, which supports education in Jamaica. Try “The Real V-8,” a shmorgasburg of vegetables — 11 to be exact — to get all your servings of vegetables in one 12 oz cup.
South is The Butcher’s Daughter, a new high-end vegan establishment on Kenmare street. Owner Heather Tierney is hoping to change the way we drink juice and was inspired by her Chinatown mixology bar, Apotheke to make creative cold-pressed juices a staple part of The Butcher’s Daughter menu. Said Tierney, “ I noticed a void in the juice market: All of the juices seemed the same—flat, boring and monotone. No one was utilizing exotic produce and herbs.” And the juices certainly are unique. “Water Flower” combines ingredients like fennel, cactus, lavender and watermelon among others. After a yoga class, Tierney suggests picking up “Hangover Killer” with coconut to replenish and primrose oil to restore. Celebrity regulars: Justin Timberlake and Bjork.
For the juice-fiend with no time to spare, the best bet is stopping by the mobile juicery, The Squeeze, the first cold-pressed juice truck in Manhattan. Started and based in Brooklyn by former model and lifetime vegan Karliin Brooks, this truck parks outside 17th street and Union Square West and sells cleverly named organic juices such as Two Hearts Beet as One and The Jeans I Wore in High School. “Our most popular juice is our ‘Stand and Deliver,’ our green juice. We are almost always out by 5 pm. People are all about green juice,” says Paul Gunsberg, the musician/juice aficionado who can be found manning the truck, offering recommendations and a smile to bustling commuters.
Just up the street, is a small vegan boutique that sells delectable desserts alongside their juices, including chocolate moon pies and cashew ice cream. One Lucky Duck is the trendier younger sibling of vegan-elite Pure Food & Wine, located around the corner. What the space lacks in size – it’s tiny – they make up for in quality. Warning: it will be hard to ignore all of the delicious-looking desserts pleading with you from behind the counter.
It’d be shameful to forget to look across the pond at Brooklyn’s scene, the borough that is quickly becoming a hub for interesting small foodie businesses. Tiny Empire on North 6th street is new to the scene, having opened its doors in September 2012, and bringing fresh, unpasturized, cold-pressed juices and raw ready-meals to Williamsburg. Like the name suggests, “we believe less is more — the less we do to our food the more we get out of it…One thing I think is sometimes forgotten about juicing is that juice should taste really really good. It is easy to create recipes that are full of health and taste delicious,” says founder Anthony Spadaro who created his juice recipes through trial and error in his own kitchen.
Downtown Brooklyn is home to homeopathic-inspired Punchline Juice Bar, which offers juices that promise everything from “Constipation Relief” to “Satin Skin” to a “Horse Tonic.” If you are looking for a little libido boost, spend the extra few dollars on an “Armageddon,” one of Punchline’s most popular drinks which contains the aphrodisiac bois bande, a Caribbean tree bark, and ginseng for energy.
If the lines at Punchline are too long, Juice Hugger is another Crown Heights favorite located on Rogers Ave. Kelly Keelo and Carl or “Crush” Foster as he is fondly referred, are dedicated to flavorful juices that are healthy and affordable. Owner Keelo recommends the Cucumber Glo for a summertime refresher “since it cools you from the inside out. Juice Hugger is a company that was born “organically” after Foster used juicing to help him shed 58 pounds and wanted to help friends do the same.
The juice curious definitely have options. Though the prices for a glass of liquidized fruit and vegetables seems high, it makes sense when considering that it takes almost five pounds of produce per one 12 oz bottle. That is a whole lot of goodness happening there.