Freshly Squeezed: A Roundup of My Favorite Juice Bars
July 13, 2011

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A few posts ago, I alluded to the fact that I’ve been meaning to write an homage post to my favorite of New York’s many juice bars. If you’re a fan of fresh juice—and I think we all are—there is nothing more luxurious than an availability of fruit and veggie concoctions that someone else has gone through the trouble of making. Juice is like a sandwich: you can make your own, but for some reason it’s always tastier when somebody else does it.

Unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of people who can make it for me here in D.C.: there’s a juice bar at Java Green, and Peacock Café makes fresh juice, but that’s about it. My personal favorite is the Wonji Juice Bar at Whole Foods, which has a great selection of juices and smoothies, but it’s not easy for me to trek up Wisconsin Avenue to get there on a busy class day.

In New York, on the other hand, fresh juice is a dime a dozen. If I were to google “juice bars”
within my mom’s zipcode, I’d come up with no less than five places—and that’s within a pretty small radius. If I were to round up all of what NYC has to offer, the list would be too infinite for this post. But I did think I would put together a list of my top juice bar picks in the Big Apple. I’m always asked for NYC recommendations via email, so NYC readers and travelers, take note!

1) Liquiteria

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My favorite of NYC’s juice bars. This place offers fresh juices aplenty, and it has an admirable smoothie list. My favorite of their “liquid meals” is predictably the “green monster,” (blueberries, strawberries, bananas, apple cider, super green food powder, vanilla vegan protein) and the “mudslide” (blueberries, banana, rice milk, spirulina, vanilla vegan protein). But what everyone comes to Liquiteria for is really the pressed juice.

What’s pressed juice, you ask? Think of it this way: most commercial juicers and home juicers are centrifugal juicers: these are the ones with a giant plunger and a spinning blade/mesh unite. My own juicer (which I love) is a Breville Juice Fountain Plus, which is a centrifugal juicer:

 

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These juices will be delicious and easy to prepare, but they’ll start to lose bright color after about 15 minutes. Why? Because the juice is exposed to a great deal of oxygen as it’s made in the juicer.
Pressed juicers allow juices to stay fresh (if sealed and refrigerated immediately upon making) because they don’t spin the juices with a centrifugal blade, and they don’t oxygenate the juice in the same way.

Juice presses come at a high price: about $2500 or even more. But when juicing establishments invest in them, they can offer customers a huge array of freshly pressed juices that will stay fresh for 2-3 days, so that you can order them, transport them to your office or home, and have them waiting when you need them.

And really, when don’t we need them?

Pressed juice tastes a little different than the usual stuff: it’s strained to perfection, and it’s thicker. There are times when I don’t actually prefer it: my homemade green lemonade is tangier and spicier than any pressed juice I’ve tried, and the sweetness of the apples “pops.” But pressed juice always feels like a wonderful luxury, and I’m always dying to get my hands on it when I can. Liquiteria offers a fairly extensive selection. My two faves are the greens with apple, lemon and ginger, and the greens with carrot. Both are so, so good, and my gratitude for them is obvious:

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As a side note, there are juicers called “masticating juicers,” which crush and squeeze at a slower rate, and the juice they produce will stay fresher longer than centrifugal juicers. They’re a great option for those who juice seriously at home, but can’t invest in a Norwalk juice press. I would definitely get one if I juiced more regularly; as it is, I don’t really juice enough to justify it, but that may change now that I live in a city where I can’t easily purchase juice when I want it.

2) Juice Generation

Just a few years ago, Juice Generation was a good spot to grab a protein smoothie (whey protein, most likely) or a fruit juice and call it a day. In the last couple of years, the juice chain has stayed ahead of the curve by offering fresh green juices (the “green power pleasure” is my fave), wheatgrass (ick!) and, most recently, pressed juices and young thai coconuts.

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I absolutely love their watermelon lime juice—it’s the most refreshing summer drink I know of—and I’m also fairly devoted to their “essential greens” elixir:

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As a fun sidenote, Juice Generation is also host to NYC’s “cooler cleanse,” which offers fresh raw food and pressed juice to those who are interested in cleanses. I tried the kale salad from this line of food on the bus home on Sunday night, and gave it two thumbs up.

3) The Pump

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Over a year ago, I wrote a glowing tribute to The Pump, which in only a year has completely changed its aesthetic and menu from protein-saturated, muscle-builder fare to local, organic, clean food with an emphasis on fresh juices. They have a huge array of fresh smoothies…

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…but also allow patrons like me, who favor rice milk over soy and hemp protein over whey, to make their own:

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And their fresh juices are outstanding. My favorite is a cucumber, pear, and green veggie blend, and I enjoy their greens+apple, too:

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Favorite bonus? They offer juices in both a sixteen- and an eight-ounce size, which means you can save a little money if you’re only in the mood for a sip.

4) The Juice Press

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The Juice Press opened in 2009, much to the delight of the raw-oriented all over NYC

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It has quickly become one of the city’s most popular pressed juice bars (also featuring smoothies, coconut or ale water, and more), and rightly so: the selection is huge, and the Dr. Green juice (pineapple, cucumber, and mixed dark greens) is to die for! I also appreciate the raw fare served, though I can’t say I’ve ever tasted it (yet). The Juice Press, like Liquiteria, Juice Generation, and others, has juice fasting programs for committed patrons.

5) Blossom

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Blossom’s juice bar isn’t pressed, but it has a really special place in my heart for two reasons:

  1. It used to be across the street from my apartment, which made it easy to take advantage of the juices when I was too tired or stressed to make my own.
  2. Some of it’s flavors have inspired my own top ten juices: the pink lady, which has beet, pineapple, ginger, and pear, is one of my all time favorites! There’s also a wonderful carrot-apple beverage, and a regular green lemonade that’s pretty solid. Check out this cute photo of me and Kristen, enjoying the freshly squeezed goodness!

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6) Terri Organic

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I met Craig, the wonderful owner of Terri, back when he was at the helm of Blossom. We hit it off immediately, and I was honored when he started to pick my brain about pressed juice. Years later, when he started Terri (which is one of my favorite NYC lunch destinations!) I was thrilled to see that he’d invested in a Norwalk and started pressing juice.

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All of the flavors are fantastic, but I personally recommend the Live Long & Green, which is a pear (rather than apple) based green concoction.

What a list!

There are other notable mentions: Organic Avenue has pressed juice, though I have to confess that I find the vibe there to be elitist (and the price tags match). I also love the juices at Candle Café, at Peacefood, and at Juicy Lucy in the East Village. No matter where you are in NYC, the best fresh juices are only a few blocks away.

Interested in more about juicing? Check out my top ten juice recipes and this ancient post on the difference between juicing and blending. And tell me, what’s your favorite fruit or veggie juice? Juice bar? Would love to hear!

Finally, a winner of my contest to win a free ticket to the Take Back your Health Conference! The winner is Dendra, who wrote:

I would love to “Take Back Your Health”! I am plagued with arthritis, and have a devastating family history of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure and heart disease. But I am determined not to go out like this! I started increasing raw foods in my diet in January of this year and have already lost 24 pounds. I am now passionate about learning more about how and what to eat for my best health. I have great energy and commitment and I love the idea of being able to take control of my health! Pick me! Pick me!

Thanks much,
Drenda!

Congrats, Dendra! Please email me to arrange the details. I am so glad I could indeed pick you!!

xo

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    57 Comments
  1. Hey Jenna! i hope u get this! im opening a juice bar here in barcelona if all goes well and would like to speak with u a bit if thats ok? R u comming to BCN anytime in the future? let me know! L.

    • Hi Lee,
      Have you opened your juice bar yet in Barcelona? I’m going there next month and hope to find some good fresh juices in the city!

  2. As I’m bookmarking all of these in yelp just wanted to let you know that Wonji Juice Bar is closed and the Pump has changed names and now serves food by Bobby Flay.

    So neat you lived across the street from my favorite vegetarian restaurant in NYC and got to meet Kristin! I read her blog before I discovered yours the other day.

    DC has a juice truck:
    http://www.juicerevolution.com/

  3. Have you tried Ever Lasting life Cafe on Georgia Ave for a juice bar or Wellness Cafe? I’m not sure what kind of juice process they use, but i absolutely enjoy Everlasting!

  4. I have been coming to your website for quite sometime for reliable raw recipes but JUST NOW realized you’re living in DC. I am here too! Welcome to land of few juice bars 🙁 Thanks for this post. I am eating (and blogging) raw this month for a raw food challenge. Looking forward to reading more posts from you.

    • Laura! Fantastic to “meet you.” I’m glad to hear I have a friend in DC, and that we can commiserate over juice bar scarcity. Have you tried Wonji in the Georgetown Whole Foods?

  5. Look no further! The organic, fresh pressed juice you seek in DC is coming! Our first location is Bethesda, MD. We will have pickup spots and delivery shortly after opening. Check out our website…it will be fab! Purée Artisan Juice Bar, bottles in glass to go for cleanses or stock your fridge, custom and freshly made shakes and purees, really raw coconut water, young Thai coconut meat, house made nut milk and more.

    Get ready to get your green juice on!
    Puréejuicebar.com

    Amy, owner

  6. Love this list! Liquiteria and The Pump are within walking distance of my office AND apartment and I’ve become obsessed. If you had to choose, though, would you rather get Green Drink from these places, or make your own? Do you have a DIY recipe you swear by?

  7. Liquiteria adds 2oz of water to their pressed juices. Also I was accused of lying when I politely informed management that a juice that I bought the day before was rancid. That place is really sketchy, it also reeks of broken labor laws. Just sayin.

  8. Wow, what a timely article since I just did a juice cleanse and am going into NYC this weekend hoping to find some good places to get fresh juice. I was just about to do a web search when I came across your post. Thanks!

  9. Hi Gena,

    Hope all is well in D.C.
    Just wrote a post about Juicers and love the intro to this and the discussion around oxygenating. I have always focused so much on pasteurization and blenders that I forget about that very important detail.

    I am grateful that Dallas is home to many Whole Foods with Freshly Pressed Juices. Thank goodness or I do not know how I would survive the rest of Texan cuisine.

    Oh… and great analogy about the sandwiches… I can 100% relate.

    xo

  10. Hi Gena,

    Were you going to announce the conference ticket winner yesterday? I think I missed it…

    Thanks!

  11. Just got my Omega 8006 last week! I love it already. I sent a pic to my mom and she said, “It looks so professional!” And then suggested I open a juice bar, since we have so few options here in DC. 🙂

  12. If I want green juice I have to make it myself as there are NO juice bars here. I think there are two places you can get plain carrot juice but that´s about it. Sometimes I think I should open a proper salad, smoothie and juice bar 🙂

  13. Great list! I have to say I don’t love The Juice Press, their juices and their attitude have both rubbed me the wrong way, but I do love their vegan “bagel with cream cheese.” Totally agree on Juice Generation! I really like Teri’s Perfect Pear too.

    Organic Avenue, which pricey, wins as being the only place to get pressed juice on the UES. I am eagerly awaiting the day Juice Generation juices arrive in ALL Equinox locations.

    • Also – I have a shopping bag FULL of Organic Avenue juices to return and I never get around to it (for those who don’t know, you get $2 back for every bottle you return). That is annoying to me to have this pressure, although it is a great idea.

  14. The Pink Lady sounds like my kind of girl! I bought a juicer 6 months ago, and like the blender, gets used everyday. I’ve become a total juice junkie. Kale, beet, carrot, cucumber, ginger and lemon! My daily veggie consumption rose dramatically with the juicer. I don’t have a juice bar in my area, so making my own is the way to go. Thanks of the new combos.

  15. I’m a high raw, juice lovin’ vegan moving to NYC next month – this post made my day! Thanks Gena.

  16. I recently discovered Juice Generation on 72nd Street, near my boyfriend’s apartment — I’m mildly obsessed with the Supa Dupa Greens juice. Yum! Even the boy likes it, and that’s saying a lot.

  17. Hey,

    I am from germany. In february I was I was in NYC and we had the Juice Generation just around the corner where we stayed.
    I LOVED it and we had a green juice or smoothie every morning. The raw sushi was amazing!

    And coincidentally we found Terri – although it was not on my “raw-list”.

    NYC is a raw paradise – compared to Germany (Munich).

    Have a nice day!
    Best, Hanna

    • Alexia,

      Actually, price points are all comparable (about $8 per pressed juice). Juice Press is a little more ($9 or $10) and Terri is a little cheaper ($7).

      G

  18. Wow, what a list! New York really is a hub of awesomeness. Here in Vancouver then two juice places I know of are Whole Foods (which I just love to go to anyways) and the place I work at called Organic Lives. You are really really making want to travel to New York G, and that is not good for my wallet. Please, enough with the homage posts, thank you. (;

  19. Awesome! Thanks so much for your descriptions! There are so many juice bars here in NYC, that it can be overwhelming to pick. Now I have a better idea of which ones to make my priority to visit. I can’t wait to try Liquiteria!

    • Hope it’s helpful! And I owe you an email re: NYC dining (sorry, my schoolwork is insane). Visit Candle Cafe or Candle 79, Blossom in Chelsea, One Lucky Duck, and Angelica Kitchen, and have fun!

      • Oh I understand-studies are so intense. I’ve been checking out all of the menus and cannot wait. I wish pure wasn’t so expensive…

  20. Great review! I am excited to visit NYC to try some of these places. I’m jealous- I wish Boston had more spots like these!

  21. This is handy considering I’m spending the weekend in the city and am in a very serious juicing phase. I highly recommend to folks the Green Star Juicer. It’s a real investment at $400 plus but it’s a twin press and preserves the juices longer and I ADORE it. So glad I finally decided to splurge on it.

  22. I used to have a bit of an aversion to green juice. However, last month I stopped at Whole Foods on a whim to grab a green juice, and I LOVED it! I lament the fact that in Phoenix, Arizona there is nary a single restaurant that serves up juice, so consider yourself lucky to have access to at least a few restaurants that do provide it!

  23. Every time you post about juice I wish I had a juicer!! I can picture myself juicing away, throwing it in a mason jar, and sipping on the way to school. Thanks for the info on juicers! If I ever find myself in NYC I’ll check these places out!

  24. Wow, Gena, stellar roundup!

    I posted a picture to my instagram and then also to my blog yesterday b/c I am in the process of unpacking at my new place (*just* finished my move an hour ago! and had to check my google reader and rest for a few mins!) but yeah, I posted should i unpack my espresso maker or my juicer first? I have to say, I think espresso maker is winning 🙂

    I just HATE juicer cleanup. I always mention this and shouldnt be such a baby about it, but yeah, I do.

    If I am ever in your ‘hood, I would love to grab a green juice. Or an espresso 🙂 with you!

  25. Maybe you can convince some of your NYC friends to open a juice place in DC? 😉 Our selection here really is inadequate! I work downtown and the closest juice place to me is the Juice Joint, which is on Vermont Avene close to the White House. It’s good, just a little far for me to go regularly! There’s also a limited selection of juices at Robeks, but I have to go way out of my way for that too The Smoothie King by the Verizon Center at least has wheat grass now. It’s a start, right?

    It’d be awesome if Funxion would throw a real juice bar in the mix! They have fresh beet and carrot juice for their blends and cocktails, seems easy enough to expand upon that.