Four spots for fruit smoothies
Note: There are no milkshakes on this list.
Joy Yee’s University Village has been rewarded with a taste of this local pan-Asian minichain. The vast, photo-filled menu from the Chinatown spot is duplicated here, so anyone who’s addicted to the mussels with black-bean sauce, garlicky chicken with string beans or gargantuan bowls of udon-noodle soup has nothing to worry about. And smoothie addicts? Don’t fret: There’s a massive wall of fruit at this location, too, so those blender-mavens will be able to concoct whatever smoothies and bubble teas your taste buds desire. 1335 S Halsted St (312-997-2128). Lunch, dinner. Average main course: $8.
Osaka So the sushi isn’t going to change your life or replace your swank weekend sushi bar, but we love this carryout spot as an easy Loop lunch option. Zippy chefs concoct daily specials such as eel rainbow rolls and nigiri orders on the fly, while the refrigerated case is stocked with just-made combos. But our hands-down favorite thing about the place is the “wall of fruit”: It’s the sign that true fresh-fruit smoothies are being made (in flavors like watermelon, lychee, mango and avocado) in an area where other spots use that grainy, powdery, tapioca-drink stuff. 400 S Michigan Ave (312-566-0118). Lunch, dinner (closed Sun). Average nigiri: $1.75.
Peeled After watching owner Keith Pegues press stem after stem of leafy greens into the juicer, it comes as a pleasant surprise that the kale in the seafoam-green C’est La Vie smoothie—one of the many health-conscious vegetable juices available at this cheery juice bar—is practically undetectable. In fact, the drink’s frothy texture and sweetness (from pineapple) make it taste like anything but health food. (Though we might feel differently if we were drinking six of these juices a day, as adherents to Peeled’s popular “cleanses” elect to.) 1571 N Sheffield Ave (312-266-7335). 8am–8pm. Average juice: $6.
Tiztal Café A breakfast joint that focuses almost solely on omelettes, waffles and fruit might sound like a place with a limited menu. But it turns out those fluffy omelettes are stuffed with all kinds of fillings, from a lively ranchero sauce to spicy chorizo. Likewise, the fruit takes three different forms: a cocktail sprinkled with salt, chili powder and lemon; fresh juice; and satisfying smoothies. (In the category of “sounds weird, tastes incredible,” we’d place the thick, creamy oatmeal shake.) And the crisp waffles (good enough on their own) can be topped with pecans and fruit. Good luck deciding among the three. 4631 N Clark St (773-271-4631). Breakfast, lunch. Average main course: $8.