Smoothies and juice bars are great places to find healthy, nutritional drinks and snacks. Many of them were started in another part of the country, but have spread to Orange County and are now extremely popular refreshment stops for locals. This list incorporates trendy spots owned and operated by local residents, making it easy to find healthy tropical drinks and smoothies that go well with a warm summer day.
Nekter Juice Bar
2801 E Coast Highway, #C
Corona Del Mar, CA 92625
The energy and success of the Orange County-based Nekter Juice Bar is largely due to its green-juice blends, raw-nut milk smoothies, raw and gluten-free vegan snacks and acai bowls. It is known for the “cleanse products” drink formula, which is designed to rid the body of toxic buildup in the organs, digestive tract and even the skin. Anyone interested can find information on the website. While recognized for its cleanse products, Nektar also serves “regular” juices and smoothies as well. Two specialty drinks deserving of a taste are the Strawberry Lemon Freeze, made with filtered water, lemon juice, strawberries and agave, then blended with ice for a mild tart taste and the Ginger drink, a blend of ginger and lemon that gives each drinker a quick boost of energy. For a hearty and delightful dish, order the Tropical Acai Bowl with its blend of pineapple, banana, coconut butter and cashew nut milk, all topped with banana, coconut flakes and agave.
10189 Westminster Ave
Garden Grove, CA 92843
Tastea opened in 2000 by two young entrepreneurs as a place where friends can meet, have fun and enjoy innovative drinks. The center of the shop is the unique tea bar, where one can enjoy refreshing Asian-American fusions of tea smoothies, slushies and shaved ice, along with a variety of colorful add-ons to make the drinks even more fun. The classic tea flavors like honeydew, taro and green tea, come either lightly sweetened or with non-dairy creamers. Try the Karamel Kadabra with shaved ice, milk and egg pudding then topped with caramel swirls.
Extract Juice Bar
3305 Newport Blvd, Suite B
Newport Beach, CA 92663
Extract Juice Bar was just recently opened by the married couple that also works behind the counter. So far, OC residents have been thrilled with the healthy juice cleanses the bar offers. Whether looking for a one-day, three-day or five-day cleanse, Extract will have the right concoctions to wipe out your system. If you’re just looking for a one-time drink, order The Countdown smoothie with cranberry, celery, cucumber and watermelon, or The Zing Dinger for an eye-opening treat of ginger, lime and grapefruit. If you’re trying to catch up on your veggie intake, go with The Weed Wacker packed full of celery, broccoli, lemon, dandelion and cucumber. It’s actually quite delicious.
Ruby’s Crystal Cove Shake Shack
7703 E Coast Highway
Newport Coast, CA 92657
High on a bluff along scenic Highway 1, known as Pacific Coast Highway in Orange County, is a long-time roadside stand that has been a favorite for those in need of something to quench their thirst. Originally painted a bright yellow and known as the date shack, it served shakes for over 40 years. It was recently renovated and given a new sign saying “Crystal Cove Shake Shack,” now operated by Ruby’s. Along with a variety of lemonades and iced teas, this shack serves up some deliciously fruity handmade shakes. Choose between the strawberry, pineapple, banana cream dream, strawberry banana or black cherry for your summertime fruit fix. Who says smoothies have to be made without ice cream? But if you’re still on the edge of indulging in these treats, check out the website that lists the calorie count for each drink.
1147 E Imperial Highway
Placentia, CA 92870
At Power Up, there are many different smoothies to choose from that are lacking in calories and boasting flavor and quality. The powerful protein-based smoothies come in 20 flavors, ranging from the Banana Cream Pie to the Maui Wowee. There are also tasty herbal teas to choose from, great for hydrating the body, in such flavors as raspberry, lemon or regular. Try Power Up’s $2 saver-time deal for three drinks – a 16-ounce smoothie, a 16-ounce hot or cold herbal tea and a 5-ounce herbal aloe. Only $6 for all of these great drinks? Who could say no to that deal?
Mona Graham is a freelance writer, writing for Examiner.com. Mona has lived in Orange County since 1958 and has a great familiarity with the area. Her hobbies are travelling, writing and photography. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.