South Sound, it seems, is jazzed about juices and soft on smoothies.
Last year, Olympia gained two new businesses focused on the cool concoctions, and a third, Zoe Juice Bar, opened a second location.
The first juice bar of the current crop is Peace, Love & Raw, which opened its downtown shop on Legion Way in April 2013.
And a juice and smoothie bar is planned as part of Ruby Soul Yoga and Spa, slated to open next month in Lacey.
“The juice bar industry in Olympia is really growing,” said Nate Thomas, owner of Stellar Juices, which opened in September on Fifth Avenue.
“We live off of smoothies,” said Tora Saeger, who opened Bits Café with her husband, Nate Saeger, in July 2018. Smoothies have been a staple at Bits since the beginning, though the restaurant recently began serving a daily brunch, with lunch items planned to arrive soon.
Ready for some refreshment or a meal you can drink through a straw? Check out the Olympian’s guide to locally owned smoothie spots and juice joints.
903 Rogers St. NW, Olympia
Drink up: Bits, the only smoothie spot in Olympia that’s also a full restaurant (and the only one that also has coffee), serves up nutrient-dense smoothies that can — depending on your appetite — serve as full meals. Most of the options (which are 80 percent to 100 percent organic) are yogurt based, but any of them can be made with almond, coconut, hemp or soy milk instead. There’s no regular juice menu, but a fresh juice special is offered each week.
Most popular: Customer favorites are the Sunshine, a mix of yogurt, pineapple, peaches, mango, coconut, banana, spinach, baby chard and baby kale that looks green and tastes tangy and tropical, and the Maca Almond, made with almond milk, maca, almond butter, cinnamon, raw honey, dates and banana.
Owner’s favorite: Saeger’s top choice is the Xupi, a rich-tasting and not-too-sweet blend of coconut milk, unsweetened raw coconut, coconut oil, almond butter, dates and kale. It’s keto-friendly, for those on the high-fat, low-carb diet, she said — at least for those who aren’t so strict that they exclude dates.
Prices: Smoothies are $7 for 16 ounces, with add-ins ranging from 50 cents to $1.50.
Peace, Love & Raw
111 Legion Way SW, Olympia
Drink up: The all-organic, raw and vegan juice bar, which doubles as a take-out eatery carrying raw entrees, sandwiches, soups and desserts, offers vegetables the other shops don’t — think cabbage, romaine lettuce and tomatoes — and smoothies with house-made oat-hemp milk. Among the creative smoothie combinations are the Blue Kiss (made with blueberries, carob, cucumber and maca) and the Rawgasmic, which blends a RawNaimo Bar (Peace, Love & Raw’s take on a Nanaimo bar) with strawberry and banana.
Most popular: The top smoothie is the Green Crush, with banana, date, cacao and the spirulina that gives it its bright color. Among the most-ordered juices is the Communicator, a well-balanced mix of cucumber, celery, kale, parsley and lemon.
Owner’s favorite: Heart likes the Hydrator, a mix of cucumber, celery, apple and cilantro.
Prices: A 16-ounce juice or smoothie costs $7.96-$8.40, with add-ins ranging from 75 cents to $1.
623 Fifth Ave. SE, Olympia
Drink up: The juices and smoothies at Stellar, which shares space with Gravity Yoga, are all plant-based and about 90 percent organic. Many of the smoothies begin with almond milk (or mylk, as it’s spelled on the menu), but orange and apple juices and other “mylks” are available, too. Some of the more intriguing flavors are the Tuscan Mud, a dessert-like combo of cacao nibs, almond butter, vanilla, agave, dates and banana, and the Blueberry Muffin, a blueberry-banana blend that gets a hint of baked-good flavor from oats and cinnamon and extra sweetness from agave.
Most popular: The Green Goods smoothie, made with kale, spinach, banana, mango and orange and apple juices, just beats out the Tuscan Mud. The top juice is the Liquid Gold, a frothy blend of pineapple, celery, apple and fresh turmeric.
Owner’s favorite: Thomas likes the Liquid Gold, which he describes as Stellar’s take on golden milk, also made with turmeric.
Prices: A 16-ounce juice or smoothie will set you back $6.75, with add-ins available for 60 cents each — except if you choose to add CBD, the chemical compound from the cannabis plant, which runs $2.25 for 10 milligrams.
Zoe Juice Bar
East Olympia: 1851 State Ave. NE, Suite 101. 360-259-4074
West Olympia: 1520 Cooper Point Road SW, #310. 360-539-7117
Drink up: Many of the juices and smoothies at Zoe are green, and all are plant-based — unless you add whey protein, which gives a milkshake-like creaminess. All of the juices and many of the smoothies are mixes of vegetables and fruits. More than half of fresh ingredients and most of the frozen fruits are organic.
Most popular: Co-owner Lori Richardson had trouble narrowing this category down. The first ones that came to her mind were the Green Garden smoothie (apple-cucumber juice, spinach, kale, banana, pineapple, strawberry, peach, mango and almond milk) and the Evergreen juice, a mix of apple, spinach, kale, cucumber, parsley — and lime, which sets it apart from many green juices. (The more typical lemon is an option, too.)
Owner’s favorite: Richardson, who bought the business in February with her husband, Gene Richardson, goes for the Oly Farmacy, a variation on the Evergreen with celery instead of cucumber.
Prices: A 16-ounce juice or smoothie is $6.95, with add-ins available for $1.20 each.
More juice and smoothies
Also among the South Sound spots serving smoothies and juices:
- Emerald City Smoothie, 855 Trosper Road SW, Tumwater. 360-539-7531, emeraldcitysmoothie.com
- Freshii, 1200 Cooper Point Road SW, Olympia. 360-350-6538, freshii.com
- Jamba Juice, 1350 Marvin Road N.E., Suite F, Lacey. 360-853-3105, jamba.com