"Eat your vegetables" is easier said than done. When it comes to sipping these superfoods through a straw, health-obsessed Angelenos (and Salma Hayek, who co-founded her own juice line) could probably drink you under the table. A liquid lunch might not be for everyone, but jumping on the juicing bandwagon is a convenient way to add nutrient-dense foods to your diet on a regular basis.
Eating 20 stalks of kale in one sitting sounds about as appealing as, well, eating 20 stalks of kale. But add a few other colorful ingredients, jazz it up with ginger, cayenne, or raw cacao and stick a straw in it - and you've got yourself a drinkable (and tastier) daily dose of fruits and vegetables. Mom would be proud. Here are five great juice bar recommendations.
5. Royalty Juice Bar
Tucked away on Ventura Boulevard in Studio City, this family-run juice bar and café is hard to spot, but worth looking out for. The owner may recommend the Healthy Smoothie, which is green, naturally sweet and has just the right texture - with chewy bits of raw almond still in the mix. Their extensive juice offerings are categorized by their health benefits, including the Anti-Stress, Energy Pump and Hangover Cure. 12019 Ventura Blvd., San Fernando Valley; (818) 762-1140.
4. Juice Crafters
Juice Crafter's cozy Brentwood outlet beckons you in with yellow balloons, sidewalk chalk and colorful displays of apples, oranges, pineapples and cantaloupe (all sourced from local farmers and delivered daily). Read the charming handwritten menu, admire the vintage artwork, slurp up the delicious samples and you might feel brave enough to try one of their juice cleanses or detox programs. 11682 San Vicente Blvd., Los Angeles; (424) 442-0555.
UCLA students in Westwood, yogis and beach-goers in Santa Monica and health-conscious foodies in West Hollywood have been guzzling Nekter's cold-pressed juices and smoothies since this juice shop opened in 2010. Started by husband-and-wife team Steve and Alexis Schulze, the blends (starting at $4.74 for 16 ounces) pack a powerful nutritional punch. Their signature juice is The Greenie, an appropriately-named concoction loaded with parsley, spinach, kale, celery, cucumber, lemon and apple. If you're in a hurry, they offer grab-and-go bottled juices - and 1, 2, 3 or 5-day cleanse programs. 10912 Lindbrook Drive, Los Angeles; (800) 385-1650.
See also: 4 Great Juice Shops in Los Angeles
2. Liquid Juice Bar
Stepping into this Melrose shop is kind of like entering a juice dreamland flowing with nut milk and honey (both of which are recommended in their acai bowls), along with the neon décor, hand-painted flowerbeds, many menu options and exotic juice add-ins such as bee pollen, coconut flakes, almond butter, and organic flax oil. You can try one of their juices, smoothies or wellness shots - or opt for a do-it-yourself customizable drink. 8180 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles; (323) 300-8070.
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Cold-pressed and hand-crafted by juice master Ron Anthony, Rejuice's organic juices come in cool reusable glass bottles that can be refilled at a discounted price. Along with their blended beverages, customizable cleanses and juice delivery program, the locally-sourced, organic goodness also comes in the form of made-to-order sandwiches, salads and wraps. You can also score some of their 16-ounce concoctions (orange-carrot, watermelon-mint) for under $4. 3238 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica; (310) 399-0001.