If you love kid-friendly cafes that are focused on all things healthy, get ready because you’re about to have a new main squeeze. Real Good Juice Co. just opened in Old Town. The locally owned spot will be your new favorite place to pop in for a sandwich and cold-pressed juice, and treat the kids to a special smoothie. Sometimes there’s even a farm stand out front! Here what you need to know before you go.
What Kids Will Love
Real Good Juice Co. does a real good job of keeping kids happy. Walk in (or wheel in — it’s completely stroller friendly) to the sun-filled space and make yourself at home at a communal table. You’ll want to sit down and relax with a smoothie from the kids’ menu. Choices include “yum yum in your tum tum” (a mix of banana, cacao, almond butter, almond milk and honey) or “mom i want that one” (strawberries, bananas and fresh coconut water). They also offer 10-ounce cold-pressed juices which littles may have a taste for; ingredients include greens, carrots, beets, apples, lemon ginger and coconut water.
For a snack there is dehydrated fruit and granola. But for those really rumbling tummies, try a fun take on toast: It comes topped with homemade almond butter, strawberry-ginger jelly and honey. Or, be adventurous and try the superfood balls (healthy treats of coconut cacao chia dates and sea salt).
Gourmet Fun for Grownups
This spot has you covered for breakfast, lunch or dinner — or just juice, a smoothie or coffee (from Gaslight Roasters!) in between. Reading the menu is a treat in itself because juices have their own “personalities” (try the Juice Springsteen, a “glorious anthem” of celery, apple, kale, swiss chard, dandelion greens, parsley, ginger and lemon). You’ll also get your fill of salads, sandwiches and some fun surprises, like ceviche made with coconut meat instead of seafood.
The chef, Gabe Lara, has foodie cred: He used to be the sous chef at Lula Cafe and a line cook at Nico Osteria. Along with owners Jon Schiff and Gordy Sang, he believes in supporting local farms and uses ingredients from them whenever possible. So berries come from Mick Klug Farm in St. Joseph, Mich., and produce comes from Spence Farm in Fairbury. Green City Market is just up the street, too, and gets tapped whenever possible.
Other Neat-o Perks
You already know that Real Good Juice Co. does more than just juice. It’s also — surprise, surprise — a shop. One wall is like a modern apothecary, where you can buy little luxuries like candles, beach blankets, moisturizer, face wash, water bottles and more. On certain days (check the Facebook page for updates), you might even spot a farm stand out front. (Already, City Farms has been there, selling all sorts of greens.) Another bonus of this family-minded place is that there is a mini potty seat in the bathroom.
While You’re in the Area
Old Town is full of attractions that kids love. Duck into Old Town Aquarium to gaze at tank after tank of colorful fish that come from the oceans of Bali, Japan and beyond. If your sweet tooth gets the better of you, The Fudge Pot is there with homemade truffles, toffee, caramel apples and other goodies. Also make a stop at Chicago History Museum to soak up facts about the Great Chicago Fire, Comiskey Park and popular landmarks. And don’t forget that The Second City is right at the corner of Wells Street and North Avenue, offering kids’ classes and occasional family shows.
Real Good Juice Co.
1647 N. Wells St.
Will you try this exciting new juice bar? Let us know in the Comments!
— Kelly Aiglon