Restaurant: Juice Truck
Cuisine: Drinks/Smoothies/Gluten Free/Vegetarian/Food Truck
Last Visited: February 18, 2013
Location: Vancouver, BC (Gastown/Downtown)
Address: 200 Abbott Street (map)
Transit: WB Water St FS Abbott St
Phone: (604) 719-8861
Price Range: $10 or less
1: Poor 2: OK 3: Good 4: Very good 5: Excellent 6: FMF Must Try!
Food: 3.5, based on what I tried
- Specializes in juice/smoothies
- Healthy drinks
- Some healthy on the go snacks
- Busy at peak hours
- Dairy free friendly
- Gluten free
- Juice cleanse program
- Occasional soup/salad on menu
- For locations/hours: @juicetruck
**Recommendations: The Blueberry Matcha Smoothie, The Cocoa Coconut Bar
This is the brainchild of young entrepreneurs Ryan Slater and Zach Berman who have been friends since they were 12 years old. I had the opportunity to meet the driven duo during the shooting of Food Network’s Eat St. series, and I was invited back to try some more for a personal project. I would say it is the healthiest food truck in Vancouver and the name says it all. And why wouldn’t it be? It’s just juice.
Personally, I’m not much of a “juice for lunch” type, although I do enjoy them on an any time basis. I actually have a fresh juice every morning, as to why it would be hard to justify going out for it, however my juicer is nowhere near as intense or professional as the one they use here. I probably lose a lot of the nutrients in the juicer I’m using… time for an upgrade.
In what I would consider a “juice for lunch” type of city, the bubble tea scene outweighs the options for fresh juice places. When it comes to fresh and unique juices, The Juice Truck has really made a name for itself as the source for juice in downtown Vancouver (not including juice franchises/chains). I’m not sure how confident I would be to put it up against juice establishments in California (the hub for outstanding juice places), but in Vancouver it works and people love it.
The inspiration for Juice Truck came from Ryan and Zack’s year long backpacking trip through Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka. Exploring street food was a way to connect to the locals and community, but juice was how they maintained healthy during their travels. It wasn’t until their trek through the Himalayas when they noticed locals drinking a Seabuckthorn berry drink as a source for their daily nutrients. This moment made them realize they wanted to recreate this juice culture back at home. From that instance they made a point to visit every juice truck possible for research and enjoyment. Their passion for health and community was the driving factor, but The Juice Truck was also the perfect compliment for Vancouver’s health conscious and active lifestyle.
The menu is predominantly cold pressed juices and smoothies with a limited menu of home made, on-the-go, convenient and healthy snacks. On occasions there is a daily salad or soup (depending on the season). They aim to make the most nutritionally complete juice possible without sacrificing on flavour. Their cold press juice equipment and methods limit the essential vitamins, minerals and enzymes lost when using other conventional juicers.
The Juice Truck is vegan and gluten free and perfect for a much needed cleanse. They are currently planning their brick and mortar location and working to expand their retail and juice cleanse program.
On the table:
- Pineapple pressed with cucumber, wheatgrass, mint & ginger $8
- The juice has a concentrated pressed flavour and texture and it is a quality drink.
- It was not watered down or served with ice so it only gets as cold as the ingredients.
- It tasted a bit grassy and I guessed it was made with celery, cucumber and lemon or lime, which was actually pineapple.
- The ginger gave heat, but it was not spicy and I could taste it in the first couple sips.
- The mint was obvious if it was served ice cold, but since it wasn’t that cold it was subtly minty.
- The mint brightens up the flavours and makes it refreshing especially next to the ginger and cucumber.
- It was tart and not sour with a natural sweetness from the pineapple.
- This one tasted the healthiest out of the ones I tried, but in a good way.
- Strawberry blended with coconut meat, coconut milk, banana, raw cacao nibs, vanilla & agave $7.50
- It was very thick and creamy and not icy or watered down.
- It is obvious with strawberry flavour (frozen) which were a bit tart.
- Without knowing the description I guessed it was a banana and strawberry smoothie.
- It had a nutty texture which was from the raw cocoa nibs, but it doesn’t taste chocolaty.
- The coconut milk and vanilla go by undetected so I wouldn’t mind more vanilla and coconut flavours.
- It was good, but I just think it has more potential especially with the description.
- Banana blended with medjool dates, almond butter, raw cacao, raw maca & soy milk (Add raw hemp seed for extra protein) $7.50
- Without knowing the description I guessed it was a chocolate and banana smoothie.
- Again there was a nutty texture which was from the raw cocoa nibs.
- It was very thick and creamy, but not like a chocolate milkshake.
- The medjool dates are hard to pin point, but once you know it is in there it is obvious.
- The texture is a but gummy or gluey from the banana and date combo so the little bits of nutty cocoa nibs help break things up.
- The almond butter and medjool dates gave the smoothie body and richness, but the almond butter flavour is mild.
- The almond butter makes it sort of like peanut butter, chocolate and banana, but again the flavour is not as strong as peanut butter.
- The chocolate has an extended flavour and I could still taste it after.
- It was sweet enough to be dessert like, but not sweet enough to be a dessert (for a dessert lover like myself).
- It was not decadent or indulgent, but it was richer than the others and naturally heavier with the ingredients and it being chocolate.
- Blueberry blended with matcha tea powder, banana, cacao nibs, cinnamon, almond milk & agave $7.50
- I found this the most interesting and I had to keep drinking it to figure out what it was. It was easily my favourite.
- I guessed blueberry, almond milk and cinnamon, but the flavours went beyond that.
- I just couldn’t guess them unlike the others which tasted a bit more obvious, so I found this one unique.
- It had unexpected texture from cocoa nibs which might be unnecessary just because all the smoothies I tried so far had them.
- Of course not many people would be trying all the drinks at once, but it is nice to see ingredients not always repeated.
- The cinnamon is sweet rather than spicy and not overpowering and it really gave the drink a special background flavour.
- It was not watered down and it was sweet, but not a sweet drink that I would consider “dessert-like” at all.
- I could only taste matcha after knowing it was in there, but the combination of ingredients were very sophisticated.
- It was an aromatic drink with floral and nutty flavours and aromatics which suits my flavour profile very well.
- Walnuts with pecans, cacao powder, coconut meat, shredded coconut flakes, coconut oil, raisins & maple syrup $3.50
- I’m totally biased here because desserts like these are right up my alley.
- I love the listed ingredients all together and I enjoy nutty chocolate bars, pies, and ice cream toppings, so I loved this.
- It was very moist, but not chewy or dense and it has the same texture as a Nanaimo bar.
- There were big, plump and dark moist raisins, walnut and pecan pieces, and lots of finely shredded coconut.
- It was a hybrid of a fresh Bounty Bar meets a maple raisin tart/pie and a nutty granola bar.
- The coconut would have been even better toasted for more flavour, but that would have also made in drier.
- It would have changed the texture of the moist and soft bar, so I was okay with it not toasted too.
- This was definitely dessert appropriate and not necessarily the healthiest granola bar, but it was healthier than a chocolate bar or traditional dessert.
- Health conscious or not, anyone could enjoy this.