Walk down Broadway without paying attention, and you might miss City Harvest Cafe. The nondescript storefront sits adjacent to a burrito shop and across the street from a deep dish pizza place – hardly health food central. But step inside, and you’re transported to a Roman-style cafe that is simple, yet warm and inviting, all-organic and focused on community.
City Harvest Cafe opened in May 2014, after owners Anthony and Angela Maicki spent two years refining recipes and developing the menu of juices, blends and other good-for-you foods in their home kitchen. They believe that food can be powerful and have experienced the health and healing benefits of plant-based and organic eating firsthand. But they want their recipes to be more than just nutritional; each juice and blend has been carefully constructed, and according to Angela, “each has its own story.” You can taste this difference.
The juices are veggie-forward, but they don’t taste like it. While green juices often come loaded with fruits that are high in sugar, City Harvest’s House Green I – its best-selling juice – is packed with more than four pounds of produce, most of which are vegetables. The juice tastes incredibly light and fresh with a subtle sweetness from green apple. The menu features twists on traditional juice offerings, like the Bloody Merry – a beet, carrot and burdock root concoction – and the My Carro-Thai – a blend of carrot and young Thai coconut water. It also includes less common options like the grapefruit and fennel Pink Rabbit and the French 77, a smooth blend (and extra-hydrating hangover cure) of cucumber, celery and pear with a hint of cayenne for some kick. No matter what you order, each ingredient is deliberate and detectable, making for juices and blends that are anything but one-dimensional.
For those less familiar with juicing or looking for a more-filling post-workout fuel, City Harvest’s superfood blends bridge the gap between smoothie and juice and are as good for you as they are delicious. Each blend includes at least three superfoods, such as raw cacao, maca and goji berries. The Incan Warrior – its best-selling blend – tastes dessert-like and closest to a traditional smoothie, as it brings together banana, almond milk, cinnamon and dates. But with with maca, raw cacao, chia and coconut oil also in the mix, it is one of the most antioxidant- and superfood-rich items on the menu. For those who seek some green in their blends, the menu has several options ranging from the kale- and spinach-forward Bohemian Harvest to the Mother Nurture, a more accessible blend that uses banana, pear and maca to lighten the presence of the greens.
While the juices and blends take center stage, City Harvest also offers wheat grass shots, healing elixirs – made from ingredients like liquid chlorophyll, ginger and young Thai coconut water – goji bowls and other seasonal house-made raw foods. They event have a “Lil’ Sprouts” kids’ menu.
When customers leave the cafe, Angela and Anthony want them to have picked up a new piece of knowledge about healthy eating, had a great experience and felt like a part of a community. Anthony summed up their approach: “If we focus on quality every single time, the rest will take care of itself.”
2931 N. Broadway St., 773-360-7226
Photos: Courtesy of City Harvest Cafe