As the owner and operator of a cold pressed juicery, it’s no secret that I drink a lot of juice. So when I travel, one of the first questions is “where will I get my juice fix?” This results in what I like to call “juice tourism.” As juicing becomes more common and the benefits are more widely recognized, juice spots are popping up left and right. The Big Island of Hawaii is no exception, and while I was there I did my best to try them all. Here's a round up of my favorite spots.
Loved by the Sun had me at the name. If you know me, you know that I am a sun worshipper who loves to remind everyone that the big round ball in the sky is where all nutrition originates and can be traced to. This cute shop in Hilo is closest to what I’m used to from a cold pressed juicery: a rainbow assortment of juices and nut mylks in returnable glass mason jars, also offering made to order smoothies and a small food selection. If you’re in Hilo check them out for sure.
Herbivores is an unmistakably vegan joint slapped in the middle of a parking lot in Kona. They serve a huge array of raw vegan food, vegan pizza, vegan burgers, juice and kombucha. What I like most about Herbivores was the educational element. They had all sorts of literature wherever you looked about how and why and how to eat a vegan diet.
Basik Cafe is a smoothie bowl spot above a surf shop in Kona where they pump out the smoothie bowls in 2 minutes or less. Very impressive and handy if you’re in a hurry to get to the beach before the masses. The bowl pictured is a small size, but it also comes in a more popular double size.
Up north in Hawi my friend Lora pointed me in the direction of Sweet Potato Kitchen, which was truly a treasure. In addition to juices they bake their own incredible gluten free bread daily and the menu is vast; almost intimidating. I had a power bowl. I’d already had a juice that morning so I ordered their dirty chai latte and was totally inspired by what I was served. In fact, this drink is hands down the best one I had on the entire island: coconut mylk base, ginger, cinnamon, masala, honey and ice cubes made of Kona coffee. It’s actually hard to write this because it’s making me want one so badly.
Hawi might be my favorite little town to visit on the island, with a bunch of old buildings with lots of character, all in the midst of an encroaching jungle environment.
Around the corner from Sweet Potato, I came across a hole in the wall called Roots Alchemy, where they make and sell everything from health elixirs, to empanadas, to protein balls, to jewelry. I was in the midst of purchasing a gorgeous pair of crystal earrings (I've worn them about every other day since) when I got to talking with one of the owners about jun, which he brews there instead of kombucha. I’ve always been curious about jun, but I had never had the opportunity to try it. It’s the same process as brewing Kombucha, but instead of using sugar for the fermentation you use honey. It was pretty easy for him to convince me to buy one and it’s not surprising that it was delicious. He swears by the health benefits and was so convincing that I’ll be experimenting with jun at home in the near future (though not at PJC since honey is not universally considered vegan).
Another juice spot I loved is Under the Bodhi Tree, where they had a full vegetarian kitchen and my vote for the best logo. I liked it so much I actually tried to buy a t-shirt (which I never do), but they didn’t have my size. I like that the juices were pressed on the spot with an omega juicer and you could add all kinds of things to them, like spirulina or chia seeds. Needless to say, I had a very dark green juice here (not pictured). Also, props to Under the Bodhi Tree the for their selection of kimchi and sauerkraut probiotic shots, available in 2oz pours.
Let us not forget the roadside fruit stands, like the one where I got a 20# coconut with a straw hole drilled through it. It was exactly what I needed after a yoga session on the beach, followed by a steep mile-long hike back up the hill.
Also, on a non-juice, yet juice-related note, I came across Bee Boys first at a local grocery, and then again at a farmers market where I met one of the owners. Oddly, Bee Boys got started in Pennsylvania (where I'm from) before heading to the golden land of Hawaii, where they seem to be killing it with their Lava Cider (a sophisticated and extra fiery version of fire cider) and a whole line of products including natural (reef safe) sunscreen, salves (I swear their coffee salve made my skin look five years younger overnight) and deodorant (from what I can tell so far, this is the rare form of natural deodorant that actually works). Anyway, I like these Bee Boys so much I may need to track them down and get a wholesale account started and bring them back to Pennsylvania, where they started. Ironic, no?
This concludes my Big Island Juice Round Up. Now you should probably get on over to Hawaii so you can put it to use!