Fresh by Juice for Life

Old location:
521 Bloor W, (416) 531-2635

894 Queen Street West
416-913-2720

New location on Bloor Street West :
326 Bloor Street West
416-531-2635
147 Spadina Avenue
416-599-4442

 Web site: www.juiceforlife.com, now (2009)- http://www.freshrestaurants.ca

Funky, colourful, cool, totally vegetarian and vegan friendly restaurant in the Annex, and another satellite location on Queen West. The food is expensive and completely vegetarian or vegan. The decor is trendy, busy, tables close together with little room to move around. The ambiance is funky and trendy. The tables are plain and the seats are hard and slightly uncomfortable.

There is a wide selection of fruit and vegetable juices and power smoothies and if you choose to dine alone, you can eat at the bar. I usually order a Power shake like the Chai Chiller, or the Date Almond Super Powershake, or the Blueberry Dreams. All shakes contain vanilla soy milk, bananas, other fruits, some protein and vitamin supplments, and other ingredients. I have been a frequent visitor to Juice for Life and I have always loved their shakes. 16oz shakes are $4.95, Super powershakes 16 oz are $5.95 and the larger sizes are $8.95 and $9.95 respectively. For my meal, there are items like a variety of funky salads, similar to Montreal’s Cafe Santropol and a variety of soups, salads, chili, veggie burgers, and fabulous, unique, and funky rice and noodle dishes. They also serve alcoholic drinks like beer and wine.

There are spicy Thai veggie burgers with Thai peanut sauce smothered on a veggie burger, and a variety of red bean, black bean, and Indian style chick pea wraps. If you want to add tofu steaks or a side of grilled tempeh, it costs an extra $1.00.

The average price for lunch and dinner entrees are the same $7.95-$10.95 and that’s expensive for a rice or noodle dish. Most of the dishes comprise of rice and a medley of vegetables. Some dishes I love are “The Beach”, “The Buddha”, “Ninja”, “Dragon” “Green Goddess”, “The Warrior”. There are a variety of delicious wraps: “The Kathmandu Wrap”, “The Black Bean Burrito”, “Red Bean Adzuki Wrap”, and the “Grilled Vegetable Wrap”. It’s important to add grilled tofu steaks or grilled tempeh if these dishes do not offer them. The grilled tofu and grilled tempeh is “to die for.” Some of the dishes are distinctly Asian and some are Indian in flavour.

The restaurant used to have a more “political” feel, that is, animal rights propaganda used to be placed on the walls and there are some anti-meat posters alongside the juice bar. Since opening its first restaurant on Bloor near Bathurst in the Annex (in 1995) the animal rights propaganda has literally disappeared over the years. As of 2004, there are other “Fresh by Juice For Life” locations at Queen near Spadina, and Queen near Shaw (where the old brunch place “Triple X” used to be. Since 1995, the Juice for Life has since changed brands to “Fresh by Juice for Life” and has basically become mainstream, with proper tables, booths, and fancy mirrors and cool and funky artwork on the walls.

There are a couple of booths in the back but most of the restaurant are composed of tables. The restaurant staff are eccentric and funky and most of the clientele are students or artists in their late 20’s. The food is fresh, portions are decent, but the prices are high for the type of food in this trendy, hip eatery.

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