November is a little bit past prime smoothie season here in the Mid Atlantic, but I wasn’t about to let chilly temperatures stop me from checking out a 100% organic plant-based cafe in Washington D.C. that puts juices, smoothies, and blended bowls front and center on their menu. Being 100% plant-based means that there are not animal products used (meat, eggs, milk, etc.) and that everything is vegan.
Fruitive is not just a cafe selling healthy fare, they are committed to health as the foundation of their business, paying special focus to physical and environmental health. They don’t cut corners, and they are authentic in everything they do.
What I like about Fruitive is that they are welcoming to customers on all sides of the health-food spectrum. As someone who is not a “hard core” juicing person, I sometime am intimidated by these uber healthy havens. Luckily, I found Fruitive to be a welcoming place where I could get good, healthy gluten and dairy-free food on the go.
While Fruitive checks the vegan and dairy-free boxes handedly, gluten is present in most of their food offerings. The staff were aware of the ingredients in each dish, and assured me that I would be safe in ordering any of the beverages or blended items.
The star of Fruitive’s menu is their juices, of which there are endless options with different nutrient profiles. I noticed they had charcoal limeade in stock, which is good to know for celiacs because activated charcoal can help mitigate the impact of accidental gluten ingestion.
I steered more towards the smoothie end of the menu, where they had meal-replacement smoothies and bowls. After much deliberation, I decided on the PB No J super berry bowl, which features a base blend of peanut butter, banana, homemade almond milk, acai. The bowl is topped with cacao nibs, banana, and house-made gluten-free granola.
The bowl totally impressed me- both on an aesthetic level and taste. The granola was nutty and slightly sweet (unlike other varieties) and actually clumped together in a satisfying way. The cacao nibs were crunchy and bitter, but their flavor was intensified by the sweetness of the smoothie beneath.
The smoothie itself was not overly sweet at all, which is a major turnoff at most mainstream smoothie places. The flavors of the banana and berries were blended to a tangy, complex sweetness that was accentuated by just a hint of peanut butter. I’m a nut butter enthusiast but was glad that the smoothie favored more of the fruit than the spread because the toppings provided nice contrast. I loved the thick, smooth texture of the smoothie itself, which perfectly juxtaposed the crunchy toppings.
The smoothie was pretty filling, and I found that it sustained me from the morning to mid-afternoon, with no sugar crash and no cravings. The substantiality of the bowl impressed me, and I felt that the $9.95 price was justified as a solid breakfast. You could certainly do far worse in Washington D.C.
Their granola is actually sold in-house and is gluten-free and vegan, made with gluten-free oats.
Fruitive definitely bashed my preconvieved notion that it was going to be an overpriced, underwhelming foodie haven.
Address: 11 St NW and Palmer Alley, Washington, D.C. 20005
Cuisine: Smoothies, Juices, Bowls (non-GF sandwiches, entrees)
Ideal For: Breakfast, lunch, snack, dessert
Price: See prices right here
Accessibility: Wheelchair accessible
Disclaimer: This review is based upon the information I have at the time of the review and does not reflect changes in ingredients or availability of items. Please contact the restaurant directly for up-to-date information and feel free to contact me with any questions or comments. I was not compensated for this review and it is a reflection of my personal opinion.