Smoothie And Juice Bar Chains Ranked Worst To Best

Smoothie and juice chains have seen immense growth over the past few decades, with customers looking for healthier drinks that will leave them feeling nourished. These establishments have simultaneously made their mark in the food and beverage industry while playing a crucial role in promoting healthy living.

Some generic smoothie chains can be found in shopping malls and food courts across the country. While they may offer affordable prices, these chains often use lower-quality ingredients and may not prioritize customer satisfaction. It's worth knowing what you're getting when you go to a smoothie or juice bar, as not all of them provide the same level of quality and service.

Our guide will help you navigate the sea of smoothie and juice options to help you get the most delicious taste and the highest nutrient content in every sip and slurp. Whatever your needs, there's a chain that will suit you.

15. Orange Julius

If you're of a certain age, you'll remember Orange Julius as a food court favorite peddling frothy citrus-flavored drinks. The company's website describes the concoction as "real orange blended together with a secret ingredient." The mysterious drink now comes in a variety of flavors like piña colada and OrangeBerry.

Orange Julius was acquired by Dairy Queen in 1987 and eventually started selling premium fruit smoothies. These concoctions are made with real fruit, ice, and low-fat yogurt, and some also include fruit flavoring. You also have the option of adding a "boost," such as vitamins, antioxidants, and protein, just like at smoothie-only chains.

Still, Orange Julius' smoothies seem to be an afterthought, which is kind of what you'd expect from a mall kiosk fast-food counter. The menu is basic at best with uninspired flavors like strawberry pineapple. The most exotic fruit you'll see on the list is pomegranate, which actually consists of syrup with natural flavors. If you're looking for something healthy, this probably isn't it. While you'll get some vitamins from the occasional fresh fruit, it mostly just serves as a sweet and sugary treat.

14. Surf City Squeeze

Founded in 1981 in Phoenix, Arizona, Surf City Squeeze has been serving delectable smoothies to customers from coast to coast for over four decades. Its refreshing blends of fruit and lemonade were created with quality in mind to bring the most satisfaction to its customers. The chain now has about 90 different locations across the country.

Surf City Squeeze has a menu of signature fruit smoothies and pumped-up versions, which have add-ins like chromium for weight loss and creatine for strength and stamina. You'll also find dairy-based dessert concoctions like the Extreme Oreo and chocolate covered strawberry, along with freshly squeezed lemonade blended with raspberry or strawberry.

If you're looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth, you'll probably be content riding the Surf City Squeeze wave. But if you wanted whole fruits and all-natural ingredients, this chain misses that mark by using a "proprietary smoothie mix." About 90% of the menu uses the blend which also comes in a low-fat version. Customers on Yelp report that the drinks are more like "milkshakes," while others note that they have more of a slushie kind of texture.

13. Juice It Up!

Juice It Up! has been dedicated to promoting health and wellness through nutrition since its start. The chain offers a wide range of smoothies, bowls, shots, and raw and cold-pressed juices, all made with healthy ingredients. The focus is on providing nutrient-rich options to support customers' self-care regimens and overall well-being. The company even played a significant role in introducing the powerful superfood açaí to the United States, becoming among the first smoothie franchises to add Sambazon organic açaí to its menus in 2001.

Customers who visit Juice It Up! are sure to leave with a nutritious and energizing drink or snack. However, not all of the chain's locations have great reviews. Some people complain about rotten-smelling fruit, botched orders, potential tampering of orders, awful customer service, and a generally unpleasant atmosphere. Unless your local chain provides a great experience, that's a whole lot of negatives stopping us from spending our dollars here.

12. Maui Wowi

Founded in 1983 by Jeff and Jill Summerhays, Maui Wowi Hawaiian's owners wanted to offer its customers the chance to take a break from unnatural and high-fat foods with something refreshing. The smoothie chain started franchising in 1997 and added coffee to its selection in 2003. Its tropical-flavored drinks provide a taste of Hawaii with flavors like piña colada, kiwi lemon, and mango orange. You can also opt for one of the o'hana blends that mixes assorted flavors. 

If you're hoping for an all-natural drink made with fresh fruit thrown into a blender and served, that's not what you'll get. Maui Wowi's smoothies are classified as "fruit blends" made with puree and juice, prepackaged and mixed with a "top secret" low-fat yogurt recipe. You can ask for a fresh banana to be blended in too, but overall, customers report the smoothies taste artificial. "The smoothie was an unnatural pink and orange and tasted like I was drinking straight-flavored syrup. Shortly after, I saw them wheeling out a wagon full of 'smoothie blend' cartons. [...] What's frustrating is both counters were piled high with bananas and I expected there to actually be fruit in the smoothie," a customer wrote on Yelp. Avoid disappointment by getting your smoothies elsewhere.

11. Planet Smoothie

Planet Smoothie first opened in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1995 and holds itself to the idea that not all smoothies are created equal. While it sees its fruit drinks as vastly superior, not all of its customers agree. This chain focuses on providing a diverse menu to appeal to each customer's needs so that everyone walks out the door feeling happy and nutritionally fulfilled.

Planet Smoothie is run by Kahala Brands, which also owns Surf City Squeeze, Maui Wowi, and Grabbagreen. Like these other brands, it offers a variety of fruit and protein smoothies, along with add-ins to promote health and flavor. Most importantly, the drinks are made with real fruits and all-natural sweeteners.

Customers on Yelp mention the chain's large portions, while others criticize the high sugar content. "Got a medium Kiwi Kazi smoothie. Didn't see any kiwi in the blender. It just tasted like a little bit of strawberry juice with two cups of sugar. I love sweets but even this smoothie was way too sweet for me," one disappointed client wrote on Yelp.

10. Grabbagreen

Founded in 2013 by two mothers seeking healthier food options for their families, Grabbagreen quickly gained popularity for its delicious and nutritious offerings. The chain started franchising in 2015 and was acquired by Kahala Brands a few years later. In addition to offering a clean eating menu filled with whole ingredients, it also offers salads, wraps, breakfast, açaí, grain and green bowls, as well as smoothies and juices.

Grabbagreen's menu includes eight different smoothies that come in three sizes, with ingredients like mango, kale, and chia seeds. The pressed juices come in 16-ounce bottles with seven options that promise to provide you with energy, power, and immunity support. Loaded with cucumber, beets, ginger, and various herbs, these will help you stock up on vitamins as you enjoy every refreshing sip. The goal of this quick-service restaurant is to leave you feeling nourished, and customers seem to agree that Grabbagreen succeeds. 

9. Tropical Smoothie Cafe

Tropical Smoothie Cafe opened in 1997 with the goal of making beach life something people can both experience and consume. The chain is dedicated to offering a stress-free way to eat a healthy diet for optimal function. At the same time, it promises a playful atmosphere with good vibes and delicious food and drink. The cafe offers a diverse menu of wraps, sandwiches, and flatbreads, as well as fresh juices and kid-friendly options. Its smoothies are made with real fruit and turbinado sugar for extra sweetness. However, some drinks with ingredients like coconut, kiwi, lime, orange, pomegranate, or cranberry use juice flavors from concentrate instead of actual fruit chunks.

These aren't what we'd call uber-healthy smoothies, but they are fun refreshments thanks to flavors like Beach Bum, made with strawberry, banana, and chocolate, or Bahama Mama with strawberry, pineapple, coconut, and white chocolate. There are a few green options on the menu, like the Detox Island Green, with spinach, kale, mango, pineapple, banana, and ginger, as well as drinks with whole-grain oats and whey protein. While many customers say their offerings are super delicious, others find them to be overly sweet.

8. Robeks

Robeks has been around since 1996 when it was created in Southern California with the aim of offering juice and smoothie options that tasted better than its competitors' products. This was a time when people looking to improve their health were obsessed with the fad of fat-free diets. But from the start, Robeks believed in serving a drink with essential vitamins and nutrients in every delicious sip.

To appeal to customers who just want something that tastes good, Robeks offers a wide range of smoothies, juices, and bowls, catering to various dietary preferences. There's a "classic" menu that features sweet ingredients like fruit, sherbets, and frozen yogurt, but there's also a nutrient-rich "superfood" list that includes açaí and supposed benefits like improved performance and wellness. There are also several fresh juices with healthy ingredients like ginger, beet, and lemon. While you'll find energizing options at Robeks, some customers complain about high prices and watery juices with sparse ingredients. 

7. Jamba

Jamba, formerly known as Jamba Juice, was founded in 1990 and has since expanded to over 850 locations worldwide, offering an extensive menu of smoothies, juices, and bowls designed to energize and nourish. When you consider the most famous juice chains around, this one likely comes to mind with ease. Jamba's menu features a diverse selection of fresh smoothies, including classic fruit-based options, protein-packed fitness blends, and nutrient-dense superfood options. Additionally, the chain offers freshly squeezed juices, shots, and bowls, ensuring there's something for everyone, regardless of their dietary preferences or nutritional needs.

The chain has mostly decent ratings on Yelp with some variation, which is what you'd expect from such a large company. Customer service can vary by location but the product gets the job done. "I recently went craving a chocolate shake [...] A few minutes later — thanks to fast service — I was walking out the door satisfying my sweet tooth," a happy customer wrote on Yelp.

6. Smoothie Factory

Those looking to fuel like an Olympian might want to check out the Smoothie Factory. The chain was opened in 1996 by Olympic athlete James Villasana. To properly nourish his body for success, Villasana made sure to consume only healthy ingredients of optimal quality. He kept this philosophy in mind when crafting his menu of smoothies, juices, and bowls.

Everything at Smoothie Factory is made with real fruit, with zero bottled flavorings or syrups in any of the drinks. The menu consists of protein-packed, veggie, tropical, and berry smoothies, with the option to add "boosts" to tailor your drink to your dietary needs. Juices can be green, power-boosting, or simple with just one ingredient like carrot or orange. You can also opt for an energy shot, like wheatgrass or lemon ginger apple kale, to load up on nutrients.

Smoothie Factory offers about four different fruit bowls too, like the pink dragon bowl with dragonfruit, banana, and apple juice, topped with banana, blueberries, and granola. "My favorite place to stop and get a smoothie after the gym! Best smoothies by far! Strongly suggest the strawberry apple kale smoothie. Big bonus everything is fresh and not prepackaged," a customer raved on Yelp.

5. Pressed

Pressed began in 2010 when three friends, passionate about health and wellness, decided to make nutrient-rich food accessible to everyone. The chain started with a small "juice closet" in Los Angeles and later expanded to a food truck in Malibu. Pressed Juicery has since evolved into a nationwide brand, offering not only cold-pressed juices but also a variety of plant-based foods with the mission to promote health while showing customers that "knowledge should empower and not intimidate."

Pressed is renowned for its cold-pressed juices, which use a unique extraction method that preserves more nutrients and enzymes compared to traditional juicing techniques. The chain's bottled juices include a wide range of ingredients, from greens and roots to citrus and fruits. Pressed also provides several juice cleanses for those looking to detoxify and reset. 

Customers praise the chain as being among the best. "There are a lot of options and they give you samples of anything you want to try. For those whose palates aren't accustomed to ginger or spices like turmeric/cayenne/etc, be wary of those because they can come off too strong for you. I personally love the kick. Test out the waters with a sample!" a customer wrote on Yelp.

4. I Love Juice Bar

I Love Juice Bar was founded on the premise that wellness shouldn't be "high maintenance." The company began as a passion project and has since expanded across the United States, offering fresh homemade juices, smoothies, bowls, shots, and more. What sets I Love Juice Bar apart from other chains is that it uses fresh fruit and omits ice or other fillers to bulk up its drinks. The menu includes 10 different smoothies and eight juice options. 

While there isn't a ton of selection, every item is bursting with flavors thanks to the creamy mix of freshly squeezed or blended fruits and vegetables. This chain really outshines the others when it comes to the quality of its product. It even has some fans considering ditching their coffee habits. "Tangy Pitaya! Honestly thinking about switching my monthly Starbucks budget to a juice budget for the summer because this was so good," a customer wrote on Yelp. The smoothie in question contains apple, lemon, dragonfruit powder, mango, and strawberry.

3. Smoothie King

Smoothie King began as a health food store in New Orleans in 1973, with the aim of creating custom nutrient and protein blends to improve health. The first franchise opened in 1989 with a mission to inspire people to live a healthy and active lifestyle, which included smoothies as an integral part of every health and fitness journey.

Smoothie King has grown tremendously since its inception, now boasting more than 1,000 locations across three continents. Its menu includes a vast array of blends, meticulously crafted to cater to various health goals, such as getting fit, maintaining wellness, and supporting the nutritional needs of children. Not to mention, customers can enjoy fruity, green, and decadent concoctions, all loaded with nutrients.

Smoothie King is a top contender among its competitors and consistently delivers delicious fresh products. "I am a lifetime fan of Smoothie King. The smoothies are so darn yummy and the staff was very friendly and helpful," a Yelp customer shared.

2. Nékter Juice Bar

Nékter Juice Bar dates back to 2010 when its founders opened it with the belief that healthy, affordable food should both taste and feel good. The company began in Southern California and has since expanded to more than 160 locations throughout the United States, sharing its unique approach to health and wellness with communities nationwide.

Nékter Juice Bar uses fresh, natural, and whole ingredients in its handcrafted juices, superfood smoothies, and açaí bowls, ensuring that customers receive the most energizing and nutrient-rich experience possible. By prioritizing quality ingredients and delicious flavors, the chain's smoothies and juices provide a hearty dose of fresh veggies and fruit in each serving.

"So many places want to pass off these ice and syrup drinks as smoothies, it drives me nuts. [...] Nékter has a nice blend of choices and ingredients so you don't always have to get the same thing. I love that they always seem to have seasonal specials, like watermelon in the summer, pumpkin in the fall, and now elderberry," a customer wrote on Yelp.

1. Clean Juice

When it comes to finding the healthiest juices and smoothies possible, Clean Juice is definitely our pick. The rapidly growing juice bar franchise offers USDA-certified organic products to guarantee customer satisfaction. Founded in 2015, this chain now has about 100 locations in operation.

Clean Juice's menu includes a variety of organic juices, smoothies, bowls, sandwiches, and wraps. The company only uses products that are free from harmful chemicals and pesticides, making its offerings a clean and nutritious option for anyone seeking healthy organic alternatives. The menu includes fruit and protein smoothies, as well as fresh and cold press juices and shots that promise an array of health benefits. Its seasonal menu always keeps things fresh so you never get bored.

"Worth. Every. Dollar. [...] Also bonus for every single ingredient being ORGANIC. You can totally taste the difference and feel so good after yum!" a customer raved on Yelp.