Straws Down


Photo by Mio Ueki

Located near Northwest, Smoothie King is a favorite spot for students. Right when I walked in, I was greeted by friendly employees ready to give opinions on their favorite smoothies. The atmosphere was fast-paced, but not hectic. Although there are only two chairs, the wait was comfortable and no more than five minutes. It is a great grab-and-go spot if you’re stopping for a quick breakfast or a post-workout smoothie.

Whether I was looking for a tasty and healthy smoothie or a protein snack, Smoothie King has it all. Although they have many smoothie choices, the option to create your own blend is available. I can add fruits, vegetables or energy enhancers (for a charge). I chose the Mangofest smoothie, a blend of fresh pineapple, mango juice blend and orange juice. The only thing that wasn’t so sweet was the price. A 20 oz. smoothie costs about $6 and the largest, which is 40 oz., is nearly $9. Fortunately, every Friday the 32 oz. smoothies cost $5.

Smoothies aren’t the only things on the menu at Smoothie King. Snacks such as chips, granola bars, muffins, protein supplements and cookies are also available. They may sound unhealthy, but these snacks are filled with protein. The smoothies and the snacks are specifically made for nutritional benefits. Slim, fitness, and wellness blends are the categories of the smoothies that can assist you in either losing weight or gaining muscle.  

Smoothie King and Tropical Smoothie Cafe are similar in many ways, so choosing between the two was a hard call. The prices are about the same and the quality of the smoothies are also similar. Although, the four-minute drive from Northwest to Smoothie King compared to the eight-minute drive to Tropical Smoothie is a benefit that Tropical Smoothie couldn’t beat. The taste of both smoothies were so much alike that I’m not sure I’d be able to tell the difference in a blind taste test, but the ability to add in supplements made to help me reach my fitness goals set Smoothie King above the rest.

+ Jenny SilvaI go to Tropical Smoothie Café all the time. I love everything about it: healthy food and drink options, a modern, friendly atmosphere and welcoming service. I live about a block away, so it’s a great place to grab a quick drink or wrap. The interior’s bright orange, blue and green makes me feel like I’m somewhere tropical, sipping my Sunrise Sunset smoothie — a strawberry, mango and orange favorite.

Although pricey, the most expensive smoothie comes to $6. All the smoothies are 24 oz., which easily takes the place of my breakfast some days. The ingredients are all listed below the menu items so customers know exactly what to expect. Add-ins like vitamin-C, spinach, kale, whey protein, peanut butter and vitamin B12 are also available for an extra charge. The wraps, tacos, flatbreads, sandwiches and salads are all made fresh with gluten-free and vegetarian options. Food items range from $4.29 to $6.

Although the service and options were similar, I much prefer Tropical Smoothie Cafe over Smoothie King. At Tropical Smoothie Cafe, customers can sit at a bar, a long table, or several tables and chairs. At Smoothie King, customers are expected to grab their orders and go, so there are only two chairs available to those who are waiting. The fast-paced atmosphere at Smoothie King is not ideal, at least for me. Although I do leave right away when I’m in a hurry to get back from open lunch, I don’t care for driving with one hand and holding my smoothie in the other.

The prices at Smoothie King are no different than Tropical Smoothie, but Tropical Smoothie texts weekly deals to their customers. “Buy one smoothie, get one for free” and “$1 dollar off all smoothies” are just two of the deals I have received recently. Just text TROPICALKC to 35350.

The thing that makes Tropical Smoothie superior to Smoothie King is the atmosphere. It’s relaxed and enjoyable and it has a wide variety of food choices. I’m so happy it’s close enough to me to be my first choice every time.

+Paige Eichkorn