North Shore Smoothies: Taste, Calories and Prices Compared

It’s summer, and what’s more thirst quenching, refreshing and delicious than a smoothie? Fortunately, smoothies have caught on around town and are now offered at many restaurants, coffee houses and ice cream parlors.

So who makes the best smoothie on the North Shore? Where you can find just the right mix of fruit, yogurt and fiber– minus all the cavity-causing artificial sweeteners? MIBS sent our group of taste-testers out to find cool treats sure to delight even the most fastidious calorie-counters and health nuts. Keep reading as we compare 9 local smoothies…

Best Tasting: Via Gelato’s Fancy Fruit Blast
Worst Tasting: Dunkin’ Donuts’s Wild Berry Smoothie
Fewest Calories: Jamba Juice’s Berry Fulfilling Light Smoothie
Most Calories: Potbelly’s Strawberry Smoothie
Least Expensive: Potbelly’s Strawberry Smoothie
Most Expensive: Via Gelato’s Fancy Fruit Blast

The Complete Results:

Via Gelato (1853 Tower Dr., Glenview, 847-729-7088)
MIBS pick: Fancy Fruit Blast (also available: Baba Berry Bash and Tropical Paradise)
Primary ingredients: Sorbetto, fresh strawberries, low fat vanilla yogurt, apple juice
Taster’s comments: “Yum! Fresh fruity light and great flavor!”
Price: $ 5.50
Ounces: 20
Calories: Unavailable

Jamba Juice (locations throughout the North Shore)
MIBS pick: Berry Fulfilling Light Smoothie (they offer many flavors of light smoothies, including Mango Mantra and Strawberry Nirvana). Also, we added a free “boost.” Pick from: Daily Vitamin, Energy Boost, Immunity Boost, Calcium boost, Soy Protein, Green Caffeine.
Primary ingredients: Low-fat milk and Splenda base
Taster’s comments: “Good tasting, light, and healthy!”
Price: $3.69
Ounces: 16
Calories: 150

Leonidas Café Chocolaterie (1157 Wilmette Ave., Wilmette, 847 256 5250)
MIBS pick: Mixed Berry (also available in Mango and Peach-Pear)
Primary ingredients: 100 percent fruit juice in blended concentrate, water and ice
Taster’s comments: “Very good and fruity. Not too filling.”
Price: $3.52
Ounces: 16
Calories: 160

Loves Yogurt (122 Skokie Blvd., Wilmette, 847-256-9478)
MIBS pick: Strawberry, Raspberry, and Peach Smoothie with apple or orange juice
Primary ingredients: Low-fat vanilla yogurt and fresh fruit
Taster’s comments: “Refreshing, light and fresh.”
Price: $5.19
Ounces: 20
Calories: Unavailable

Starbucks (locations throughout the North Shore)
MIBS pick: Orange, Mango, and Banana Smoothie (also available in Chocolate Banana)
Primary ingredients: Whole banana, juice, 2 percent milk
Taster’s comments: “Nice, light and delicious taste!”
Price: $4.10
Ounces: 16
Calories: 250

Caribou Coffee (locations throughout the North Shore)
MIBS pick: Wild Berry Smoothie (also available in Strawberry Banana, Pom-a-mango, and Passion Fruit)
Primary ingredient: Smoothie Mix
Taste rating:
Taster’s comments: “Good and light, refreshing fruity taste.”
Price: $4.09
Ounces: 16
Calories: 230

Bobtail Ice Cream Company (1114 Central St., Wilmette, 847-251-0174)
MIBS pick: Raspberry Smoothie (also available in Vanilla, Chocolate, Strawberry, Banana, and Pineapple)
Primary ingredient: Homemade vanilla yogurt
Taste rating:
Taster’s comments: “Taste too much like ice cream!”
Price: $4.96 (Smoothies are $2.50 on “Shake Day”, every Tuesday and Thursday)
Ounces: 16
Calories: Unavailable

Potbelly Sandwich Works (locations throughout the North Shore)
MIBS pick: Strawberry Smoothie (also available in Pineapple-Coconut, Boysenberry, and Banana)
Primary ingredients: Frozen yogurt, whole milk, and fresh or frozen fruit
Taster’s comments: “Too creamy. Good, but tastes more like a shake.”
Calories: 481
Ounces: 16
Price: $2.66

Dunkin’ Donuts/Baskin Robbins (locations throughout the North Shore)
MIBS pick: Wild Berry Smoothie (also available in Berry Pomegranate, Strawberry Banana, Mango, and Peach Passion)
Primary ingredients: Non-fat frozen yogurt, fruit mix concentrate (which is made from high-fructose corn syrup and red, blue, and yellow dyes)
Taste: zero stars
Taster’s comments: “Too sweet, too sugary, artificial taste, too icy.”
Price: $4.30
Ounces: 16
Calories: 360