Thrive Juice Bar

100 comments

Once in a while, I come across a restaurant so vibrant and delicious, I want to stake out real estate next door and move within arm’s mouth’s reach.

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Once in a while, I come across a business owner who has such a passion for what they do, I can’t help but feel inspired myself.

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Once in a while, I find a vegan-friendly restaurant that makes me feel understood, instead of a pain in the ass. ;)

Jonnie Karan is the brains behind Thrive Juice Bar, located in uptown Waterloo, Ontario on King Street South. Within a minute of meeting Jonnie, his passion for creating delicious vegetarian, vegan, and raw food is evident. Approachable plant-based creations tempt and impress carnivores and vegans alike and he understands that vegan food shouldn’t be strange or unappealing. It’s just whole food highlighting nature’s finest cuisine. Exactly what I try to do on this blog each day!

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Last night, I had the pleasure of dining at Thrive with Angela, after listening to her rave about this place for months now! From the moment we stepped inside, I knew this place was done right. The decor was like no other vegan-friendly restaurant I’ve been to. It’s modern, with cool metallic beaming throughout, large floor to ceiling windows, and vibrant green accents lending an earthy feel. No detail is over-looked, and to my delight, the same care and attention went into the food.

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As a child, I grew up drinking virgin Caesars (aka virgin Bloody Mary) and we were never without Mott’s Clamato juice in the fridge, complete with all the seasonings. So when I saw that the menu had a veggie juice that reminded me of my favourite pastime, I knew I had to order it.

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The ‘lil Veggie Juice’ contained tomato, carrot, celery, cucumber, parsley, sea salt, fresh pepper, and vegan Worcestershire. Delicious! I just love that salted rim too.

Next, Jonnie brought us out the soup of the day- Red Lentil Dahl. Made with a coconut milk base, it was creamy with a kick of spice. The perfect starter for a rainy day.

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After much debate, I ordered the Big Greens Sandwich. I have this thing for anything green…

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Lightly toasted on organic 7-grain with extra virgin coconut oil, avocado, jalapeno hummus, goats cheese, marinated cucumbers, almond arugula pesto, fresh sprouts, spinach and frisée finished with a splash of lemon vinaigrette.

In other words…perfection! The lemon vinaigrette added a nice pop to the sandwich.

Ange ordered the Vegan Pad Thai made up of Rice noodles, daikon radish, snap peas, bok-choy, Asian cabbage and raw cashew pad Thai sauce, topped with spicy peanuts and cashews, fresh cilantro, Thai basil and mint. Finished with almond chili oil and mint lime vinaigrette. So many great flavours all in one dish!

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For dessert, Jonnie brought us out another treat…vegan and gluten-free walnut fudge brownies with homemade coconut milk frozen dessert!

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It was ALMOST too cute to eat.

The homemade coconut milk ‘ice cream’ was the best I’ve ever tasted. It melted into the brownie, taunting me to take bite after gooey bite.

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I highly recommend checking out Thrive Juice Bar! Head on over and meet Jonnie and support his fantastic business. It’s definitely worth a drive to Acton Waterloo. You can also check out the stunning website and scope out the food and drink menu.

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I will be back soon, very soon. Possibly today. When does it open? I hear their Big Green Smoothie is incredible… ;)

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{ 100 comments… read them below or add one }

Miranda @ Working Mom Works Out June 25, 2011

Gluten free and vegan brownie??!!! I’m so jealous

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Julie @ Shining From Within June 25, 2011

I need more places like this around me! Is a ceasar like a bloody mary? Never heard of a ceasar!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 25, 2011

yup! just without alcohol

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Andrew Lowry June 26, 2011

It is a vodka and Clamato juice based cocktail typically found in Canada or bars in the USA that get a lot of Canadian customers. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_(cocktail)

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Gena June 25, 2011

Gosh that place looks heavenly! So envious.

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Jen @newellnd June 25, 2011

I will definitely be checking this place out ASAP! The brownie makes me want chocolate and its not even 9 am yet

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cathy June 25, 2011

i’m so glad you and angela visited thrive! i agree – we are so fortunate to have this wonderful spot in waterloo. happily, i live a 5 minute walk away!
that brownie dessert looks amazing!

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cathy June 25, 2011

forgot to add that i got your “worth the drive to acton” joke! :)
and also, if you ever have the chance to go through vincenzo’s, also in the bauer building, it’s pretty amazing – the closest thing to whole foods that we have in waterloo!

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Carrie (Moves 'N Munchies) June 25, 2011

AHH!! i wish there was one near me!! that place looks incredible!

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat June 25, 2011

So glad you loved it Ange! If you ever need a buddy to go back with… well you know who to call! ;)

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Leanne @ Healthful Pursuit June 25, 2011

“Once in a while, I find a vegan-friendly restaurant that makes me feel understood, instead of a pain in the ass.” Amen! I can remember being SO frustrated with restaurants when I was vegan, and even more so when I was vegan and gluten-free.
I’m so happy you found a place you love! Jeez, I need to get to your neck of the woods to try all these amazing eats!

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Emily June 25, 2011

That brownie look divine! And this place in general looks awesome! :)

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Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga June 25, 2011

So happy for you that you had such an awesome time and meal…and love that it’s not a dirty hole in the wall and super clean, modern, chic, bright, and lovely! Sometimes vegan restaurants & yoga studios are always so dingy and not really “inviting” but Thrive looks great!

‘lil Veggie Juice’ = looks like a virgin Bloody Mary to me, more or less, and omg does it look stunning!

But not as stunning as the walnut fudge brownies with homemade coconut milk frozen ice-cream…WOW!

Almost too cute to eat. Almost. :)

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mariah (pictures pups and pies) June 25, 2011

I’m so jealous- I wish we had something like this in Charlotte! It looks wonderful.

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Cait's Plate June 25, 2011

Oooh this is awesome! We have nothing like this around us really. Every item looks so fresh and delicious! Can’t wait to live vicariously through you on your return trip ;)

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Shady June 25, 2011

I live in Kitchener and I had NO IDEA this place existed (I don’t get out much) but I do have a birthday coming up in a couple of weeks and a day of spoilage planned and I think I just found my lunch venue. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing this to my attention.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 25, 2011

yay!!! have fun

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Rhona June 25, 2011

Ok, how could healthy, fresh and green look so delicious? And, that brownie? Need it! It looks like the drive to Waterlook would be worth it.

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The Healthy Hipster June 25, 2011

Ooooo I SO appreciate this review. I’m dying to take a little foodie road trip so the next time I absolutely MUST get out of the city it’ll definitely be high on the list :)

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Gina @ Running to the Kitchen June 25, 2011

I’m completely jealous of your meal. The brownie and coconut ice cream just looks incredible! The pictures are mouth-watering, seriously.

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Abby White@Eat, Drink and Be Aware June 25, 2011

Hello Angela: That restaurant looks amazing and makes me want to come and visit Ontario. I made a sandwich yesterday that I think you will really love. Check it out at http://www.eatdrinkandbeaware.blogspot.com– it is a Chickpea, Beet and Apple Sandwich and it is amazing! I hope you have a great day.
Abby

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 25, 2011

wow that looks right up my alley!

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staceyhealthylife June 25, 2011

Sounds like an amazing place. I wish there was one around me, yum.

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WIERDGREENMAN June 25, 2011

Looks amazing. Expecially the brownie. Whenever I try to make coconut milk ice cream, it doesn’t work out and just turns into non-creamy coconut-flavored ice.

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Laura @ Sprint 2 the Table June 25, 2011

That sandwich looks incredible! I love how clean and fresh the space looks. You guys have all the cool stuff in Canada! :)

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Dawn June 25, 2011

Yummy!! I’m in Waterloo all the time, I must check this place out!! :)

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Lacia June 25, 2011

I went there for the first time about 2 weeks ago and it was amazing!!! I couldn’t decide what to get it all just looked so good. I will be going back many many times again (I live 10 min. away). It is my mission to try everything on their menu.

And for the record, I grew up in Georgetown, and NOTHING is worth the drive to Acton! LOL.

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Sara June 25, 2011

Well that place looks outrageously adorable.

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Lindsey @ Why Just Eat June 25, 2011

Okay, well now I really wish I lived in Ontario instead of Colorado. That place looks amazing! –Funny: when I firsts saw the title of your post, I thought “wow, she made juice bars using Thrive products, how smart!!” I cook with Thrive products and now you have inadvertently inspired me to make a juice bar :) Thanks!

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Hayley @ Oat Couture June 25, 2011

Oooh that brownie and coconut milk ice cream look amazing!! :) I feel like thats all I say on your blog but everything always looks so delicious! So wish we had something like that near us!

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Emily@RunningPerspective June 25, 2011

i need to go here!!!!!!!!!!!!
i have a dairy allergy and never EVER get good desserts!
your meal looks like heaven on a plateee!

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Caroline @ The G-Spot June 25, 2011

OH. MY. GOSH. That vegan pad thai and brownie look amazing! I need those. Now. ;)

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Liz June 25, 2011

“worth the drive to Acton” totally made me LOL

Looks like a fabulous place. I’m not vegan but I enjoy plant-based meals, however some vegan restaurants do intimidate me a little. This place looks super inviting – it may be worth the drive to waterloo

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Erin June 25, 2011

Just wanted to say I LOVE reading your blog! I look forward to it every chance I get! Your writings have inspired/encouraged me to make wonderful little changes to my life!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 25, 2011

thank you Erin!

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Jackie @ That Deep Breath June 25, 2011

That place looks great! We really need more vegan and vegetarian restaurants in cities. More & more people are reevaluating their diets and restaurants need to accommidate that to make money

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pamela June 25, 2011

When I make your recipes, the taste reminds me of a dish from a fancy restaurant. You need to open a restaurant of your own! I’ll take a vacation just to visit it from the USA!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 25, 2011

I would love to cook something for you! :)

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kris (everyday oats) June 25, 2011

I really wish there were more places like that around where I live!

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Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty June 25, 2011

wow. everything looks incredible.
I would LOVE to eat at a restaurant like this!! :)

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Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner June 25, 2011

That place looks AMAZING!!! Did you say salt around the edges? So, it was alike a V8?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) June 25, 2011

Yes it was sorta like a V8, but maybe with a bit more kick. I would have loved hot sauce in there too (thats how I used to enjoy the bloody marys…spicy)

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Yolie @ Practising Wellness June 25, 2011

Wow, this place looks absolutely incedible. SOOO cool. I would eat and drink here in a heartbeat, and with a HUGE smile! I did my Moksha Yoga Teacher Training in Toronto, Ontario, and I miss it so much! I think Canada is an incredible country, and this post makes me miss it even more! :-) xyx

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Monika June 25, 2011

Wow, that place looks incredible!

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Kathy June 25, 2011

I’m very sad that The Thrive Juice Bar is oh-so far away.
Like…probably over 200 miles away or more…
I must go to Canada now…;)

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sue June 25, 2011

How to make a girl homesick on a Saturday morning! I love Waterloo! I lived there for over 12 years – undergrad and beyond! I even owned a house that I wish I held onto! I hope this restaurant thrives! I hope to go back to visit sometime this summer (from my present home of San Francisco).

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Shannon ~ My Place In The Race June 25, 2011

What a cute little place! I wish we had more places like that here :( I live in the South, so fried, meat, fried, meat…oh, and fried is the common order here. The Ceasar sounds fantastic! I love Bloody Mary’s.

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Michelle S. June 25, 2011

I’ll have to check it out sometime! Thanks for mentioning it, I’m always looking for more places to eat that are friendlier to gluten free diets and I find healthy restaurants have more options for me.

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