Mixing it up at Chicago's Owen + Alchemy

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This Chicago juice hotspot serves tasty concoctions made from fresh, local ingredients.

Owen + Alchemy is a juice apothecary where you can buy cold-pressed, plant-based juices, smoothies, nut milks, foods, and custom herbal blends. As co-owner Anne Owen recalls, when she and her partner, chef Jared Van Camp, first imagined the store, “We tried to pay homage to and include elements of an old-world apothecary, but with a modern twist.”  The duo opened Owen + Alchemy in late 2014. “In the past, an apothecary was a place you’d go in order to feel better, or to find some crazy concoction that would heal you,” Owen says, “which is what we hope is part of the customer experience here.”

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The juices are rich in both taste and nutrients. They can be made fresh on the spot or purchased in minimalist glass bottles. Unexpected combinations surprise the taste buds: No. 14 (pineapple, jalapeño, and cucumber) is sweet and refreshing, with an unexpected, heady kick;
No. 21 (blueberry, basil, grapefruit, and lime) features tangy, savory, and sweet notes. And if you’re looking to detoxify, go for No. 2, a lively green combination of kale, romaine lettuce, Napa cabbage, parsley, celery, cucumber, and sea salt. 

Nut milks are sprouted and rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, with natural spices and syrups weaved in to create smooth, slightly sweet drinks, while the smoothies blend nut butters and local, seasonal produce with other earthy elements like raw honey and aloe. Looking to relieve stress? Consider the herbal blends—all based in Chinese medicine and either soluble in hot water or perfect for sprinkling into smoothies or other beverages. A daily rotation of seasonal soups and salads is also available. 

The decor is sleek and minimalist—yet another reminder that you can’t eat or drink much cleaner than this—with sunny, window-side seating. Step outside onto Milwaukee Avenue and you’re smack-dab in the middle of the bustling Logan Square neighborhood, known for its hip boutiques and hot dining options. 

Owen + Alchemy offers subscriptions that work like a CSA: Van Camp hand-selects six juices and a snack to be picked up in-store, delivered locally, or shipped across the country via FedEx or UPS. 

Amy Bizzarri is a Chicago-based travel writer who specializes in stories about family adventure, vintage/retro travel, and green/eco-friendly destinations.