Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

34° Evanston, IL
Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Email Newsletter

Sign up to receive our email newsletter in your inbox.



Shake Smart receives “berry” good reviews from students for smoothies, acai bowls

Micah Sandy/Daily Senior Staffer
Shake Smart is already serving up smoothies students are excited about.

Shake Smart is bringing some refreshing changes to Norris University Center. 

The chain, which currently has more than 40 locations on college campuses nationwide, operates its Norris location between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. In June, Shake Smart founder and CEO Kevin Gelfand told The Daily he founded the concept on his own college campus — San Diego State University — after noticing healthy dining options were few and far between. 

The Northwestern location sells smoothies, acai bowls, sandwiches and oatmeal. 

Weinberg sophomores Asha Reddy and Madison Liu came to test out the new dining spot after seeing the space — once home to the relocated Starbucks Coffee — closed off for the majority of last year. Liu ordered the rawçaí bowl, which features strawberries, banana, chia and coconut flakes. 

“At home, I eat a lot of smoothies and acai bowls,” Liu said. “They’re harder to get in Evanston, so I thought it might be good to try here.”

McCormick senior Sengdao Inthavong, who also came to try Shake Smart for the first time on Wednesday, is a big smoothie fan. 

“I do not drink coffee at all,” he said. “What I love about smoothies is that you get that fruity flavor from smoothies, but also there’s a lot of things you can do with smoothies that you can mix in, which makes it really creative and really exciting to drink.” 

While Inthavong used to visit the Henry Crown Sports Pavilion to get smoothies at Protein Bar & Kitchen, the new location is a big draw for him, especially because he lives closer to South Campus this year. 

As a South Campus resident, Weinberg sophomore Gina Valdivia also said the location was a big draw. She ordered the ‘a perfect 10’ smoothie after seeing it on the popular smoothies list and rated it “pretty highly.” 

Valdivia used dining dollars on the smoothie, after learning that meal exchanges are only valid between 8 and 11 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m. Others have told her the meal exchange, which comes with a smoothie or acai bowl along with a sandwich, is a higher value option. 

A spokesperson for Compass Group, Northwestern’s food service contractor, said NU Dining will continue to work with its Shake Smart and Norris partners to evaluate hours of operations and offerings. The spokesperson did not specify why meal exchanges are only valid during certain hours.

For those paying out-of-pocket, Communication junior Gabriella Burgos said the price is hard to justify. Even though the weather isn’t quite warm enough for cold drinks, she said she wanted to give the new place a shot. 

Each smoothie ranges from about $7 for a regular size to $10 for a large size. Burgos said that’s about the price of a meal, and she’s not sure that she’ll order often because of it. Still, she said her experience was a net positive. 

“I’m usually a hater, but this is actually really good,” she said. 

On Tuesday, Shake Smart will hold a Free Shake Day where all regular-sized shakes will be free.

Inthavong said the one thing he hopes Shake Smart might do in the future is list macronutrients from its products, as he values transparency in his drink orders. To him, the pricing is reasonable and similar to Protein Bar’s. 

His order, the p-b2, came with peanut butter, chocolate protein and bananas. After trying it out, he said he has plans to return. 

“It’s really good,” Inthavong said. “It’s got all that flavor.” 

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @joannah_11

Related Stories 

Shake Smart to shake up Norris come September as renovations start for health food chain

It’s Brew-tiful: Wildcats share thoughts on renovated Starbucks

Shake spot to open in Norris amid Dunkin’ closure and Starbucks relocation

More to Discover