Tropical Smoothie Cafe opened its first University City location on Oct. 25 in the ground floor of apartment building 3737 Chestnut.
Tropical Smoothie Cafe, located at 37th and Chestnut street, is a national fast-casual food and beverage chain specializing in smoothies and health foods. The University City location is the chain's third in Philadelphia. The store opened its first location in Florida in 1993 and currently operates over 1,000 stores in the United States.
Paul Patel, a Tropical Smoothie Cafe staff member, said he is proud of the cafe’s commitment to health-conscious dining. He emphasized the cafe’s use of healthier alternative ingredients than what customers might typically expect, noting that the chain uses turbinado instead of regular sugar in its smoothies.
“Whatever we are selling is healthy,” he said.
Patel highlighted the cafe's best-selling products: Bahama Mama, a smoothie made up of strawberries, pineapple, coconut, and white chocolate, and Sunrise Sunset, made up of strawberries, pineapple, mango & orange juice. Other than smoothies, the cafe's menu includes sandwiches, salads, wraps, and quesadillas.
Patel said that people should not mistake the cafe for only serving smoothies because of its name.
“We have salad, wraps, and flatbread too," he said. "The important thing is we are not about just smoothies."
Graduate School of Education graduate student Ceani Beaden said that she had visited Tropical Smoothie Cafe three days in a row and appreciated that the food options are not too heavy.
"If I go to a food truck, I might not like it. But I always get the same experience here," she said.
Wharton senior Eunice Chong said while she loves to support local businesses when possible, the perks of a national brand like Tropical Smoothie Cafe are also attractive to her.
“For example, if you sign up for their membership, you get a free large smoothie with any food purchase," she said. "It’s definitely nice to have a new spot on campus. It’s a nice close destination where I could pick up a sandwich and a smoothie in the morning."
Tropical Smoothie Cafe joins Playa Bowls and Gong Cha, which both opened in June, as new restaurant offerings in University City.