Tropical Smoothie Cafe opens in mall

New smoothie bar in Hodgkins provides tropical get-away amidst Chicago’s chilly fall weather


Topical Smoothie’s Bahama Mama Smoothie and Hummus Veggie Wrap (Grefenstette/LION)

Olivia Grefenstette, Reporter

Tucked in a hidden corner of the Quarry shopping mall sits the new gem, Tropical Smoothie. This restaurant delivers on its tropical name, with a bright and cheerful ambiance. 

Photos of euphoric Caribbean sea-sides are on display along the walls. Eye-catching neon orange stools give the place a clean and modern feel, along with floor to ceiling windows flooding in natural light. Customers get to see behind the scenes at the smoothie bar. Lined with fresh ingredients, smoothies are made right in front of your eyes. 

I ordered the Bahama Mama Smoothie ($6.49), which was kindly recommended to me by an attentive cashier. This smoothie was clearly fresh and had a perfect balance of strawberries, pineapple, and coconut. While I am not usually a fan of coconut, Bahama Mama surprised me by having a subtle yet delicious touch of coconut, leaving me satisfied rather than overwhelmed. The only critique I have for the smoothies is their portion size. The smoothie I received was rather large (24 ounces) and is the only size they offer. It was too much for me to finish on my own and hopefully Tropical Smoothie Cafe will offer more size ranges in the future.

Besides offering an extensive selection of smoothies, the Tropical Smoothie Cafe also boasts a range of sandwiches, flatbreads, and more. I ordered the Hummus Veggie Wrap ($8.49)  and was impressed with its quality. The wrap was warm and well-made. I appreciated the fresh ingredients, however their combination was rather off-putting. In this sandwich, there was hummus, black beans, and ranch. I could not decide if I was tasting a burrito, Mediterranean salad, or straight up ranch. For future customers, I’d recommend skipping the confusing flavor pallet of this wrap and simply sticking with a smoothie. Overall, the food was fresh but too ambitious. 

I am pleased to say I received excellent service from understanding and patient employees. They gave me insightful recommendations and added to the welcoming demeanor of the cafe. 

I was thoroughly content with the service and cleanliness of Tropical Smoothie Cafe. The prices are reasonable for the quality of the smoothies and are manageable for the average LT student. While the food left something to be desired, the smoothies lived up to and beyond my expectations. 

Tropical Smoothie Cafe is located at 9404 Joliet Rd. Unit B in Hodgkins and is open from 7 a.m to 9 p.m. on weekdays. It is also open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Sundays.

3/5 Paws