Meli Up!

First taste of Chicago, the Oatmeal smoothie at Meli Cafe in River North

Ah-ha! Gotcha! You may have thought I discovered a new cafe in the ATX when you came across this post – but that is not the case! Meli Cafe is an adorable spot that I recently discovered…in Chicago. Believe it or not, TheRebeccammendations is going to the ‘Windy City’ on a one-way ticket! That’s right, I’m moving to Chicago! I’m beyond excited to blog, and eat, and drink, and listen, and see my way through a new city. I hope you’ll join me on my journey there, and of course, when I visit Austin, I’ll undoubtedly have new restaurants to try and add to my Austin blog post repertoire. If you’ll notice, I now have an Austin tab and a Chicago tab at the top of the blog so you can still discover local gems in Austin, and learn about hotspots in Chi-town. So, during this exciting time, I ask that you stick with me, and keep me informed of your new favorite places that I must try when I’m back in the ATX for a frequent visit.

Before I elaborate in what will be my first blog post about Chicago, I want to THANK YOU, Dear Reader, for reading my writing, for sharing my thoughts, ideas, and experiences, and for helping enrich the past 3.5 years of blogging in my life.

So, without further adieu, here’s the first spot I came across around the corner from my new office in River North, Chicago. When I arrived off a plane a few weeks ago, I had a meeting arranged mid-morning at the office, and I hadn’t eaten breakfast yet since my flight was an early bird. So, I used the trusty Google on the trusty iPhone to find a local (of course!) spot nearby. Meli Cafe & Juice Bar popped up, so off I went, rolling my suitcase in with me.

I sat down, and needed some quick nourishment. So, I went straight to the list of 35+ house-made juices with mixtures including orange, carrot, honey, wheatgrass, pear, kiwi, ginger, banana, and celery, 15ish smoothies made with everything from avocado to mango to pecans, about 10 teas, and other bevs, like um, Warm Apple Cider, Limonata, and Ghiradelli Chocolate Milk.

I decided on the Oatmeal Smoothie, including oatmeal, apples, honey, cinnamon, non-fat yogurt, skim milk and whipped cream. It was fantastic! Filling, full of fiber, low-fat calcium, a touch of cinnamon, and it was not too sweet! Typically, I’m not big on ‘drinking my calories’. I tend to be more satisfied and feel more full when I eat whole foods of different flavors and textures, versus slurping down a juice or smoothie that I can drink in seconds, versus savor bite by bite. However, this was the perfect combination of spice, sweetness, fruit, calcium, vitamins, and fiber.

Meli Cafe & Juice bar also has a full breakfast menu and lunch menu complete with vitamin-packed choices that I cannot wait to try. If you find yourself looking for Chicago breakfast just north of the River, consider bellying up – I mean Meli-ing up – to the bar or a table for a juice, smoothie, or healthy treat.

Oh, and if you’re visiting Chicago, please send me a note at or Tweet me @Rbcammendations or @LocalizeChicago! See you on my next visit to Austin!!

Locations: West Loop on Halsted and River North on Grand and N. Wells. Hours 6am-3pm. (Breakfast and lunch only)


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