There is no smoothie crown in Kansas City, but there is a king. Smoothie King (8825 State Line Road) and KC Juice (4141 Pennsylvania) are two of the most well-known fruit-slinging operations in the city. Smoothie King has more than 600 locations, including a second in the works in Kansas City. KC Juice is a stand-alone operation in Westport.
So is it the well-tested franchise or the social-media-savvy juice bar that deserves the crown? Let the battle of whirring blenders and crushed fruit commence.
Smoothie King: Berry Punch (20 ounces, $4.29). This is a sweet blend of strawberries, blueberries, raspberry sorbet and an electrolyte mix. And I don't mean sweet as in well-balanced. I mean sweet as in seriously sweet. The strawberries and raspberries dwarf the blueberries, in color and taste. It's more like a juice dessert than blended fruit.
KC Juice: Supernova (24 ounces, $4.35). Berries are a staple of smoothie shops. The Supernova blends strawberry juice, lemonade, raspberry sherbet, raspberries and strawberries. The tartness from the lemonade softens the strawberry juice and raspberry sherbet. The overall effect is like drinking a rich juice, but not one you need a spoon to eat.
The Verdict: One important note -- both smoothie shops are immaculate. Clean blenders and tidy countertops are as inviting as the modern decor and something that deserves to be recognized. But while Smoothie King is great with a mop, the Berry Punch got knocked out by the Supernova. KC Juice's smoothie was lighter and better balanced. It was the smoother smoothie. There's a new king in town, and he resides in Westport.