The Glow Cafe and Juice Bar is a tropical oasis in the Wanskuck neighborhood of Providence. Green walls and eclectic designs signal that this is a plant-forward cafe, but not lacking in flavor. Reggae music played as manager Kiara Rodriguez led us to our table. My friend and I felt like we were on vacation the moment we stepped inside.
Originally from Harlem, owner Priscilla Edwards relocated to Rhode Island to coach basketball at Providence College and founded The Glow Cafe when she noticed there wasn’t a healthy food spot close to campus.
“I felt introducing plant-based food in an area that could be considered a food desert would help bring awareness to a healthier lifestyle,” says Edwards, “one that anyone can incorporate, even if they’re not fully plant-based or vegan.”
When we ordered, Rodriguez was attentive to every detail, recommending meals and drinks to accommodate my food allergies. At her suggestion, I ordered the Tropical Smoothie and the Garden Chickpea Salad. My friend took the Belgian Waffles and the Sunny Glow, a smoothie that lives up to its name made from banana, mango, pineapple, and coconut milk.
While we waited, we enjoyed a seasonal fruit bowl as an appetizer. The blueberries, pineapples, apple slices, kiwi, and strawberries were bright and colorful, each bite sweeter and juicier than the last.
The Garden Chickpea Salad had loads of hearty kale and spinach, crunchy sliced carrots, and cucumbers – and a ginger bomb of a dressing tied everything together with a refreshing zest.
But the Tropical Smoothie was my favorite, a sweet yet tart concoction of strawberries, mango, orange, and pineapple. In a perfect world, I’d drink it every day.
Meanwhile, my friend danced in her seat as she chewed her waffles. Vegan waffles are hard to come by, and these add a little decadence to the menu, spiced with cinnamon, sweetened with a little vanilla, and topped with bananas and strawberries to bring back the healthy theme. More bananas in her smoothie added just the right amount of sweetness to her liking.
We stole sips of The Super Green Glow – a fresh juice of celery, kale, cucumber, spinach, ginger, apple, and lemon – while commiserating over the lack of healthy food in our diets and vowed to make better food choices. Thankfully, Glow Cafe makes that a little easier.
To bring a little bit of the feeling home, my friend ordered a Callaloo Patty to go and later raved about how the soft, flaky dough contained a flavorful veggie filling reminiscent of collard greens.
You know that feeling when you eat something healthy, and your whole body smiles? This was my experience. If you’re seeking healthy, delicious, plant-based smoothies and food to add to your routine or simply pining for a tropical retreat, look no further than The Glow Cafe.
The Glow Cafe and Juice Bar • 389 Admiral Street
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