As I drove into Boston a few weeks ago, my mind drifted to the homemade cashew milk that was sitting in my fridge. What was I going to do with the tasty mixture of raw cashews, filtered water and a date? I was taking a break from dairy and cashews had become my new best friend. How about a golden milk latte with turmeric, black pepper and some cinnamon? Google would be consulted for sure.
But then walking around Back Bay, I stumbled upon a restaurant that I have been wanting to try forever, not realizing it had a location on Boylston Street (it opened in 2019). Unfortunately, I had already eaten lunch but figured I could check it out for future reference.
If you don’t know, Life Alive is a 100% organic cafe that has a multi-layered mission statement. In a nutshell, the small chain wants to make healthy eating possible for the busy people we are today. The menus are entirely plant based and differ a little from location to location (there are 5), but at each you can be guaranteed all kinds of smoothies, juices, bright and colorful salads, soups, and interesting warm grain bowls and/or noodle bowls and wraps. All salads and bowls can be served as wraps and half-orders are available. All dishes are made with organic, non-GMO whole foods. Take a look at Back Bay’s extensive menu here.
Sure enough, there was a golden milk latte on the menu which I ordered and drank while sitting at the bar with my book. Made from cashew cream and flavored with turmeric, black pepper, ginger, cinnamon, cayenne and maple, it was perfection. The Back Bay location is very sleek with lots of seating. This article will give you a sense of what it looks like inside as I didn’t snap any photos. The cafe was packed with health seekers (or just hungry people) and all the food that was served looked so thoughtfully prepared and plated. It also looked delicious.
Life Alive was founded by Heidi Feinstein in 2004. She nurtured the company for 14 years, growing it to serve over 3,000 people daily and employing 150. Heidi sold the company to the founder of Au Bon Pain and Panera, Ron Shaich and is now focused on other endeavors. Ron is also behind the rapid growth of Tatte Bakery. Under his guidance, Life Alive has added I believe 2 locations in Back Bay and Brookline to those Heidi opened Cambridge, Salem and Lowell where I visited today (think I got that right!).
Life Alive Lowell, the original cafe, is a complete 180 from the Back Bay location. Think big, bold colors, eclectic furniture, a little incense burning and funky. The staff was super friendly and helped me decide between two of the salads on their menu. I ended up with one named The Mystic Mountain which was mixed greens with raw beets, shredded carrots, corn, cucumbers, apple, raw cashews, sun sprouts and a scoop of delicious hummus, dressed with the cafe’s lemon vitality vinaigrette. It was such a great lunch.
We have so many lunch options here in my town, but Life Alive’s menu is by far my dream lunch. I can’t wait to try some of the other tempting dishes and visit some other locations. My hope (and why I’m sharing with you now) is that any expansion plans go slowly and do not sacrifice what seems to be a really good thing!!
Have you been to Life Alive? If you have, please comment with any menu recommendations!
Golden Milk Latte in Back Bay…
Entrance to Life Alive in Lowell has a very different vibe from the Back Bay! On street parking, directly across from Lowell’s Quilting Museum…
Interior shot. Lots of color!
The Mystic Mountain Salad…
Until next time…
One Year Ago: Valentine’s Day Menu
Two Years Ago: Bacon and Egg Risotto
Four Years Ago: Slow Cooker Turkey Ragu with Penne
Six Years Ago: Chicken with Red and Yellow Bell Peppers
Thx for the review ! I think there should many more Life Alive’s . I have been to their older locations many times – all yummy and recommend them. Quality is consistently high.If you go to the Peabody Essex museum there is one nearby (Huge fan of Ron’s too!)
Come have lunch with me at the one in Salem! It’s delicious!
Thanks Val for the reminder of how much I loved Life Alive. I have been to the Brookline location. It is my perfect lunch as well. Let’s get a lunch date in the calendar!