Move over cupcake and frozen yogurt cafes there is a new friend in town - Greek yogurt cafes. To many New Yorkers this is old news, but to those of us not living in the "concrete jungle" we are still excited by this new type of establishment. This past summer, Chobani Greek Yogurt company opened a "one-of-a-kind Mediterrean yogurt bar", known as Chobani Soho. I had the opportunity to visit this original Greek yogurt cafe (to my knowledge the only one in existence by any company) during a recent visit to NYC.
The creative yogurt creations on the menu include both sweet and savory choices - anything from chocolate to figs are offered. In fact one of the savory offerings, "Cucumber + Olive oil" contains cucumber, olive oil, sea salt, and pita chips. Of course the foundation for every menu item is Chobani's plain Greek yogurt item. Atlhough not well advertised, you can choose from either 0% or 2% fat yogurt. If you are not feeling a yogurt creation, the 6 oz. Chobani yogurts typically found in your local supermarket, are also available for purchase.
As with many cafes, the space was small, with only a few window benches to sit down. Thankfully we were there at a uncrowded time and were able to grab a seat. We watched as the "yogurtiers" prepared our menu orders. Approximately 3-4 chefs stood behind the glass bar and quickly assembled a variety of the menu items ordered.
To my knowledge the calories or nutrition facts were not labeled on the menu, however a few nutrition tidbits are availalbe on the website. According to the FAQ section of the site the yogurt is packed with protein (as with any Greek yogurt), while lower in sugar, sodium, and carbohydrates compared to standard yogurts . The yogurt served is not organic (however high quality), contains three types of Probiotics, and contains small amounts of lactose. Greek yogurt is typically better tolerated in those with lactose intolerance compared to other dairy products.
There is good news for those of you non-New Yorkers wanting more of this scrumptious yet healthy treat! The recipes for all of the creations are available on postcards to take home. In fact the yogurtiers encourage you to take the recipes home. Below you will see the recipe for the "Strawberry + Granola" creation.
Kristen Smith, Registered Dietitian