Fresh fare in the skyways

Freshii recently opened in the skyway level of Gaviidae Common on Nicollet Mall. Credit: Photo by Sarah McKenzie

The green neon sign is simple but effective: “Eat. Energize.”

That’s the tagline for Freshii, a Canadian-based healthy fast food chain, that opened Feb. 16 in the skyway level of Gaviidae Common, 651 Nicollet Mall.

Who doesn’t need more energy to combat the mid-winter doldrums?

Freshii is open for breakfast and lunch and a good option for snacks on a work break.

The breakfast menu includes grilled breakfast burritos ($5.99), grilled egg pockets ($3.99), slow cooked organic oatmeal ($3.79) with a variety of options for toppings and a Greek yogurt parfait ($4.99).

Juice and smoothie lovers will also be impressed. For $5.99 you can get nutritious blends like Green Energy (a juice featuring apple, cucumber, lemon, carrot, romaine, spinach and kale) or a Powerhouse (a smoothie with mint, pineapple, coconut milk and frozen kefir.) Kefir is a fermented milk drink high in probiotics.

For lunch, the menu focuses on salads, wraps, bowls, soups and burritos. Each option is packed with healthy ingredients. The Metaboost wrap, for instance, has field greens and spinach, kale, mangos, carrots, edamame, almonds, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. The wraps can also be served as a salad.

The bowls are equally generous in the ingredient department. The Mediterranean option has quinoa and field greens loaded with red onions, kalamata olives, feta cheese, cucumbers, roasted red peppers, tomatoes, cilantro, almonds and red pepper sauce.

For a healthy dessert option, Freshii offers frozen kefir with a choice of toppings ($4.99).

Freshii has two other Twin Cities locations — one at Southdale in Edina and another at the Phillips-Wagensteen Building at the University of Minnesota.

Matthew Corrin, who formerly did PR work for Oscar de la Renta, launched the fast-food chain in Toronto in 2005. Now based in Chicago, Freshii has expanded to more than 100 locations all over the world.

A few other notable healthy food options have also opened recently in the skyways.

Sprout is nearby in the skyway level of RBC Plaza, 555 Nicollet Mall, with a menu featuring salads, wraps and soups less than 500 calories.

Sprout opened in December. Co-founders Daniel Gittsovich and Dmitry Kenigsberg created the concept as an alternative to the boring salad bar.

Greenfield Natural Kitchen also opened in December in the skyway level of the Canadian Pacific Plaza building, 120 S. 6th St. The base price of a bowl or wrap changes based on market conditions.

It offers breakfast options all day, including breakfast tacos, wraps, breakfast bowls and burritos, among other things. You can pick a bowl or wrap option or craft your own. Juice blends are also available with a range of fruits and veggies.

Simpls Grab and Go opened in the fall in the skyway level of the Six Quebec building at 6th & Marquette. It offers breakfast, lunch items and a variety of snacks in a convenience-store format. The products feature simple, high quality whole foods. 


New healthy fast-food options in the skyways

Where: Gaviidae Common, 651 Nicollet Mall
Hours: Monday–Friday, 7:30 a.m.–6 p.m.; Saturday, 7:30 a.m.–3 p.m.

Where: RBC Plaza, 555 Nicollet Mall
Hours: Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.

Greenfield Natural Kitchen
Where: Canadian Pacific Plaza, 120 S. 6th St.
Hours: Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–2 p.m.

Simpls Grab and Go
Where: 601 Marquette Ave. S.
Hours: Monday–Friday, 7 a.m.–3 p.m.