I want to start out by saying that I hate — and I mean absolutely hate — driving in Los Angeles. All the noise, all the cars, all the green lights staring you in the face while you sit stagnant swiping left and refreshing your Instagram.
And yet, I will willingly drive 80 miles for a smoothie. I know, I know — it seems a tad far to venture for a drink, but hear me out.
The Smoothie I Drive 80 Miles For
I drive 80 miles for a smoothie called the Co-conut. You can find this magically delicious blended concoction of banana-coconut-cacao goodness at Pacific Health Foods in Carpinteria, CA.
Honestly, despite that fact that I've just said how much I hate driving in LA, the trip is (almost) as good as the smoothie. Every once in awhile when I have a heavy question weighing on me, like Am I living the life I truly want? or Should I just finally buckle down and watch the entire series of Breaking Bad?, I hop in my car and off to Carpinteria I go. Winding through the lemon groves and the rolling hills and feeling the fresh air on my face is its own medicine and always brings a sense of clarity.
The Co-conut is not officially on the menu, but if you walk to the back of the store, knock three times fast, two times slow, and yell "The password is I'm Coco-nuts!"... they may think you're kind of weird. Just ask for the Co-conut. It's made with coconut water, coconut butter, cacao powder, and a 1/2 banana and it is seriously good.
What (Else) to Eat, Drink & Do in Carpinteria
Since I've made the trip, I usually spend some time checking out the rest of the store, too. Pacific Health Foods is a third-generation family-owned health food store carrying everything from locally harvested sage to organic beauty products. One of my favorite items to grab there is an organic lip balm from the Oregon-based company Sacred Earth. I'm not going to tell you what to do, but go with the key lime or lavender orange flavor.
While you're in the area, you might as well walk down to Island Brewing Company and get yourself an avocado beer or two or three and sit by the railroad tracks enjoying the day while meeting new people.
All this socializing will inevitably leave you feeling hungry. I highly recommend hitting up Beach Liquor. On the outside it looks like a normal convenience store, but tucked away in the back you can find some of the best burritos and a variety of hoard-worthy salsas. Everything I've tried here has been delightful, and although I have yet to try it myself, I've heard a number of people rave about the carne asada. My go-to is the vegetarian or bacon breakfast burrito.
Keep in mind they stop serving breakfast at 12:30 p.m., so you might want to pop in early if it's a breakfast burrito you're after. I love to get my burrito to go and head to the Carpinteria Bluffs for a little picnic and a life-giving view of the ocean.
What's the longest distance you've ever driven for your favorite food?