When you go to Red Mango in downtown Naperville, by all means sample the Green Tea frozen yogurt. It’s one of two kinds available (the other being Original) and sounds absolutely refreshing, especially on a hot day like it was on the afternoon of the Riverwalk Art Fair. Just walking down the street had me sweating, so our group of four walked into this new frozen yogurt place, hoping to cool down. The short lines, available seating and air-conditioning (OK, mostly the air-conditioning) made up for the flavor of the Green Tea yogurt I tried, which I could best liken to a smooth, cold version of cottage cheese. One spoonful was enough to turn me off, but I did hear from at least one reliable source that it grows on you, so, really, give it a shot.
The allure of Red Mango is simple, beyond its being a cool place to escape the heat: all the yogurt is 100% natural, as in, no unhealthy additives, all-natural ingredients, certified Kosher and gluten-free. In fact, it might actually be a healthy, good-for-you thing to eat since, at least according to the company’s website, yogurt is one of the five healthiest foods in the world. Beyond the two flavors of yogurt, there are over a dozen add-ins, ranging from fruits to chocolate to brand-name cereals. Purchase a cup of yogurt and customize it with your choice of extras, or get a shake, which comes with three mix-ins.
I went the simple, refreshing route: a raspberry, raspberry, raspberry blender (yes, that’s raspberry for all three of the shake’s mix-ins) made with the Original yogurt. It was fruity, tart and very, very cold. As a particular bonus, it lasted me through most of the rest of the art show, a welcome companion in the blazing sun.
As far as pricing goes, I’ll say this: Just outside the entry, there was a tiki hut with tropical smoothies going for $5 each. I thought that was a little high but attributed it to the whole this-is-a-fair-so-we-charge-more realities of life. Yet somehow, after ordering my regular-sized blender in Red Mango, I walked out having spent a little more than $5 and getting a shake about the same size.
Also, it’s interesting to note that for a shop called Red Mango, there were no mangoes to be found (they were out) or pineapples either (also all gone). That’s all well and good; it happens. I mean, when you put a certain fruit in your company’s name, it’s likely to inspire more orders. You’d just think, though, that the restaurant would carry more accordingly.
All in all, I’d say Red Mango is a decent place to get some tasty frozen yogurt, customized with your choice of mix-ins, without any guilt over preservatives or gluten or what-have-you. It’s especially good when you’re hot, sweaty and, you know, standing in front of the store.
The newer Red Mango in downtown Naperville is one of two in Illinois (the other is in Evanston); other Red Mango locations can be found here.
Red Mango Frozen Yogurt
111 W. Jackson Avenue, Naperville, IL 60540
Sunday through Thursday: 11am to 10pm
Friday through Saturday: 11am to 11pm