Breakfast Oatmeal Wars: Jamba Juice vs. Vegetarian Cart


I embrace breakfast for lunch (or snack for that matter) and I also embrace cheap. Earlier this year, Jamba Juice introduced $1 oatmeal Wednesdays. The promotion was supposed to only last through early February, but as of last week they were still doing discounted oatmeal, but now the going rate is $2. Is it still worth it?

Banana Oatmeal from Jamba

Jamba Juice’s steel cut oatmeal gets high marks from the resident oat experts at Serious Eats. A single serving topped with bananas, brown sugar, apple-cinnamon or blueberry-blackberry regularly goes for $3.21 so at $2, it’s still a decent discount. And I know from personal experience that making steel cut oats in the office microwave isn’t quite as easy is heating a bowl of Quaker Oats. If you like the nuttiness of steel cut oats and don’t have the time to make it for yourself in the morning, the Jamba Juice version is a worthy buy at $2. But beware, the texture of the oatmeal varies throughout the day…


Go in the morning and you’re more likely to get a creamier/soupier oatmeal whereas later in the afternoon (after some evaporation action) the oatmeal is thicker and denser. The Jamba Juice people seem to only fill the container with 2 scoops of oatmeal regardless of the density, so the earlier you go, the more likely you are to end up with more head space.

Healthy Food Cart's Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal

If you prefer smoother textured oats of a Quaker-ish variety, the Healthy Vegetarian cart (on 52nd btw. 6+7th) dishes up big servings (think a wonton soup size container) with apples and cinnamon for $2.50 every day.

What midtown breakfasts have you found to be good deals?

Jamba Juice (various locations)
99% Vegetarian Food Cart
, 52nd St. btw. 6+7th


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    Regarding the cart oatmeal, what size wonton soup container are we talking here? How much larger is it than the Jamba? I might have to give it a shot.

    • I’m terrible at estimating volume/weight, but it’s a standard lunch size soup container, most recognizable to me from many a wonton or hot and sour soup take out lunch special. I think that’s about a pint or so, but perhaps others can weigh in. The Jamba container itself is 12 oz, but their site says a serving weight varies from 7.6 oz to 9.6 oz depending on topping.

  • In the not-so-healthy category, I think Burger King has the best midtown breakfast deals. They have legit dollar sandwiches (ham&egg, etc.), cheesy bacon egg wraps, etc. And their coffee is really good and smooth, not burnt or thin. I suspect it is cold-extracted, and brewed by mixing with hot water. Never bitter.

  • I’m not in NYC, so I can’t comment on how tasty it may be…but I know that Jamaican porridge may change your mind a/b simple oatmeal. Check the dutchy says Zack…

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