The Best Açaí Bowls in Oahu
Cool and refreshing, açaí bowls have lately become quite fashionable thanks to their widely touted health benefits, their addictive flavors, and -- in the age of Instagram -- their photogenic properties. Açaí, the Brazilian superfruit, worked its way from the Amazon to the Pacific some years ago, and our love for it has only gotten stronger. We rounded up our favorite bowls of purple goodness, so you can eat the cold treat for breakfast, lunch, or as a midday pick-me-up -- and share your picturesque meals on social, too. Seriously, what’s the point of eating if you can’t make your friends jealous?
Tucked in a little grass shack on the side of Kamehameha Highway, this smoothie stand gives you a choice of pure or blended organic açaí topped with organic hemp granola, fresh bananas, raw coconut flakes, and a drizzle of honey. You can health it up with customizable additions like maca powder, spirulina, and wheatgrass, or top your bowl with items like almond slices and cacao nibs.
This café boasts authentic Brazilian-style açaí, with a mix of açaí, guarana berry juice, and local-style açaí. Opt for their Brazilian-style Sunrise bowl, which is capped with papaya sorbet, yogurt, coconut shreds, and organic honey. Even if you’re not in Waikiki, the velvety, cool bowls are worth the trip.
Although the best açaí bowl place on the island is a much-debated topic, you can consistently get a delicious, blended bowl of berry-flavored breakfast at this café/jewelry shop. Its deluxe bowl is an easy favorite: organic açaí is blended with strawberries, local bananas, and organic apple juice, then crowned with sliced local bananas, strawberries, blueberries, organic granola, and honey. But it’s the tropical bonus of shredded coconut on top that keeps die-hard regulars coming back for more. (And more, and more.)
At this cash-only café, you have four options to satisfy your açaí craving. Da Cove is their smallest portion, which tops açaí with crunchy granola, strawberries, bananas, and honey. But if you’re down for that, you might as well upgrade to their larger Mana bowl, with an addition of blueberries and a life-changing sprinkle of sweet bee pollen. For those with a heartier appetite, spring for the deluxe Hawaiian bowl, which comes with all the fixings of a Mana bowl, plus a healthy scoop of paiai (poi without water), which complements the açaí sweetness with an earthy texture. If you’re looking for a little variety, spice things up with the hapa bowl, which is half pitaya, half açaí -- and wholly satisfying.
If you see a line snaking outside of this cozy neighborhood café, don’t be deterred; it’s worth waiting for their açaí bowl. Its classic bowl comes with enough granola, fresh fruit, and honey to supplement your last bite of açaí -- because come on, there’s nothing worse than an unequal ratio of fruit to açaí.
Primarily a juice shop for those looking for a vitamin C boost, this neighborhood café also boasts a tasty açaí bowl. Blended with soy milk instead of apple juice, the purple berry concoction has a consistency almost like a sorbet. This bowl is served on a bed of granola with a mountain of açaí, piled high with sliced fruit, bee pollen, and Lehua blossom honey. Brave the brain freeze and eat it fast before it melts.
The food truck formerly known as Aloha Bowls rebranded itself and set down some roots inside the swanky Volcanic Climbing & Fitness. But you don’t need a membership to get your hands on the good stuff. Choose from four açaí bowls, including the signature Arch bowl, which mixes Waiola coconut water, mango, and banana; and the Jungle bowl, which features Ho Farms kale, spinach, and mixed fruit. All its bowls are layered with granola and topped with artfully sliced fresh fruit, perfect for food-stagraming your sweet treat to all your friends. Go ahead, be that guy and make everyone jealous. PS: if you add a scoop of haupia sorbet, you won’t be sorry.
Whether you need a shopping break at Ala Moana Center or this gift shop/café is your intended destination, you can’t go wrong with any of its açaí bowls. Its organic açaí is blended with fresh bananas and a tart berry blend, giving the bowl a not-too-sweet, not-too-tart flavor. Try it mixed with organic soy milk, jasmine tea, lime juice, or spirulina. You can also spring for a sweet addition of whipped cream -- hey, it’s mostly fruit, right?
For a little deviation from the typical açaí bowl, stop by this Monsarrat Ave food truck for banana-açaí soft serve, made with no additional sugars. You could get a cup, but come on, go for the papaya boat -- and throw on a bunch of eye- and palate-pleasing toppings. Options include sliced mango, crispy quinoa, lychee, and macadamia nut honey butter. To ensure optimal papaya and açaí enjoyment, call ahead to be sure papayas are in stock -- or bring your own. And stay tuned for updates: the brick and mortar will be opening near the University of Hawaii pretty soon.
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