Food & Drink

The Best Açaí Bowls in Oahu

Summer Nakaishi Published On 03/15/2016 Published On 03/15/2016
Haleiwa acai bowl with fruit
Courtesy of Haleiwa Bowls

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?
 

Haleiwa Bowls

Haleiwa

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.

Tropical Tribe

Waikiki

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.

Jewel or Juice

Jewel or Juice

Kaimuki, Kailua

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.)

Courtesy Summer Nakaishi

Diamond Head Cove Health Bar

Diamond Head

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.

Bogart's Cafe

Diamond Head

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.

Salted Lemon

Salted Lemon

Liliha

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.

Courtesy of Lian Nakaishi

Arch Café Honolulu

Makiki

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.

Blue Hawaii Lifestyle

Ala Moana

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?

Banán

Banán

Diamond Head
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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Summer Nakaishi is a freelance writer for Thrillist and will forever be a fan of açaí bowls no matter how many brain freezes she gets. Teach her how to use Twitter: @summercolada.

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1. Haleiwa Bowls 66-081 Kamehameha Hwy, Hale‘iwa, HI 96712

You may not think to head to the Kamehameha Highway for a delicious acai bowl, but Haleiwa Bowls will change your mind. Here you can make your own healthy breakfast bowl and add toping like fresh fruit, raw coconut flakes, and organic hemp granola.

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2. Tropical Tribe 1778 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96815

This is one of the only places in Oahu where you can get an authentic Brazilian-style açaí bowl. Our favorite bowl is their Brazilian-style Sunrise Bowl, featuring papaya-sorbet, yogurt, coconut shreds, and organic honey. Tropical Tribe is one of our favorite places to grab an açaí in Oahu.

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3. Jewel or Juice 3619 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816

We think that Jewel or Juice is one of the best places to get an acai bowl in Honolulu, and you'll agree once you visit. Here you can enjoy toppings like locally sourced fruits and organic granola and honey for your acai bowl. We highly recommend grabbing breakfast here if you are in the area.

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4. Diamond Head Cove Health Bar 3045 Monsarrat Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815

Diamond Head Cove Health Bar is a cash-only cafe that features some of the largest and tastiest acai bowls in Oahu. Locals love their fresh tasting bowls that range from small to deluxe in size, and they'll tell you that this is one of the best places to grab an acai bowl on the island.

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5. Bogart’s Café 3045 Monsarrat Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815 (Diamond Head)

This cash-only breakfast spot has an extensive menu, including taro pancakes with haupia syrup, and massive acai bowls with a generous acai to fruit and granola ratio.

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6. Salted Lemon 1723 Liliha St, Honolulu, HI 96817

Salted Lemon is a neighborhood juice shop that is loved by locals for their fresh, healthy juices and killer acai bowls. Once you see one of their acai creations, you will be convinced that it is a work of art rather than a delicious and nutritious breakfast.

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8. Blue Hawaii Lifestyle 1450 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, HI 96814

Blue Hawaii Lifestyle may be part gift shop and part cafe, but their acai bowls are some of the best available in Oahu. Their bowls are organic and unique, and we highly suggest stopping by here for a healthy breakfast the next time you are in Oahu.

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