There is nothing like a cold, refreshing açaí bowl after a day at the beach…or just anytime, ever. For those of you who do not know, açaí is a berry originally from Brazil that boasts loads of antioxidants and tops “superfood” lists alike. Açaí bowls have become an extremely popular trend across the nation, but no place does it quite like Hawaiʻi.
Açaí bowls here can be eaten anytime of the day, and there is a definite ranking of whether an açaí bowl is actually good or not (sorry Jamba Juice). The problem comes down to which places really have the best and deciding where to go. While there may be no definitive #1 choice, here are some of the best açaí bowl places on the island of Oʻahu.
You won’t hear too many people list this place as their top favorite for an açaí bowl but don’t let that fool you. Their açaí is super creamy and packed with flavor. They give you a heaping bowl which seems to last forever and their toppings are always fresh, simple and flavorful.
Many locals would argue that this would be the best place on the island and to be honest, it’s hard to disagree. Something about their açaí blend is just so unique and absolutely delicious. What makes their bowls top-dog, though is their honey. Each bowl is drowned in the deliciousness, which takes the flavor scheme to the next level. You can also get your bowl topped with paʻiʻai, which gives it that perfect Hawaiian taste.
You can’t go up to the North Shore without making a stop at Haleʻiwa Bowls. They have dozens of different toppings and their açaí is out of this world. The only struggle is getting all the way up there, but once you do, it’s beyond worth it.
This is another North Shore favorite, which serves all it’s bowls fresh from a truck. They are fresh, delicious, and pride themselves on never adding any extra sugars or fillers. Also, the wife of the couple who owns the truck grew up in Brazil, so you can trust it is done the traditional Brazilian way, AKA the best way.
Okaaaay, so it’s not your traditional açaí bowl, but this place is too good not to list. They have an açaí flavored “banana soft serve” that you can get served in a bowl or in a papaya. I repeat: IN A PAPAYA. You can top it with all your favorites: bananas, strawberries, honey, etc. Or you can try a new topping, such as MacNella. While it may not follow traditional açaí bowl “boundaries,” it’s a new twist that is very #instaworthy.
6. Arch Cafe
Located inside Volcanic Climbing & Fitness, their açaí bowl is the perfect post-workout snack. They stay true to the traditional style açaí bowl and top it with loads of fruits, honey and granola. In all honesty, you’ll probably eat back all the calories you just burned off, but no shame. I wouldn’t blame you.
7. Paʻina Cafe
Although it’s their poke bowls that attract the locals, Paʻina’s açaí bowls actually are in my top three all-time favorites. First off, they offer a small and large side for cheaper than most places. Secondly, their flavors are ON POINT. Great smooth consistency with strong fruit flavors with delicious toppings and guava honey, which I think is the key to its perfection.
8. Salted Lemon
This place serves you a literal tower of açaí – nothing to complain about there. Dig your way through its fresh toppings and refreshing açaí and find yourself at the bottom, only to be wanting another bowl.