Article and Photo By Tori Hennessy
Ah yes, the acai bowl… that perfect, mouthwatering fusion of a sweet acai berry base and crunchy granola, topped with an assortment of fresh fruit on top. Drizzle on a little honey and your acai bowl dreams will definitely come true.
If you haven’t, yet, become acquainted with the acai berry, let me casually introduce you. To understand why it’s so popular, the term “superfood” comes to mind. Superfoods are a list of exceptionally nutrient-rich foods promising ample health and wellness benefits. The acai berry (pronounced “ah-sigh-EE”) has made its way onto this list. They are full of antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber. Research also shows that the acai berry may even contain more antioxidants than cranberries, blueberries, and strawberries alike. Thus, no need to feel too guilty when chowing down on a bowl of blended acai berry. And while the acai berry is not indigenous to Kauai, homemade granola and locally sourced fruit on top help elevate its status as a delicious, tropical treat.
Now, where to find the best acai bowls on Kauai. As an acai bowl lover myself, here are my top three recommendations, by geographic location:
If you’re starting off on the North Shore, head over to Aloha Juice Bar, located in “The Heart of Hanalei” (Ching Young Village Shopping Center). Locally owned and adorably photogenic, this little red truck makes a mean acai bowl. Choose from a long list of toppings or stick to the classic, which comes with freshly blended acai berry, granola, sliced bananas, and of course, that scrumptious drizzle of honey. Pay a little extra to add more yummy items on top (chocolate chips, anyone?) or, keep it deliciously simple. Either way, you’re sure to be a happy customer. Ask for your bowl to go, and you can cruise over to the Hanalei Pavilion just a minute down the road. Eat with your toes in the sand and the breeze in your hair. Warning: you might find yourself going back for another one of these acai bowls the very next day.
More centrally located, on the East Side of Kauai, the Kalalea Juice Hale boasts its own version of the acai bowl. Sitting right under the beautiful mountains of Anahola, this juice hut’s acai bowls are creamy and oh-so-tasty. They’re slightly more pricey, but large enough to share. Or not! (*Wink*). Try the “King Kong” acai bowl and your taste buds might just explode with happiness. It’s loaded with toppings like goji berries, mac nuts, cacao nibs, and coconut flakes. And, don’t forget to Instagram your whole experience. The actual King Kong mountain looming above you is a sight to behold and to share.
For the acai bowl lovers or seekers on the South Side; this is the place for you. Talk about a hidden gem. ‘Anakē’s Juice Bar is nestled in the very back corner of the Kukuiula Market in Koloa. If it weren’t for the rave reviews their acai bowls receive from visitors and locals alike, you might just miss it. Order from a list of the juice bar’s best acai bowls, all with fun names and a whole lot of toppings. The Funky Monkey, with chocolate chips and peanut butter on top of delicious acai (and other fresh fruits) is my personal favorite. This is a winning treat after enjoying the sun and surf at Poipu Beach, a mere five minute drive away.
Each acai bowl location you read about today offers many other delectable selections, such as smoothies, fresh juices, and other frozen treats. Nonetheless, you can’t go wrong with one (or two, no regrets!) of their acai bowls. Your taste buds will thank you, and so will these friendly locally owned businesses. Mahalo!
Aloha Juice Bar
5-5190 Kuhio Hwy
Hanalei, HI 96714
10:00 AM – 4:00 PM (Daily)
Kalalea Juice Hale
4390 Pu U Hale Loop
Anahola, HI 96703
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Tues-Fri)
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Sat-Sun)
‘Anakē’s Juice Bar
2827 Poipu Rd
Koloa, HI 96756
8:00 AM – 5:00 PM (Daily)