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Acai bowls have become extremely popular in Oahu, with locals and tourists alike flocking to the many establishments that offer this delicious and healthy treat. Not only are acai bowls tasty, but they also provide numerous health benefits.
In this article, we will explore the history and origin of acai bowls, the top spots in Honolulu and Oahu to get your fix, how to make your own acai bowl at home, unique toppings and flavors found in Oahu, dietary preferences catered to by acai bowl vendors, and the best drinks and snacks to pair with your acai bowl. Let’s dive in!
The acai berry, native to the Amazon rainforest in Brazil, has made its way to Oahu and has become a staple in the local food scene.
Acai bowls have a rich history and have evolved over time to incorporate local flavors and ingredients. Let’s delve into the fascinating journey of acai bowls from the Amazon to Oahu.
If you’re looking for the best acai bowls in Honolulu and Oahu, you’re in luck! There are plenty of amazing spots to choose from.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, these establishments will satisfy your cravings for delicious and nutritious acai bowls. Here are some of the top spots you should check out:
Rating: 4.0 (1,300 reviews on Yelp)
Specialties: Da Cove Health Bar & Cafe is known for supporting local food, musicians, artists, and talented individuals. They prioritize local and organic food whenever available.
Positive Feedback: Many reviewers rave about the freshness and quality of the acai bowls, particularly noting the unique addition of bee pollen and raw honey. The Mana Bowl and Hawaiian Bowl Deluxe are among the favorites. The acai blend is described as smooth and not icy, with a perfect balance of fruits and granola. The honey is highlighted for its deliciousness, though some find it a tad sweet.
Location & Ambiance: The cafe is situated near Diamond Head and the KCC Farmers’ Market. It’s housed inside a strip mall with limited parking. The ambiance is casual with limited outdoor seating. Currently, orders are taken at the window, and there’s no indoor seating.
Service: The staff is friendly and efficient. They are patient in explaining the menu to newcomers.
Additional Notes: Some reviewers mention that the bowls come in cups, which might be a bit inconvenient for some. There’s a 3.5% charge for card payments. The cafe also has a loyalty program that customers appreciate.
Location: Diamond Head Center, 3045 Monsarrat Ave, Ste 5, Honolulu, HI 96815
Hours: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM daily
Rating: 4.5 (377 reviews on Yelp)
Specialties: Jewel or Juice is a local-owned, small family business established in 2006. They pride themselves on making the best smoothies and acai bowls. The shop also has a history of selling beads and jewelry.
Positive Feedback: Customers frequently mention the freshness and quality of the acai bowls and smoothies. The Deluxe Acai Bowl is a favorite, topped with a variety of fruits, granola, and honey. The Almond Coconut Smoothie is also highlighted for its thick consistency due to real almonds being blended in. The Li Hing Mui Smoothie and the Super Monkey cup (an off-the-menu item) have also received praise.
Location & Ambiance: Located in Honolulu, the shop has limited indoor seating, making it more suitable for takeout. The interior was described as a bit disorganized, possibly due to COVID-19 precautions.
Service: The staff is friendly and efficient. They are known to provide recommendations and explain the menu to newcomers.
Additional Notes: The shop has a rewards program for orders placed online or in-store. Some customers have mentioned that the bowls and smoothies are a bit pricey, but the quality of the ingredients justifies the cost.
Location: 3619 Waialae Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
Hours: 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM (Closed on Mondays)
Rating: 4.3 (3,144 reviews on Yelp)
Specialties: Island Vintage Coffee is renowned for its exceptional 100% Kona Coffee. They also offer a variety of dishes and beverages, with their acai bowls being a popular choice among patrons.
Positive Feedback: Many customers rave about the quality and taste of the coffee, particularly the island latte. The acai bowls, especially the Original Acai Bowl and Haupia Moana Bowl, are frequently mentioned for their freshness and delightful flavors. The wagyu loco moco, a comforting dish with gooey eggs, thick gravy, juicy meat, and garlic rice, has also received praise. The taro bagel with ube cream cheese is highlighted for its unique and not overly sweet taste.
Location & Ambiance: Situated in the Royal Hawaiian Center in Waikiki, the place is often bustling with customers. The ambiance is described as cozy, and there’s both indoor and outdoor seating available. However, due to its popularity, there’s often a line, but it tends to move quickly.
Service: While many reviews praise the efficient service and the quality of the food, there are mentions of some staff members being less than friendly. However, the overall experience is generally positive.
Additional Notes: Customers have found it beneficial to order online to skip the long lines, especially during peak hours. The prices are on the higher side, but the quality of the food and beverages is deemed worth the cost.
Location: Royal Hawaiian Center, 2301 Kalakaua Ave, Ste C215, Honolulu, HI 96815
Hours: 6:00 AM – 10:00 PM
Rating: 4.5 (42 reviews on Yelp)
Specialties: Cafe Villamor is located in front of the HiClimb bouldering gym in Kaka’ako. They offer a range of coffee drinks, bagels, protein smoothie shakes, and healthy acai bowls.
Positive Feedback: The cafe is known for its cozy ambiance and a diverse menu that caters to both coffee lovers and health enthusiasts. Their acai bowls, in particular, have been highlighted for their freshness and unique flavors. The cafe also hosts various events, including a “Latte Art Throwdown” and a “Coffee & Crafts” event.
Location & Ambiance: Situated at 825 Ilaniwai St, right off Ward Ave, the cafe has both indoor and outdoor seating. It’s a cozy spot that’s perfect for a quick bite or a leisurely coffee session.
Service: The cafe has faced some challenges, including a burglary that led to the loss of essential items. However, the community rallied around them, showing immense support through a GoFundMe campaign. The owners, Gabriel and Kyla, expressed their gratitude and organized events to thank their patrons.
Additional Notes: The cafe has introduced a new blog titled “Cafe Crawl,” where they document their travels and exploration of the coffee world. They also have various seasonal specials and offer party and picnic packs.
Location: 825 Ilaniwai St, Honolulu, HI 96813
Rating: 4.5 (682 reviews on Yelp)
Specialties: HiBlend Health Bar & Café is known for its fresh local coffee, smoothies, juices, acai/pitaya bowls, sandwiches, and salads. They emphasize farm-fresh to table offerings, seasonal organic choices, all-natural, non-GMO ingredients, focusing on simple delicious flavors and health.
Positive Feedback: Many reviewers praise the freshness and taste of the acai bowls and smoothies. The HiBlend Acai Bowl, in particular, is a favorite among many, with its unique combination of fruits and toppings. The cafe’s offerings are not only healthy but also flavorful, making it a popular choice for both locals and tourists.
Consistency & Quality: Some reviewers mentioned that the acai bowls used to be the best on the island. However, there have been recent complaints about a change in the acai blend, which some found to be too runny and artificial in taste. Despite this, many still find the bowls to be delicious and filling.
Service: The service is generally quick, and the staff is friendly. However, there were instances where customers felt the preparation was a bit rushed, leading to a messier presentation of the food.
Location & Ambiance: Located in Keeaumoku Plaza, the cafe has a chill vibe, making it a great spot to grab a quick healthy bite. Parking is available on-site, but it can be limited during peak hours.
Location: 661 Keeaumoku St, Ste 105A, Honolulu, HI 96814
Rating: 4.5 (165 reviews on Tripadvisor)
Specialties: Hawaiian Aroma Caffe is located in Waikiki and offers a blend of coffee and acai bowls. They are known for their delicious breakfast and brunch options.
Positive Feedback: Many patrons have praised the acai bowls and coffee at this cafe. The acai waffle, in particular, has been highlighted as “beyond delicious.” The Guava Waffles also received commendations. The cafe’s ambiance is described as trendy and vibrant, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
Service: The service is generally quick, and the staff is friendly. The cafe is often busy, but the service remains efficient. Some reviewers mentioned that they stumbled upon this place by chance and were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and beverages.
Location & Ambiance: Located at 1777 Ala Moana Blvd in Waikiki, the cafe has a trendy ambiance. It’s a great spot to enjoy a coffee or acai bowl while soaking in the Waikiki vibes.
Additional Notes: The cafe is pet-friendly, and they offer both vegetarian and non-vegetarian options. It’s a popular spot for breakfast and brunch, and many reviewers have mentioned returning multiple times during their stay in Honolulu.
Location: 1777 Ala Moana Blvd, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1603
Rating: 4.5 (934 reviews on Yelp)
Specialties: Haleʻiwa Bowls specializes in Acai Bowls made with fresh local ingredients.
Positive Feedback: Many customers rave about the acai bowls, especially the “Blue Majik Bowl” and the “Hapa Açaí Bowl.” The bowls are described as flavorful, refreshing, and generously portioned. The granola and honey added to the bowls elevate the taste, and the fresh fruits used are of top-notch quality. The “Local Bowl” with Hawaii papaya chunks and coconut flakes is also a favorite among many.
Service: While the bowls are made quickly, some customers have mentioned mixed experiences with the service. Some found the staff to be friendly and welcoming, while others felt the service was just okay or experienced moments where the staff seemed unapproachable.
Location & Ambiance: The shop is located at 66-030 Kamehameha Hwy in Haleiwa. It’s a cute little shack with a relaxed vibe, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists. The seating area is outdoors but feels cozy and inviting.
Additional Notes: Parking can be a challenge, but there’s a parking lot at the back. The shop is not centrally located in Haleiwa but is close to other popular spots like Matsumoto Shave Ice. The bowls are considered to be of good value given the quality and portion size.
Location: 66-030 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
Rating: 4.5 (258 reviews on Tripadvisor)
Specialties: Tropical Tribe is renowned for its authentic Brazilian Açai bowls.
Positive Feedback: The majority of the reviews are glowing, with many patrons praising the quality and taste of the acai bowls. The “Hawaiian bowl” with tropical toppings, including coconut, has been highlighted as particularly delightful. The bowls are described as fresh, flavorful, and generously portioned. The “Best Açaí bowl on Oahu” is a sentiment echoed by many.
Service: The staff is generally friendly and efficient. The service is quick, and the bowls are prepared with care. Some reviewers mentioned that the staff was very kind and even offered recommendations on other things to do in the area.
Location & Ambiance: Located at 1778 Ala Moana Blvd in Honolulu, the eatery is described as a hidden gem. It’s a small place tucked away, but it offers a cozy atmosphere. The proximity to the beach makes it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
Additional Notes: The eatery is known for sourcing directly from the Amazon, ensuring the authenticity and quality of their bowls. They also offer validated parking behind the building, which is a bonus for those driving.
Location: 1778 Ala Moana Blvd Suite 101, Honolulu, Oahu, HI 96815-1605
Rating: 4.1 (266 reviews on Yelp)
Specialties: Crispy Grindz is known for its Brazilian street food, especially its acai bowls.
Positive Feedback: The acai bowls are a hit among customers, with many praising the freshness and taste. The “Acai Bowl” is particularly popular, with 89 mentions in reviews. The bowls are made with pure acai, which is appreciated by those who prefer a more authentic flavor. The “Pitaya Bowl” and “Spinach and Feta Pastel” also received positive feedback.
Service: The service is generally fast, and the food is cooked to order. Many reviewers mentioned the friendly nature of the staff and the quick turnaround time for orders.
Location & Ambiance: Located at 66-236 Kamehameha Hwy in Haleiwa, Crispy Grindz operates out of a purple food truck adorned with the Brazilian flag. The outdoor setting with picnic tables offers a relaxed vibe, making it a popular spot for both locals and tourists.
Additional Notes: The coxinha, a Brazilian street food made of seasoned shredded chicken mixed with cream cheese and mozzarella, wrapped in dough and deep-fried, is a favorite among many. The pastel, another Brazilian delicacy, is also highly recommended. The eatery also offers a Brazilian soda, Guarana Antarctica, which is a favorite among some customers.
Location: 66-236 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
Rating: 3.3 (1,284 reviews on Yelp)
Specialties: Banzai Bowls is renowned as the original açaí cafe, offering a diverse range of açaí bowls and smoothies. Their products boast 100% organic juices and granola, and they emphasize the use of natural fruit whenever feasible. They take pride in not adding any fillers like extra ice, sherbet, or yogurt to their açaí bowls and smoothies, ensuring that customers feel nourished without feeling overly full.
Positive Feedback: Many reviewers have been frequenting Banzai Bowls for years, with the “Maui Sunrise Bowl” being a consistent favorite. This bowl, often enjoyed at the beach, offers a delightful mix of sweet and sour flavors. The açaí and pitaya bases are blended to order, which distinguishes them from other shops that use pre-blended, frozen bases. This fresh blending method results in a slightly tart, smoothie-like consistency that many customers adore.
Service: While the quality of the bowls is consistently praised, the service can be hit or miss. Some reviewers mention long wait times, especially during peak hours. However, the general consensus is that the wait is worth it for the fresh and flavorful bowls.
Location & Ambiance: Situated at 222 5th St in Huntington Beach, the ambiance of Banzai Bowls is described as laid-back and beachy, adding to the overall Hawaiian experience. The venue can get busy, and seating, both inside and outside, can be limited.
Additional Notes: Some reviewers have noted that the prices have increased over the years, but they still find them to be fair and in line with other similar establishments. There are mentions of the bowls being large and filling, offering good value for money. A few reviewers, however, felt that the bowls had too much granola.
Location: 222 5th St, Huntington Beach, CA 92648
Rating: 4 (511 reviews on Yelp)
Specialties: The Beet Box Café in Haleiwa is a cherished vegan spot that has been delighting the North Shore community for over a decade. Recognized as one of Hawaii’s pioneering vegan cafes, it has earned accolades such as “Best Vegan Restaurant in Hawaii” by Food & Wine magazine and “Best Veggie Burger in Hawaii” by Condé Nast Traveler. The café offers a varied menu, encompassing baked goods, local coffee, smoothies, acai bowls, fresh juices, and a comprehensive breakfast and lunch selection.
Positive Feedback: Many patrons have praised the café for its top-notch service and delectable, health-conscious offerings. The Hello Burger, with its unique plant-based ingredients, was a standout, holding together well and tasting delightful. The accompanying salad was crisp, and the smoothies, devoid of extra sweeteners, were a hit. The Beet Box salad and the Energizer juice also received commendations.
Service: While most reviews highlight the friendly and efficient service, there were instances where customers felt the service was lacking, especially when orders were mixed up.
Location & Ambiance: Nestled in the heart of Haleiwa, the café offers a serene and quaint ambiance, making it an ideal spot for relaxation and work. The café is spacious, with ample seating available for patrons.
Additional Notes: The café’s Hello Burger has been recognized in the Top 100 Burgers in the US list, showcasing that vegan options can be just as scrumptious. Some patrons have also mentioned the vegan strawberry donut as irresistibly tasty.
Rating: 4.3 stars (342 reviews on Yelp)
Overview: 808urbanbowls, a family-owned establishment since 2014, is renowned for its Acai and Pitaya bowls, as well as specialty desserts like cookie dough. They’ve expanded their offerings over the years, introducing sandwiches and soups. The pitaya bowl, known for its impeccable consistency and taste, stands out among their offerings. Fresh fruits and delightful toppings enhance the overall experience. The venue is conveniently located with ample parking, and the staff is consistently lauded for their attentive service. Their pitaya bowl, combined with cookie dough and cookie butter, is a fan favorite, especially on warm days. However, it’s essential to note that their Ewa Beach location closed on May 31, 2023, but they are actively seeking a new venue.
While many reviews are overwhelmingly positive, some patrons have mentioned that the acai can occasionally be too frozen. A few also found the bowls to be a tad sweet. However, the consensus is clear: 808urbanbowls delivers in terms of quality and flavor.
Location: Ewa Beach, HI
Acai bowls are made by blending frozen acai berries with a liquid base, such as almond milk or coconut water, to create a thick and creamy consistency. The blend is then poured into a bowl and topped with a variety of ingredients such as fresh fruit, granola, honey, and more.
The nutritional value of an acai bowl comes from the acai berries themselves, which are rich in antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. In this section, we’ll dive deeper into the ingredients and the nutritional value of acai bowls.
Acai bowls can be easily customized to cater to different dietary preferences. Many vendors offer vegan and gluten-free options, ensuring that everyone can enjoy this delicious treat.
For fitness enthusiasts, there are also protein-packed acai bowls available to provide an extra boost of energy.
To enhance your acai bowl experience, consider pairing it with other Hawaiian delicacies. Local drinks like Kona coffee or fresh fruit smoothies make the perfect accompaniment to your acai bowl.
Additionally, snacks like taro chips or coconut macadamia nut clusters can add an extra layer of flavor and texture.
The popularity of acai bowls in Honolulu and Oahu continues to grow, thanks to their delicious taste and numerous health benefits.
Whether you’re a local or a tourist, there are plenty of amazing spots to satisfy your cravings for acai bowls in Oahu. From Honolulu favorites to Oahu specials, each place offers its unique twist on this delightful treat.
So, go ahead and explore the best acai bowl spots, try making your own at home, and don’t forget to share your favorite acai bowl recipe or experience in the comments below. Happy acai bowl hunting!