In the never-ending New York City versus Los Angeles debate, LA comes out on top when it comes to the number of places a girl can get an acai bowl. It seems as if every cafe and restaurant has ’em on the menu. The summer heatwave might have you forgetting, but NYC is pretty darn brisk most of the year, prompting cravings leaning more toward hearty oatmeal bowls and buckwheat pancakes and not vibrant, frozen acai.
But since you’re likely breaking a sweat just by walking to the subway these days, a morning acai bowl sounds downright delightful. So now comes the question: Where can you get one? Rounded up here is your roadmap for the best acai bowls in every part of the Big Apple (including Brooklyn and Queens). You could even do an acai bowl crawl, if that’s your thing—go wild.
LA, eat your heart out.
Upper East Side
At Loco Coco, bowls are what they do. Besides an entire acai bowl menu, they have a second menu of dragonfruit bowls. A standout: the Nut Butter & Loco: acai, banana, nut butter, and almond milk with your choice of toppings.
Loco Coco, 835 Lexington Ave., New York, New York, 10065, 212-888-9900, loco-coco.com
Upper West Side
Juicy Cube is a healthy haven in the Upper West, offering up fresh smoothies, vegetable juices, wellness shots, and yes, acai bowls. The classic berry and the Fancy Green options are brimming with benefits, but the one with the wow factor is the Rio Blend, made with acai, pineapple, avocado, almond milk, and topped with granola, banana, coconut flakes, and walnuts.
Juice Cube, 674 Lexington Ave., New York, New York, 10022, 212-888-2188, juicy-cube.com
Work in Midtown? Chances are you’re pretty close to a Juice Shop location, which serves some pretty fantastic acai bowls. In fact, one Well+Good staffer says they’re her all-time favorite. “I’m obsessed with the ABC plus hemp seeds bowl,” she says. “It’s so creamy and filling—a perfect lunch for a summer day!”
The Juice Shop, 956 3rd Ave., 212-644-2913, see thejuiceshopny.com for more locations
However you like getting your fruit and veggies on the go—smoothies, soups, cold-pressed juices—Agavi does it all. A fully organic menu, besides a list of acai bowls, they have a whole pitaya bowl menu as well. Can’t decide what do get? Go for Lil’ Greeny, made with acai, banana, homemade almond milk, chia seeds, and gluten-free granola.
Agavi, 72 E. 7th St., New York, New York, 10003, 212-390, 8042, agavijuice.com
Grab-and-go chain Playa Bowls is a healthy hangout for Westsiders, serving bowls of all types: oatmeal, pitaya, banana, chia pudding, and of course, acai. Coming from a workout? Refuel with the Power Bowl, made with acai, chocolate protein, granola, banana, and peanut butter.
Playa Bowls, 108 Macdougal St., New York, New York, 10012, 212-674-2695, see playabowls.com for more locations
Lower East Side/Soho
Dimes is the healthy go-to for Well+Good’s senior designer, Danielle Vogl, where she says the acai bowls don’t disappoint. “It’s one of my favorite places to meet friends for breakfast or lunch. We always order an acai bowl—or two—for the whole table to share.” Her go-to: the Carob Acai, made with banana, dates, cinnamon, coconut milk, almond butter, hemp, and walnut granola.
Dimes, 49 Canal St., New York, New York, 10002, 212-925-1300, dimesnyc.com
Two Hands is one of the most buzzy healthy hot spots in Tribeca (there’s another location in Nolita that’s just as popular), and Well+Good intern Gabrielle Kassel hits it up whenever she’s in a treat yo’ self mood. “They may be known on Instagram for their avocado toast, but their acai bowl is seriously the Beyoncé of bowls,” she says. “With classic ingredients like frozen blueberries, bananas, granola, chia seeds, and almond milk, it has the perfect thick-but-not-chunky texture.”
Two Hands, 251 Church St., New York, New York, 10013, twohandsnyc.com
Considering how expansive Brooklyn is, being awarded the very best acai bowl is a high honor, and it’s one Well+Good product manager Kendall Bryant says, without a doubt, should go to Cafe Madeline in Ditmas Park. “Acai bowls aren’t my favorite—I’d rather something savory than sweet—but Cafe Madeline did the impossible: Got me to crave one,” she says. “The fact that it comes topped with bee pollen, fresh strawberries, mint, blueberries, and pistachios also gives it an edge because it makes me feel like I’m living in one of those perfectly styled Instagram photos while simultaneously boosting my immune system.” Hey, no one said pretty couldn’t be functional.
Cafe Madeline, 1603 Cortelyou Road, Brooklyn, New York, 11226, 718-941-4020
Whether you’re in the mood for something sweet or savory, Green Leafs Juice Bar in Woodside has you covered. Besides fresh juices and smoothies, quinoa bowls, salads, and golden milk lattes are also on the menu. On the acai bowl front, you can go for the strawberry and coconut-based Sunrise for something on the fruity side, or order the Fields, a more greens-centered option, made with acai, avocado, almond butter, cayenne, banana, orange, cashews, and almonds.
Green Leafs Juice Bar, 41-51 29th St., Woodside, New York, 11104, 917-396-4276, greenleafjuice.com
Woman can’t live on acai bowls alone. Check out this list of the best restaurants and cafes in Manhattan and Brooklyn. And after you eat, enjoy your food coma in a salt room, the new, trendy wellness hangout.
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