Next-Level Açaí and Smoothie Bowls You Need to Try on Oʻahu
Perfect as an energizing breakfast, satisfying post-hike meal or refreshing beach treat, there’s always a time to indulge in one of these nutritional bowls.
Açaí and superfood smoothie bowls exploded in popularity thanks to their touted benefits and beautiful presentations. And the craze is still strong.
In the Islands, local shops take açaí and smoothie bowls to the next level. Here, you’ll find açaí bases packed with extra superfoods and smoothie bowls topped with Island favorites like poi and garnished with a rainbow of fresh fruit—which is better when the ingredients are locally grown. Here’s where to satisfy your açaí and smoothie bowl cravings on Oʻahu.
Local favorite: Da Cove Health Bar and Café
Nestled at the base of Lēʻahi, hungry surfers, hikers and travelers have been flocking to this laid-back eatery since it opened in 2003, lured by its wild-caught ʻahi sandwiches, satisfying smoothies and hearty açaí bowls. Here, the Hawaiian bowl is a must-try. The açaí base is topped with the standard granola, bananas, strawberries, honey and bee pollen, but what elevates it is the café’s paʻiʻai (undiluted poi). A scoop of paʻiʻai offers a welcome contrast to the sweetness of the berries and honey.
3045 Monsarrat Ave., Honolulu, dacove.com.
For a superb sorbet-style base: Haleʻiwa Bowls
Oʻahu’s North Shore is home to several popular smoothie shacks, but Haleʻiwa Bowls stands out with its decadent sorbet-style açaí base. It’s creamy and smooth but not overly thick or sweet. And the bowls are served with the ideal ratio of soft açaí to crunchy granola. Along with extra fruit and premiums like nut butter, coconut oil and coconut sorbet, Haleʻiwa Bowls also offers an extensive variety of out-of-the-ordinary superfoods including ashwagandha, reishi and chaga. And for a take-home souvenir, order your sweet treat in a reusable coconut bowl.
For an eye-catching smoothie bowl: Sunrise Shack
At Sunrise Shack, customers aren’t there just for smoothie bowls. They’re there for the good vibes and photo ops too. Created by a group of local surfers, Sunrise Shack first opened on a plumeria farm near Sunset Beach in 2016. With its bright yellow exterior and colorful signs, the shack lured wanderlust travelers who helped put it on the map as a must-visit destination on the North Shore. Today, Sunrise Shack has five locations across Oʻahu where customers can fuel up on organic bullet coffees, vibrant smoothie bowls and positive vibes. Treat your Instagram feed with the Blue Dream bowl. Blue Majik spirulina makes it pop with color and the amalgam of mango, banana and coconut cream results in a dreamy dessertlike blend.
Multiple locations, sunriseshackhawaii.com.
For something actually healthy but still dessert-y: Bánan
No dairy, no added sugar and made from bananas, this tropical treat is totally guilt-free. With two locations in Waikīkī, Bánan is the epitome of a cool summer dessert. Swirled like soft serve, Bánan’s creamy texture is more akin to ice cream than a smoothie but it would be a mistake not to add it to the list. And the business puts its own spin on the classic açaí bowl. The Riss Moore—ode to Olympic surfer Carissa Moore—twists Bánan’s classic base with açaí, topping a bowl of it with fresh fruit, shaved coconut, granola, puffed quinoa and honey. Or try the Amazon, an açaí and banana blend finished with strawberries, sliced banana, granola, puffed quinoa and honey. For a real showstopper, order a tower of these frozen desserts in a pineapple or papaya yacht.
Two locations in Waikīkī, banan.co.
When you want to go green: Lanikai Juice
Lanikai Juice has been whipping up refreshing smoothies, freshly squeezed juices and tasty fruit bowls since 1997. The business has nailed its smoothie bowl with açaí and gourmet specialties like the decadent Monkey bowl with peanut butter and chocolate chips, and the fuchsia pitaya bowl, a blend of dragon fruit and coconut milk. But for something less sweet, order the Mana Green. The base includes spinach, Hawaiian spirulina, mango and banana.
Six locations on Oʻahu, lanikaijuice.com.