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Super foods have become a major trend for restaurants in recent years. Over the last decade, people have become fixated on particular foods that have higher than average amounts of key nutrients. Many people are particularly interested in fruits, nuts and vegetables with high levels of healthy fats or antioxidants. The acai berry is one such super food. Is it has become so popular that it has its own special dish, the acai bowl.

People say that the acai berry can boost your immune system, help you heal or even increase your energy. Other people swear it helps them lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight. Regardless of your overall nutrition-related goals, it is likely that you could work the acai berry into your diet for some potential benefits. Some places add acai berries to smoothies, but others build filling bowls around this popular fruit.

You can find many places around town that serve this exotic berry in a pre-made bowl ready for you to enjoy. This dish allows people something to quickly eat on the run, while getting all the flavor and nutrition of acai berries and other wholesome, fresh ingredients. You can find bowls that include everything from other fruits to whole grains and even peanut butter.

There’s definitely one that fits your tastes somewhere in the city. We have tracked down four of the best places in San Diego to enjoy a freshly made acai bowl. Next time you need a sweet pick-me-up on the go, stop in for one.

Brazilian Bowls

Location: 1560 Garnet Avenue (map)
Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., Closed Saturday, Sunday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Price: $

Brazilian Bowls stands out, in part, because they let people build their own concoctions. They serve acai bowls, as well as more savory bowls and wraps. The base price of your bowl includes essentially unlimited toppings and inclusions.

The acai bowls here cost between $4.99 for a small and $9.99 for a large. The base is organic Brazilian acai berries, pitaya or macha. You can also order it half and half. They have organic fruits to add, such as banana, strawberry, mango, pineapple, blueberry and raspberry.

Other topping options include honey, organic granola made with hemp, dried coconut, peanut butter, chocolate chips and even Brazilian peanut candies. You can also order freshly made smoothies that include acai and other fresh fruits. These are all quick and convenient ways to get healthy ingredients into your daily diet.

If you’re in the mood for something savory, they serve BBQ steak, slow cooked beef, BBQ chicken, vegan stroganoff and tofu BBQ in bowls or wraps. You can add grains, mixed veggies and lettuce, as well as other toppings, like crispy garlic and vegan Parmesan cheese. They also make pre-made bowls, including low-carb, vegan and veggie options. There’s something here to appeal to just about everyone!


Location: 6755 Mira Mesa Blvd., Suite 118 (map)
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Closed Sunday
Price: $

If you’re in Mira Mesa and find yourself craving something fresh, stop into Bowlology. They have great, fresh bowls you can enjoy inside or take with you as you stroll by the beach.

Every place has its own approach to acai berry bowls, and this small chain is no different. The approach here involves dairy-free liquids, frozen and fresh fruits, honey and organic granola, all carefully layered in a bowl.

They serve only organic granola, and you can choose to change to a paleo version if you’re on a keto diet. They also let you add other toppings, like sweetened or unsweetened coconut, dark vanilla Belgium chocolate, bee pollen, unsweetened vanilla almond milk, organic pitaya, coconut water or unsweetened coconut milk, and organic apple juice. They also have fresh fruits, including strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and even ginger root.

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Instead of serving fresh acai berries, which can degrade if not quickly shipped and eaten, the offer an acai smoothie blend, which features acai berries and other superfruits. It’s served chilled, making it a great way to cool off on a sunny day. The menu is almost exclusively bowls and smoothies, but that means they’re focused on what they do best.

Northside Shack

Location: 1255 Rosecrans Street (map)
Hours: Monday-Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday and Sunday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Price: $

Don’t let the name throw you off: The Northside Shack is a beverage bar and bowl restaurant that you simply can’t miss! With a central location blocks from Shelter Island, this place is a must-visit if you’re craving fresh and healthy.

Their bowls range in size from 4-ounce mini bowls to 32-ounce deli containers. You build your bowl based on your preferred base. In addition to organic acai berries in a sorbet that is both gluten-free and vegan, they offer organic pitaya sorbet and hot organic oatmeal combined with ancient grains. You can also add peanut butter or almond butter for a small upcharge.

Their fresh fruit and dry toppings are included in the price, but fruit options do vary depending on the season. Common choices include banana, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, black grapes, kiwi, mango and pineapple. Dry toppings include hemp granola, crushed raw almonds, unsweetened shredded coconut and chia seeds.

Be sure to look at their drink offerings, too. They make fresh teas, tonics and kombucha, along with a host of fresh smoothies and juices. Options for drinks range from barley grass and cirrus fruits to turmeric root, hemp hearts and even spirulina. They also have a range of fruits and veggies as well as eggs and yogurt.

Vitality Tap

Location: 650 1st Avenue (map)
Hours: Monday-Friday: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday: 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Price: $$

Vitality Tap is a juice bar and health-conscious establishment with two San Diego locations (there’s also one in Carmel Valley), as well as one location in Canada. Their downtown location is quite popular, but the service is still quick and informative.

Vitality Tap has plenty of drinks and goods, and the menu can be a little overwhelming at first. They make nut milks, kombucha, elixirs and juices, as well as bowls and smoothies. Don’t let all the options get to you. There’s something here you’re sure to enjoy!

Their “Superbowls” feature all organic ingredients and include granola, mango, goji berries, pineapple, blueberries, coconut, strawberries and raw honey. Their Classic Acai includes acai, banana and coconut water. Their almond butter bowl includes acai, banana, almond butter and almond milk, while the Half and Half features acai berries and pitaya, as well as banana, strawberry, pineapple and coconut water.

You can also get acai berries in a smoothie. Their Ah-Sigh-EE smoothie features acai berries, bananas, blueberries, coconut water, camu camu and even chia seeds, if you want them. There are also raw local kombucha teas on tap, as well as cold brew superfood coffee. If you can’t make your mind up about what you want, the staff is very helpful about leading you to the right selection.