Your inner child can rejoice: Eating something rich and creamy — and sometimes sweet — for breakfast (or any time of the day) is now condoned. And we’re not talking about ice cream. Açai bowls are delicious, naturally sweet concoctions typically studded with a variety of healthy toppings, including fruit, granola, nut butter and shredded coconut.
The main ingredient in açai bowls is the Brazilian açai berry, a small, slightly acidic fruit that resembles a grape. When blended, this superfood makes the perfect base for a thick, creamy, smoothie-like treat that is packed with antioxidants, fiber and heart-healthy fats.
Because açai pairs well with so many toppings, it’s become a quick favorite among health enthusiasts, and cafés serving açai bowls are sprouting up in cities across the South. Birmingham is no exception, and we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite local spots. If you’re in the mood for something sweet that is both filling and healthy, then check out any one of these places to get your açai bowl fix!
1821 2nd Ave N, Birmingham, AL 35203 • (205) 214-9999
JuicedUp Essentials first started serving açai bowls out of a food truck during the summer of 2017. The next fall, they joined the lineup of delicious eateries in Birmingham’s Pizitz Food Hall. “When we built our stall, we wanted to stand out as much as possible and create a true smoothie bar vibe,” says Kelsey Gardner, co-founder and owner of JuicedUp.
One of JuicedUp’s most popular açai bowls, Kelsey says, is The Hercules. Made with blueberries, strawberries, banana, peanut butter, protein powder and almond milk, the bowl lives up to its heroic name. “Words to describe it would be ‘beautiful, delicious and filling,’” he adds.
Another recently added menu item is The Tropical Destination. It’s made with pineapple, banana, mango and apple juice, and topped with granola, kiwi, strawberries, coconut flakes and honey.
If you’re looking to get out of your comfort zone, Kelsey recommends trying the JUE Bowl. “It gets kind of unnoticed because it doesn’t have all those eye-popping toppings like the other bowls, but it is really good and healthy,” he says. “The base is made with açai, blueberries, mangos and apple juice. The toppings include granola, strawberries, blueberries and honey.”
Next time you’re at The Pizitz, swing by this colorful spot and try one of their bowls. We have a feeling you’ll be full and refreshed!
Kelsey’s favorite bowl: Nutrageous Bowl
Farm Bowl + Juice Co.
1920 29th Ave S, Homewood, AL 35209 • (205) 848-2929
Located in the heart of Homewood, Farm Bowl + Juice Co. has been serving up delicious bowls of açai since January 2018. Just like the food they offer, Farm Bowl’s overall aesthetic is clean and fresh. White walls featuring watercolor paintings from local artist Laura McCarty make this space shine.
“We are a health and wellness brand with a 100 percent gluten-free and vegan menu,” says Andrea Snyder, the chief creative officer for the restaurant. “Our açai is organic, fair trade-certified, non-GMO, vegan, lactose-free and kosher, and it contains high levels of antioxidants to help fight disease and keep your body functioning the way it should.”
In addition to açai bowls, Farm Bowl offers smoothies, cold-pressed juices, oatmeal bowls, wellness shots and coffee. If you come specifically for the açai, however, Andrea recommends The Nutty Professor Bowl, which contains gluten-free granola, almonds, strawberries, peanut butter and honey. If you’re feeling more adventurous, you may want to branch out and try some of the superfood bowl add-ons such as spirulina and bee pollen.
“I think everyone should step out and make small choices to better their health, and we have some great options at Farm Bowl that are hard to find at any other places in Birmingham,” Andrea says.
Andrea’s favorite bowl: Detox Bowl
225 Summit Blvd #100, Birmingham, AL 35243 • (205) 969-5733
If you ever find yourself in need of shopping fuel while perusing the great stores at The Summit, then head on over to Frutta Bowls. Along with açai bowls, Frutta Bowls serves oatmeal bowls, artisan toast, pitaya bowls, kale bowls, organic coffee and healthy smoothies. Since opening last year, they’ve become a fan favorite in the shopping center, with good-for-you offerings that are also satisfying.
“The most popular bowl is our Frutella,” says Marketing and Catering Manager Dedra Miele. “It’s an açai base with our signature blueberry granola, strawberries, bananas, Nutella, peanut butter and coconut flakes.”
The pitaya bowl is another great option, adds Dedra, and when paired with the right fruits, this bowl has the power to make customers feel like they’ve been transported to a tropical island. Other top-selling bowls include the Muscle Up Bowl, which features chocolate whey protein, granola, banana and peanut butter, and the Superfood Bowl, which blends kale, pitaya, pineapple, almond milk, granola, banana, strawberry, coconut flakes and chia seeds.
Dedra’s favorite bowl: The Frutella
WORTHY OF MENTION:
3036 Healthy Way #100, Birmingham, AL 35243 • (205) 848-7448
With names like Bham Bowl, Vulcan Bowl and Blazer Bowl, City Bowls proves they’re all about the ‘ham (and serving up seriously delicious açai bowls). Operating as a truck, City Bowls can be found parked at several locations throughout the city. Follow them on Instagram at @citybowls to see where they’ll pop up next!
The bowl we recommend: The Blazer Bowl
Kale Me Crazy
1831 28th Ave S, Suite 106, Homewood, AL 35209 • (205) 593-4707
Yes, there’s plenty of kale at Kale Me Crazy, but there are also some amazing açai bowls! Topped with fresh fruit and full of delicious ingredients, these bowls will give you the perfect energy boost to take on the day.
The bowl we recommend: Deluxe Açai Bowl
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