All About Acai
What even is acai? As one of the trendiest foods for the past couple of years, acai (ah-sigh-ee) is a superfood that is often found in smoothies and bowls! Described as a cross between blackberries and dark chocolate, the acai fruit is super-packed with nutrients and very low in sugar. Acai has a short shelf life, so it is most often seen in a frozen puree - perfect for smoothies and bowls. We are big fans of the healthy and refreshing taste of acai and acai bowls, especially the cool spots to get them in Gainesville! We’ve picked our top three spots to get this treat, let’s dive in!
Big Island Bowls
If you’re looking for an immersive experience while enjoying a freshly made acai bowl, Big Island Bowls is our best recommendation for you! The island-themed restaurant welcomes you with an authentic and upbeat atmosphere decorated with friendly staff and bright colors. Beachy and comfy vibes fill this restaurant, and are reflected in their tropical menu of acai bowls, poke bowls, smoothies, Buddha bowls, and more!
Made with organic acai and fresh fruits, the acai bowls at Big Island Bowls are amongst the best in Gainesville. Their Hawaii-quality bowls have a smoothie base made from fresh acai palm fruit and blended with almond milk or apple juice to make the smoothest, healthiest, and tastiest mixture! To top it off, Big Island Bowls has large portions of toppings, such as granola, bananas, strawberries, kiwis, honey, and other amazing options. The menu is stacked with acai bowl combinations, from the “Shaka” with its signature coconut toppings to the “Aloha Bowl” with extra pineapple chunks! Check them out and let us know what you think!
Big Island Bowl's 'Pacific Powerhouse Bowl' (📸 Big Island Bowls)
Vale Food Co
At Vale Food Co, they tackle healthy eating in a fast manner. Comparable to the make-your-own ordering strategy of Chipotle or Bolay, Vale Food Co offers food bowls, smoothies, shakes, poke bowls, snacks, and most importantly, acai bowls. Their take on healthy food started in 2014 and they have since built an establishment made around food integrity; guaranteeing foods with no artificial ingredients, only balanced and healthy portions.
The acai bowls at Vale Food Co are completely build-your-own and are a blast to get creative with! There are four bases you should be sure to try, including the acai bowl, dragon bowl, chia pudding, and the “Vale Signature Acai Banana Split”. Next, there are two options for granola, between their unique strawberry hemp and blueberry flax granola. Finally, to finish off your creation, Vale recommends choosing 3 toppings from their list of bananas, blueberries, bee pollen, honey, Nutella, shaved coconut, and so many more healthy options! Their thick and smooth bases, crunchy granola, and refreshing toppings will be sure to leave you thinking about your next visit!
One of Vale's Acai Creations! (📸 Vale Food Co Instagram)
Nekter Juice Bar
Did you forget to pack lunch for your busy day on campus? Worry no more! Conveniently located across from campus on University Ave is Nekter Juice Bar, the perfect place to get a healthy and fresh snack or meal! Their menu includes freshly made juice, smoothies, and, of course, acai bowls, made with only the most-energizing, fresh, and nutrient-rich ingredients. What makes Nekter unique and one of our favorites is its ability to customize your order based on your needs, preferences, or diet!
As for their acai bowls, Nekter is amongst the best because of their real ingredients, and superfood add ons. Their signature smooth and creamy acai base is a mixture of real, unsweetened acai fruit, homemade cashew milk (made on-site and fresh daily), and fresh fruit. Other bowl bases may replace acai and cashew milk with dragon fruit and coconut water - another delicious option! Their toppings and granola compliment the smoothie bases so well and make Nekter a healthy and light food experience. We love their bowls and encourage you to try them too!
A delicious acai bowl from Nekter Juice Bar (📸 Nekter Juice Bar Instagram)
Let Us Know What You Think!
Whether you’re an acai enthusiast, adventurous eater, or anywhere in between, we recommend trying these spots! Acai bowls are a great option when you’re looking for a light and healthy snack or meal, and there are some great places here in Gainesville to try. Let us know what you think!