5 Acai Bowls to Beat the Heat

From taro to fresh fruit to granola, each spot offers its own twist on a healthy classic.

The heat of summer is here in full force, but rather than cooling down with a sugar overload of ice cream or shave ice, take a healthier route with an acai bowl. The acai berry provides a wide variety of health benefits, as do the other fresh fruit that come alongside, so you can feel indulgent and virtuous at the same time. Here are five acai bowl spots around town (listed in alphabetical order) that will satisfy your hunger and help you beat the heat!



Photos: Amy Nakamura 


Hands down, Banán wins the competition for the most creative serving style with its papaya boat. Banán’s acai comes in soft-serve form, a creamy alternative to the usual thick, smoothie-like acai served at most places. A papaya half is packed with crispy quinoa and granola, then topped perfectly with a drizzle of honey. Shaved coconut makes a nice complement to the soft-serve acai, but you can also add toppings such as local chocolate, mac-nut honey butter, liliko‘i syrup, pineapple and more. 

Cup $4, Papaya Boat $6, bowl $7, 3212 Monsarrat Ave. Honolulu, HI 96815, 392-8862, 9 a.m- 5 p.m.


Blue Hawai‘i Lifestyle Café


After a long day of Ala Moana shopping, the Blue Hawai‘i Classic acai Bowl at the Blue Hawai‘i Lifestyle Café is the perfect pick-me-up. It’s topped with fresh bananas, strawberries, blueberries, honey and a generous helping of granola. In addition, for 50 cents more, you can add other special toppings such as coconut flakes, chia seeds, peanut butter or bee pollen.

Small/keiki $8.50, regular $9.85, Ala Moana Center, 1450 Ala Moana Blvd., #2312, 949-0808, 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.


Diamond Head Cove Health Bar


Next time you hike up Diamond Head or have a beach day at Kaimana, make your next stop Diamond Cove Head Health Bar for a Hawaiian Bowl. This treat contains all the elements of a typical acai bowl, except with a local twist: a scoop of pa‘i‘ai, to tone down acai’s normal tartness. Along with a scoop of granola, sprinkles of bee pollen help give the bowl a bit of a crunch.

Hawaiian Bowl $12.50, 3045 Monsarrat Ave., #5, 9 a.m to 8 p.m. (11 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday)


Honolulu Coffee Co.


Downtown worker feeling the heat of the city? During your next lunch break, stop by Honolulu Coffee Co. in Bishop Square. The popular coffee café has caught on to the acai craze with a bowl that overflows with sweet acai, fresh bananas and gourmet granola (made with oats, seeds and almond slices).  No acai bowl is complete without a drizzle of honey over the top, available here for 75 cents more.  

$6.25, 1001 Bishop St., 521-4400, 6 a.m. to 5:30 p.m


Salted Lemon


Salted Lemon serves a mountain of acai, packed with the classic combination of granola and fresh fruit (blueberries, strawberries and bananas). Not only can you get a hearty heaping of acai, but Salted Lemon serves homemade juices such as “Sunrise” (made with yellow sweet potato, pineapple and orange) and “Happy Day” (made with pineapple, pear, strawberries and mint). Although its location, tucked right around the corner from Liliha Bakery, may be hard to find, Salted Lemon is a great place to take a break and chat with friends over a sweet treat.

$9, 1723 Liliha St., 538-1291, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m