ACAI, POKE, GRAIN, & MORE: THE 10 HEALTHIEST BOWLS CHARLOTTE HAS TO OFFER

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FINLEY AMATO

APR 1, 2020

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IMAGE VIA @NEKTERJUICEBAR | INSTAGRAM

It’s no surprise that you can find pretty much any meal in bowl form these days, but with so many options, it can be hard to decide where to go when the craving hits. Whether you're craving sweet or savory, veggie or fruit, you'll find a bowl to fit your mood.

Acai bowls, poke bowls, and power bowls — we love them all. What can we say? We’re equal bowl opportunists.

Nékter’s bowls reflect the authenticity of the SoCal acai bowl (from where the franchise originally hails). Step inside their intimate, charming space and order literally any one of their acai items for a refreshing treat. Fitt Tip: not an acai bowl, but you’d be wise to try out their cashew milk-based twist on froyo, "Skoop". It’s dairy-, soy-, refined sugar-, artificial flavor-, and preservative-free and it’ll totally blow your mind. And it comes in a bowl… so we deem it worthy of including in this post.

Rico’s is considered Charlotte’s OG acai joint. While the frosty acai base is impressive, we’re equally wowed by the gorgeousness and density of the oh-so-fresh toppings they load on top of their bowls. Nut butter fan? Look no further than their "Butter Bro" bowl that’s loaded up with peanut butter, almond butter, and… wait for it… Nutella. Okay, so it may not be the healthiest acai bowl, but it’s got hemp seeds, which might as well be a health trump card, right?

Clean Juice, and with locations across Charlotte, you're never far from your next meal in a bowl. The "Beach Bowl", "Berry Bowl", and "Nutty Bowl" are all safe bets, but we recommend giving one of their more unique picks a go: "Beauty" bowl. While void of any acai, this nutrient-packed bowl combines banana, cold brew coffee, almond butter, cacao, and granola with activated charcoal. So yes, it’s got that kick of caffeine and of so trendy jet black coloring of charcoal . We promise it’s worth it.

We love the seasonal nature of Roots’s menu. Serving in the heart of South End, you can always count on a nourishing meal that never lacks in flavor. While it’s hard to recommend just one menu item (mostly because their menu is constantly rotating), any number of their bowls are fulfilling. Need a post-workout power up? We’re a big fan of their flavor-packed grain-based bowls and paleo-friendly options. Fitt Tip: if you’re not vegetarian or vegan, do yourself a favor — add their local pulled chicken for an extra protein boost.

It’s a ramen house, so expect a dope bowl of—you guessed it—ramen when you step inside of South End’s Futo Buta. Ironically enough, Futo Buta loosely translates to “Fat Pig” in Japanese. No, they’re not trying to offend their patrons, it’s simply because fatty pig (more popularly recognized as pork belly) is a staple ingredient on the menu. It’s literally impossible to single out one recommended ramen bowl, so just trust us when we say you could blindly point to any of their ramen bowls and leave the happiest of customers. Yes, they do have pork belly-less ramen bowls too if that’s not your thing.

Yafo is like the Chipotle of Mediterranean noms. Create your own bowl or pick from any one of their crafted menu bowls at any of their locations. We’re partial to their grain bowls and hummus bowls, topped with literally any one of their proteins (their beef kofta and lamb options are a must), but if you’re grain- or legume-free, know that their salad bowls are top notch. Meat-free? Not a problem — we’ll put their falafel up against anyone’s. Let’s also not forget about their Greek Yogurt Mac ‘n Cheese… it comes in a small bowl, so it’s mostly diet-friendly.

Real food, fast. B.GOOD in both Uptown and Ballantyne totally slays the “fast food” game… but it’s so much more than fast food. Their ingredients are seasonal, local, and fresh AF. B.GOOD brings you mouth-watering kale and grain bowls that leave a small impact on the environment but a big impact on your taste buds. Some of our go-tos include the "Power" , the "Spicy Avocado & Lime" bowl, or the zucchini noodles served with eggplant meatballs!

This South End spot can be easy to miss, as it’s tucked away in a subtle strip of South Blvd. shops. But once you know where it is, it'll be hard to forget it. Take your pick of one of their signature menu bowls, which combine South Korean flavors with the poke bowl trend. If (high-quality) raw fish freaks you out, opt for their classic Bimbimbap bowl with bulgogi beef, fried egg, chili sauce, and sesame seeds.

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