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The acai bowl (ah-sigh-ee), quite possibly the tastiest healthy food ever discovered, is changing the way us fit-minded folk look at superfood.
As the weather in Mile High warms, we’ll be replacing our hearty eggs and toast with a light and cool acai bowl. Made from a frozen acai berry base—a fruit found in the Amazon that packs the power of antioxidants, fiber, and heart-healthy fat (not to mention iron, calcium, and vitamin A)— these Denver spots are taking their bowls to new levels of deliciousness.
Grab a spoon and dig in!
Skip the humdrum breakfast or post-workout spot and join Superfruit Republic (just east of the zoo) for one of their tasty acai bowls. Build your own concoction by adding banana + soy milk or blueberry + apple juice on top of the acai base, then pick from a smorgasbord of healthy toppings like chia seeds, coconut flakes, goji berries, bee pollen granules, kale, and even wheatgrass, maca powder, or hemp protein (and that’s not even all of them!). Superfruit is fully committed to mastering the acai bowl in a fast, café-casual setting — perfect for a spring/summer afternoon pick-me-up that won’t give you major bloat or regret in the evening.
With prime real estate in the trendy Highlands neighborhood, ProsperOats has become a local favorite for Denverites thanks to its simple yet delicious juices and acai bowls. Once you walk in, begin by choosing a base (steel-cut oats, quinoa-infused oats, yogurt, mixed greens, or acai). Next, pick your sweetener (CO-grown fruit honey, agave, honey, raw sugar, maple syrup, or savory options), then top off the bowl with any combinations of fresh or dried fruits, nuts, granola, flax or hemp seeds… and the options continue. After all, half the fun of an acai bowl is playing with the topping variations. If you’re indecisive, pick a bowl from the suggested menu (we’ll take one of each!).
Claiming to be Denver’s first acai superfruit café, Berriegood offers up “healthy treats that taste like treats.” After all, one of the reasons we love acai bowls so much is because they taste sort of like ice cream. Berriegood is dedicated to all things super-berry bowl, using organic unsweetened acai that is the perfect thick consistency and hella packed with nutrition. The whole joint is gluten-, vegan-, paleo-, vegetarian-, and kid-friendly to boot!
If you get hooked on any acai bowl spot, Rush Bowls might be your best bet since they have locations in both Denver and Boulder (and soon Nashville and San Fran). Rush Bowls puts its main focus on real, fresh ingredients (not the hyper-sweetened faux stuff). It also keeps the toppings simple, which is great for those who don’t want a 500+ calorie acai bowl, and are just looking for a light healthy nibble. It’s signature Beach Bowl, for instance, includes acai, mango, banana, and pure guava juice, and is topped with organic granola and honey. Yes, Colorado may be landlocked but this bowl makes you feel like the beach is right outside.
Although its main focus is on fresh juices, Nekter Juice Bar gets our vote of confidence for having some of the best acai bowls in Denver. (Actually, it makes more sense that a juice and smoothie expert would also ace acai.) The five acai bowls offered by Nekter range between 320 and 520 calories (the latter including peanut butter, of course). Choose a lighter bowl that’s heavy on fresh fruit, or a protein superbowl with house-made cashew milk, hemp seed granola, dates, and, of course, more fresh fruit. Fitt Tip: Skip the line and order your acai bowl online for a grab-and-go meal that is anything but traditional fast food.
A superfoods café nestled in the posh Cherry Creek neighborhood, Vitality Bowls features one of the most diverse acai menus we’ve ever seen, serving 15 different types of the blended fruit. It all depends on what your body needs. A boost of energy? Try the energy bowls. A detox? Opt for the detox bowls. A healthy dessert? Vitality has dessert bowls with organic acai, dark chocolate, and a medley of other toppings. And that’s another perk: All ingredients are listed out so you know exactly what you’re putting in your body. Fitt tip: Pair a bowl with an item from Vitality’s fresh juice bar for an extra health boost.
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