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ACAI, POKE, GRAIN, & MORE: THE HEALTHIEST BOWLS SAN DIEGO HAS TO OFFER

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EMILY TORRES

JUL 14, 2020

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IMAGE VIA @HARUMAMASD | INSTAGRAM

If you think a meal in a bowl is the best kind of meal, we’re right there with you. And so is San Diego. But with dozens of delicious Buddha, acai, and poke bowl options on every corner, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve narrowed down our favorites in the scene just for you.

Northside Shack is by far our fave spot on the Point Loma peninsula. This community-oriented beverage bar serves up amazing smoothies galore, but you'll catch us with one of their Insta-worthy acai bowls. These vegan creations go beyond your standard banana and strawberry blend topped with granola: we’re talking a bowl stacked high with kiwi, mango, blackberries, almonds, chia seeds, coconut shreds, and more. If you’re not on the acai train yet, we recommend their pitaya bowl for a starter.

There’s nothing better than refueling after a sweaty rooftop yoga class. Trilogy Sanctuary has you covered with superfood-packed bowls. This wellness hotspot—a yoga studio, spiritual counseling center, boutique, and vegan cafe all in one—serves up a handful of “Bountiful Bowls”. (Psst... Trilogy offers up a Community Kitchari Bowl if you’re following Ayurvedic nutrition.)

Avocado Smoothie Bowl? Yes, please. This health and wellness juice bar offers a Green Omega Bowl that's perfectly nutritious, delicious, and packed with avocado, matcha, spinach, banana, almond milk, coconut oil, and chia seeds. Order a salad bowl if you're feeling a different shade of green.

Sambazon is the OG name in the acai game, and San Diego is lucky enough to be home to the superfood giant. The cafe serves up a variety of mouth-watering acai bowls and offers build-your-own-bowl options if you’re feeling creative. No matter what you order, it’s guaranteed to be organic, vegan, gluten-free, and GMO-free.

This health food haven in Encinitas starts all its Power Bowls with a quinoa base (or roasted cauliflower base for paleo folks) and tops them off with organic produce (like chickpeas, grilled zucchini, sun-dried tomatoes) and simple dressings. The entire menu is gluten-free and uses local ingredients, too.

Be transported to Cuba with Eve's famed Havana Affair Buddha Bowl. This twist on a traditional Buddha Bowl is packed with coconut cilantro lime brown rice, quinoa, Cuban-style black beans, roasted yams, pickled Cuban slaw, wakame chuka, plantains, and a Cuban mojo sauce. And if you’re plant-based, top off your bowl with avocado, seitan, falafel, or jackfruit.

Native Foods is 100% plant-based and 100% delicious. The menu is stacked with veggie-forward favorites, and they've nearly perfected the vegan Buddha grain bowl, filled with teriyaki sweet potatoes, fanned avocado, shiitake mushroom chips, seasonal fruit, roasted corn, daikon sprouts, and cilantro jasmine rice.

When we thought we couldn’t love poke any more, San Diego Poke Co. introduced their Pineapple Poke Bowl. This poke bowl is served in a hollowed out pineapple and is stacked with your choice of protein (shrimp, salmon, tuna, spicy tuna, albacore, octopus, bay scallops, or tofu), seaweed salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, and crab salad. Find the eatery in Normal Heights and Grantville — and they’re a regular at three weekly farmers markets, too.

Pokirrito in Little Italy and Convoy is known for their sushi burritos, but we prefer our fish in a bowl. Here, guests start their bowl-based concoction with a rice or salad mix base and add in their choice of seafood protein and topping choices. Don’t forget the famed Golden Ratio Poke Sauce to seal the deal. Regardless of your build-your-own-bowl choices, we recommend sipping on Stumptown coffee as you chow down.

Most people head to Little Italy and Carlsbad’s Harumama for their steamed character buns, but the lesser-known hero on the menu? The Superhero Poke Bowl. This elevated meal-in-a-bowl is stuffed with salmon, rice, avocado, krab, chia seeds, watermelon radish, sweet onion, micro shiso, scallion, furikake, crispy garlic, tempura crunch, and is coated in to-die-for Pokewan sauce.

This wouldn’t be a true San Diego bowl list without a shoutout to SoCal staple Poki One N Half. This place runs on the build-your-own-bowl system, and while every option is a good one, we can’t say enough about their Spicy Mayo sauce — it's the key to any bowl combo. With locations in Kearny Mesa, Clairemont Mesa, La Jolla, North Park, and La Mesa, this bowl mecca has your fresh fish cravings met no matter where you are in the city.

This juice shop’s organic blends and bowls are all named after musicians. And—trust us—these bowls live up to their namesakes’ hype. Our favorites? The Beyoncai (acai, granola, honey, peanut butter, strawberry, and banana) and the Twopac Shakur (acai, pitaya, granola, honey, strawberry, blueberry, and banana).

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