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

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Larissa Runkle

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Who doesn’t love a colorful and delicious bowl filled with all the essentials? Here in SF, we’ve perfected the art of the meal-in-a-bowl to the point that most of our favorite foods (like sushi) have even made it into their own version of a bowl. Acai, Buddha, poke, power — if it’s made in a bowl, we want it.

So, if getting all your fruits, grains, veggies, and protein in one place (covered in some yummy sauce of course) is your thing, read on to find where you can nom these healthy dishes across SF.

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Bun Mee

Restaurant

The local leader in Vietnamese grain bowl offerings, Bun Mee has graced downtown and Pac Heights with its delicious recipe known as the Hawker Bowl. After choosing from garlic or brown rice, veggies (like spicy cucumbers, bok choy, and sprouts) are piled on with your choice of protein, a dash of spicy mayo, and a fried egg.

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Blue Barn

Restaurant

With three locations in the city and one in Marin, Blue Barn makes a lot of salads. The good news? Any single one of ’em can be made into a grain bowl. Our favorite is the Kale Caesar, for when you really want a Caesar Salad with a bit more protein and crunch.

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MIXT

Restaurant

Mixt is the salad king of SF—with eight locations and counting—serving DIY salads to the masses. Like other awesome salad shops you can make a salad into a grain bowl by subbing in a quinoa base. Mixt also makes some pretty killer seasonal and year-round grainbowls. Check out the Zesty — made with baby kale, grilled chicken, feta, and citrus (and love, of course).

The Plant (with locations in the Marina, Dogpatch, Embarcadero, or FiDi) specializes in locally-sourced organic greatness, making it the ideal place to order a grain bowl. For a spicy take on tradition, we recommend the Yellow Curry bowl, although the Power and Miso bowls are equally delicious. And if you're feelin' acai, there is a Sambazon bowl blended with strawberries, blueberries, an apple/orange blend, and, of course, topped with crunchy granola.

Poke in the Mission? You heard right. This little restaurant is turning poke into Chipotle, with a design-it-yourself bowl that features white or brown rice, two-to-three scoops of tuna, salmon, or hamachi, and all the fixins’ (edamame, crab salad, and seaweed to name a few). It’s easily the type of meal you’ll want three, maybe four times per week.

A great place to get your grain bowl on with a side of perfectly-brewed coffee or artisanal pastry. With three locations (four counting its occasional Ferry Building Farmers Market hours), you can get a warm breakfast bowl or stop in for a quinoa bowl for lunch pretty easily. And if you’ve never had one, be sure to check out The Rebel Within—not a bowl but still worth it if you dig savory pastries.

Just another poke bar serving delicious bowls to the sushi-lovers of SF. Tucked in SF’s luxury grocer The Market, Poke Bar has three sizes for its bowls and tons of selection, including a huge variety of fish, extras, sauces, and condiments.

We really love this place and are even willing to travel out to the Richmond to get it. The Nourish Bowl is the ultimate grain bowl with quinoa, mixed greens, sprouts, hummus, and yam. Add some protein for an extra boost, or check out the Bibimbap Salad that's served over jasmine brown rice with tofu and sriracha miso dressing. And you’re looking for nutrients, order the Green Acai Bowl to not worry about eating another vegetable for the rest of the day. It’s made of blended acai, spinach, broccoli, ginger, citrus, and apple juice, then topped with coconut, bananas, and greens granola.

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eatsa

Restaurant

Mobile ordering and kiosk-style pick up? Yes, please. Lunch just got way easier with Eatsa, a service that lets you order healthy menu items like quinoa or ancient grain bowls from your phone, then skip the line and pick them up at the downtown kiosk location of your choice. Who knew fast food could be this good?

Build your own Korean-style grain bowl at this downtown spot. Start with rice or soba noodles then add veggies, protein, and sauce. Make it sweet with orange ginger sauce or go crazy with one of the super spicy sauces on the menu. Napkins advised.

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Dabba

Restaurant

Nitro coffee, cold brew matcha, kombucha, AND healthy bowls, burritos, and tacos made with delicious and organic meats and veggies? No, you’re not dreaming. Dabba in SoMa and the Marina (coming soon) serves it all, and then some. Stop by to treat your tummy and your taste buds to a lunch (or breakfast) that’s packing some serious flavor and is good for you to boot.

No longer do you have to travel to the Big Island to have one of Basik’s acai bowls. The line on their Polk Street outpost of this Hawaii institution is always around the block, but it’s worth the wait (they’re far from basic). Fitt Tip: go for the Forager and ask them to add peanut butter. You won’t be disappointed.

Roving around the streets of San Francisco, Bowl’d Acai now has four trucks, holdin’ down Mission Bay’s Spark Social, Mint Plaza, and more on the daily for both breakfast and lunch. All of their blends are made of acai, coconut water, strawberries, and bananas, and topped with freshly sliced bananas, honey, and granola. Go for the Green Goliath if you need more greens in your diet — it’s made with spinach!

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Project Juice

Restaurant

With locations around the city, you’re likely never far from a good—no, great—acai bowl. Their entire menu is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free, so if you have an allergy, you know you’re in good hands at Project Juice. We especially love that Project Juice’s bowls are customizable — you can mix and match the base, toppings, and drizzle, unlike most other places in the city.

Before acai was even a thing, Judahlicious was blending up bowls of naturally-sweetened goodness. It’s worth the trek to the Outer Sunset for one of their Jungle Style Acai Bowls, blended with raw acai, blueberry, and banana, and then topped with house-made sunflower seed, pumpkin seed, and buckwheat granola (sweetened only with dates).

You might feel like you just stepped off a plane to Brazil when you walk into Bebebar in the Mission, but the whole operation is locally-owned, designed, and decorated. Aside from killer acai bowls, smoothies, and juices, they also have rotating work from local artists hanging in their space each month — which is just the excuse for a monthly trip to Bebebar, right?