Between the pastries, the doughnuts, and the breakfast sandwiches dripping with cheese and bacon grease, it's all too easy to overindulge at breakfast, but fortunately for your arteries, the acai bowl, the latest trend for righteous, superfood-fortified morning meals, has arrived in Philly. Just in case you haven't seen them taking over your Instagram feed, an acai bowl is a dark purple, super thick smoothie made with either powdered or frozen acai fruit pulp served in a bowl with colorful toppings, to be downed with a spoon like health-conscious ice cream. They won't likely replace the egg-and-cheese option anywhere, but if you're curious to try them, here's where to look.
The most righteously health-forward of Philly's açaí options is in Old City at Stripp'd Juice, a relative newcomer to Philly's food and drink scene offering cold pressed juices and a limited menu. Owner Khoran Horn purees freeze-dried açaí powder with frozen strawberry, banana, and and a splash of either black or green tea. He tops it off with fresh fruit, gluten free Posh Nosh granola, made in West Chester, and your choice of three additional superfood ingredients: bee pollen, cacao nibs, chia seeds, help seeds, shaved fresh coconut, house made nut butters, or berries of the goji, golden, and mulberry varieties.
Animo Juice Bar's açaí bowl is a puree of frozen açaí pulp with banana, honey, and a little almond milk. Toppings include fresh fruit, especially pineapple, strawberry, and kiwi, as well as peanut butter, coconut, hemp and chia seeds, or even chocolate sauce.
Plus, their close proximity to Hub Bub Coffee means that you can enjoy the ultimate antioxidant power breakfast of a coffee and an açaí bowl on the same block.
Instead of using a blender to make their ace bowl base, Front Street Cafe uses a Champion Juicer (aka a masticating juicer) to create a "whip" of açaí and frozen bananas. The resulting puree (left) has bright purple color and a texture that really is more like frozen yogurt than it is a smoothie. Topped off with fresh seasonal fruit and a nut and seed granola, eating it feels pretty close to having dessert for breakfast.