A taste of the tropics in Marin: sampling local açaí bowls

Ava Koblik

Let’s face it, living a healthy lifestyle both inwardly and outwardly has become downright trendy. Healthy eating establishments with fresh, raw food offerings have become commonplace in many communities. Marin is the epitome of this trend, and many açaí purveyors have popped up in numerous locations within our community. An açaí bowl is a thick, tangy smoothie made from delicious, yet healthy tropical açaí berries. These bowls are known for their aesthetic presentation, topped with a colorful array of fruits, crunchy granola, or melted peanut butter. Here are some of the best and worst açaí cafes to visit in central Marin, rated on a 5-star scale. 

Ohana Açaí Cafe


A tasty mix of fresh fruit toppings complemented by crunchy coconut and granola makes Ohana’s Makai Bowl a must-try.

Located in Larkspur, Ohana Açaí Cafe is a popular destination for Redwood students both during lunch and after school, as it is only a 5-minute walk from campus. The cafe has a relaxed and tropical ambiance with reggae music playing in the background and plenty of natural light streaming in through large windows. I ordered a small Makai Bowl to-go, a blend of sweet açaí, banana, strawberries and apple juice topped with granola, coconut strips, banana, kiwi, and honey. Service was fast with the bowl ready to go in about three minutes. Although small for nine dollars, the bowl was delicious. The blend had a smooth consistency with an extra layer of granola in the center. The toppings all nicely complemented each other, and the honey added a soothingly sweet finish. Overall, I would recommend visiting Ohana Bowls when you get the chance.





Nekter Juice Bar

Nekter’s Açaí Banana Berry bowl satisfies, but does not stand out in the crowd.


Nekter, which is tucked within the bustling shops of Strawberry Village, is known for its healthy meals, snacks, and treats. Having ordered delicious smoothies from Nekter in the past, I was expecting an excellent açaí bowl. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case this time. I ordered the Açaí Banana Berry, a blend of açaí, strawberry, blueberry, banana, and housemade cashew milk, topped with strawberries, blueberries, bananas and granola drizzled with agave nectar. The açaí blend was light and smooth, but the fruit was not as fresh as I would have hoped. Additionally, I ran out of toppings fairly quickly and was left with just the açaí blend, which, on its own, was a little bland. I did like that the bowl was bigger and less expensive than the others I tried, priced at eight dollars and seventy-five cents. Nekter serves a satisfying açaí bowl, but perhaps not as tasty as the others. 



Rio Rock Açaí Cafe 


A treat for the eyes and the taste buds, the Rio Rock Eldridge Bowl delights.

I have no complaints about this cafe! Located on Magnolia Avenue in Kentfield, Rio Rock has a relaxed, tropical feel, perhaps like a cafe in Hawaii. I ordered a small Eldridge bowl to go, a blend of organic açaí and strawberry, topped with kiwi, strawberries, bananas, pacoquinha (peanut candy), and granola. The bowl was filling and delicious, with enough toppings to last the entire bowl. I was pleased to find an extra layer of granola at the bottom which was definitely a plus. The bowl was priced at nine dollars and forty-five cents which was reasonable. Overall, I recommend a visit to Rio Rock.   







World Green Açaí Bowl

The cheerful staff and welcoming atmosphere at World Green is more inviting than its Tikuna Bowl.

Located in downtown Larkspur, World Green Açaí Bowl is within walking distance from Redwood. The cafe has a bright and cheery atmosphere with friendly, helpful staff. I ordered the Tikuna Bowl, a smooth açaí blend topped with strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, grapes, granola, and honey. I found the açaí base to be overly sweet, but the fruit toppings were fresh. The staff was welcoming and gave us free samples of juices and cheese bread. The bowl was more expensive than the others I tasted, priced at ten dollars and seventy-five cents. Although World Green’s açaí bowl was not my favorite, it gets high marks for its service and inviting ambiance.