Top 5 açaí bowls in Tampa Bay


Luka Vaicekauskas

According to google, these five places, or juice bars, were the most popular and successful ones in the Tampa Bay area serving their famous acai bowls. With my curiosity intact, I gave the top five a try, and shared my thoughts.

Luka Vaicekauskas, Features Editor

Whenever one imagines a trip to an exotic location like Hawaii or the Bahamas, the traditional Açaí bowl cannot be left out! It is almost a rule to get a refreshing, filling, and “Instagram friendly” freshly blended bowl from a specialized truck alongside the beach. However, in Tampa, the exotic beaches are not within walking distance for many and finding a smoothie bowl truck- a mighty challenge. So, I looked up “Best Açaí Bowls in Tampa” and had to try them all myself. The order is as follows:

  1. Grain and Berry   
  1. Raw Smoothie & Co.   
  1. SOHO Juice Co.
  1. Sweet Soul
  1. Swami Juice   

My favorite place to get açai bowls is Caffeine Roasters, as it is just too convenient to get a coffee and a smoothie bowl simultaneously. Too, the bowls have a generous amount of fresh fruit, superfoods, and a warm drizzle of almond butter, and to me, that equals perfection. However, the curiosity and joy of trying new places overcome the cons, so here am I, with over $50 spent on bowls.   

~Grain and Berry

Grain and Berry is well known to many for its iconic açai bowls served in glass bowls, avocado toasts, smoothies, and being the voted #1 bowl by the Tampa Bay Times. They have nine different locations around Florida, and 4 of them are in Tampa. Personally, I have tried their smoothies, and would not recommend them to anyone, as they are significantly lacking in flavor, texture, and are just overpriced. However, the açai bowls are worth every cent of the $11. They allow you to customize the amount of granola, which to this I recommend getting half of it, as they can go heavy on it. Their açai base itself is sweet and has the perfect “slushy” texture that one wants. They are topped with bananas, strawberries, blueberries, chia seeds, coconut flakes, and a drizzle of both- peanut butter, and their vegan Nutella. However, the bowl size is around 16oz, including all of the toppings and granola. From the best-voted açai bowls, this place is the best based on the quality, toppings, waiting time, and accessibility.



~Raw Smoothie & Co.

They use organic ingredients and are entirely plant-powered- vegan, paleo, and gluten-free. Located at 408 N. Howard Ave. Tampa, FL. 33606, they are open six days a week and serve not only açai bowls but also smoothies, lemonades, and other types of smoothie bowls. Whenever I got inside, the place’s vibe kicked in; there were vivid images and stickers glued on the walls, music playing, and many plants around. I ordered their classic açai bowl, better known as the R.S.C. Açai. After 10 minutes of patiently waiting, I finally got my bowl and was pleasantly surprised by its size, and it was big enough to share! For nearly $13, the customer is served a 18oz sized bowl, with toppings included bananas, strawberries, blueberries, coconut flakes, superfood seeds, granola, in an oddly-spring mix. I did enjoy the texture of the base itself, as it was freshly blended, and a fine combination of sweet and citric. They too added a tremendous amount of it, instead of relying on overfilling the bowl with granola. However, I wish they could add a drizzle of nut butter too, and the green mix was slightly eccentric, in my opinion.



~SOHO Juice Co.   

SOHO Juice Co. is a well-known smoothie shop to many due to the promotions and influence they have on Social Media, particularly Instagram, and are concentrated on smoothies and smoothie bowls. They offer sizes in 12, 16, and 20 ounces, to which I ordered the 12oz one, as it was already nearly $10, and I was not disposed to spending more than that. Aside from that, the service was fairly fast — about a 5 minute waiting time. But when the bowl was served, I was shocked by the size of it. And that is not because I do not know what a 12 oz bowl looks like, but because the base was less than half of the container’s content! The toppings included coconut flakes, bananas, spirulina “honey,” and an overwhelming, genuinely overwhelming amount of cocoa nibs. ^Cocoa nibs are extremely healthy, containing healthy fats that can increase the levels of the hormones serotonin and dopamine in your brain, impacting your mood. Dark chocolate, made from cacao beans, may increase “good” HDL cholesterol, which can help lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. But, when there is too much of them, it can interfere with the ultimate berrylike flavor of the bowl, as the nibs have a bitter and rich natural taste. Aside from the toppings, the açai base was delightful due to the sweeter notes; however, the consistency was not the typical frozen and thick one, and more smoothie-like.



~Sweet Soul   

In the area of South Tampa, Sweet Soul is relatively popular for many highlights, including their vegan soft serve, chia puddings, custom bowls, smoothies, and açai bowls. When coming to order an açai bowl at Sweet Soul, you get the choice of either their Pure Açai, which is the real açai berry paste with a touch of cane sugar, or the Açai Blend Bowl, which is the more popular one consisting of açai, blueberries, bananas, apple juice, and agave. The price range for those is anywhere between $8 to $10, depending on the toppings, and if it is ordered online, or in-store. The price includes: 


-Three sweets of choice (ex., Berries, fruits, chocolate chips, cookies). 

-A selection of granola (inc Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Maple Vanilla, or Matcha granola) 

-A drizzle (inc Peanut butter, almond butter, vegan Nutella, or honey) 

-Two superfood toppings (ex., Chia seeds, goji berries, bee pollen). 


After ordering, the girl behind the cashier opened her fridge and took out a bowl with a frozen base, and that was a huge down for me, as all of the previous ones were freshly blended and crisp. However, I did like the fact that you could choose so many different toppings for a fixed price! When my bowl was ready, I went ahead and delved in with my spoon, but was so disappointed, because the açai base was hard you had to start breaking it with the spoon, and it lacked in flavor.



~Swami Juice

Every weekday, I have Cross-country practice by Bayshore, so daily, I pass the cute and hippie/boho-like juice shop, and one day I had the urge to stop by after practice. When my foot stepped into the cafe, I was slightly intimidated, as I was the only one there, so I went ahead and ordered their traditional AH-SIGH-EE bowl, which includes organic açai, strawberry, blueberry, mango, and coconut water. He too asked me if I wanted a drizzle, and I answered by indicating that almond butter would be great, and he went ahead and changed me an extra $1, which added to the traditional $11 price. Then, after freshly blending the ingredients and adding the toppings, I was given the bowl. However, its color and taste were far from being an açai-like, and gave me more strawberry smoothie vibes. Too, it was overwhelmingly overdosed with granola, to a point where it was too dry for me to eat it. The toppings included, aside from the granola, strawberries, coconut flakes, banana, and honey. Ultimately, I was disappointed because of the bland flavor, and the unbalanced measurement of ingredients and toppings. 



Ultimately, I am an enthusiastic local spot hunter, but also believe that in order to be worth the attention, one must serve exquisite products worth trying, rather than just promote them and expect new customers.