I spy acai: Bare Bowls opens in Palo Alto

Alex Merkle-Raymond, Author

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Bare Bowls, the first acai bowl shop to open in Palo Alto, is a healthy addition to the downtown restaurant collection, opening at 530 Emerson St. earlier this month.

Bare Bowls specializes in acai bowls — a kind of healthy smoothie made with the Brazilian fruit acai — and other health foods. The menu offers acai, pitaya (dragon fruit) and kale bowls, oatmeal and smoothies. Menu items do not include added sweeteners or additives, according to the Bare Bowls website. Instead the smoothies are sweetened with dates.

Junior Molly Kraus sits at the main table waiting for her bowl. Bare Bowls has a trendy and modern feel. The menu features a variety of uncommon foods including goji berries, cashew milk and hemp seeds. Photo by Alex Merkle-Raymond

Bare Bowls is allergen-conscious and community aware, according to its website. Bare Bowls requests that all customers tell them their food preferences before ordering in order to make sure the food is as satisfactory as possible. All the granola is gluten-free. The back wall of the restaurant has a message board where community members can advertise for activities around the neighborhood.

Some Palo Alto High School students find acai bowls a delicious snack and the experience enjoyable. Additionally, students appreciate what Bare Bowls has to offer over other acai bowls they have tried.

“Normally, acai bowls are too sweet, but Bare’s isn’t, so you can actually taste the small nuances they put in the toppings like agave nectar,” senior Alexandra Hsieh said. “I didn’t stay for long, but the ambience was really nice.”

As with many other specialty restaurant for healthy foods, Bare Bowls is expensive. The small bowl is $8 and the regular bowl is $12, which may be out of many students’ budgets, according to junior Molly Kraus.

“It [Bare Bowls] tastes like overpriced Jamba Juice in a bowl,” Kraus said.

Senior Oskar Soderberg and junior Molly Kraus play checkers at Bare Bowls. Bare Bowls focuses on a community feel with open spaces and communal tables and games. Photo by Alex Merkle-Raymond

Senior Oskar Soderberg and junior Molly Kraus play checkers at Bare Bowls. Bare Bowls focuses on a community feel with open spaces and communal tables and games. Photo by Alex Merkle-Raymond

Bare Bowls hopes to expand to serve coffee and be a place for people to meet at, according to Bare Bowls manager Bridget Corson.

Currently Bare Bowls is open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. most days, which was disappointing to senior Christine Langston.

“I went earlier today really excited to eat breakfast there [Bare Bowls] with my friend, but they were closed,” Langston said. “I think they should open earlier. But anyway, I’m excited to try their acai bowls soon.”

There is limited seating at Bare Bowls, and there is rarely a line. However, as more people hear about Bare Bowls, expect a longer line “because of the health food fanatics in this area are excited for its opening,” according to Langston.