Playa Bowls, a popular Jersey Shore chain offering fresh fruit-based bowls — think fro-yo meets smoothie — made the leap this fall across state lines to open its first Pa. cafe in Southside Bethlehem. Here, you can indulge your
SoCal cravings for vegan granola, steel-cut oatmeal and all things açaí in a beachy environment that would make any surfer feel at home. With no sugar added and plenty of high-fiber, high-protein options, these bowls are designed to pack both a flavorful and nutritional punch.
What to Try:
If you can’t decide between bowls, you can make a mixed bowl with combinations like half açaí and half pitaya. Expect a smoothie puree texture from the bowl bottom and make sure to get extra granola if you like extra crunch. Specials are ever-changing and can include unique bowls like the Stupid Cupid, with blended strawberry, banana, coconut milk and topped with a white chocolate and Nutella drizzle.
• When Playa Bowls first opened there were lines out the door to try the new addition to the block.
• You can play ping pong or swing in a hanging chair while eating your bowls here.
• Take home regular and vegan varieties of their “Playanola” granola.
• There’s both indoor and outdoor seating (for the warmer months, of course) and the shop’s surfer vintage VW van is usually parked right out front.
Having opened their doors just over a month ago, pretty much everything is still new to the healthy snack shop. While shore-goers might be familiar with the offerings, if you didn’t get to their other locations, you might need a bowl primer.
Basically most bowls start with a fruit base of açaí, pitaya (super-food dragon fruit), kale or coconut. Then toppings are added to make each bowl special, like the Pink Power ($10) made with a pitaya and vanilla protein blend and topped with banana, granola and honey or the Lola ($9) that’s a kale blend topped with granola, pineapple, mango, coconut flakes and honey. There’s also smoothies, juices, oatmeal and chai pudding options on the menu. Toppings, like nutella, spirulina, white chocolate drizzle and cacao nibs can be added onto additional items for a
small extra charge.
Don’t make our newbie mistake and mess up the pronunciations off the bat. Pitaya is said “PAH-TIE-YAH” and Açaí is “AHH-SIGH-EEE,” but you probably already knew that.