Since its inception in 2012, Pura Vida has become a fixture on the local wellness-focused dining scene. Founded by husband-and-wife team, Omer and Jennifer Horev, the concept is best known for its all-day breakfast menu, which includes a range of raw vegan dishes, organic açaí bowls, fresh-squeezed juices, superfood smoothies, salads, wraps, and açai bowls. The restaurant's recipes use local and organic ingredients whenever possible.
What started out as a passion project quickly grew into a full-time all-day café and lifestyle brand, Omer Horev tells New Times.
"I opened the first Pura Vida in Miami Beach as a side passion project with the intention of opening a place where you can go for a really good cup of coffee and a green juice," Omer says. "To my surprise, it quickly became a neighborhood staple."
In 2015, Omer met his wife, Jennifer. Together, they expanded the menu and rebranded the concept, adding an all-day breakfast menu, vegan and gluten-free options, and dishes that cater to people with food allergies and dietary restrictions.
The couple's “aha” moment came when they traveled to Tel Aviv, Mykonos, Tulum, and London to get inspiration for Pura Vida.
"We noticed the abundance of healthy food options available in these destinations and the lack thereof in our own city and realized that we were on to something," Omer recounts. "With the inspiration from our travels, we continued adapting Pura Vida’s concept to what it is today — and we started expanding."
Pura Vida's newest location recently opened at 959 West Ave. in Miami Beach. It's the chain's fifth and largest location to date, its indoor and outdoor spaces occupying a combined 4,000 square feet. In addition to the chain's standbys, the new restaurant will showcase several new dishes, including a "Blue Majik" smoothie bowl, which contains organic fruit blended with blue algae and topped with homemade gluten-free granola and coconut; a pumpkin-spice latte; and gluten-free chocolate or lemon polenta cake ($3.50 to $8).
Other new items include wellness shots, a new catering menu that features "mini" bowls, and bakery items for your dog. As of November 4, those items will be available at all Pura Vida locations.
The West Avenue location also marks the launch of a delivery and takeout service, available through the Pura Vida Miami app, which Omer calls "one of the biggest changes that I didn’t foresee. The app has proved to be beneficial, especially during quarantine when we were only open for takeout."
The brand now has locations in South Beach, the Design District, Edgewater, and Coral Gables. The Horevs are focusing their efforts on their first Palm Beach County location, slated to open in West Palm Beach at the end of the year. Plans are in the works for three additional locations to open in 2021 — in Aventura, Bay Harbor Islands, and Fort Lauderdale's Las Olas neighborhood.
"Our goal at Pura Vida is to provide a place for people to enjoy simple meals using quality ingredients that you can find in our own kitchen at home," Jennifer Horev sums up. "Our goal is to make a lasting and positive impact on the community."
Pura Vida. 959 West Ave., #10, Miami Beach; puravidamiami.com. Open daily 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.