Vitality Bowls to Open First East Coast Location on South Beach

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California may be the current capital of healthy living, but South Florida is coming up fast. Just ask Vitality Bowls, a California-based chain (with additional locations in Colorado, Indiana and Texas) that's bringing its plant-based fare to South Beach starting early this year. 

The company, dubbed a "casual superfood café," specializes in açaí bowls plus smoothies, fresh juices, salads, and paninis. Its menu is big on organic, local, and mineral- and vitamin-rich ingredients — not so big on anything artificial. (For newbies, açaí is a popular superfood, sourced from the Amazon and full of antioxidants.) The South Beach location will be located at 1119 Fifth St., and its ETA for opening is sometime in February. 

Menu items include ten signature açaí bowls that can be customized with add-ons including goji berries, flax seed, chia seeds, kale, and other nutrient-dense options; plus breakfast and dessert bowls; smoothies like the Tropical Paradise with organic açaí, mango juice, coconut milk, bananas, pineapple and strawberries; fresh raw juices like the Detoxifier with lemon, ginger, cucumber, and coconut water; as well as paninis and salads. 

"We also offer a full-service organic superfood coffee bar with espresso and cold-brew coffee drinks made with antioxidant-rich açai, pitaya, matcha, and more," says cofounder Tara Gilad. "We use only the freshest ingredients with no fillers such as ice, frozen yogurt, added sugar, or artificial preservatives."

Pricing for bowls will range from $8 to $15 depending on size and bowl, smoothies and fresh juices $6 to $8, and coffee $2 to $6.

So why bring this West Coast chain 3,000 miles to the 305? The company picked South Beach because of its reputation as a healthy, fitness-focused community, says Gilad. While this particular location will be under the umbrella of the original owners, they're also looking to expand the brand through additional franchises in South Florida. (Currently, there are 19 Vitality Bowls restaurants across the U.S. with more than 20 franchise units in development.)

As far as what to order off the extensive menu, Gilad has some suggestions: 

"I love the Detox Bowl, which is a blend of organic açai, almond milk, flax seeds, kale, spirulina, banana, and strawberries  topped with banana, blueberries, almonds, goji berries, and honey. The Dragon Bowl is also one of my favorites, especially for beach days. It’s a blend of pitaya, mango juice, coconut milk, banana, pineapple, and raspberries topped with strawberries, kiwi, almonds, goji berries, bee pollen, and honey. "

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