Philosopher, journalist and adult human in training.
Published July 23rd 2017
The tastiest creations from Main Beach to Burleigh
When hungry açaí lovers roam the urban landscape, their vision, like any predator, becomes attuned to the telltale signs of their prey. In the case of açaí, it's the familiar purple flag our raptorial eyes are hunting for.
While the flag may guarantee our bounty, it's no assurance of excellence. There are so many subtleties to açaí creation, and so many people jumping on the craze nowadays, it can be hard to know where to go.
The Gold Coast is home to a wild array of establishments offering unique and artful creations. But, without insider knowledge, it's impossible to differentiate them from the ocean of other cafes and restaurants all offering the average açaí fare.
Since I've been roaming these hunting grounds for some time now, I've had a taste of all the best (and worst) the Gold Coast has to offer. I've narrowed down my top three açaí-makers from Main Beach in the north down to Burleigh in the south.
Main Beach: Hot Shott
Naturally gluten-free acai bowl from Hot Shott
Hot Shott is a cute little cafe tucked away on Tedder ave. Their walls are adorned with quirky décor and even their ceiling is bedecked with art and interesting quotes. Everything they do reflects this colourful, creative individualism and their food is no exception.
Whatever your taste buds desire, Hot Shott has you covered but always in their own unique style. They've gone to the trouble of creating a super-healthy, gluten free bowl that still tastes like the decadent dessert we açaí fiends all secretly know our favourite breakfast treat is. With glazed nuts and seeds, fresh fruit and coconut, their bowls have a perfect balance of smooth creaminess and crisp crunchiness.
Koi serves the best açaí bowls I've tasted on the coast. They are beautifully designed with sweet, edible flowers and a delicate arrangement of flavoursome toppings. They are a sensorial and textural delight.
One thing to keep in mind is, Koi only serves açaí for breakfast. So if you're after an afternoon açaí treat in Broadbeach, I'd recommend scooting across the road to Bootleg Juice Bar who also make a beautiful bowl, with gluten free granola. They don't have flowers but they do serve açaí until the moment they close for the day.
For me, Kiss the Berry comes in an extremely close second to Koi for their açaí bowls. For many, they may even trump Koi because of the diversity of their offerings. Unlike the other cafes and restaurants serving the delicious desert-for-breakfast treat, Kiss the Berry are only about açaí. They have a set menu which features a super healthy green açaí bowl and a sugar-free berry one (my go-to favourite).
In addition to the set bowls, you can get year-round, they have a seasonal menu for those who like to mix things up. They are also happy to let you pick and choose toppings so, if you're vegan for example, you can customise a bowl to suit your dietary needs. You can also order different sizes depending on how hungry you are, rather than being stuck with a one-size-fits-all bowl.
The staff at Kiss the Berry always seem stoked to be at work and can often be seen dancing around as they artfully piece together their edible creations. Situated as close as they are to Burleigh beach, they even have a bucket full of picnic blankets for customers to enjoy their açaí beachside.
A friendly offer of blankets for beachside açaí enjoyment
The world of açaí is incredibly competitive and, while I can guarantee these places will give you a superb açaí experience, I'm sure there are dozens more amazing places I'm yet to discover on the coast. If you happen to know of any, please share in the comments to help your fellow açaí lovers out.