Photo via Julian Khater, owner of Frutta Bowls-Chapel Hill

For most, eating out means eating more sugar, salt and unsaturated fat. It’s easy to assume that for food to be tasty, it has to be unhealthy. In reality, anyone can eat out and feel good about it instead of weighed down afterwards if they know where to look.

Acai bowls, the love child of smoothies, fruit salad and parfaits, are full of incredible health benefits and flavor. With the recent addition of Frutta Bowls to Franklin Street, students and locals can now choose from many colorful variations of these bowls. Whether you’re seeking a fruity breakfast, snack or cold treat in the summer heat, Frutta Bowls has got you covered.

The location also offers dragon fruit and kale bowls, all customizable. For a post-workout boost, customers can add protein powder to their orders. In addition to the bowls, the location offers smoothies, oatmeal bowls, peanut butter protein bites, fruit cups and even kombucha on tap. The location offers vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options.

“Our signature bowl is the Frutta Bowl,” owner Julian Khater said. “It has acai, granola, strawberries, pineapples, kiwis and a bunch of toppings. But my go-to is the Frutella. I love tropical fruit, so I’ll throw some mangos on there. I also like to add cinnamon granola instead of the regular.”

Frutta Bowls has locations in 13 different states, each of which is family owned. Khater said he and his brothers, with whom he co-runs the Chapel Hill location, were initially attracted to the health-conscious nature of the franchise.

“Acai is considered a superfruit because it has 10 times the antioxidants of blueberries and grapes,” Khater said. “It also has a bunch of vitamins like Omega-3’s, Omega-6’s, a lot of potassium, a lot of really good stuff for you. And it tastes like a treat — it tastes like ice cream, but it’s actually really good for you.”

According to Khater, Frutta Bowls boasts the freshest products on the market, which he attributes to the quality of its fruit supplier.

“The reason acai is so rare is that it goes bad very quickly.” he said. “The longer it sits unfrozen, the more quickly it goes bad. The place that we get it from, they harvest and freeze it in the same day.”

Frutta Bowls provides a relaxing environment with free WiFi, relaxing music, and four TV’s for basketball season. The location also offers catering for events such as birthdays, corporate events and get-togethers. This includes platters or on-site catering, with staff making bowls on the spot.

Kathy Jaramillo, a rising sophomore at UNC-Chapel Hill, said her favorite aspects of Frutta Bowls are its freshness, taste and accessibility. 

“I really love the fresh fruit and all the healthy options,” Jaramillo said. “It’s a great place to relax and study and enjoy a healthy meal that’s also super delicious in a really cool, laidback and welcoming environment. I love hanging out with friends on their comfy couches while enjoying a Frutta Bowl.”