Acai Bowls & Coffee in New Jersey!

My alarm clock went off at 4:30 am on Thursday morning. Sleep in, or coffee? Coffee, duh! I snuck out of bed because I didn’t want to wake the pups up. I had prepared the coffee pot before I went to sleep, so all I had to do was hit the start button. While the coffee was brewing, I turned on the news and got ready for the day. Putting on mascara before coffee is never a good idea and I learned that the hard way. I headed in to kiss Kyle and the pups goodbye, called an Uber and headed to the airport at 5:30 am.

I landed in New Jersey at 9:30 am. Meighan headed to Jersey to visit with her family the week before, so she picked me up with her sister at the airport. The train to NYC was only about 45 minutes, so we decided to stay in Jersey with her family for a couple of days. I had driven and flown through Jersey several times, but never spent time there. I was excited to explore with some real locals πŸ˜‰

We visited her friend’s work, and then all went out to lunch at Old Glory in Keyport. The drive through Keyport was neat. I loved all the old homes with character. The restaurant used to be a church back in the day, and I loved that they kept some of the original interiors.

I ordered an arugula salad. It had arugula, dried cranberries, goat cheese, candied pecans, grilled chicken, and vinaigrette on the side. It was so good and exactly what I was craving.

After lunch, we headed to Red Bank, NJ to explore the town. I loved how quaint and cute it was. I love a small town that has all of their stores were filled.

We grabbed a pick-me-up at Rook Coffee. Lunch is never complete without a post-coffee.Β 
Rook doesn’t offer lattes or any fancy caffeinated beverages. They are strictly coffee! They had all kinds of roasts. I went with a medium-dark Columbian blend.

We shopped at a lot of the little boutiques, and there were so many of them.

How cute is this? Found it at a little consignment shop. I love all of the Kate Spade Flavor of The Month Clutches!
The town was filled with all kinds of restaurants, and this one was so cute! We didn’t eat there, but I had to take a photo of it! Meighan recommends Surf Taco if you’re ever in the area!Β Before we took off, we stopped at Bake Shop to grab little cappuccinos. Carlo’s bake shop is the famous one from the show “Cake Boss.” All of the treats looked incredible!Β 
We met back up with Meighan’s friend for happy hour around five. We went to Watermark in Asbury Park, NJ, and it’s definitely a must!

I loved Watermark’s interior and the views were breathtaking. If I lived close, I’d totally be a regular.Β 
Pinot Grigio for me!


Of course, I picked off the mushrooms, but their cracker crust pizza was really good. A great little snack to go with wine!

This was my look from a 4 am wake up. You can’t judge me…:|

We headed to Meighan’s house to have dinner with her family at eight. Meighan’s family is from Argentina, and they make incredible food! Her mom made us milanesas, coleslaw, salad, and roasted potatoes! Everything was delicious.

I was SO TIRED, so I headed to bed around ten-thirty.


I was up bright and early on Friday morning so I could blog about my CVSΒ trip, have coffee, eat some breakfast (pineapple & yogurt), and relax before starting the day! Loved this mug!
We were blessed with beautiful weather for our boardwalk day!
The first boardwalk we explored was Point Pleasant (Jenkinsons.) We treated ourselves to some fruit slices and chocolate covered gummy bears. They also sold chocolate covered potato chips, which are surprisingly good! I haven’t had them in a long time, but seeing them inspired me to try and make a semi-healthy version!Β 
We walked a couple of miles down and back. Loved all of the fun little shops and treats! I bet this place is PACKED and so much fun in the summer. Growing up there must have been so much fun.

We headed to a boardwalk in Belmar next! We wanted to have lunch at Playa Bowls πŸ™‚

I’ve never been more obsessed with a place. I want them to open up a Playa Bowls in Charlotte ASAP!!! This actually inspired me to start making Acai bowls, and I plan on doing a weekly series this summer. I didn’t care for the one I had in the fall, but these are game-changers. Oh, and if you know of any good Acai places in Kona, HI, please feel free to share!

SO MANY options.
This interior made me excited for Hawaii, and it kind of reminded me of FreshFresh Cafe in the Dominican.Β 
Wheat grass and citrus ginger shots!

Meighan had the Electric Mermaid Pitaya bowl. It came with organic pitaya, banana, pineapple, coconut milk and topped with kiwi, pineapple, mango, organic granola, coconut flakes, and Nutella.Β Her sister ordered the Dragon Berry Pitaya Bowl. It was a blend of pitaya, banana, pineapple, coconut milk, and topped with strawberries, blueberries, organic granola, and Nutella.
I ordered the Pacific Green Bowl. It had a kale blend topped with granola, strawberry, banana, sliced almonds, chia seeds, honey, and vanilla protein powder.Β 
After devouring our bowls, we headed out to walk the boardwalk more!

We wanted to grab coffeesΒ before heading back to Meighan’s house. There was a coffee shop that had coffee and kombucha on tap inside of the Playa Bowl.

I had a cappuccino with skim and one extra shot of espresso. SO SO SO GOOD! Best latte I had in Jersey!
I was kind of obsessed with the Playa Bowls van, and it just happened to match my nails.Β 
After our day of exploring, we headed to the grocery store to pick up ingredients for our favorite appetizer! You can find the recipe for our cream cheese and smoked salmon bites here!

We ended our time in New Jersey on a delicious note! Her dad grilled our ribs, and her mom made us tasty salads! We had one salad that consisted of avocado and cucumber, and the next one had lettuce, tomatoes, cranberries, and a homemade dressing! DELICIOUS!!!!Β 
We had pineapple and whipped cream for dessert! We headed to bed early because we wanted to catch a train to the city in the morning!

I loved exploring New Jersey. Β I want to give a special thanks to Meighan’s family for making me feel right at home! <3

My half marathon post will be up this weekend!!!

Questions for you!

  1. Have you ever had an acai bowl?
  2. Have you ever visited New Jersey?
  3. Do you have any fun weekend plans?Β 

Comments

  • Rachael

    OMG I was just in Hawaii (not Kona but I was on Oahu and Kauai) and aside from the crippling vacation hangover that I still have, the food was the absolute best! Hands down the best avo, acai, and fruit/veggies I have ever had. Everything was so fresh and had the best taste. Have fun!

    Reply to Rachael
  • Anonymous

    This looks so fun! I just started making acai bowls for breakfast last week – you can get organic, unsweetened acai packets at trader joe’s for under $5! I’ve been mixing in half a banana, strawberries and unsweetened almond milk!

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Kaitlin

    Taralynn, I absolutely love the photos in all of your posts! The colors are so vibrant and the fact you took these on your phone gives me confidence in taking great photos too. πŸ™‚

    I have never had an acai bowl, but looking at your pictures makes me definitely want to try one! Also, just read your frittata post and my mouth is watering… looks absolutely delicious.

    Thanks for another great post to read!
    xoxo Kaitlin

    Reply to Kaitlin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Kaitlin!

      Thank you for the kind words, you can definitely take photos with whatever device you have!:) I’m all about the iPhone because it’s easy to carry everywhere!

      Totally try one!!:)

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Abbet

    Hi Taralynn! When you are in Kona definitely go to Basik Cafe for your acaii fix! They have locations in SF and Kona and they are both amazing. The one in Kona is right on the main walkway in town, I think Ali’i Drive, so it is in all the action and has a nice view of everything since it is an upstairs location.

    Reply to Abbet
  • Amy

    Love all of your colorful travel pics. You make Jersey look fun and happy!

    Reply to Amy
  • Jessica

    OMG it’s so weird to see pictures of Jersey on your blog. I’ve lived in this state all my life and it’s so crazy to read about someone else’s perspective on your home state. Funny thing, when I saw you went to Red Bank (from snapchat) I couldn’t wait to read about your thoughts. Definitely seems like you had a good time, i’m glad you enjoyed Jersey. Come back any time :P. After reading this blog post, I’m going to have to go to Playa Bowls this weekend.

    Reply to Jessica
  • Katie Meshko

    Looks like so much fun girl!! All of your pictures are so colorful & pretty. Never had an acai bowl – but it’s on my list of things to try. Glad you had such a great time in NJ:)

    -Katie from http://www.meshkomoments.com

    Reply to Katie Meshko
  • Jessica

    Acai bowls are life!

    Reply to Jessica
  • Candice

    What camera do you use to take your photos? They are so pretty.

    Reply to Candice
  • Jenn

    1. I’ve never had one! They look like they’d be perfect during summertime!
    2. I’ve been to Jersey a bunch of times – I grew up in NY, so we always looked at Jersey as a terrible place πŸ™‚ But we would go every summer to Six Flags, and I’m going to a concert in Atlantic City in a few weeks!
    3. My brother and his wife are flying up to visit, so I will probably meet up with them this weekend. We’re going to Ellis Island on Monday, which I’m excited about. Hopefully the rain holds off!

    Reply to Jenn
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Oh, I can’t wait to make these NONSTOP in the summer!!

      Hahaha gotta love the NJ/NY rivalry. I kind of want to visit Atlanta City!

      OH SO FUN!!!! Have a great weekend.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Kelsey

    Have you tried Rico’s in Charlotte? There’s a food truck in uptown and also a stand in 7th street. Ive tried a few but my favorite is the rainbow bowl and add some sort of nut butter. I know most of the juice shops have them but I usually end up grabbing a drink instead. I actually grew up really close to Jersey but never ventured to the their shore line. I always went to Cape Cod so I just never made it down that way. It looks beautiful though! Hoping for a relaxing weekend and some sunshine. (It was SO hot and humid last weekend- I could take a little breeze) I just joined the Y so I’m excited to try some classes this weekend! Happy Friday!

    Reply to Kelsey
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I have, but I wasnt a huge fan. I may try it again! My acai bowl was SUPER ICY! I am going to try Clean Juice! Apparently, they have really good ones. Did you join the uptown Y?!? Great classes!!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
      • Kelsey

        I know exactly what you mean. I usually end up walking with mine before I end up eating it so maybe that’s why mine haven’t been super icy but that definitely impacts the taste. There’s a clean juice opening right next to my apartment so I can’t wait for that. I’ll have to try their bowls!

        I haven’t tried the uptown Y yet. I went to the one in Ballantyne because it’s so close to work for me. I live near the one in South End but have heard better things about the uptown location so I will be trying that one out. Any classes you recommend?? I love that you can go to any of the locations.

        Reply to Kelsey
        • Taralynn McNitt

          Woooo hooo! I can’t wait for Clean Juice to open in Southend!!!! I’ve had the one in Ballantyne and Birkdale and they’re so good!

          I love all of the classes! Bootcamps are great!

          Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Harriet

    NJ looks amazing, your photos are great.I have never been to NJ . Acai bowls are fantastic I had a pineapple coconut oat and papaya one is Rarotonga it was incredible. This weekend is my last long run before my race next weekend. And that van is awesome!

    Reply to Harriet
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Harriet!!

      YUM! I bet the pineapple one was so good! Kyle and I are going to make one Saturday!

      Good luck on your last run!!! & I can’t wait to hear all about your race!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Dialia

    Great post! Have fun.

    Reply to Dialia
  • Shannen

    Acai bowls are my favorite! I’ve never had any from a shop, I always make my own. But they are so good! When I was in Brazil a couple of years ago, we had acai for desert.
    I’ve never been to NJ but I would love to visit someday! (I just want to visit everywhere! Especially Hawaii!)
    It is supposed to rain here all weekend. And after being super busy for the last month, I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend with my dogs.
    Just out of curiosity, what happened with your mascara and coffee?

    Reply to Shannen
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I am going to start making my own! Hopefully this weekend!

      I can’t wait to go back to Hawaii & I think visiting every state would be cool!!

      I just could hardly open my eyes to put mascara on before drinking coffee because I was so tired lol I kept hitting the top of my eyelids.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Linda @ the Fitty

    Whoa taking care of the pup while you’re gone?? :O

    And this weekend I’m spending some quality time with just my mom and I. I’m nervous because we don’t have an intimate relationship and growing up, I’ve had some legendary battles with her that led me to consider suicide. Now that I’ve moved away for university the distance has made me appreciate each other a lot more, but I’m still scared of spending quality time with her–but another side of me wants to and longs to have a mother figure in my life for once and asdhhkll

    Sorry for the verbal blahs. Not sure if you can’t much about my own personal life haha.

    Reply to Linda @ the Fitty
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Kyle was taking care of them! πŸ™‚

      I think it’s great you guys are spending time together! People definitely change with time & age. Hoping you can come together and grow a strong relationship πŸ™‚ So sorry to hear of the struggles you have faced. It sounds like you’re doing so much better now! Just be optimistic about it!:)

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Brianna

    I live in NJ and actually work on point pleasant boardwalk!!! So happy you enjoyed your visit!!!

    Reply to Brianna
  • Anonymous

    I appreciate all of the work you put into your content. I follow other blogs but they are just quick and not as pretty.

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Kala

    Love the colors in this post! Thank you for writing such a nice post on my home state!

    Reply to Kala
  • Meghan

    I’ve never had an acai bowl but they look so good! I make smoothie bowls a lot at home, but those look so fresh & yummy! I always make the same blend, this inspires me to branch out a bit. I’ve never been to New Jersey, but I’d love to see the east coast. My weekend is jam packed with wedding stuff! Meetings with vendors, getting my hair done, and then my bridal shower! So I’m definitely looking forward to that, as well as being back in my hometown! It has the best park on a lake and I love to run it whenever I’m back up there.

    Reply to Meghan
  • Kristin

    That looks like such a fun trip! Your photos are so incredibly colorful!!! I recently got on the Acai bowl train and have been loving making them at home. There really isn’t anywhere around me that sells them so I just experiment with whatever I have in the house!

    Reply to Kristin
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Kristin!!

      I can’t wait to make them at home this weekend! Kyle and I are going to make a couple. What is your favorite flavor to make at home?

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Anonymous

    Looking forward to your race recap! If there was once tip on learning about balance what would it be?

    Reply to Anonymous
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Balance is something I wish I would have practiced my entire life. I definitely think it takes time and you have to be patient. Not Every day is going to be balanced. There will be days when I eat like complete crap and others that eat so clean and balanced. You just have to be in tuned with your body and listen to it. Eat when you’re hungry and eat what you’re craving. Eventually it’ll just be a natural lifestyle.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Savannah

    Acai bowls in Ohio are hard to come by but my favorite food now. But if you’re ever here, be sure to go to Cincinnati. The place is called Rooted Juicery + Kitchen (its heavenly) and one in Columbus Ohio, Alchemy Juice Bar + Cafe. So so good!

    I have plans on traveling up North to the NJ area next summer and this post was super helpful for finding spots to see.

    My brother is getting married and its been hectic but it will all but some major downtime as well.

    Reply to Savannah
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Sounds good! Thank you for the recs and I’ll keep that in mind!! I have some friends in that area so I’ll have to let them know!

      I hope you have a great trip to NJ!!

      Have a great wedding weekend!!! xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Hanah

    Love all of your travel posts!

    Reply to Hanah
  • Emily

    I’m so glad that you had a good time in NJ! I’ve lived in Jersey all of my life, and I love seeing it from other people’s perspective, so when I saw you were there on snapchat I was super excited for this blog post! I haven’t been to that specific Playa Bowls location, but I have been to the one in New Brunswick and it’s great. I hope you get a chance to come back and explore some other parts of the state as well, I think you would really enjoy the Princeton area!

    Reply to Emily
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Hi, Emily!

      I had so much fun:) What a wonderful place to live! I’ve actually heard the Princeton area is great! I hope to visit again soon!

      xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Joanne

    I’ve been to NJ once for work at Rutgers, and it was probably not the best place to visit in November to give you a good impression :/ But my best friend grew up going to the shore for family vacations and loved it, so I guess I definitely have to go back and find a better place!

    I’ve not had an acai bowl before. I don’t think there are any places in my town that do them!

    I’ve got a 5K and a hike planned this weekend with the boyfriend (also named Kyle ;)) Looking forward to spending some time outside — it’s been pretty cold and rainy in Indiana, so hoping for sunny weather!

    Reply to Joanne
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Yeah, totally go back when it’s warm πŸ™‚

      I’m going to be doing bowl recipes soon!

      Hope your weather is perfect for your race and hike! Sounds like a fun weekend!!!!!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Danielle

    Your photos are so great!

    Reply to Danielle
  • Haley

    I love Playa Bowls! You were in my neighborhood! How Cool!

    Reply to Haley
  • Vanessa

    O my god the beach pictures are gorgeous! It looks so pretty!

    I’ll have to say no to most of the questions: Never been to New Jersey (or the US even) and never had a acai bowl.
    My weekend will mostly be studying, I have finals coming up. But on Saturday I’ll meet my best friend for sushi and catching up with her. That will be great!

    Reply to Vanessa
  • Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog

    Look at the incredible weather in NJ! And the Acai bowls are to die for!

    Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
    http://charmainenyw.com

    Reply to Charmaine Ng | Architecture & Lifestyle Blog
  • Bekah

    Why are you going to Hawaii?

    I will be in Kona at the end of the month for my sister’s wedding. Is it sad that I am more excited about the food than her wedding?? 😬

    Reply to Bekah
  • Amy

    I can’t wait for your running and hawaii recap!

    Reply to Amy
  • Tara H.

    Yes! in my town a place called the juice pharm just opened up and the first thing I ordered off the menu was the acai bowl. Not bad!

    Never been to New Jersey, but the boardwalk looks like a place I’d love.

    This weekend my mom is coming to visit me for my birthday. We will most likely play tennis and go shopping πŸ™‚

    CAN’T WAIT TO HERE ABOUT YOUR HALF-MARATHON!!

    Reply to Tara H.
    • Taralynn McNitt

      That place sounds great!

      I may grab and acai bowl today at Clean Juice! Just to see if they compare!!

      The boardwalks were great!!

      Awwwww so fun!!!! & happy birthday!!! I think Kyle and I are going to play tennis this weekend!

      xo xo xo

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jennifer

    No but I want one SO BAD! The only places that I can find them in MN are at places like Jamba Juice and such… which are totally full of sugar *rolls eyes*. There is a new place in Mpls called Wholesum Kitchen that I want to try that serves good ones I’ve heard. I plan on trying it sometime!

    No but I think Jersey would be so fun to visit on a NY trip!

    YES! My birthday is next week so for an early birthday present my boyfriend surprised me and is taking me ZIPLINING through the MN River Valley! I’m so excited because I’ve never done it before and it’s going to be so nice outside on Saturday!

    Reply to Jennifer
    • Taralynn McNitt

      NO, don’t get those ones lol. You need a LEGIT one!! Let me know what you think of them when you do!

      It was definitely fun!!!

      HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY πŸ˜€

      You’ll have so much fun zip lining! I loved it!!! Have a great weekend.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Jacqui

    We go to the beach towns in southern NJ but now I really want to explore those boardwalks! If you ever make it to Avalon/Stone Harbor let me know – and get an acai bowl at Juice Girl on 97th street! πŸ™‚ They’re INCREDIBLE. It’s my birthday on Friday so the weekend is packed. Mexican for dinner, brunch on Saturday and running Broad Street (10 miles) in Philly on Sunday!!

    Reply to Jacqui
  • Hannah Lee

    I’ve never had an Acai bowl, but I’ve always wanted to try one, and now I want one even more!! I live close by in Delaware so I’ll have to make a trip!!’

    Reply to Hannah Lee
  • Anonymous

    You were in my area! Playa Bowls is a favorite of mine (and owned by someone my sisters know from high school). My 2 year old loves them so my fun weekend plans actually include playa bowls and a playground while we are getting our living room painted.

    Reply to Anonymous
  • Rachel

    I live in New Jersey and right next to a Playa Bowls location! I had no idea what it was, but those pictures look so amazing, I just may have to try it soon πŸ™‚

    Reply to Rachel
  • Maggie

    SO SO FUN!! What is your nail color in that one picture??

    Reply to Maggie
  • Carrie this fit chick

    your photos always look so gorgeous!! Yes, I’ve been to NJ, but only the suburbs and LBI, which is a little beach island. Those cocktails look delicious and that pizza too! I haven’t had an acai bowl in YEARS. I just saw TJ’s has frozen acai mix though and that gets me excited πŸ™‚

    Reply to Carrie this fit chick
  • Amy

    LOVED this post! Your photos are great. What camera do you use?

    Reply to Amy
  • Juliette | Namastay Traveling

    What a fun trip! I always love how colorful and vibrant your pictures are, makes me think I was almost there with you! I had my first acai bowl in Miami a few months ago and now I’m hooked! Sadly, I’m not finding too many in Alexandria, I’m going to have to venture out a bit to find some quality superfoods.

    Reply to Juliette | Namastay Traveling
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Thanks, Juliette!!!

      SO hooked now. The one in Charlotte didn’t hook me. I guess you have to have the right blend.

      I’ll let you know if I find any good ones in Alexandria when I’m back!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Mechela

    I LOVE NJ! I love in Atlanta now but my family is from there (Princeton/Trenton area). I am glad you loved it. Many people hate on it calling it the armpit of America, but everyone I have taken back with me ends up loving it like you did. The shore is the place to be during summer but my favorite time is actually autumn. It is absolutely gorgeous.

    I love acai bowls. Very filling and you can male so many different combos.

    No weekend plans. Just looong walks and brunch on Saturday. πŸ™‚

    Reply to Mechela
    • Taralynn McNitt

      I actually heard it’s BEAUTIFUL in the fall!!! I may have to make a trip back!!!!

      I agree!:) I WAS SO STUFFED! But the good kind.

      Perfect weekend plans! I’ll be doing the same.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Eileen

    I’m from New Jersey! I now live in Rhode Island but I grew up in Bergen County! If you ever go back check out the town of Ridgewood! It has super cute stores and restaurants and an adorable duck pond with a dog park!

    Reply to Eileen
  • Brooklyn

    This sounds like such a fun quick trip! Her parents look like they fed you well and those acai bowls look awesome!

    Reply to Brooklyn
  • Nicole

    I’m so happy you enjoyed NJ (: It’s my home state and I loved seeing places I’ve visited in your photos. Playa Bowls is the BEST! They have a bunch of locations along the shore; it’s so nice to get an acai bowl and eat it on the beach during the summertime! Come back soon (: and congrats on your half marathon!

    Reply to Nicole

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