The mantra at Bay Ridge’s brand new Baya Bowls is a simple one: get a meal that can do both.
And the health food spot does just that, satisfying both your cravings and your hunger while pleasing both your body and your taste buds, all at the same time.
“I wanted to bring something new to the neighborhood where people could come and not only enjoy the product but also know that it’s healthy for them,” said owner Bill Loesch, a local resident and graduate of Xaverian High School. “And vice versa.”
The shop – which specializes in acai, kale, pitaya and coconut bowls, cold pressed juices and all-natural smoothies – opened for business at 9417 Third Avenue at the start of the new year, and has since garnered an impressive following well beyond its Bay Ridge borders.
“Business has been great,” said Loesch. “We’ve had a lot of people that come from Sheepshead Bay, Mill Basin, Staten Island and all over to try the product.”
A fan-favorite, Loesch said, is the “Bella Nutella.”
An acai bowl loaded with banana, strawberry, granola, coconut shavings and everybody’s favorite chocolate-hazelnut topping, the “Bella Nutella” is as good as it is healthy – keeping in theme with the restaurant’s mantra.
To boot, the base, a beautifully sweet but tart blend of the superfruit, is a front-runner in itself according to Loesch, who told this paper that if 100 bowls are sold, an estimated 80 will be acai bowls.
Though, that’s not to say the rest aren’t winners.
Baya Bowls is one of only a few places citywide that specialize in pitaya bowls – a dish whose base is made up of antioxidant-rich, organic dragonfruit – and is one of just two places Loesch knows of that offers coconut bowls (with a base of, you guessed it, blended coconut, that is just as savory as it is slightly sweet).
The shop also does its own take on what Loesch called “green bowls” with its high-fiber kale bowls. While we opted for the sweeter things, like the “Bella Nutella” and the “Coco-Nutella” (a coconut base topped basically with the same garnishes as the shop’s front-runner, with the added kick of cacao nibs), the “Kale Mary” (a kale bowl decorated with strawberry, banana, blueberry, granola, chia seeds and honey) is also a fan-favorite amongst foodies, near and far.
Bowls aside, the health food sweet spot also caters to the local gym-goer by serving up protein shakes and incorporating things like turmeric into some of its smoothies and juices (as well as serving it up solo in shot-form).
After trying it for ourselves, it’s safe to say that Baya Bowls serves up something for everyone – not just those trying to stay fit and eat clean this new year. Plus, its portions are filling (many of them chock full of protein), and available at prices that won’t break your wallet. Bowls run about $9 to $10, while a 16-ounce juice goes for $6.99, a 20-ounce juice goes for $8.99 and a 20-ounce smoothie (our favorite is the Berry) will run you $7.
“It’s nutritious and delicious,” affirmed Loesch’s partner, Rick Rosen, stressing also that the local business – just over a month old – is already canvassing for new locations across the five boroughs.
9417 Third Avenue
Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.