Vamos a la Playa Bowls

Caroline Grace Zemsky
A kale/pitaya blend bowl from Playa Bowls, located at 108 MacDougal St.

If you’re an NYU student, you’ve most likely heard of the power of the popular Playa Bowls on MacDougal Street to curb your craving for acai, pitaya, coconut and green bowls.

Different from your average juice bar serving acai bowls, Playa Bowls has numerous options for the bowl’s base, with different toppings and drizzles alike. Playa Bowls was started by Abby Taylor and Rob Giuliani, who both lived in Belmar, New Jersey. After traveling all over South America and trying delicious bowls throughout the journey, they were inspired to open a restaurant in the United States. The first Playa Bowls opened in Belmar, with the idea of making bowls like the ones in South America, specifically Brazil.

However, the duo had no idea how widely known Playa Bowls would become. What was once a rented counter space inside a pizza parlor became a distinguished chain of cafe that we all know and love.

With over 25 locations in New Jersey, two in New York City and imminent expansion to other states like Florida and North Carolina, Playa Bowls isn’t slowing its bowling anytime soon. The area manager for New York, Erik Dupuy, sat down to talk about his experience with the business, what Playa Bowls represents why it is so popular.

“It’s the unique product that Playa Bowls offers,” Dupuy said. “It’s a pure acai Brazilian style. It’s not the Westernized acai style found amongst the rest of the competitors.”

Dupuy also said the owners treat their employees like family. As an employee himself, he feels important and at home within the business because that’s what Taylor and Giuliani prioritize.

“They’re great people to work with and really care about their customers, too,” Dupuy said. “They are warm, welcoming and want the best for all their employees and staff, treat[ing] them like family and mak[ing] sure you don’t feel replaceable.”  

Dupuy himself welcomes everyone who walks through the doors of Playa Bowls in an effort to make guests feel comfortable.

Not only is it a safe, comfortable and authentic space, but the product itself is pretty healthy, too. Dupuy said they offer many different options because they cater to the individual specifically.

“It’s all about finding out what works for you nutritionally, because everyone is different,” Dupuy said.

You can get the classic and light Pura Vida bowl, which is an acai base topped with granola, strawberries and honey. Or, you can go for the Nutella bowl and make it a dessert.    

Dupuy wants make sure every NYU student knows about Playa Bowl and the 25 percent student discount offered Monday through Friday.

Next time you want to venture off campus for lunch, dinner or even dessert, try heading down to Playa Bowls on MacDougal Street. Plus, if you want to make some extra cash and get a 50 percent discount, Playa Bowls is always looking for new hires.

Email Caroline Grace Zemsky at [email protected]

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