Purple Bowl
 By Emma Belk

Purple Bowl Weather

It was Purple Bowl weather today. Something about the sun shining, even on a winter day, will always bring me to Purple Bowl. I’ve had a lot of acai bowls in my day, even some in Australia which I thought would surpass the bowls I’ve had state-side, but they didn’t. From the welcoming environment and staff to the deliciously unbeatable acai consistency, Purple Bowl is always the restaurant I recommend to those seeking a refreshing, light, and healthy lunch. 

The Location

The Purple Bowl has a great location off Franklin Street in the town of Chapel Hill. There’s a small parking lot nearby for customers, but it is very walkable from Chapel Hill town center and Carrboro. The building has great outdoor seating with bar tops, tables, benches, and chairs- all perfect for people-watching. 


The outside area, and window-facing inside tables, get great sunlight during the day, which contributes to what I mentioned before about Purple Bowl weather. The perfect time to visit Purple Bowl is a sunny day when you can sit outside and chat with your friends and family. I have had many conversations over an acai bowl. But, if you do happen to crave a vegetarian meal in the cold, there’s also plenty of indoor seating. 


The Atmosphere 

You really can’t go wrong with a Chapel Hill locally owned and operated business. You can tell that the workers and staff love the environment of Purple Bowl, and their welcoming spirit makes a difference in the space. I’ve never been met with an unhappy face at the register and I’m always blown away by the dedication and talent of the workers as they give me my bowl which can only be described as nothing short of culinary art.

Another thing I love about Purple Bowl as a business is that 10% of its employees are people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities. This is one of many deliberate ways in which CEO Paula Gilland works to create a sense of community that extends beyond the student-life aspect. 


The Bowls

Purple Bowl prides itself in its full vegetarian menu that includes vegan and gluten-free options. They serve healthy, fresh, and real foods that incorporate the option to build-your-own acai bowls, artisan toast, smoothies, and other health-conscious beverages. Not to mention, they partner with local suppliers including Ninth Street Bakery, Big Spoon Roasters, Counter Culture Coffee, and more. 


According to a local Chapel Hill student, who also happens to be my roommate, “Purple Bowl’s almond butter is the best almond butter I’ve ever had.” If that isn’t reason enough to check out this cool spot, I don’t know what is. 


Final Remarks

Purple Bowl is an essential part of the Chapel Hill and Carrboro community for both locals and students. So much so that the community rallied when Longfellow Real Estate Partners purchased their current leased space on Franklin in favor of a new corporate office building to house pharmaceutical companies. Letters were sent to local town representatives, and community leaders from all around stood with their beloved Purple Bowl in support. 


Despite this battle, Purple Bowl has decided to not resist this change and has plans to relocate down the street to 505 W. Franklin St. in the summer. 


As for acai bowl options in the RTP area, Purple Bowl is my go-to.


Restaurant Info: 

Open every day 8 am-7 pm

306B W Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516


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