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Food & Drink

Bom Dia Treats Is a Sweet, Tropical, Calming North Loop Getaway

South American co-founders Dennise Mejia and Mauricio Coronel Berti expand their indulgent, health-minded business to Minneapolis.

Stacy Brooks

My Instagram feed is a frenetic place: ads for linen wrap dresses and hot dog-shaped hair clips; videos of guinea pigs chomping down on lettuce to a zippy soundtrack; montages of the best weekend getaways in Minnesota.

Honestly, it’s a little exhausting. It makes me nostalgic for my Instagram feed circa 2015, pre-algorithm and pre-Reels. The Instagram of yesteryear was dominated by soft filters and smoothie bowls, a created-for-social-media specialty made by pouring a thick smoothie into a shallow bowl and topping it with a meticulous arrangement of sliced fruit, nuts, and granola.

I can’t turn back time on my Instagram feed, but I can channel that relaxing vibe in real life at Bom Dia Treats’ new storefront in Minneapolis's North Loop. If you’ve visited their location inside St. Paul’s Quixotic Coffee, the menu of açaí and smoothie bowls will look familiar. At Bom Dia’s North Loop brick-'n'-mortar shop, Quixotic is running the beverage program, too, with espresso, tea, fruit-based shakes, and fresh juices. A small case of Marc Heu pastries rounds out the food offerings.

It’s hard to overstate just how calming walking into Bom Dia Treats feels. I arrived around 8 a.m. on a Thursday morning, after a traffic-clogged drive from the southern suburbs. I was hungry and frazzled, irritated about spending 45 minutes in the car and with a to-do list of work tasks running through my head.  

When I walked into Bom Dia Treats, everything shifted. Soothing instrumental music played over the sound system, noticeable enough to nudge my heart rate downward but not loud enough to interfere with conversation. Natural light streamed in from the wall of windows at the front of the shop, and the honey-colored wood tables and white wicker chairs channeled a tropical feel.  Flowering plants dangled from the ceiling and potted palms were scattered throughout the space. A periwinkle accent wall and a colorful jungle mural with butterflies and monkeys added a touch of whimsy.

Service was warm and helpful. My cappuccino ($4.50) and my husband’s cold brew ($5.25) arrived in short order, although it took about 15 minutes for our açaí bowls to hit the table—understandable given the amount of labor required to hand-place all those toppings, but something to keep in mind if you’re on a tight schedule or paying for parking. While we waited, we sipped our excellent coffee drinks, which were made with a well-balanced espresso that paired nicely with the light, fruity flavor notes of our bowls.

You can build your own bowl from an array of bases and toppings, which include fresh fruit, nut butters, honey, chocolate chips, nuts, seeds, cacao nibs, and quinoa puffs. If you want to go the pre-set route, there are several smoothie bowls (which start with a blended fruit base like mango or passion fruit) as well as a Greek yogurt-based bowl and the centerpiece of the menu, a whopping nine variations of açaí bowl. Navigating the menu is a little tricky, partly due to the physical difficulty of reading white text on a blue background, and also because each bowl has so many ingredients—some photos of the different menu items would be helpful.

After much deliberation, I went with the Deluxe Bowl ($15) and my husband got the Malibu Bowl ($14). The Deluxe Bowl looks like a dessert-for-breakfast situation: “organic açaí base, strawberries, banana, blueberries, raspberries, granola, coconut flakes, obleas (wafers), white chocolate chips, chocolate puffs, dulce de leche, and bee pollen." See what I mean about all the ingredients?!

It was absolutely gorgeous to behold, with delicately balanced wafers and precisely applied toppings—I made delighted little cooing sounds as I photographed it from every angle. Despite dessert ingredients like dulce de leche and chocolate puffs, the sweetness level is fairly restrained. In part that’s due to the açaí base, which is a slightly tart with a deep berry flavor. In addition, the dulce de leche is creamy and caramelized rather than overwhelmingly saccharine, and the bee pollen has an earthy, grounding quality. The granola really pulls everything together; it’s finely textured, almost like graham cracker crumbs, with a toastiness and crunch that balances out the bowl’s sweeter, brighter elements. Texturally, this is a feast, from the juicy fruit to the crisp wafers to the crunchy bits of coconut.

The Malibu Bowl is more fruit-forward, pairing an açaí base with kiwi, mango, bananas, raspberries, and strawberries, plus granola, a hearty drizzle of agave nectar, and chia seeds. Unexpectedly, the agave nectar made the Malibu Bowls significantly sweeter than the Deluxe Bowl. That didn’t detract from the bowl, but the fruit was so fresh and ripe that the extra sweetness wasn’t really necessary either. The chia seeds contributed a subtle nuttiness and crunch that kept the fruit from getting monotonous, and like the Deluxe Bowl, the finely textured granola paired nicely with the fruit and the açaí base. Overall, the variety of textures and flavors made each bite a unique mini-getaway to the tropics.

All that deliciousness came at a price: After tax and tip, our bill for two coffee drinks and two açaí bowls was $49.86. But not every dining experience needs to be a daily occurrence. With its serene setting and aesthetically pleasing, flavor-packed bowls, Bom Dia Treats is truly a treat, in the fullest sense of the word.

Bom Dia Treats
Address: 251 N. First Ave., Minneapolis
Hours: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.

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