Poke and Acai at Shaka Bowl in Hoboken

Shaka Bowl

The writer was invited to visit Shaka Bowl and the meal was complimentary.

I was recently invited to come try the popular Shaka Bowl in Hoboken. Founded in 2016 by sisters Kiersten and Krista Gormeley, Shaka Bowl is self-described as the mainland’s first poke and acai restaurant.

About Shaka Bowl

Shaka Bowl, Veronique Deblois, Hoboken, Jersey Bites
Acai Bowls. Photo by Christine Fiorentino

In 2014, Kiersten and Krista began a year-long journey to Hawaii that would change their lives forever. It was while living in Hilo, on Hawaii’s big island, that the sisters learned about the healthful style of eating the native Hawaiians have adopted. The duo even started picking fruit on their morning walks to use to prepare their meals.

During this time, Kiersten who’s a trained culinary professional, built a repertoire of recipe concepts that she and her sister were inspired to share when they returned to “the mainland.”

In 2016, brother Eric joined his siblings in building the first Shaka Bowl location in Hoboken, New Jersey, serving freshly prepared dishes full of natural flavor and nutritional benefits, including poke (savory) bowls, acai/pitaya (sweet) bowls, smoothies, tacos, sides, and baked goods.

The Spaces

The original Shaka Bowl location, and where we lunched, is a 650-square-foot space with 18 seats that’s located in the Monroe Center, a 100-year old industrial building in Hoboken. The space is a combination of the existing industrial loft look and the colors and rustic warmth of Hawaii. There are exposed heavy wood beams and we ate at custom “live-edge” solid slab wood tables.

Shaka Bowl’s second location, on Washington Street in Hoboken, is a 2,300-square-foot space with 54 seats. Have you ever seen a massive lychee root tree stump suspended upside down and used as a lighting fixture as a focal point in a restaurant? You will at this location of Shaka Bowl! The interior features corrugated metal panels, reclaimed wood paneling, thatching and colorful graphics that reflect the sisters’ travels in Hawaii. There is also a new, modern, full-service kitchen spanning over two levels within the space.

Both locations of Shaka Bowl were designed by Deugen Development.

The Food and Drinks

Shaka Bowl, Veronique Deblois, Hoboken, Jersey Bites
Hilo Smoothie

Shaka Bowl’s menu is simple and features dishes made using whole foods that complement the vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, keto, dairy-free and plant-based lifestyles of Hoboken’s diverse clientele.

Shaka Bowl’s mantra, Eat Well, Feel Well, Be Well is reflected throughout the menu. Meats are grass-fed, locally-sourced and contain no hormones or preservatives. Seafood comes exclusively from Peter’s Fish Market and Fulton Fish Market.

During our lunch visit, we tried several delicious dishes.

Avocado Toast – made using 100% organic sprouted grain bread, with house-made creamy mashed avocado, tangy pickled onions and sesame seeds. The order consists of two large toasts and while satisfying, they needed a bit of salt and/or acidity.

Mauna Kea Bowl – prepared with sushi grade ahi tuna, white rice, chopped mango, avocado, sliced jalapenos, scallions, cilantro, sesame seeds and a fantastic house-made spicy Shaka sauce. This was our favorite dish because of the ultra-fresh fish and all the contrasting flavors – a must order.

Shaka Bowl – another outstanding and flavor-packed bowl made with chicken, brown rice, zucchini noodles, carrots, cucumber, scallions, cabbage, pickled onions, mango, a house-made sweet chili sauce.

Hilo Smoothie – I knew of Shaka Bowl’s reputation for having some of the best smoothies around, so we ordered the Hilo. This is a bright green concoction of almond milk, banana, spinach, vanilla protein, and peanut butter. Thick, creamy, and big peanut butter taste.

Shaka Bowl, Veronique Deblois, Hoboken, Jersey Bites
Avocado Toast
Shaka Bowl, Veronique Deblois, Hoboken, Jersey Bites
Mauna Kea
Shaka Bowl, Veronique Deblois, Hoboken, Jersey Bites
Shaka Bowl

We’re already talking about our next visit and what we’ll order. The 3 Lava Rock Shrimp Tacos filled with Napa cabbage, mango, pickled onions and crispy shrimp, prepared in a special gluten-free batter and fried, then tossed in sweet chili and spicy Shaka sauce is calling our names. We’d also opt for a sweet bowl and the Molokai Cacao, which sounds incredible—acai base, banana, strawberry, granola, cacao nibs, goji berries, chopped almonds and….Nutella!

Both locations are conveniently located close to public transportation, and near street parking and public parking garages.


110 Washington Street
Hoboken, NJ
201-253-0626 (est. July 2018)

720 Monroe Street, Suite E103
Hoboken, NJ
201-381-1647 (est. 2016)

Happy eating,