Open Tab: Deep Purpl offers fresh, trendy options


Jack Austin/Daily Senior Staffer

An employee at Deep Purpl holds up an açaí cup. This Evanston restaurant serves açaí bowls and smoothies at 630 Davis St.

Kara Peeler, Reporter

A sign reading “Deeply in Love” in purple neon letters greeted me when I walked through the door of the açaí bowl restaurant. 

That sign couldn’t be more accurate: there’s a reason Deep Purpl attracts customers even as temperatures drop and snow falls. Located across from the Downton Evanston Plaza at 630 Davis St., Deep Purpl’s bright awnings and fluorescent signage are bound to lure in visitors galore. 

The restaurant boasts trendy decorations, a plethora of plants and multiple comfortable seating areas. Familiar pop music adds to the fun and welcoming ambiance. The room is decked out in purple paint, a coincidence that aligns well with Northwestern pride. 

Visitors can customize Deep Purpl açaí bowls extensively — their different size options and 18 toppings are on offer, including fresh fruits, nut butters, vegan protein powders and even other “superfoods” such as chia seeds, cacao nibs and goji berries. With so many choices on the table, the eating experience is tailored to the customer’s taste buds and preferences. 

Usually these snacks are served as a smoothie bowl, but Deep Purpl has added its own twist to the trend, serving the food in a clear cup adorned with Deep Purpl’s logo. The restaurant also offers six smoothie flavors, with and without protein. 

“They have protein smoothies too, which I think is really interesting,” said Medill graduate student Kaitlin Wood, who also runs a food account on Instagram as a hobby. “For people who are working out, it’s a great place to go.” 

Though açaí bowls originated as a dessert in Pará and the Amazonas in Brazil, the sweet smoothie-like dish has spread and popularized around the globe.

“I used to eat (açaí) almost every day in highschool … in Brazil,” Gabriel Firmo (Weinberg ’21) said. “I have been hearing about açaí in the U.S. for about four years, but it is always very Americanized. It’s been strange (to see) takes on it from people who have clearly not tried it the way it is produced back home (in Brazil).”

In the U.S., açaí is especially popular on the West coast and in Hawaii. Firmo said he was eager to try Deep Purpl after his friend raved about it, and added he’s getting accustomed to this Americanized version of açaí.

A woman with blonde hair wearing a grey sweatshirt squeezes a sauce out of a bottle into an açaí cup.
An employee makes a customized açaí bowl.


After trekking through the snow from my dorm to Davis Street, I tried Deep Purpl’s “PB Chocolate Heaven” vegan protein smoothie, which tasted milkshake adjacent. I would absolutely recommend it for someone looking for an extra boost of protein in their sweet treat. 

The smoothie was creamy, so thick it almost didn’t flow through the straw. Its flavor was akin to a chocolate peanut butter cup, which made the smoothie so worth it, even during the start of the snowy season. I could imagine it being a fun breakfast or even a dessert alternative. 

As for the açaí bowl, I opted for 12 ounces of the rich mixture, which was both luxuriously sweet and fruity. Loading up on toppings, I selected kiwis, strawberries and blueberries; the fresh fruits complemented my bowl’s almond butter and cacao nibs. The bowl satisfied my sweet tooth while also promising more health benefits than a straight-up dessert. Not to mention, its presentation was even more aesthetically pleasing than I had anticipated. 

Every time I visited, I noticed employees taking extra steps to create positive experiences for customers. One employee even delicately placed strawberries in the shape of a flower when crafting my açaí bowl. The attention to detail was immaculate and, undoubtedly, Instagram-worthy. 

And if you’re ever away from Evanston, have no fear. Deep Purpl is a Chicago-based chain with four additional locations throughout the city. So if you’re looking to satisfy your açaí craving, the walk downtown — even in the snow — is absolutely worth it for the tasty treat that will rejuvenate you as you prepare for finals. 

Jack Austin contributed reporting.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @karapeeler

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