What’s in a name?

We have some cool stories behind some of the names of our menu items–especially those bowls that everyone knows and loves. Sure, some are straightforward like the “Strawberry banana smoothie.” But others carry a certain memory and meaning that we wanted to share with all of our Playa Babes and Bros.


Here are 10 menu items with names that hold a special meaning for us in Pineappleland.


Our smoothies

The Dolce 

The Dolce was named after our Co-founder, Rob’s chocolate lab who would lay under the Playa Bowls stand every day.


The Dang 

The Dang was inspired by a cafe in Rincon, Puerto Rico. The cafe served acai bowls and was a popular surfing hangout by our founders for years before Playa Bowls came to be. Our founders would catch waves and then grab the smoothie for a perfect refresh. It felt only natural to bring those memories and ingredients to the Playa menu.


The Booster 

The Booster (which is also a bowl) was created out of a desire to incorporate flax oil and spirulina into the menu. It was named for the boosting health ingredients and because it took the Playa Bowls menu to the next level.


Our bowls 

8th Ave

The 8th Ave was one of the first bowls on our menu. It’s named after the corner of 8th Avenue in Belmar where we had our initial pop up cart location. 


Ocean Ave

Meanwhile, Ocean Ave was the street between the cart and the beach. The location, and name (along with 8th Ave), is an ode to our humble beginnings.



Numerous surf trips to Nicaragua have been an inspiration to our menu–the culture, the tropical landscape, and of course the endless waves. It’s also where Pitaya is from. That’s why we named the Nica Bowl, short for Nicaragua, to bring that cultural connection to our Playa Babes and Bros.



Our admiration from Costa Rica is expressed in several of our bowls, starting with the Costa Bowl.  


Pura Vida

But our Pura Vida Bowl is a special name. It’s named after a term that means “pure life.” In Costa Rica, Pura Vida is the term for a simple way of living, one that’s worry-free. It also happens to be used as a greeting, celebratory exclamation, and way to describe how you are. So when you order a Pura Vida you are able to taste a purity similar to that of the Costa Ricans. 



Another fun fact is that the Lola Bowl was named after a giant pig our founders saw in Costa Rica. The next time you take a bite, imagine the friendly pig that is now on menus all across America.



And Olas means waves in Spanish, which felt like an obvious choice for a name.


Our expansive menu comes from years of thoughtful effort and storybuilding, executed by a stellar team that usually consists of Rob, Abby, Brenna, and Danielle. The end result are names that carry meaning and help bring our brand to life.