The Smoothie Bowl Craze Reaches Downtown Lexington


Nala Shearer

Members of the community of Lexington enjoy colorful smoothie creations of the new restaurant, Lex Bowls.

Nala Shearer, Reporter

While looking for a place to eat in Downtown Lexington, you pretty much know what to expect: burgers, sandwiches, or pizza. Something that does not come to mind is fresh fruit smoothies and bowls… until now. 

Lexington’s staple restaurants, such as the Palms, Macados, and Salerno’s, to name a few, simply do not satisfy if an individual is looking for something light but delicious. These restaurants have mostly heavier, fuller meals, but now people looking for a healthier, organic option are in luck! 

Not one, but two smoothie bowl shops have recently opened to residents of Lexington. The first to open was Lex Bowls, but shortly after, Appalachian Sage opened its doors to the public. Only walking distance away from each other, the combination of smoothie bowl shops could either turn into a competition or a coexistence that all citizens enjoy. 

Early this fall, Lex Bowls was the first to open and is becoming more and more popular by the day. With their many flavors and options, any customer will walk out satisfied. 

I went to Lex Bowls for the first time on Oct. 22 and was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the new business. I ordered the Spring Break smoothie bowl that contained the acai base, granola, pineapple, coconut flakes, and a honey drizzle. I also added strawberries to the bowl from the long list of add-ons that customers can choose from. 

The smoothie bowl lit up my taste buds. I was expecting some pre-made, flavorless base that most acai bowls come with, but I was wrong. They blended the base up right in front of me and constructed the bowl with great care. 

I also had the opportunity to try two other types of bowls and a smoothie, since the rest of my family also wanted to try the new shop. 

The Wildcat bowl was a good choice, but was not anything too unique. It had granola, strawberries, banana, coconut flakes, and nutella on top of the acai smoothie base. The strawberry banana smoothie had great flavor as well. This smoothie had apple juice in addition to just strawberries and bananas, which enhanced its flavor even more. 

All of the goods that I tried were fantastic, but surprisingly, the Power Up bowl was my favorite of the morning. This bowl had chocolate protein powder mixed into the acai base and was topped with granola, banana, and peanut butter. I was a little nervous about the chocolate protein powder, but it turned out to be a great addition to the peanut butter and banana flavors present in the bowl. 

The food was already delicious, but the service made the experience even better. The owners were so friendly and never lost interest when my little siblings started to ask a million questions about the bowl-making process. 

Overall, with their outstanding service and even better products, I would give Lex Bowls five stars on Yelp for sure. I recommend this place to everyone, but especially to those who love fresh fruit and want a lighter, healthier meal in their day. 

To experience it for yourself, visit Lex Bowls at 123 W Nelson St, Lexington, VA, 24450! They are closed two days a week, Tuesday and Thursday, but otherwise are open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

Experiencing Lex Bowls first made it a hard act to follow, but Appalachian Sage held its own. As I walked in, I was hit with a light, fresh scent and a blast of bright colors. 

From the green and pink neon signs to the colorful crystals sold in the shop, Appalachian Sage knows how to create the ultimate ambiance. They also know how to create the ultimate smoothie bowl. 

I chose to build my own bowl, adding strawberries, pineapples, bananas, peanut butter, and coconut. I was then surprised with a choice of which smoothie base I could choose. 

There were four different base options; dragon fruit, acai, coconut, and blue spirulina, which is a nutritional algae that creates a bright blue color. I tried all of the bases and thoroughly enjoyed each one. They all had a fresh and distinct taste that exactly matched their ingredients. 

To finish it off, a heat sensitive color-changing spoon was placed on top to add even more happiness to my bowl. The fruit was piled high and I enjoyed my bowl more and more with each bite. 

My favorite part of the smoothie bowl was how the peanut butter was placed between the base and the fruit instead of on top of everything. This allowed for the peanut butter to be tasted in every bite. 

Since I was fully pleased with the quality of my goods, I decided to return to Appalachian Sage two more times in the next week. However, I did not leave as satisfied as I had the first time. 

Maybe it had been busy days, but for some reason the quality of service declined each time I went. In addition, the bowls that I received still tasted wonderful, but were less visually appealing and got messier with each return that I made. 

The prices at Appalachian Sage are also slightly higher than those at Lex Bowls, and if the service was exceptionally better, or even the same, I would not have any problem with it. However, I thought the customer service could use a little work for the price that I was paying for my smoothie bowl. In my opinion, a little happiness from the staff goes a long way to the customers. 

All said, I would give Appalachian Sage a solid 3.97 out of five stars, because of their delicious smoothies, but also because of their room for improvement in the customer service department. 

Nevertheless, I would still encourage anyone to try the new establishment. You can try these smoothies yourself at 9 E Washington St, Lexington, VA 24450. They are open anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. 

If it came down to picking sides, I have never been disappointed with Lex Bowls, so I would have to side with the first taste of smoothie joy that I experienced in downtown Lexington. However, Appalachian Sage is still a close second option for my fresh fruit cravings, and it is so convenient to have two delicious options in one town!


Appalachian Sage customer browses the different base and topping options for their smoothie bowl. (Nala Shearer)