You know the trend: These days any form of food—be it burrito, smoothie or breakfast—can be bowl-i-fied. Sweet or savory, laden with noodles or light with leafy greens, each of these dishes will bowl you over with their creativity and depth of flavor.


Cookie Monster Smoothie Bowl at Trism

The Sesame Street character probably would approve of Trism’s Cookie Monster Smoothie Bowl ($9). The blue-hued bowl mixes sweet, nutty and chocolaty flavors from banana, cashew butter, vanilla brown rice protein, Blue Majik (a nutrient-rich algae extract), maple and a crumbling of no-bake cookie dough and cacao nibs. The sweet-but-balanced concoction would probably win approval from Cookie Monster’s younger fans, too. Bonus points for being both vegan and gluten-free. 1636 N. High St., Campus, 614-369-1450,

Açaí Bowl at Zest Juice Co.

Zest has grown to four locations—Dublin, Easton, Fifth by Northwest and Short North—serving cold-pressed juices, smoothies and other wholesome edibles. The popular açaí bowls rely on reddish-purple açaí berries, known to be packed with nutrients and layered with other healthy ingredients in beautiful rows. The Original Açaí Bowl ($10) is loaded with bananas, blueberries, raspberries and coconut milk, while variations on the dish mix it up with strawberry, mango, honey and apple juice. Multiple locations,

Eggs Over Greens at Acre

Acre makes it easy to go green for the morning meal. Featured on the weekend brunch menu at Acre—Todd Mills’ farm-to-table, fast-casual spot—the Eggs Over Greens ($8.45) will have health-conscious diners head over heels for a bowl of blanched kale and quinoa topped with roasted mushrooms, a pair of over-easy eggs and a lemon-garlic drizzle. Vegans can get in on the action by subbing out the eggs for organic tofu. Multiple locations,


Tonkotsu Ramen at Fukuryu Ramen

The sleek and colorful Fukuryu Ramen seems designed for easy replication across the globe with locations in Melbourne, Australia, one in Upper Arlington and now Dublin—the Ohio Dublin. It features about a dozen ramen bowls, with tonkotsu ($11.90) topping the list. The rich and almost creamy pork bone broth surrounds thinly sliced pork belly, half a soft-boiled egg, wood ear mushrooms, bamboo, spring onions and leeks. 1600 W. Lane Ave. #160, Upper Arlington, 614-929-5910,

Brunch Ramen at The Whitney House

Chef Maxwell Avon at The Whitney House crafts an eclectic menu where classic American comfort foods—think roasted chicken or steak and eggs—are served alongside international dishes like chilaquiles or, yes, a bowl of ramen ($12) at brunch. Chef Avon’s ramen features a red miso broth filled with chili-garlic pulled pork, seared shrimp and colorful veggies. His take on the Japanese dish is popular enough that he hosts occasional, late-night ramen pop-ups called Ramen After Dark. 666 High St., Worthington, 614-396-7846,

Braised Beef Noodle Soup at Chinese Beef Noodle Soup

Chinese Beef Noodle Soup is proof that good things come in small packages. Tucked down 12th Avenue just off High Street, the little blue storefront with the red sign serves up rich bowls of soup laden with handmade wheat noodles. This Campus establishment excels at its namesake dish: beef noodle soup ($9.25) packed with well-seasoned broth, long strands of noodles and tender beef. Opt for versions that layer in bok choy or hard-boiled egg, or even sesame seeds and chili oil. 10 E. 12th Ave., Campus, 614-817-1360,


Vegetable Salad at Brassica

Brassica has won adoring fans with its fast-casual Mediterranean fare, and who can be surprised after seeing its layout of colorful meats and veggies? The vegetable salad bowl ($7.50) at Brassica starts with lentils, rice and greens, then a garden’s worth of vegetables are added: marinated eggplant, roasted carrots, spicy cauliflower and bright and flavorful pickled veggies. And in case you’re feeling too healthy, you can always order a side of Brassica fries. Good news: Bexley and Upper Arlington locations are in the works. 680 N. High St., Short North, 614-867-5885,

Greens & Ancient Grains at CoreLife Eatery

The first Central Ohio outpost of this small chain of eateries focused on responsibly sourced ingredients, the CoreLife Eatery at Polaris adjusts fast-casual convenience to nearly every eating preference. Guests build bowls from greens, grains or bone broths. The Greens & Ancient Grains bowl ($7.95) packs a healthy punch with the usual suspects like quinoa and kale, bolstered by arugula, tomatoes, corn, chickpeas, broccoli and shredded white cheddar cheese. 8742 Sancus Blvd., Polaris, 614-827-3376,

Wakame Bowl at Veranico Kitchen & Provisions

Drawing its name from the term for “Indian summer,” the warm and inviting Veranico features both customizable and pre-designed bowls. While many of the bowls are protein-heavy—think roasted salmon, grilled sirloin or tandoori-spiced chicken—the Wakame Bowl ($9.50) opts for sesame-marinated tofu and a pile of the green stuff: broccoli, edamame, snap peas, seaweed and spinach. Bowls are finished with house-made dressings, like the sweet and crisp honey ginger suggested for the Wakame. 401 N. Front St., Arena District, 614-670-7423,


Poke Bowl at Sushi Ten

For years, Columbus food hounds have sworn by the high-quality sushi offerings at Tensuke Market in Upper Arlington. A year ago, the market moved its sushi department into a cute and casual shop next door, complete with a tower aquarium. In addition to sushi rolls and nigiri, Sushi Ten offers impressive poke bowls ($7-$13.75), all served with rice, red onion, red bell pepper, edamame, baby arugula, avocado, cucumber, pickled ginger and a slice of lime. Choose from king salmon, tuna, shrimp, octopus, tofu or other proteins, then top with sesame seeds, nori and sauce for a perfect 10. 1159 Old Henderson Rd., Upper Arlington, 614-451-9100,

Buddha Bowl at Northstar Café

Like its namesake, Northstar’s Buddha Bowl ($13) has cultivated loyal followers over the years (and even propagated copycat recipes on the internet). The base is long-grain brown rice, while the veggies—broccoli, carrots, cauliflower and red cabbage—are always fresh, bright and perfectly al dente. You can order your bowl with pan-seared organic tofu or roasted chicken. But what’s really driven the addiction for this bowl since Northstar opened its first location in 2004 is its signature peanut sauce. The secret ingredient is Krema Nut Company’s Creamy Peanut Butter, which uses freshly roasted peanuts with no added salt, sugar, preservatives or hydrogenated oils. This bowl may not lead to nirvana, but it’s been known to conjure taste-bud bliss. Multiple locations,

Jerk Tofu Bowl at Sobremesa Street Kitchen

Rafael Simo’s year-old food truck, Sobremesa (which loosely translates to “the time spent around the table after lunch or dinner”), got off to a hot start by differentiating itself from typical food-truck fare with well-executed and interesting vegan and vegetarian food. Its Jerk Tofu Bowl ($8), a composition of rice, black beans, grilled plantains and jerk-marinated tofu, balances heat from the Caribbean seasoning with the plantains’ sweetness and acidity from Simo’s garlicky-cilantro sauce. It’s a filling and welcome alternative to the blah burrito bowl. Citywide,