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Food

Paco Smoothie Cafe: Super Insta-worthy Superfood Smoothie Bowls In Bangkok

Last Updated: October 30, 2019

Written by Contributing Writer

Paco Smoothie Cafe Bkk

The first thing one sees upon approaching Paco Smoothie Cafe along Sukhumvit Soi 31 isn’t the shop itself—it’s the duos and trios of Instagrammers avidly taking pictures of each other holding rainbow smoothie bowls, both inside and outside the small Bangkok cafe. 

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Food bloggers and Instagram influencers from Thailand, Southeast Asia, and beyond have notched off a visit to this teeny, tiny smoothie bowl shop for its tie-dye, low-calorie, and photogenic bowls, even though it’s only been open less than a year.

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Be warned that the shop is much tinier than expected; 10 guests would completely pack the place. During our visit on a Saturday morning, we managed to grab two counter seats, bumping elbows with other customers and listening to the never-ending cacophony of blenders. 

Pop art-inspired posters, a neon sign, gold ceiling, and Keith Haring art on the walls give the place a strong millennial vibe. 

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The dozen-or-so smoothie bowls on offer have swirling patterns similar to latte art and have no added sugar, gluten, or artificial colouring.

Bright oranges come from Dunaliella salina (a type of micro-algae); blues from Blue Spirulina (also algae). Calorie-counters can also rejoice as every bowl comes with an estimated caloric value, ranging from 190 to 260 calories.

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Enticed by the blue-yellow-pink gradient shown on the menu, we kicked off our smoothie binge with the Rain Bowl (THB390), a bowl of Blue Spirulina, pitaya, banana, pineapple, raspberry and mango.

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The supposedly bright colours were a slight letdown, looking more like a mishmash of pastels. However, the mixture of fruits was enjoyable, with the bananas and mangoes adding sweetness and body to the pineapples and raspberries.

The blue spirulina didn’t have a discernible taste of its own—not that it usually does—especially since it was blended with banana. On top were some blueberries and a sliced fig but the granola and banana with peanut butter were the more memorable toppings, contrasting nicely with the smoothie.

The entire bowl, only 220 to 240 calories, was quickly polished off by us two hungry people. 

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Rain Bowl (Left) | Black Magic (Right)

Deciding to go in a completely different direction for our second bowl, we picked the least colourful item, but one we noticed the bloggers around us ordering: the Black Magic (THB290), a blend of blackberries, blueberries, bananas, pineapples, and charcoal powder. 

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To describe this smoothie combo to the best of our ability, imagine a dark wine where the alcohol is replaced with a honey-like sweetness, and with a hint of berry. Then imagine that this sweetness was enhanced by the smoothie staples of banana and pineapple. 

The drizzled yoghurt, blueberries, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and strawberry slices also added complementary textures to the bowl. This was definitely our favourite of the day given the complex flavours and comparatively reasonable price point.

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Before we called it a day, the shop manager urged us to try the smoothie bowl with “the most nutrients”—the simply-named Acai (THB390).

Looking too pretty to eat, this bowl features 300g of blended acai topped with a fig, strawberries, bananas, blueberries, oranges, peanut butter, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, granola, sesame, buckwheat, almonds, and yoghurt. Phew!

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But despite the long ingredient list, it felt like the laziest bowl out of the three. The rainbow-coloured fruit sauces on top were just bare whispers of the full-bodied smoothie bases in the Rain Bowl and Black Magic.

It seemed like the colours were just for show since there wasn’t enough to have any real difference in flavour. As soon as we scooped up a spoonful, the illusion was ruined, and it kind of only went downhill from there. 

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As we continued eating, the components dissolved into a bowl of brown, goopy chaos, with chunks of random fruit and nuts drowning in it. The orange slices had more pith than juice. The cluster of lingonberries was a literal, mouth-puckering pain just to swallow down with the already-sour acai. And the fig was just unnecessary. 

Our main reason for finishing the Acai was honestly the price tag as it felt like a waste not to swallow all those antioxidants and superfoods.

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Paco really did have its hits and we’ll be back with Instagram-obsessed friends when the hype and crowds die down. If the prices also go down then, well, that would be grand. Charging almost THB400 for what is essentially a smoothie in a bowl topped with fruits and nuts is a bit much. 

It’s safe to say that Paco’s menu proves the adage that all that glitters is not gold, or rather, all that is photogenic is not delicious. 

Expected Damage: THB 200 – THB 500 per pax

*This post was contributed by Nang Linchi, a born-and-bred Bangkokian passionate about showing off the city’s old secrets and new improvements.

Price: $ $

Our Rating: 2 / 5

Paco Smoothie Cafe

249 Soi Sukhumvit 31, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, Thailand 10110

Price
Our Rating 2/5

Paco Smoothie Cafe

249 Soi Sukhumvit 31, Khlong Toei Nuea, Watthana, Bangkok, Thailand 10110

Operating Hours: 10am - 8pm (Daily)

Operating Hours: 10am - 8pm (Daily)

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