Agua Fresh menu expanding


Agua Fresh manager Rene Dudos grills up the popular truffle mac and cheese from their expanded menu, Noodle Bowl.

Madysen Vlastuin, Reporter

A downtown restaurant known for its sandwiches, wraps and healthy smoothies has added more choices to its menu – noodle bowls and boba teas.

Agua Fresh opened at 420 Main Ave. in downtown Brookings in September 2020. Owner Bilal Alkalin recently added the Noodle Bowl and boba teas to the location to get more variety onto the menu.

Noodle Bowl, a new and separate service in the same building, has noodle dish flavors ranging from macaroni and cheese to lo mein. Boba tea is a tea base shaken with milk or fruit flavors, then poured over tapioca pearls. The business has 10 flavors of boba to choose from.

“The main idea of these additions is giving the community more options,” Alkalin said.

Alkalin said he is always looking to find ways the restaurant can stand out in the community, which means being open to adding items that the Brookings community is unfamiliar with.

“Our Brookings location is the capital of three different concepts and we already have two of them,” Alkalin said. “One of them is Agua Fresh and the second is the Noodle Bowl, and we are thinking of adding chicken sandwiches, which is an option missing in the community.”

There are two Agua Fresh locations in South Dakota. The downtown Sioux Falls location on Phillips Avenue opened in 2019.

Alkalin had entertained the idea of coming to Brookings because of the student population. College students are always in need of healthy options, so opening Agua Fresh close to South Dakota State University seemed like a smart move, Alkalin said.

“Our menu is more for the age group of 18ish to 35ish,” he said.

Dusten Hendrickson, the owner of Brookings Built Green, recruited Agua Fresh to check out his building on Main Street after learning about their fresh menu items from a television news story in Sioux Falls.

Hendrickson already had built the space that he thought would be perfect for any smoothie bar or coffee shop, which ended up being the space for Agua Fresh.

“Before Agua Fresh arrived, it was tough to find fresh smoothies, real vegetable juices, acai and grain bowls, salads, soup and sandwiches in one location and some of the items were not offered anywhere in town,” Hendrickson said. “We knew the student population would appreciate and enjoy it.”

Many SDSU students enjoy Agua Fresh because of its wide variety of healthy, protein-filled meals.

Tori Tollefson, a member of the SDSU women’s softball team, is a frequent Agua Fresh customer.

“After practice, all I crave is something fresh like a smoothie, and I find that Agua Fresh is the perfect place for me to satisfy my cravings,” Tollefson said. “I can order online, and when I get there my meal is ready.”

Agua Fresh’s owners are thankful for the support from Brookings.

“My staff and I are really happy for contributing to the Brookings community and students, the support is great,” Alkalin said.

The Main Avenue location is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends.