You would naturally assume that finding the dark purple color of açaí in Belém would be as omnipresent as the color green in the trees, especially since açaí comes from this region…but you’d be slightly mistaken (if what you were looking for was the cold and delicious kind).
In Rio, you can find açaí (na tigela, or in the bowl) in many places, from lanchonetes (snack bars) to carrinhos (karts) on the street corner but in Belém, it can be found in a specific store (usually either called Casa do Açaí or Ponto do Açaí) selling only açaí by the liter. At places where you can eat açaí right then and there, such as at Ver-o-peso market, the açaí comes warm, sugarless and bland. I would say “don’t fret, there are ways to make it taste better!” but even those things (such as ice cubes, tapioca balls and sugar) don’t do much for my tongue.
Another option for getting your fix is the ice-cream shop, where it is sold by the bola (scoop, which I would guess equals around 100ml) at a price that would get me 300-600ml in Rio, depending on where I was. Also, in some supermarkets in Pará such as Líder, it is sold as pulp in thin clear plastic packages for a bit of a better price.
I never did find açaí na tigela here (in Belém), but the many scoops of ice cream I did try were just as good if not better than any place in Rio!