I Love a Good Bento Box

bento box with vegetable tempura, sushi, white rice, gyoza
My bento box

About a month ago I had a mad craving for a bento box. I must have suggested we go out for bento boxes about a dozen times before one of my girls finally said, “What the heck is a bento box?”

They may be know-it-all teenagers, but they can still learn a little something from their mom. I excitedly told them that bento boxes are cute, compartmentalized lunch trays served at Asian restaurants. Rather than ordering just one dish, you can get small tastes of several foods all neatly sectioned out in a fun little box.

The Definition

Merriam Webster says: a bento is a multicompartment box used for containing the different courses of a usually Japanese lunch.

Ally and Tony were skeptical, but Julia was on board. Nicely, everyone agreed to indulge me so I dragged my family out at about 2:00 pm in the afternoon to Thyme Restaurant in North Andover. Smartly, I called ahead to inquire when they stopped serving bento boxes because they are a lunch item and not available for dinner. Thyme stops serving them at 3:00 pm. I find this troublesome because I often wish I could get a bento box for dinner. I’ll have to investigate further as to why bento boxes are not served beyond lunch – they really should be!

I completely enjoyed my lunch complete with sushi, veggie tempura (my favorite), gyoza (pan fried dumpling) and rice (top photo). Julia liked her bento box too. She tried the teriyaki salmon and shumai (steamed dumpling) in addition to her rice and sushi (photo below).

I just think the presentation of a bento box is so pretty and portion-wise, the amount of food is just right.


Bento box with teriyaki salmon, shumai, sushi and white rice
Julia’s bento box


Now, as I write this, I want a bento box again. But it will have to wait until tomorrow because the clock just struck 3:00 pm 😟

I hope you are all enjoying the summer. Have a great weekend!

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4 years ago

will definitely check this out

4 years ago

Bento boxes are the best. When I was living in Jspan, it was my favorite lunch. Thyme has very delicious and authentic bento boxes as well as H mart , the Asian market in Burlington. Road trip!!!

4 years ago

If you find yourself in Edgartown on MV, try the bento box options at Chesca’s, our favorite restaurant on the Island. Great food, service and people watching😉

Jen K
4 years ago

I love Thyme too. I have had bento box’ before but don’t usually consider it for lunch. I too, would love a bento box as a dinner selection. Please report back after your investigation. I believe there’s a demand.

4 years ago

I’ve never had a bento box – they look so fun!

4 years ago

Both boxes look delicious, I can’t wait to try this restaurant