Aloha, fellow food lovers!
Let me take you on a journey through my own personal paradise: the tantalizing world of Honolulu’s best bento meals. I’ve been vacationing in Hawaii with my boyfriend for years, and we’ve made it our quest to uncover the most delicious bento boxes this city has to offer. From beach picnics to hikes in lush forests, these scrumptious packages have accompanied us on countless adventures.
You see, not all bentos are created equal. Some may leave your taste buds wanting more, while others might weigh down your wallet just a little too much. Fear not! With years of experience under our belts (and many satisfied stomachs), we’re here to share our top picks for quality, taste, and value so you can feast like a local without breaking the bank.
Now I’m no professional chef or food critic – but as an avid traveler and food enthusiast who’s sampled every bento joint in town (seriously!), I know what I’m talking about when it comes to delicious eats that satisfy both your tummy and wallet!
Warning: Be prepared to feel some serious hunger pangs once you read about these mouth-watering bentos – you might find yourself booking a flight to Honolulu sooner than expected!
So let’s dive right in and explore these amazing culinary treats that’ll make your next Hawaiian adventure truly unforgettable!
#1 Kokoro-tei – The Best Bento Place in Town
Address: 2424 S Beretania St, Honolulu, HI 96826
This hidden gem of a Japanese restaurant has a bento menu, a special menu, and a takeout menu. It’s easy to skip the line, and just order online for pickup. No matter if you order at the restaurant or to-go, you will get a great packaged meal with awesome portions.
I love the food here because there are so many combinations. The food is well prepared and seasoned. And everything is garden-fresh and made from scratch. There are no artificial flavors here. Rather good quality homemade food.
The menu is huge. My favorites are the ginger chicken with miso ginger sauce and white rice, and the Kabayaki with a generous piece of eel, with rice, salad, and Kabayaki sauce. For those looking for a meat option they have hamburger steak with steamed vegetables and rice, or the strip steak with mack salad, rice, and garlic sauce. Their curry bowls are also to die for!
Kokoro-tei has the best bento meal because:
- They have a vast menu of traditional and Japanese bento meals, curry bowls, and other packed lunches.
- The food is well portioned, and really well seasoned and there are seafood, vegetable, beef, and chicken options.
- They have a user-friendly online ordering system to avoid waiting in line.
- The food tastes homemade and is made from scratch with fresh ingredients.
- Service is quick and efficient and willing to help you out with your choices.
- The prices are cheap, but the food is not.
#2 Teruya’s Andagi – The Local Japanese Food Hotspot for All of Your Traditional Favorites
Address: 1104 Pensacola St, Honolulu, HI 96814
Teruya’s Andagi serves simple meals with clean and fresh flavors. The bento meals are more Japanese authentic and nori wraps, pickled and grilled vegetables, meat, fish, and perfectly done rice.
The portions are well-sized and you can get your sauce on the side. One thing that sets them apart is that they also have kid’s Spam roll bento. My favorite meals are the Chicken Karaage Bento, the Shrimp Roll Set, and Garlic Chicken Roll Set. Their delicious vegetable sides set Teruya’s Andagi bento boxes apart from the other eateries. They are fresh, crispy, traditionally dressed, grilled, and pickled.
They also have a large offer of andagi and mocha (for us sweets lovers!). The food here is consistent in quality, and whenever we visit, we are not disappointed. Service is friendly and quick and we get in and out in under 10 minutes. There is some here’s street parking right in the front, but usually one of us just waits in the car.
Pick Teruya’s Andagi for your bento meal because:
- They serve traditional Japanese with a modern twist.
- The food is well-packed and easy to eat, and take in your backpack.
- They have original and impeccably prepared vegetables in their meals.
- They also serve andagi and mocha to take with your meal.
#3 Matsumoto’s Okazuya & Restaurant – Best Homemade Bento From Scratch
Address: 1323 Gulick Ave, Honolulu, HI 96819
I love this spot because it’s a mom-and-pop shop serving traditional and homemade food. They have a solid and well-thought-out menu with everyone’s favorites. The Choice Bento Box is their top meal.
For bento, you can get your choice of okazu like fish, tempura, chicken, beef, and shrimp. With it, they serve rice, soup, salad, and tsukemono. So pick and choose whatever you like. There are many combinations so you can have different meals several days in a row. I love the sashimi because it’s incredibly fresh, buttery, and well-cut. (Tasty!) It gives high-end restaurants a run for their money.
The food here is a great deal. Service is quick and friendly. They really work on maintaining their customers. Parking is hard to find (like in most of the city). But you will be in and out quickly so you can even leave someone in the car to wait.
Don’t miss out on Matsumoto’s Okazuya bento meals because:
- The food is original, hardy, and made in a traditional style.
- You have many options for sides including soup, so you can make many meal combinations (different for each visit).
- The price is incredible for the food quality.
- Service is friendly, appreciates the customer, and everything moves quickly.
Conclusion on the Best Bento in Honolulu
Bento meals are a perfect meal on the go. It’s an opportunity to have some incredible flavor combinations while enjoying the impeccable views and trails of Honolulu.
If you are looking for the mom and pop, homemade bento meal with many combinations, make sure to visit Matsumoto’s Okazuya & Restaurant.
For a modern roll-styled bento and incredible veggie sides, stop by Teruya’s Andagi.
Lastly, check out my number one choice for the best overall meal, largest menu, and hardy portions of meat and rice at Kokoro-tei.
Grab these meals in under 10 minutes and enjoy the incredible flavors wherever you are headed.
I recommend visiting all three spots (multiple times).
Last Updated on April 7, 2023 by Brigitte