Discover the best bento box lunches in Calgary

The bento box – a Japanese lunch consisting of numerous food items placed into a box divided into compartments – is arguably the perfect lunch for anyone looking for variety and a (relatively) low price. These Calgary restaurants have mastered the art of the bento. [Image credit: iStock.com/R9_RoNaLdO]

Shikiji Japanese Noodles & Sushi

1
1608 Centre St NE, Calgary, AB T2E 2R9

This Centre Street restaurant just south of the Trans Canada was one of the first places in Calgary to do really great ramen (its chili goma ramen is legendary), but also check out Shikiji’s lunchtime bento boxes. There are eight options featuring combinations of sukiyaki beef, sushi, tempura and chicken teriyaki. A limited amount of fried rice is available as a substitute for steamed.

Ki Modern Japanese & Bar

2
120-308 4 Ave SW, Calgary, AB T2P 0H7

Ki offers a contemporary take on typical Japanese fare and the downtown restaurant’s lunch bento boxes fall in line with the kitchen’s inspired Japanese menu options. Ki’s bentos are built around servings of white rice, vegetable goma-ae and miso soup plus your choice of a ginger-soy grilled tuna or teriyaki chicken bowl or a surf ’n’ turf platter with silver rib eye and grilled tiger prawns.

Myung Ga Korean Restaurant

3
3-8 Weston Dr Sw, Calgary, AB T3H 5P2

This little place in West Springs specializes in both Korean and Japanese food and the bentos offer a taste of both cuisines. The boxes include all the Japanese standards (miso soup, salad, edamame, gyoza and a California roll) as well as Korean choices like beef, pork or chicken bulgogi or Japanese mains like sushi and chicken katsu.

Shigatsu

4
3106 4 St NW, Calgary, AB T2M 3A4

With strands of faux crystals dangling from the roof and privacy partitions throughout the room, Shigatsu is a pleasant surprise for a strip mall sushi spot, with a Japanese tapas and sushi menu that’s simple, yet solid. Its lunch bento boxes feature a choice of teriyaki (beef, chicken or salmon), tempura or pork katsu, with the option of mixing mains.

Daruma Japanese Restaurant

5
6-630 1 Ave NE, Calgary, AB T2E 0B6

Located in the much-loved old Café de Tokyo space, Bridgeland’s Daruma is small and friendly. Bento boxes are offered at lunch. In addition to the usual components (rice, salad and miso soup), guests can choose from two categories of mains, mixing and matching hot items including tempura and yaki with sushi or sashimi.

Goro & Gun

6
245-225 7th Avenue SW, Calgary, AB T2P 2W3

Goro and Gun is known for its slurp-worthy ramen bowls and Japanese-inspired happy-hour cocktails, but the Scotia Centre restaurant also does a tasty bento box from 11 am through 3 pm. Choose from harami beef, free-run chicken, mushroom tempura or sashimi; each comes with two pieces of lobster California roll, fresh greens, steamed rice, kimchi and miso soup.

Hana Sushi Japanese Restaurant

7
1807 4 St SW, Calgary, AB T2S 1W2

A staple Mission eatery, Hana Sushi is a no-fuss Japanese place that always hits the spot. The restaurant’s lunch bentos include a choice of meat (teriyaki beef, chicken, or salmon or sweet and savoury chicken) alongside four different combinations of sushi, sashimi, and tempura.

Nami Sushi & Grill

8
1604 14 Street SW, Calgary, AB T3C 1E2

Nami offers a more extensive array of dishes than a lot of local Japanese restaurants, and while the Beltline eatery features just three lunch boxes, they’re wildly varied. There’s a completely vegetarian bento (yam rolls, veggie tempura and tofu teriyaki), a more traditional box with sushi and teriyaki, and a third choice with teriyaki, California roll and gyoza.

Sushi Kawa Japanese Restaurant

9
2202 4 St SW, Calgary, AB T2S 1W9

Another veteran of the Mission dining scene, Sushi Kawa offers bentos that cater to a wide variety of tastes. There are the standards (various teriyaki meats with sushi or sashimi), plus a vegetarian box and a special spicy box. If a regular bento isn’t enough of a belly buster, there’s also a deluxe box featuring a little bit of everything.

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