Bento Café Opening in 2018 at AER

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Bento Café is slowly taking over Florida. The concept first opened just south of the University of Florida in the summer of 2002. Bento currently has locations in Jacksonville, Orlando, Tallahassee, Gainesville, and Pembroke Pines in South Florida.

Two brothers build a legacy on their father’s dream . . .

– Steve, Founder (1950-2009)

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Affordable and delicious sushi and stir fry

Located at 330 3rd Street South next to Simple Greek, Bento will join the recently finished AER apartment community.

The restaurant is famous for its affordable, savory sushi and stir-fry. Interesting menu items include a Japanese Bagel — smoked salmon, cream cheese, avocado, scallions — and a fried avocado roll — made with spicy mayo and eel sauce.

For those interested in grabbing a meal on the go, Bento’s arrival is clutch. The word bento is associated with single-portion takeout meals in Japanese cuisine. Visitors can assemble their own Bento Box at the restaurant to take home — complete with choice of entree, steamed rice, lo mein, string beans and ginger salad.

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Massive boba tea selection

Bento’s tea game is equally impressive. Their choose-your-own-adventure style boba menu will most assuredly satisfy fanatics. Bases include milk tea, milk tea smoothie, and jasmine milk tea. Available flavors range from banana, almond, coconut, chocolate and Starburst, to strawberry shortcake and lychee.

Those seeking a burst of flavor can add popping mango or strawberry, along with pineapple, green apple or tropical jelly.

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2,700 SF on the ground floor of AER

The 2,700 SF restaurant will feature 80 indoor seats with an outdoor patio dining area. Bento plans to open its first St. Pete location — and 11th in Florida — in the spring of 2018. It will be open for lunch, dinner and takeout.

Bento isn’t stopping with just the Burg. The owners have their sights set on two locations in the city of Tampa.

Follow Bento on its website for further details on the concept and the menu. 

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is in his third year as Writer/Editor of iLovetheBurg.com. New York Times bestselling author Andre Dubus III has said of him, “Andrew Harlan has a sharp and discerning eye for detail that deftly captures character and landscape." He has published fiction and poetry in Sabal and Prime Number Literary Magazine. He graduated with honors from Eckerd College in 2013 with a B.A. in Creative Writing and a minor in Literature. He can be reached by phone: (727) 896-3435 or email: andrew@rkc.me