Our Ten Favorite Bento Babes of 2011

Bento boxes can be boring and straightforward. I’m sure most of you have seen the offering on the lunch menu at a run-of-the-mill sushi place. You know the type I’m talking about.

Well the real tradition started with Japanese moms who would pack great lunch (bento) boxes for their kids and even their husbands, and they skillfully made sure they looked as good as they tasted! Talk about the transient nature of art!

Now in the West, there are new generations of moms who carry on this tradition with a lot of class. Check out the great artistry and style of these uber-moms. I’m sure their kids have a smile on their face every day as they open their bentos and witness what Mom has created — right before devouring the contents.

So without any further ado, here’s this years cream of the crop. These are not ranked, since we’re definitely NOT qualified to do so, but simply listed in alphabetical order. Apologies in advance to any of the great moms/artists we’ve omitted. Drop us a line and we’ll watch more closely in the year to come.

The humble bentobirdbentobird.blogspot.com
See this beautiful autumn colors bento, or this bright and cheery pink soba bento.

Who is this mysterious maker of beautiful bentos? Hopefully we’ll continue to see more seasonal themed works from this unknown, top ten bento’er.

Lia makes some stunning bentos that are almost too cute to eat. Checkout a couple of our faves, the panda bento and the pea boy bento.

What kid wouldn’t just love to open up this kind of bento at lunchtime?

We’re in awe of this level of maki making, let alone building a shikai maki bento masterpiece around it. We also loved this onigiri bento.

Did she eat the remaining pieces of that beautiful purple & green and white patterned maki?

@hapabento from hapabento.com
A serious master of bento, including sushi-based bentos like this. For another example of her skill level, check out this salmon bento.

And these are hardly all there is, this is one prolific bento wizard. Check out the hapabento blog for many more excellent works.

Judy makes some serious bentos too, like this round and round we go bento or this artistic interpretation of a ploughwoman’s lunch bento.

Judy uses only real foods to create natural looking bentos that look like they would taste wonderful.

Want to see one of the most amazing artists of color and expression, check out Heather’s marvelous bentos, like this Papa John’s Pizza bento or this flower sammies bento. Hardly boring lunch sammies eh?

See Crystal’s fabulous halloween bentos for example, or this remarkable girl’s day somen cupcakes bento — seriously fab creations, right? She is one amazing bento artist!

Check out this pikachu and pokeball bento or this colorful halloween bento, it’s Sheri’s typical work of art; a whimsical and (always) colorful take on simple lunches created with incredible imagination and style.

@babykinssoul soup soap
babykins makes bentos every day for husband and child, usually pretty sharp like the onigiri bento box shown in the photo to the right. Be sure to click through and check it out along with a few others. Nice work!

Susan makes the most amazing faces or cartoon characters and various animals, like this Isabella bento, although if you watch you’ll see some seriously delicious looking bentos too, like this savory tartlet bento

It was difficult to single out ten bento artists. But we hope you’ll agree these ten are creating works that are just a joy to behold. Their styles are different, but that creative genius is shared by these wonderful bento masters. We salute you – kampai!

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