Steve's love for cooking began in 1980s New York City while working in the kitchens of various Chinese restaurants to make ends meet. This same respect and appreciation for food would be instilled early on in his two young sons, Jimmy and Johnny, and inspire the opening of the first Bento Cafe nearly 20 years later.
In the summer of 2002, Bento Cafe officially opened its doors a few blocks west of the University of Florida to a line of hungry college students. The quick, casual pan-Asian eatery soon became a local favorite, and the growing demand for its unique, flavorful dishes prompted the opening of its second location...and third....and fourth.
Today, there are over 9 locations across Orlando, Gainesville, Jacksonville, Tallahassee and South Florida, and a team of over 400 extraordinary individuals that comprise the Bento family. With plans of continued expansion on the horizon, Bento strives to remain true to Steve's original vision - good, quality food in a fast and friendly environment.
"We often sat in the kitchen for hours as kids watching our dad cook. I think that's where it all started." - Johnny, Owner
DID YOU KNOW? Bento Blue and Red were terms originally coined in Gainesville as a way for locals to easily distinguish the two locations - the original referred to as Blue and the latter as Red to reflect the red and blue hues unique to each venue.