>> Sunday, November 11, 2007
If there's a one-stop bento shopping mecca in Phoenix, I haven't found it. None of these stores are really worth a special trip -just- for bento stuff but all are worth visiting if you're in the area. Or if you take a day off work and drive all over the valley with your oldest and bestest friend. But that would be silly.
4410 West Union Hills Drive
Large nice Asian supermarket. Small selection of boxes, Clickety-Click, Putifresh, Comment Vas-Tu? (flat folding sandwich boxes too), and Feel at Ease single and double tier boxes. Also chopsticks, matching forks, etc. and a large selection of kitchen wares like onigiri molds.
1116 S Dobson Rd
Unlike the Union Hills location this store has primarily Korean foods. They carry Vive and Lock N Lock boxes and have a small selection of kitchenware.
Banzai99 UPDATE: CLOSED!
527 W McDowell Rd
Lots of kitchen ware like onigiri molds, sushi molds, sushi mats, graters, slicers etc. Complete line of Country Bear bento boxes, cups, bags, chopsticks etc. Random Hello Kitty bento items and more untilitarian Lock n Lock type boxes. You really never know what you'll find here.
Several styles of Hello Kitty bento boxes in blue, green and pink. These are likely seasonal but some stores still have large stocks.
1335 West University
Very clean, bright, neatly organized store. Lots of packaged foods/snacks as well as refridgerated and frozen items. Fujiya Market also sells premade bento meals. They have several sizes of the Vive boxes, tiny sauce bottles, sushi grass, inexpensive metal cutters.
House of Rice Store
3221 N Hayden Rd
Probably equal parts groceries and knick-knacks. They have the ubiquitous fish and pig soy bottles, pricey metal cutters, and cute chopsticks.
1901 W Warner Rd
Asian food megastore. Has Comment Vous bento boxes and Lock N Lock but not a lot of specific bento items.
2055 N Dobson Rd
Tiny store packed to the rafters with cute. Probably not worth a trip on it's own, but it is in the same shopping center as LeeLee. They do have a few Sanrio character boxes and chopsticks.
New Tokyo Food Market
3435 W Northern Ave
Another very nice store, similar to Fujiya Market (above). A few cute items like monkey chopsticks in a plastic case, but not much else.
5000 S Arizona Mills Cir
Sanrio character boxes, bags, chopsticks, cups, thermos containers. They always have clearance items in the back of the store.