Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi opens new Tampa location next month

Co-founder Johnny Tung hopes to open three more Tampa locations in the near future.

Next month, Bento Asian Kitchen + Sushi (stylized “BENTO”) is opening its 17th location in Tampa at 5103 E. Fowler Ave. near University of South Florida.

That’s just in time for kids coming back to class. On August 24, USF moves to the second phase of a four-phase reopening plan allowing many classes to be held in-person.

The fast-casual restaurant is set to offer outdoor seating, as well as its loaded menu of wok-seared dishes, sushi, build-your-own poke bowls, rice and noodle bowls, and bento boxes.

When it comes to decor, the press release says to expect warm wood tones, and brass accents reminiscent of modern cafes and lounges found in Japan and Taiwan.

“Our first BENTO location opened in the small college town of Gainesville 18 years ago in 2002 and was an almost instant hit amongst the University of Florida student crowd. Following that success, we’ve opened in college communities across Florida from UNF Jacksonville to UCF Orlando to FSU Tallahassee to USF St. Pete. Tampa has been one of our highest-requested cities so we were ecstatic to have found a spot that would be easily accessible for USF Tampa students,” says Johnny Tung, co-founder in a release 

This is Bento’s second Tampa Bay location after opening at 320 3rd St. S. in St. Petersburg in 2018. Tung hopes to open three more Tampa locations in the near future.

While other restaurants are slowing down expansion due to the devastation of COVID-19, Bento expects six more locations—including one in Sarasota—to open within the next year. 

Not ready to dine-in? You can navigate Bento’s website to order online to schedule an order for pickup or delivery. 

In the near future, the restaurant chain plans to launch an app and integrate new pick-up windows for a more contactless experience.

Support local journalism in these crazy days. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you up to the minute news on how Coronavirus is affecting Tampa and surrounding areas. Please consider making a one time or monthly donation to help support our staff. Every little bit helps.

Want to know everything going on with Tampa Bay's food and drink scene? Sign up for our Bites newsletter.


Since 1988, CL Tampa Bay has served as the free, independent voice of Tampa Bay, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming a CL Tampa Bay Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today because you love us, too.

Scroll to read more Openings & Closings articles

Join Creative Loafing Tampa Bay Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.