There are only three reasons one could possibly fathom going to any establishment that’s known in American English as a “dive”: Cheap beer, cheap beer, and greasy burgers.

Now apparently you can add a fourth reason: Cheap, delicious bento lunch boxes, thanks to whispered-about bento  shop, Kitchen Dive. With just a handful of locations around Tokyo, we’d never actually seen one in the flesh before and almost thought they were some apocryphal legend; some cruel prank older, wiser salarymen were playing on the newbies, maybe (“Oh yeah, there’s a shop selling 200 yen bento. Right around the corner. Caaaan’t miss it.”).

Finally, we spotted an honest-to-goodness, 24-hour Kitchen Dive in the unassuming Kameido area of Tokyo and the 100 yen coins in our pockets practically flew out of their own accord.


The first thing you’ll notice about Kitchen Dive’s lunch boxes are that they look like any other, much more expensive bento you can find around the city, featuring a healthy helping of rice, a few pickled vegetable sides and a main – usually fried – hunk of meat or fish. The only difference here is that all of Kitchen Dive’s bento are available for the devilishly low price of 200 yen (US$2).

▼ There are also slightly larger-than-average boxes available for 300 yen.

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After buying ourselves several of them, because of course we bought several of them, we can also happily report that they taste great, with none of the quality of a regular bento sacrificed in the pursuit of low, low prices. Depending on where else you go in town, you might find yourself paying anywhere from 500 to 1,000 yen ($5 to $10) on a decent bento that – we have to stress – feature the exact same ingredients as Kitchen Dive’s selection, so it’s hard to describe the heart-swelling, tear-inducing joy an overworked, underpaid salaryman must feel upon seeing a Kitchen Dive in the distance on his lunch break.


But now that we have tasted the Kitchen Dive forbidden fruit, we can honestly say 500 yen will, from this day forward, forever feel like paying way too much for a delicious lunch box.

Photos: RocketNews24
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