In the News

Made In Austin, Inspired By Japan

Tribeza, July 2019

These eight must-haves keep Bento Picnic Chef Leanne Valenti in Balance…(read more)

The Art of Washoku

Edible Austin, January 2017

Did you know that the bento boxes served at sushi restaurants are just one of many types of bento traditionally offered in Japan? Their common characteristic isn’t the raw fish or the cute compartments they are served in, but the way they are packed. Every bento is created according to a deep cultural principle known as washoku—literally “harmony food”—the ancient practice of balancing five colors, five tastes and five elements in every meal…(read more)

100 Restaurants Defining Austin Right Now

The Austin Chronicle, June 2019

What’s in a name? A picnic with any other spelling might only match the bright array of tastes and freshness of Leanne Valenti’s Japan-inspired joint, an Eastside delight with indoor and outdoor seating and plenty of grab-and-go meals at the ready…(read more)

Five a Day

EASTSide Magazine

Bento Picnic crafts modern, balanced meals in an ancient tradition. Much like its cultural facets, Japanese cuisine is traditionally governed by five elements: tree, water, fire, metal, and earth. All five are necessary to craft a tasteful meal…(read more)

Meet Net-Zero Hero Leanne Valenti

Austin Texas Office of Sustainability

Through creative and diligent management of their inventory, Bento Picnic manages to divert most of their food waste from the landfill. We spoke with Leanne about her commitment to Net-Zero, what her toughest challenges have been, and what advice she has for others looking to live Net-Zero…(read more)

Farmers Market Favorite Brings Healthy Bento Boxes to New East Austin Brick-and-Mortar

Culture Map, February 2018

Over the past few years, the East Austin dining scene has expanded to include everything from greasy burgers to upscale yakitori, but it hasn’t exactly been a hub for customers looking for a quick, healthy meal. Now thanks to local entrepreneur Leanne Valenti, that may soon change…(read more)