Whether you are begrudgingly leaving your WFH set up or are ecstatic to no longer be logging in from a laptop on your coffee table, lunchtime is just one more thing to consider when returning to the office.
If, like me, you’ve become accustomed to enjoying decadent home-made meals (and saving tons of money from not buying Sweetgreen salads three times a week), you’ll want to start bringing lunch to work. You’ll need containers and lunch boxes that not only protect your meal but are also fun enough to lessen the sting of not being able to cook in your pajamas while off-camera in a Zoom meeting.
These are our favorite lunch boxes that actually have enough capacity to feed a full-grown adult, from insulated leather bags that your coworkers will mistake for a handbag, to Japanese-inspired bento boxes that keep your food warm or can be easily popped into a microwave.
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An Upgraded Paper Bag Situation
I love the nostalgia factor of throwing your lunch into a paper bag, but less so the single-use paper waste. This waxed canvas bag is a grown-up version of your standard lunch bag, has a zip closure, and is water resistant.
An Easy-To Clean Bento Kit
This bento box’s lid also doubles as a plate for enjoying a mid-deal meal or afternoon snacks. And if you’re unafraid to bring mesier meals to work, the bamboo and resin material means you can pop it into a dishwasher either at the office or at home.
The Perfect Parfait Solution
Certain ingredient combinations, like salad and dressing or yogurt and granola, need to be kept separately, otherwise you get a soggy mess. While this compartmented lunch pot might not make up for the fact that you’re eating at your desk, it will prevent you from having to eat mushy granola or lettuce while you work. The set is also microwave, dishwasher, and freezer safe, so it’s easy to heat up leftovers or clean up when you get home.
A Mess-Resistant Meal Box
This bento-style box is held together with elastic to ensure your meal doesn’t tragically spill out into your tote bag or backpack while you’re commuting to the office. The bowl and lid compartments are also separated, so you can keep elements like salad dressing or crunchy crackers separate until just before it’s time to eat.
An Extra Large Bag To Keep You Satisfied All Day
Even most adult-sized lunch boxes aren’t large enough to keep you satisfied all day, especially if you have an intense workout routine, extra long shifts, or have specific dietary needs that can’t be supplemented with communal office snacks. This highly-rated insulated lunch tote has more than enough space with a 15L capacity and will keep everything at the right temperature.
A Traditional Wooden Bento
Many modern bento lunch boxes are made out of metal or plastic, but this wooden bento is an old-school take on the classic Japanese lunch box. The boxes are handmade with cedar in Japan, and are customizable so you can divide and organize your meal however you wish.
If You’re Into Salads
It’s going to be hard to go back to paying $18 a bowl for a desk-side salad bowl and you shouldn’t have to. You can keep making your own tasty (and cost effective) meals with this container, which has separate compartments for leafy greens, dressings, and any other toppings you choose.
The Extremely Aesthetic Lunch Set
I’m all for practicality when it comes to meal prep and lunch boxes, but I also can’t deny that having a beautiful lunch container can brighten your workday. These insulated containers from S’well are gorgeously designed and the lunch kit has two containers, and travel-friendly utensils for an easy transition back into office meal-times.
A Container That’s Easy To Pop In Your Office Fridge
If your weekday meal don’t require all the bells and whistles of a decked out lunch box, you can get this set. These clear Rubbermaid containers are great for meal-prepping an entire week’s worth of meals, and have compartments for separating snacks from sandwiches, or for keeping salad or rice bowl elements stored separately.
If You’re Still WFH But Have Office Lunch FOMO
We’re big fans of W&P’s line of insulated wine glasses and their line of bowls are also great too. You can get a set to organize your fridge or pick up a bowl that can also double as a sleek adult lunch box when it’s time to head back into the office.
A No-Frills Insulated Lunch Box
If your workspace doesn’t have a microwave to reheat food, you’ll want a heavy-duty insulated lunchbox that can keep your meal warm for you all day. This zippered lunch box from Hydroflask does just that, and is large enough to hold a hearty lunch and snacks to nibble on throughout the day.
If You’re On A PB&J Routine
Your lunch spread doesn’t have to be a decadent assortment of ingredients to be fulfilling, and you don’t necessarily need a decked out lunchbox if you’re just packing a humble sandwich. I like the sandwich wraps from Bee’s Wrap, since they can be tied securely with the button and string closure without smushing your sammie. Plus, they reduce single-use plastic waste.
A Thoughtfully Designed Bento Set
This double-decker bento set comes with everything you need to enjoy your home-cooked meal on the go. Utensils and chopsticks are stored in the box’s lid to save space, and the large compartments can be divided to maximize your meal’s organization space. The leakproof silicone gaskets also ensure that your lunch transportation goes smoothly, even if you fully yeet this box into the backseat of your car or into a trusty tote bag.
A Purse-Like Option
It’s a handbag! It’s a lunch box! It’s a lunch box handbag! This vegan leather lunchbox will definitely inspire some jealousy among your co-workers, and it’s lined interior will keep your meal cool and hold your favorite reusable utensils. The bag also comes in a variety of colors and patterns, so you can easily find one that matches your aesthetic and style.
An All-Together Meal Prep Kit
Inka’s Lunch Kit is a touch above the rest when it comes to upgrading your workday meal routine. Not only does its vegan leather lunch bag come with interchangeable straps for when you want to pop it into a larger bag or wear it as a crossbody, but the kit also comes with microwave and dishwasher safe food containers, utensils, and silk cotton blend napkins. The InvisiSeal containers make meal-prep easy, and the kit even comes with a sauce pot for on-the-go dressing or dipping.