6 Places in Buffalo to Find Steamed Buns or “Bao”

Photo courtesy of Dobutsu

Biting into the pillowy soft, warm white bun, filled with savory pork, filled me with an unexpected happiness. It was the first time in my life I had tried steamed buns. It was at Home Taste restaurant, a little hole-in-the-wall spot in Kenmore with incredible Chinese food. The bun seemed like the Chinese equivalent of an American hamburger. It had the bread and meat component. The difference was that this heavenly bun was not baked. It was steamed into perfect softness, and the warm bread wrapped wholly around the flavor-filled meat hiding inside. 

These steamed buns are called “Bao” in Chinese, although you probably already knew that after watching the Pixar short named “Bao.” This is a staple food in northern China. Although they’re traditionally filled with a pork mixture, the buns can be filled with savory or sweet foods. They’re a convenient, all-in-one meal, easy to split with friends or to eat all by your hungry self. 

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It was a few years ago that I first had steamed buns. I’ve returned to Home Taste many times since for those huge pork steamed buns (and also for their to-die-for dumplings!) But Home Taste is far from the only place in the Queen City to find the steamy, bready goodness that are steamed buns. 

Here are some places to enjoy exceptional bao: 

Are we missing a great place in WNY to get steamed buns? Email us at editorial@stepoutbuffalo.com!

 

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Steamed buns – pork

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1. Home Taste 

3106 Delaware Ave., Kenmore 

716-322-0088

Home Taste offers a couple types of steamed buns. The first on the menu is the most traditional, with minced pork stuffing. A four-count order is $5.50. You can also order it with minced vegetables. A four-count of the vegetable variety is $6.50. I should note that the buns are huge, and an order of four could easily be split among a group of people, especially if other food is being ordered. 

Photo courtesy of Dobutsu

2. Dobutsu

500 Seneca St., Suite 119, Buffalo

716-322-6004 / dobutsubuffalo.com 

Dobutsu offers steamed buns on its “Snacks” portion of the menu, with a variety being offered, depending on the day. They are priced daily. 

 

 

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3. 007 Chinese Food

25 Grant St., Buffalo (in the West Side Bazaar)

716-464-6389 / westsidebazaar.com 

This husband and wife team sell steamed buns, among other offerings, from their eatery inside the West Side Bazaar. They offer buns filled with pork, and another kind filled with vegetables. Prices range from $2 to $3.50. 

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Seabar

Seabar / Photo x KC KRATT PHOTOGRAPHY

4. Seabar

475 Ellicott St., Buffalo 

716-332-2928 / seabarsushi.com 

Update: Seabar is closing August 17, 2019

This downtown eatery offers a creative twist on the steamed bun. On their appetizer menu they dish out Korean chicken steamed buns, featuring sweet kimchi sauce and cucumbers. 

 

5. SATO Brewpub

110 Pearl St., Buffalo

716-248-1436 / satorestaurantgroup.com 

SATO Brewpub dishes a stout-braid barbecue, pork, cucumber and kimchi steamed bun ($3.5) on its small plates menu. 

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6. Falley Allen

204 Allen St., Buffalo

716-464-3903 / falleyallen.com 

Falley Allen switches up the traditional steamed bun by making it crispy. It offers “crispy bao buns” ($11) featuring kimchi, siracha mayo, pickled jalapeño and cilantro, with choice of pickled vegetables. You can get it with short rib (additional $3) or salt and pepper shrimp (also an additional $3).

 

Are we missing a great place in WNY to get steamed buns? Email us at editorial@stepoutbuffalo.com!

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