Ask Hot Dish: Where can I find bao in the Twin Cities?

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Photo by WIlson Hui via Flickr
We at Hot Dish love helping eaters find the perfect dining or drinking experience. In a new ongoing series, we'll be answering your most pressing food- and drink-related questions. If you've got a query, email us and you might see your question and our answer here.


Dear Hot Dish,

I'm seriously craving some bao right now. Any ideas on where to find it?


Bao, otherwise known as baozi, humbow, nunu, bausak, or pow, is a Chinese steamed bun filled with meat, vegetables, or a combination of the two. There are two main kinds of bao served in China and Indonesia. The first is dabao, a big steamed bun that is portable and perfect for eating on the go, and the second is xiaobao, a smaller bun akin to a soup dumpling that is eaten at restaurants. Bao is often eaten for breakfast, but can be consumed at any time of day.

Steamed pork buns are by and large the most popular variety of bao, but are tricky to come by in the Twin Cities. With a little digging and determination, we've found a few spots to satisfy your craving.


See also:
Ask Hot Dish: Where can I get a Flat White?

Your first stop should be Keefer Court Bakery & Cafe on Cedar Avenue on the West Bank. Their pork buns are by and large the most popular in the Twin Cities and one of the most popular items at the store. Folks travel long distances to sink their teeth into Keefer's $1.50 steamed BBQ pork buns, which employees heat up on the spot.

Tea House on University offers pork buns, mini pork juicy buns, and pan-fried pork buns. They're not necessarily the crowd favorite, but it's a good option if you're in the neighborhood.

Lastly, Pho Tao Bay in the Whittier neighborhood serves banh bao, the Vietnamese variety of steamed buns, for $3.50. Be sure to slurp up some pho while you're there!

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11 comments
erinsikink
erinsikink

#bunnybunnybumpers HAHAHAHAH. so cute. SOOOOOOO CUTE!!! :)

Hanni Kenny
Hanni Kenny

They are desperate for stories for the blog, huh? Kudos for this one slipping through the cracks.

Jim LeVoir
Jim LeVoir

Keeper Court is rare and wonderful. I moved to Los Angeles 14 years ago and can't find anything that compares to their curry buns. I always load up on 'em when I visit the motherland.

Steve Anderson
Steve Anderson

Keefer Court is our must-stop whenever we're near the West Bank. Barbecue baos and curry buns, a dozen to go. My daughter stops there on her way back to Sioux Falls after visiting us.

thao0056
thao0056

hmong restaurants have good ones too. if they don't know what you're talking about spell it the hmong way for them: P-A-U-M.

rustyjones4
rustyjones4

Szechuan Spice has delicious soup dumplings, known as mini juicy buns. Check 'em!

kate.a.linge
kate.a.linge

The Bao at Tea House are pretty bad, as are their potstickers.

JCVN
JCVN

Ugh, their potstickers are terrible at the Plymouth location. Some of their stuff is great. Weirdly uneven, though.

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