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Mar 5, 2010 01:09 PM

Best baked BBQ Pork Bun in SF

My long standing fav is Red A Bakery on Clement in the Inner Richmond.

A while back they converted into a Hawaiian BBQ place, but seem to sell the same pork buns and coconut buns they had when I lived nearby.

My thought is that the bun should have a lot of shredded pork and good sauce, but that the sauce should not be too sweet, which is common.

Will travel for a good one. Whose are the best?

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  1. You's dim sum has one of the best baked bbq pork buns! 90 cents a pop but they really fill that bun up with yummy bbq pork. They don't stuff it with fat either. Definitely check this place out.

    You's Dim Sum
    675 Broadway, San Francisco, CA 94133

    7 Replies
    1. re: asianstamp

      I was trying to remember the name of the other place on Broadway that was good. I think it is You's actually. Thanks for reminding me. I will go back to double check though...

      1. re: asianstamp

        Agree about You's but I go to the shop on Stockton. Have you noticed any difference?

        1. re: PorkButt

          The other one is at Stockton and Pacific I think, no?
          Not in the different locations for You's.

          Huge difference between other bakeries though. Some have no pork at all.

          I like the BBQ pork pastries at Golden Gate too, but they are not really buns, they are more like some kind of flaky chinese croissant roll....good, but slightly different.

          1. re: roster

            The only point of reference I have are siu mai and char siu bao, both of which were comparable between the two locations

            The Golden Gate pastries are probably char siu so. Curry chicken or beef is another typical filling.

            1. re: roster

              Golden Gate does make a more traditional pork bun though. Real good. For a more BBQ, savory taste there are those old places around the corner, up the hill, but they usually go overboard on the mincing, and the buns tend to error on the doughy side.

              Sunset Bakery is good, but sweeter, and occasionally tough. Still better than the Cafe Bakery version so many people like.

          2. re: asianstamp

            Thanks Asianstamp for this great recommendation! I loved the bbq pork bun. At first, I thought there was too much dough, but the dough is nice and a bit sweet. Still would prefer 25% more meat though! Wish they made a whole wheat version and I would eat it more often!

            What else do you recommend at You's? How are the bamboo wrapped sticky rice zhong zu?

            Eagerly waiting your advice!

            1. re: elise h

              You know I only bought the baked BBQ Pork buns from You's. I tried their potstickers but I wasn't crazy about their filling. I did like their shrimp and chives dumpling. That was huge!

              The rest of my dim sum I buy at Good Mong Kok on Stockton. Their chicken zhong zu is excellent. And they are the only place that sells shrimp cheung fun (real shrimp wrapped in rice rolls - not the freeze dried shrimp) for a take out item.

              Good Mong Kok
              1039 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA

          3. Sometimes I just can't wait until 11:00 am for char siu bao - but it's worth the wait and the drive to Noriega Street. The buns are well-stuffed at the Cafe Bakery & Restaurant at 1345 Noriega Street between 20th~21st Avenues. Hours 11 am to 10 pm.

            Cafe Bakery
            1365 Noriega St, San Francisco, CA 94122

            3 Replies
            1. re: Cynsa

              Dunno about the "worth the drive" part for me [from Potrero],
              but I agree Cafe Bakery pork bun is #1. Definitely better than
              the Dim Sum of You.

              The are out some times [when i am driving by at random times],
              so caveat emptor, if you're making a special trip.

              1. re: psb

                In the past I've called to reserve buns, saying that I was on my way out of town & didn't want to stop if they were sold out.

              2. re: Cynsa

                Nice recommendation. Previously, I would have put You's at the top of my list. I still might like the bun part a bit better at You's. Otherwise, this is a superior item. The crust is brown and smooth, and the bottom of the bun only slightly soggy. The filling is not as slimy as You's, and there are some seriously huge chunks of nicely flavored pork in Cafe's buns.

                Based on a recommendation on another thread, I enjoyed their coconut twist, which was like a coconut challah and with a huge amount of mass. I didn't care for their version of a pineapple bun---- very flimsy, and not a lot of flavor.

              3. I tried the baked bbq pork buns from Napoleon Super Bakery in SF Chinatown yesterday ...... the bread is very light/almost airy and it's very generously filled. Also the filling has a touch of sweetness but is not as overtly sweet as some others. It would be perfect if the bread was a tad more substantial but it's worth trying. Not as sticky/glazed as the ones from You's or some other shops.

                Napoleon Super Bakery
                1049 Stockton St, San Francisco, CA

                1. Hong Kong Lounge serves them for dim sum. The bun they come in is different from what's seen at most places. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it's more like the crust of what Chinese bakeries call a pineapple bun than anything else. I like that the bun is thinner than that of steamed and other baked BBQ pork buns, and that the filling is very shredded and moist. It makes for a much juicier pork bun experience. I hate running out of meat and sauce and being left with a lot of bread.

                  Hong Kong Lounge
                  5322 Geary Boulevard, San Francisco, CA 94121

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Pei

                    +1 for Hong Kong Lounge. It's not the traditional steamed bun, but it's excellent! I dream of it.

                    My favorite for traditional steamed bun is Good Mong Kok on Stockton. No sit down, only to go, delicious huge BBQ pork buns reminiscent of Hong Kong hole in the walls. Even my parents (from Hong Kong) approve! You have to go early to ensure they haven't run out of BBQ pork buns.

                    1. re: Pei

                      + another 1 on Hong Kong Lounge. Not like any other place.

                    2. Last fall I was back at Golden River, next to Ton Kiang. One of the best items was the baked pork bun, only available on weekends. The bread is tender and delicate as cake, soft as a baby's bottom, encasing a honeyed barbecued pork filling.

                      Golden River
                      5827 Geary Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94121