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Best baked BBQ Pork Bun in SF

roster Mar 5, 2010 01:09 PM

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. asianstamp RE: roster Mar 5, 2010 01:20 PM

    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
      roster RE: asianstamp Mar 5, 2010 01:24 PM

      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
        PorkButt RE: asianstamp Mar 5, 2010 01:34 PM

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

        1. re: PorkButt
          roster RE: PorkButt Mar 5, 2010 02:55 PM

          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
            PorkButt RE: roster Mar 5, 2010 03:34 PM

            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
              sugartoof RE: roster Jan 21, 2012 02:42 PM

              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
            elise h RE: asianstamp Jan 13, 2012 10:32 PM

            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
              asianstamp RE: elise h Jan 14, 2012 09:36 PM

              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. Cynsa RE: roster Mar 5, 2010 03:53 PM

            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
              psb RE: Cynsa Mar 5, 2010 10:15 PM

              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
                Stephanie Wong RE: psb Jan 20, 2012 01:37 PM

                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
                hyperbowler RE: Cynsa Jan 20, 2012 01:14 PM

                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. g
                gordon wing RE: roster Feb 15, 2011 08:17 PM

                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. Pei RE: roster Feb 15, 2011 09:22 PM

                  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
                    bobabear RE: Pei Jan 15, 2012 09:35 AM

                    +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
                      wally RE: Pei Jan 25, 2012 08:42 PM

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

                    2. Melanie Wong RE: roster Jan 14, 2012 02:23 PM

                      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

                      1. s
                        slipson RE: roster Jan 17, 2012 03:49 PM

                        I don't know if they are the best in the city, but I give a big shout out to the baked pork buns from Sunset Bakery at 9th ave and Judah. I have been going there for years and still crave them whenever I am in that area.

                        1. j
                          jujubear RE: roster Jan 18, 2012 12:14 AM

                          definitely Mongkok on noriega and 31st. Lots of meat filling. at least there's better parking here than in Chinatown!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jujubear
                            Melanie Wong RE: jujubear Jan 21, 2012 12:21 PM

                            Test link: Mongkok Dim Sum

                            Mongkok Dim Sum
                            2438 Noriega Street, San Francisco, CA

                          2. Cynsa RE: roster Jan 18, 2012 09:38 AM

                            This morning I had the baked BBQ bun at Golden Chariot - filled generously with meat, saucy with a bit of sweetness — and their dan tat is a close rival to Golden Gate Bakery in Chinatown - the shell is flaky and shatters on first bite, the custard is light and not too sweet, perhaps not as rich as everyone's favorite version at Golden Gate.
                            Parking is easy at Balboa and 34th Avenue. I'd return to Golden Chariot for both the baked bbq pork bun and their dan tat/custard tart anytime.

                            1. m
                              mjyang RE: roster Jan 20, 2012 11:37 AM

                              I really like the BBQ Pork Buns in the Clement Restaurant, Inc. on 621 Clement St. (between 7th and 8th on Clement between two chinese bbq places).

                              The filling has a really savory bbq flavor that tastes like they only used the delicious tips of the bbq pork as the filling and I have not had this kinda of taste any where else in SF

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: mjyang
                                elise h RE: mjyang Jan 20, 2012 09:03 PM

                                How easy is it to get a few buns to go, as this is a restaurant? Looking forward to the excellent bbq flavor!

                                1. re: elise h
                                  Melanie Wong RE: elise h Jan 20, 2012 09:57 PM

                                  Clement Restaurant has a counter set up like other take-out dim sum and bakery places.

                                  Clement Restaurant
                                  621 Clement St, San Francisco, CA 94118

                                2. re: mjyang
                                  elise h RE: mjyang Jan 25, 2012 08:34 PM

                                  Thanks mjyang! Yes, the bbq has a really nice flavor and is neither super sweet nor bright red colored. It will be on my regular visits.

                                  1. re: elise h
                                    mjyang RE: elise h Jan 26, 2012 12:15 AM

                                    Glad you liked it Elise. It's a pretty tasty place. When I feel less guilty about eating a greasy treat, I get the Beef Curry Donut....it's very crispy, but VERY oily.

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