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Best Bao in SF/Napa?

snowbordinglife Jan 8, 2013 04:44 PM

My wife and I are heading to SF and Napa in a month or so and I have a strange obsession with Bao. Any great places besides "Out the door" in the Ferry Building?

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  1. bobabear RE: snowbordinglife Jan 8, 2013 07:45 PM

    I haven't had bao at Out the Door, so excuse my question: what type of bao are you looking for? There's pork buns, chicken buns, mushroom buns, egg custard buns, sesame buns...

    2 Replies
    1. re: bobabear
      snowbordinglife RE: bobabear Jan 8, 2013 08:21 PM

      Pork buns would be preferred but I am up to try anything...

      1. re: snowbordinglife
        bobabear RE: snowbordinglife Jan 11, 2013 02:53 PM

        Good Mong Kok in Chinatown has great fresh bao, however they have a tendency to run out of certain varieties after 11ish to noon. The baos are huge, cheap and delicious. Just take whatever they have. They're a bit rude and speak little English, but plenty of non-Chinese folks are always in line.

    2. Civil Bear RE: snowbordinglife Jan 8, 2013 08:40 PM

      There or tons of good Chinese bakeries in SF. Where will you be staying in SF, and will you be taking 101 or 80 to Napa?

      1. g
        gordon wing RE: snowbordinglife Jan 8, 2013 09:15 PM

        Cafe Bakery & Restaurant on Noriega & 21st Ave. has very good baked pork buns. http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2011...

        1. CarrieWas218 RE: snowbordinglife Jan 8, 2013 09:32 PM

          No Bao in Napa.

          What else are you looking for in Wine Country?

          6 Replies
          1. re: CarrieWas218
            Tripeler RE: CarrieWas218 Jan 12, 2013 01:21 AM

            I agree with this. Napa is probably a Bao-Free zone.

            1. re: Tripeler
              Melanie Wong RE: Tripeler Jan 12, 2013 01:27 AM

              Is Dim Sum Charlie still in business?

              1. re: Melanie Wong
                Tripeler RE: Melanie Wong Jan 12, 2013 05:22 AM

                I have never been there, but from the look of their website it doesn't seem they are.

                1. re: Tripeler
                  CarrieWas218 RE: Tripeler Jan 12, 2013 07:28 AM

                  I'm fairly certain Dim Sum Charlie's is shut down for the winter. Besides, they don't make it themselves; they are buying it from suppliers in the city and just re-heating it in the truck anyway...

                  OP, do you have any specific requests for Napa other than bao?

            2. re: CarrieWas218
              shanghaikid RE: CarrieWas218 Jan 12, 2013 06:50 AM

              would agree that no baos are made in napa. any baos present are probably premade elsewhere (chinatown).

              1. re: shanghaikid
                Chandavkl RE: shanghaikid Jan 12, 2013 09:35 AM

                Which means they're probably better than if they had been made locally.

            3. grayelf RE: snowbordinglife Jan 8, 2013 11:13 PM

              If you're up for trying a food truck, you might want to check out Chairman Bao. I had a superb pork belly bao from there in November.

              1 Reply
              1. re: grayelf
                moto RE: grayelf Jan 10, 2013 02:38 AM

                concur with the Chairman Bao citation. they're made fresh to order, which is very difficult to find in the take out bakeries or sit down places. their stuff is hybrid/fusion in a positive way with the use of fresh veg's and dressings. the prices of course are 3-4x the conventional take out spots which is still around what a decent burrito goes for.

              2. c
                chocolatetartguy RE: snowbordinglife Jan 9, 2013 11:58 AM

                I haven't made a study of it, but I really like the steamed cha sieu bao at Good Luck dim sum on Clement. Good meat to bread ratio and a slightly sweet sauce. They heat up great in a microwave.

                1. w
                  wontonsoup RE: snowbordinglife Jan 9, 2013 01:58 PM

                  The baked Cha Shao Bao at Hong Kong Lounge II (on Geary at Parker). Different and delicious. A plus: there will be other bao options.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: wontonsoup
                    bobabear RE: wontonsoup Jan 11, 2013 02:52 PM

                    I second this. Best variation of bao that isn't just steamed.

                  2. t
                    TenderNob RE: snowbordinglife Jan 9, 2013 07:12 PM

                    I'm hardly an expert, but I'm fond of You's Dim Sum at 675 Broadway. Big baked cha siu bao, lots of filling, about $1each. And a wide selection of other items. English is maybe not the language of choice, but they manage to understand mono-lingual me.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: TenderNob
                      Chandavkl RE: TenderNob Jan 10, 2013 10:51 PM

                      I'll second the bao at You's. Also in Chinatown, Blossom Bakery and Blue Sky Cafe.

                    2. Robert Lauriston RE: snowbordinglife Jan 12, 2013 12:53 PM

                      The small baked pork bao at City View are great.


                      I don't much care for the steamed ones, they remind me too much of Wonder Bread.

                      1. g
                        gordon wing RE: snowbordinglife Jan 12, 2013 01:18 PM

                        just before you get to the Napa Valley ..... in Vallejo there are several Filipino bakeries that have pork buns I bellieve. Valerio, Sunshine, Goldilocks ..... haven't tried them myself though.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: gordon wing
                          Melanie Wong RE: gordon wing Jan 12, 2013 10:22 PM

                          Good suggestion to stop in Vallejo for bao/pao. To add to your list, Chow King also has some pao.

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