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Best Bao in SF/Napa?

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. 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

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

      1. re: snowbordinglife

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

        1. No Bao in Napa.

          What else are you looking for in Wine Country?

          6 Replies
          1. re: CarrieWas218

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

              1. re: Melanie Wong

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

                1. re: Tripeler

                  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?

            1. re: CarrieWas218

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

              1. re: shanghaikid

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

            2. 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

                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. 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. 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

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

                  2. 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

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

                    2. 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. 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

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