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Bring on the Bao: Eight Places to Get Your Fix

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A bao, by definition, is a Chinese bread that is steamed, resulting in a pillowy soft vehicle for a plethora of ingredients. Many other regions and cultures have their own version of this popular treat, and they come in different shapes, sizes, and with a wide variety of fillings. While there are several places that specialize in bao, here are some local restaurants that step a bit outside of tradition to offer something a little unique.


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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Shabu and Mein

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168 First Street
Cambridge, MA 02421
(617) 577-7888
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Char-Shu Bao: Consisting of steamed bao with char shu, lettuce, cucumbers, and a "special house sauce," these bao are served as a pair. [Photo: Official Site]

2. Moksa

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450 Mass Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139
(617) 661-4900
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Char Sui Pork Steambuns: This bao comes stuffed with char sui pork, an orange hoisin sauce, and pickled daikon. [Photo: Facebook]

3. Jo Jo TaiPei

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103 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134
(617) 254-8889
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Braised Pork with Steamed Bun: This bao comes stuffed with fat pieces of braised pork belly that has been glazed with a sticky sauce and topped with a sugar peanut powder. [Photo: Yelp]

4. Shojo

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9 Tyler St
Boston, MA 02111
Son of a Shojonator Burger: Served on a black sesame seed studded bao, it's topped with double beef patty, kimchi Velveeta cheese, and bacon. There's also a hot dog bao on the menu as well as a suckling pig bao. (The burger and hot dog bao are only available from 11p.m.-12:30a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays as part of the brand new late-night menu.) [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]

5. Hei La Moon

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88 Beach St
Boston, MA 02111
(617) 338-8813
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Chinese Sausage Bun: This is just one of the several baos available during their dim sum brunch. Other available options include barbecue pork, pineapple, and lotus seed baos. [Photo: Official Site]

6. UNI Sashimi Bar

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370 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215
(617) 536-7200
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Kurobuta Pork Belly Steam Bun: Tucked away inside a bao bun, there's pork belly, along with katsu, a chile aioli and pickles. Available during late-night ramen on Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 11 p.m. [Photo: Facebook]

7. Fugu Truck

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Moving Target!
Boston, MA 02109
(646) 309-6821
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Braised Pork Belly Steamed Buns: Served as a pair, the double braised pork belly is nestled into bao buns and topped with choice of classic, char sou, or special sauce. [Photo: Facebook]

8. Myers + Chang

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1145 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
(617) 542-5200
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Braised Pork Belly Buns: This bao is stuffed with pork belly and then slathered with a brandy hoisin sauce before it's topped with house-made pickles. [Photo: Cal Bingham]

1. Shabu and Mein

168 First Street, Cambridge, MA 02421
Char-Shu Bao: Consisting of steamed bao with char shu, lettuce, cucumbers, and a "special house sauce," these bao are served as a pair. [Photo: Official Site]
168 First Street
Cambridge, MA 02421

2. Moksa

450 Mass Ave, Cambridge, MA 02139
Char Sui Pork Steambuns: This bao comes stuffed with char sui pork, an orange hoisin sauce, and pickled daikon. [Photo: Facebook]
450 Mass Ave
Cambridge, MA 02139

3. Jo Jo TaiPei

103 Brighton Ave, Allston, MA 02134
Braised Pork with Steamed Bun: This bao comes stuffed with fat pieces of braised pork belly that has been glazed with a sticky sauce and topped with a sugar peanut powder. [Photo: Yelp]
103 Brighton Ave
Allston, MA 02134

4. Shojo

9 Tyler St, Boston, MA 02111
Son of a Shojonator Burger: Served on a black sesame seed studded bao, it's topped with double beef patty, kimchi Velveeta cheese, and bacon. There's also a hot dog bao on the menu as well as a suckling pig bao. (The burger and hot dog bao are only available from 11p.m.-12:30a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays as part of the brand new late-night menu.) [Photo: Rachel Leah Blumenthal]
9 Tyler St
Boston, MA 02111

5. Hei La Moon

88 Beach St, Boston, MA 02111
Chinese Sausage Bun: This is just one of the several baos available during their dim sum brunch. Other available options include barbecue pork, pineapple, and lotus seed baos. [Photo: Official Site]
88 Beach St
Boston, MA 02111

6. UNI Sashimi Bar

370 Commonwealth Ave, Boston, MA 02215
Kurobuta Pork Belly Steam Bun: Tucked away inside a bao bun, there's pork belly, along with katsu, a chile aioli and pickles. Available during late-night ramen on Friday and Saturday evenings starting at 11 p.m. [Photo: Facebook]
370 Commonwealth Ave
Boston, MA 02215

7. Fugu Truck

Moving Target!, Boston, MA 02109
Braised Pork Belly Steamed Buns: Served as a pair, the double braised pork belly is nestled into bao buns and topped with choice of classic, char sou, or special sauce. [Photo: Facebook]
Moving Target!
Boston, MA 02109

8. Myers + Chang

1145 Washington St, Boston, MA 02118
Braised Pork Belly Buns: This bao is stuffed with pork belly and then slathered with a brandy hoisin sauce before it's topped with house-made pickles. [Photo: Cal Bingham]
1145 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118

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