Bao & Buns

This photogenic little store nestled between Peppina and Jai Yen on Sukhumvit Soi 33 offers up sweet and savory interpretations of the Taiwanese street burger. The owners say they spent four months perfecting the dough consistency, and we think the dry, slightly chewy texture works best with the original braised pork option (B90), which comes with tasty pickled mustard greens. On top of a follow-up Chinese restaurant called Xiao Chi (see below), the owners continue to experiment with new fillings like the breakfast egg and sausage bao and the "American bao"—beef patty, lettuce, tomato, onion, cheese and burger sauce on toasted white bao bun.
27/1 Sukhumvit Soi 33, 090-950-1666. Open daily daily 10:30am-9pm 

The Courtyard

In what used to be the Soviet Embassy, this standalone outpost of the neighboring W Hotel has one of the most stunning dining rooms in town, artfully blending the building's period details with considerate modern touches. A new addition to the menu, these Taiwanese bao (B500) come with a Japanese twist in the form of mild ginger notes to the fried chicken and an okonomiyaki sauce to go with the hand-cut fries.  
The House on Sathorn, 106 Sathorn Rd., 02-344-4000. Open daily noon-2:30pm, 6-10:30pm. BTS Chong Nonsi 

Hotto Bun NEW!

Hotto Bun started out as a restaurant specializing in gua bao (Taiwanese pork belly buns) in Rangsit. Now it's branched out to Tha Maharaj riverside mall as a permanently parked food truck. The owners are the chefs behind Spicy Shallot, a Thai and Japanese restaurant in New York, and here they add a few fusion twists to the popular soft bun snacks (from B65). Aside from the classic braised pork belly filling, the crispy battered chicken option comes dashed with spicy mayo and seaweed flakes, somehow resulting in a fusion Japanese flavor. There's also a tasty tempura fish choice, while fries set you back B55. For dessert, they fry up those same bao buns and serve them with either soy milk or green tea ice cream (B95). To drink, there's tangerine and kiwi barley tea (both B55).

Tha Maharaj, 1/11 Trok Mahathat, Maharaj Rd., 086-327-0271. Open daily 10am-8pm 


This mega-chain with more than 130 branches around the world is renowned for its Hakata-style tonkotsu ramen, bursting with intense pork flavor and umami goodness. But there's more to the restaurant than noodles. We're also particularly fond of its twist on the Taiwanese street burger (B80), which contains the ramen brand’s renowned melt-in your mouth chashu. Ippudo now has branches at Emporium, Central Pinklao and, the latest, Silom Complex.
3/F, Central Embassy, Phloen Chit Rd., 02-160-5672. BTS Phloen Chit

Little Bao NEW!

The 20-seater Little Bao in Hong Kong is always packed out. But now it's branched out for the first time with a considerably bigger American-style diner in Bangkok. Drawing on her American upbringing, chef May Chow offers a playful, fast food-inspired take on traditional Chinese fare. Beyond appetizers like lamb tartare with tofu skin chips (B360) and salted-yolk orange chicken (B220), the bao burgers are the real star here, coming stuffed with fillings like pork belly, crispy Sichuan chicken, fish tempura and shiitake tempeh (B240 each). Also don’t miss the ice-cream bao (B120), which feature Guss Damn Good’s creamy flavors sandwiched between golden fried buns. 

G/F, 72 Courtyard, 72 Sukhumvit Soi 55 (Thonglor), 02-392-6922. Open Tue-Sun 6pm-midnight



Paste is helmed by two of Bangkok's most highly-regarded modern chefs, Bongkoch Satongun and Jason Bailey, whose reinterpreted Thai menu centers on rare produce. An unlikely place for steamed buns perhaps, but outside of delicately plated curries and salads they've also been playing around Chinese bao in various fillings, whether it's the succulent looking pork (pictured) or the live lobster with pickled red raddish and freshly made XO cream. Call ahead to check availability.

3/F, Gaysorn Plaza, 999 Phloen Chit Rd., 02-656-1003. Open daily noon-2pm, 6:30pm-midnight. BTS Phloen Chit

Xiao Chi NEW!

This spin-off from Taiwanese guo bao specialist Bao & Buns (see above) introduces Bangkok to yet more varieties of Chinese street food, this time mostly from the mainland. From a petite counter at The Commons, Xiao Chi serves up a compact menu of classic regional fare like dan dan egg noodles (B140) and grilled pork (B180) from Szechuan, and Shanghai-style grilled beef (B200). Of course, you can still expect a variety of bao buns, including the traditional braised pork belly bao (B130) and the delicious Xi-an burger (pan-fried bao with chopped lamb shoulder, B180), which is derived from Xi’an’s Muslim quarter’s version of roujiamo (aka Chinese hamburger). We also love the look of their collaboration bao with neighboring Vietnamese restaurant Eastbound.

M/F, The Commons, Thonglor Soi 17, 02-185-2497. Open daily daily 11am-10pm