I love pork buns. They are my weakness. I’m on a chicken-only diet but I always (ALWAYS) cheat for pork buns and I don’t even care.
When I found out there is a place in Astoria basically dedicated to wrapping different food items up in steamed buns I was like:
And so I happily made my way over to The Bao Shoppe, located at 30-66 Steinway St. A bao is a steamed bun sandwich.
I was so excited. This place creates unique versions of the traditional pork buns, incorporating different meats, sauces and flavors.
Baos, also known as Baozi, is a traditional steamed or filled bun that originated in China as a street food. They are portable, easy to make and so delicious. Baos are also known as bau, humbow, bakpao, bausak, pow, pau and pao.
As soon as you walk into The Bao Shoppe, you see that all of the walls are covered in really cool art. If you walk a little deeper into the restaurant you see that one of the walls is the entire menu.
Before any baos, I like to get bubble tea whenever I go to an Asian fusion place like The Bao Shoppe. Taro milk bubble tea is my favorite (it tastes like cookies and cream!)
There is a wide variety of baos on the menu; it’s a bit overwhelming. Like, what should you even get?!
Well, you can get The Original Bao to start off with. It comes with smoked pork belly, daikon (a type of radish) slaw, and fresh pickles.
Another pork option that is not as traditional is the Smokey Pig Bao, which has smoked pulled pork, coleslaw, and pickles. It’s like an American pulled pork sandwich but with a cool twist!
Another meat option for you meat lovers out there is the Baogulgi, which has marinated beef, kimchi, daikon, and pickles. The beef is cooked a traditional Korean way.
One of my favorites is the Popcorn Shrimp Bao Sandwich, which comes with popcorn shrimp, mixed greens, daikon slaw, and shoppe sauce.
It’s totally not a normal type of bao but it’s so good and interesting! All of these baos are also surprisingly filling.
Another interesting bao is the Colonel Bao, which comes with fried chicken (*drools*), coleslaw and pickles.
Again, it’s not traditional and it’s Americanized, but it’s different and tasty!
Another great item on their menu are the Shoppe Fries, which are fries topped with daikon, BBQ sauce, spicy mayo, scallions and kimchi. So. Good.
I’ve loved loaded fries ever since I went to Joju in Elmhurst and had their Bánh Mì Fries (almost life changing). You can read my post about specialty fries around Queens here. So I definitely recommend getting these!
Come check out The Bao Shoppe in Astoria, Queens! It’s affordable, quick, and perfect if you’re looking for something different!