The Best Bao in Toronto
The best bao in Toronto is well represented by the classic char siu, but then there's also a new wave of bao bursting with big bold flavours borrowed from Big Macs, KFC (as in Korean fried chicken), and s'mores. These light, squishy steamed buns can be found at snack bars and sandwich shops across the city.
Here are the best bao in Toronto.
See also The Best Dumplings in Toronto
There are a half dozen different types of steamed buns on offer from two locations of Mean Bao. Ranging in price from $3.80 to $3.95, these freshly steamed buns are generously filled with options like pulled pork and apple slaw, pork belly with cucumber and hoisin, or, tofu and enoki mushrooms paired with satay sauce.
The classic char siu buns at the Noodle Bar might be a cult favourite, but upstairs at Daisho, the kitchen is doing some weird and wonderful things. Bao here are rather creative, including playful variations like one that resemebles an Italian fried eggplant sangwich, and another stuffed with falafel.
Big Mac Bao ($6) is a standout on the yum cha bar menu offered at Lo Pan, DaiLo’s second floor cocktail lounge. This baozi is stuffed with ground beef and cheese and you’re meant to swipe it through a base of "special sauce" then scoop it up with accompanying shredded lettuce and crispy potato matchsticks.
The food court vendor in Yorkdale Mall slings bao topped with things like lemongrass chicken or pork, bulgogi, grilled coconut chicken, or five spice tofu with oyster mushrooms. A single bun will set you back $4.25, but the best value can be had by mixing and matching any two for $7.50.
Even though the menu is constantly in flux, steamed buns ($5) make regular appearances at this finger food-centric snack bar on Bathurst at Queen. Grab a couple cocktails then crush a few of these little handheld beauties topped with choices of pork, veg, or crispy fried fish skin, and slaw.
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