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The 5 Best Pork Buns In Manhattan

September 24, 2014 6:00 AM

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Pork buns put juicy strips of pork between or within steamed buns, then add pickled vegetables and hoisin sauce. The list that follows covers the best pork buns in Manhattan; there are whole other lists to be made about the best bao on offer in Flushing and elsewhere in Queens. By Jessica Allen.

More: NYC’s 7 Best Brisket Sandwiches

(credit: Schellack)

(credit: Schellack)

Momofuku Ssam Bar

207 First Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 254-3500

More: NYC’s 8 Best All-You-Can-Eat Deals

The pork bun that David Chang built has launched a thousand other pork bun variations and restaurants since opening in 2006. In addition to pickled cucumbers, hoisin sauce, scallions, and, of course, pork, the steamed bun at Momofuku comes with a last liberal dousing of Srichacha. Is that the secret to their long-standing popularity? We’re going to go eat another few more and get back to you.

BaoHaus

238 East 14th Street
New York, NY 10003
(646) 669-8889

Before he was a memoirist, clothing designer, and television personality, Eddie Huang was a restaurateur (and before that he was a lawyer). His first restaurant, BaoHaus, has since moved from miniature quarters on the Lower East Side to larger digs in Gramercy. The steamed buns, or bao, have also received an update, with Berkshire pork belly and condiments including crushed peanuts, Haus relish, Taiwanese red sugar and cilantro.

(credit: Kent Wang)

(credit: Kent Wang)

Golden Steamer

143A Mott Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 226-1886

Located near where Chinatown bleeds into Little Italy, Golden Steamer sells super-cheap steamed buns stuffed with pumpkin, lotus seed paste, egg custard, red bean paste, pork and dried shiitake mushrooms, sausage, and chicken with vegetables, among others, all for less than $1. While cheap is one thing, really really good and cheap is another. The buns here fall decidedly into the latter category.

Ippudo

65 4th Avenue
New York, NY 10003
(212) 388-0088

Widely popular, this outpost of a restaurant based in Japan specializes in ramen. But the hirata buns, filled with either chicken, pork, or eggplant & eringi and served alongside a house-special sauce and mayo, are worth saving room for. The spicy sauce undercuts the slightly sweet pork, making for multi-notes of flavor. If you can’t get into the original East Village location, head over to their fairly newer establishment in Midtown.

More: 5 Best Places To Get Your Slurp On

Chop Shop

254 10th Avenue
New York, NY 10001
(212) 820-0333

Chop Shop, in Chelsea, seems to fly under the radar. Despite being within throwing distance of the High Line, it doesn’t get much publicity. That’s OK—all the more pork belly buns for us. The bun has the ideal amount springiness and tackiness, and the pork belly is rich and fatty. Some crushed peanuts finish the dish. We’re also pretty keen on the salt-and-pepper shrimp and the pan-seared pork chops with ponzu-barbecue marinade and sauteed bean sprouts.

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