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Cheap Eats: The 7 Best Baos and Buns in Chinatown and Little Italy, New York City

Bao Tea House Buns

Looking for the best Chinese bakeries in New York City?

Baos aka Chinese buns are great as both yummy snacks and cheap lunches on the go and luckily, Chinatown has so many top-notch bakeries. So here are our cheap eats picks for the 7 best baos and buns in Chinatown and Little Italy, New York City. You can easily get lunch in any of these places for less than $10 and for some even much lower than that!

Mei Lai Wah – 62 Bayard St

Mei Lai Wah Char Sui BaoP.C.: yelp, Kathy C.

Mei Lai Wah has been a neighborhood favorite for decades and they are renowned for their roast pork aka char sui baos. You can easily get two of these buns for less than $5 (perhaps maybe one baked and one steamed). But unfortunately, there can be long lines for these tasty treats especially on the weekends, but they just opened a sister restaurant, Munchiez (126 MacDougal St) that also has the same roast pork buns along with a lot of other interesting snacks.

Nice One Bakery – 47 Bayard St

Nice One Bakery BaosP.C.: yelp, Andie E.

Nice One Bakery is one of our favorite cheap eats spots in New York City. Our favorite bun here is the big bun which has a little bit of everything like pork, chicken, Chinese sausage, and some egg. It is a hearty meal that is super convenient and perfect when you are in a rush.

Golden Steamer – 143A Mott St

Golden Steamer Pumpkin BunP.C.: yelp, Matteo R.

As their name implies, Golden Steamer is a tiny hole in a wall type shop that specializes in steamed buns. These buns can be filled with char sui or perhaps something a bit more unusual like pumpkin. All their buns are about a dollar, and they sell their buns individually or in a pack to be reheated later. Golden Steamer does sell out of some of the more popular buns, so it is best to visit them early in the day.

Spring Cafe – 153d Centre St

Spring Cafe Mushroom Bao

Spring Cafe in Chinatown shows up a lot on our cheap eats blog posts since it is our favorite vegetarian or vegan spot. We absolutely love, love their black pepper mushroom baos. They really packed a lot of flavor with every bite. Their braised tofu skin bao is delicious too and best of all, these baos are $5.50 each or 2 for $10.

New Golden Fung Wong Bakery – 41 Mott St

New Golden Fung Wong BakeryP.C.: yelp, Anna H.

New Golden Fung Wong Bakery is an old school bakery in the heart of Chinatown. They have all the classics buns, and we highly recommend their red bean, custard or coconut buns. Since their buns are only about $2 each, you can pick up dessert here too with all the money you have just saved!

Fay Da Bakery – 83 Mott St & Other Locations

Fay Da Bakery Buns

With everything from fried fish baos to taro baos, Fay Da Bakery has a lot of options for foodies! You honestly can’t go wrong was any of them and they all won’t break the bank. You can try these snacks and a whole lot more on our food tours, Chinatown and Little Italy Food Fest and Tasty Global Bites – A Culinary Journey through Nolita, Little Italy and Chinatown. It is a great gift and the perfect way to check out the best of what these neighborhoods have to offer.

Bao Tea House – 122 Mulberry St & Other Locations

Bao Tea House Baos and a DrinkP.C.: yelp, Elsie W.

Finally, Bao Tea House has been creating quite the buzz with their baos that both look and taste amazing and surprisingly it is in the heart of Little Italy. They have a menu full of interesting, sweet, and savory baos so you can get something like a pork belly bao and a matcha bao for dessert. Everything on their menu is less than $10.