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Eleven Bao Buns You Should Try in Denver

The options seem endless

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Bao buns, in all their pillowy goodness, have been making their way onto Denver's mainstream menus steadily over the past few years. There are the classics: ramen restaurants and dim sum offerings, but there are also some modern options that range wildly in their fillings and also in the kind of setting they appear in.

From breakfast food to pork belly to Big Mac renditions, there is a flavor profile that fits any appetite in the world of steamed buns. Check this list for the best ones in Denver and add your favorites to the comments if we missed it.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Ace Eat Serve

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501 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 800-7705
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The braised short rib bun is a rite of passage on the menu at this perpetually hot spot in Uptown. The pork belly version is a bit richer but also a winner.
Adam Larkey

2. Bones

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701 Grant St
Denver, CO 80203
(303) 860-2929
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This small but mighty eatery led by restaurateur Frank Bonanno is known for its killer ramen but the bao buns are also a highlight. Three come to an order that takes 15 minutes and they can be stuffed with braised pig or pork belly or duck confit.
Adam Larkey

3. CHO77

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42 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209
The bao mi buns at Cho77 harmonize all the elements: richness (pork belly), spice (black pepper), heat (sriracha mayo), and crunch (pickles). Each bite strikes this delicate balance and makes you wanna come back for more.

4. Departure Restaurant + Lounge

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249 Columbine Street
Denver, CO 80206
(720) 772-5020
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This hot spot in the posh Cherry Creek neighborhood offers a flavor-bursting shiitake bao that brings together carrot and ginger to complement the mushroom.

5. Lucky Cat

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7559 E Academy Blvd
Denver, CO 80230
The choice at Lucky Cat is a barbecue bun made with pork shoulder or a fish taco bun (a truly unique take on this dish) with tilapia and tartar sauce. The great news? You can order them individually to try both.
Andra Zeppelin

6. Star Kitchen

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2917 W Mississippi Ave
Denver, CO 80219
(303) 936-0089
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We couldn't write this list without including some of the most authentic dim sum in Denver. Star Kitchen serves a variety of bao buns (both baked and steamed) on their dim sum menu, available every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Yelp

7. Super Star Asian Cuisine

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2200 W Alameda Ave
Denver, CO 80223
(303) 727-9889
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Just down the street from Star Kitchen, Super Star Asian cuisine is a rival for the authenticity. They also serve bao buns on the dim sum menu, but offer it all day. The steamed barbecue pork bun is a definite favorite here.
Super Star Asian Cuisine Facebook

8. Uncle

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2215 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211
(303) 433-3263
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Go for the ramen, stay for the buns! The pork belly and shrimp are mainstays, and there is a rotating third option with fried green tomato occupying that slot now. We recommend one of each just to be safe.
Adam Larkey

9. Zengo

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1610 Little Raven St
Denver, CO 80202
(720) 904-0965
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The only breakfast bun on our list, and perhaps the only one offered in Denver. A big twist on the breakfast classic: bacon and eggs. Get it weekends during brunch.
Adam Larkey

10. Zoe Ma Ma

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1625 Wynkoop St
Denver, CO 80202
(303) 545-6262
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Zoe Ma Ma's food makes us wish there was a Chinatown in Denver. Mimicking street food. The steamed, organic buns come filled with your choice of marinated minced pork, chicken with pickled greens, or a vegetarian option. There are two locations: one in Boulder and one next to Union Station.
Facebook

11. Vinh Xuong Bakery (2)

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2200 W Alameda Ave
Denver, CO 80223
(303) 922-0999
The bao buns at Vinh Xuong are a bit elusive. They are offered every day, but they are only there until they sell out. Our advice? Go early and often.

1. Ace Eat Serve

501 E 17th Ave, Denver, CO 80203
Adam Larkey
The braised short rib bun is a rite of passage on the menu at this perpetually hot spot in Uptown. The pork belly version is a bit richer but also a winner.
501 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80203

2. Bones

701 Grant St, Denver, CO 80203
Adam Larkey
This small but mighty eatery led by restaurateur Frank Bonanno is known for its killer ramen but the bao buns are also a highlight. Three come to an order that takes 15 minutes and they can be stuffed with braised pig or pork belly or duck confit.
701 Grant St
Denver, CO 80203

3. CHO77

42 S Broadway, Denver, CO 80209
The bao mi buns at Cho77 harmonize all the elements: richness (pork belly), spice (black pepper), heat (sriracha mayo), and crunch (pickles). Each bite strikes this delicate balance and makes you wanna come back for more.
42 S Broadway
Denver, CO 80209

4. Departure Restaurant + Lounge

249 Columbine Street, Denver, CO 80206
This hot spot in the posh Cherry Creek neighborhood offers a flavor-bursting shiitake bao that brings together carrot and ginger to complement the mushroom.
249 Columbine Street
Denver, CO 80206

5. Lucky Cat

7559 E Academy Blvd, Denver, CO 80230
Andra Zeppelin
The choice at Lucky Cat is a barbecue bun made with pork shoulder or a fish taco bun (a truly unique take on this dish) with tilapia and tartar sauce. The great news? You can order them individually to try both.
7559 E Academy Blvd
Denver, CO 80230

6. Star Kitchen

2917 W Mississippi Ave, Denver, CO 80219
Yelp
We couldn't write this list without including some of the most authentic dim sum in Denver. Star Kitchen serves a variety of bao buns (both baked and steamed) on their dim sum menu, available every day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
2917 W Mississippi Ave
Denver, CO 80219

7. Super Star Asian Cuisine

2200 W Alameda Ave, Denver, CO 80223
Super Star Asian Cuisine Facebook
Just down the street from Star Kitchen, Super Star Asian cuisine is a rival for the authenticity. They also serve bao buns on the dim sum menu, but offer it all day. The steamed barbecue pork bun is a definite favorite here.
2200 W Alameda Ave
Denver, CO 80223

8. Uncle

2215 W 32nd Ave, Denver, CO 80211
Adam Larkey
Go for the ramen, stay for the buns! The pork belly and shrimp are mainstays, and there is a rotating third option with fried green tomato occupying that slot now. We recommend one of each just to be safe.
2215 W 32nd Ave
Denver, CO 80211

9. Zengo

1610 Little Raven St, Denver, CO 80202
Adam Larkey
The only breakfast bun on our list, and perhaps the only one offered in Denver. A big twist on the breakfast classic: bacon and eggs. Get it weekends during brunch.
1610 Little Raven St
Denver, CO 80202

10. Zoe Ma Ma

1625 Wynkoop St, Denver, CO 80202
Facebook
Zoe Ma Ma's food makes us wish there was a Chinatown in Denver. Mimicking street food. The steamed, organic buns come filled with your choice of marinated minced pork, chicken with pickled greens, or a vegetarian option. There are two locations: one in Boulder and one next to Union Station.
1625 Wynkoop St
Denver, CO 80202

11. Vinh Xuong Bakery (2)

2200 W Alameda Ave, Denver, CO 80223
The bao buns at Vinh Xuong are a bit elusive. They are offered every day, but they are only there until they sell out. Our advice? Go early and often.
2200 W Alameda Ave
Denver, CO 80223

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