The Bao

13 St Marks Pl, New York
(212) 388-9238

Recent Reviews

Tara W.

What can I say, we always end up here as it has great food and great service. They are always fast and friendly. It is clean and big space with lots of table. It is next to the road and walk up. The prices are okay but they have varieties of food.

Hanna Mo

This place is one of my favorite places to get soup dumplings. Beware, the super spicy is very spicy!!

Julia S.

Somewhat upscale Chinese spot that is pretty intimate. The soup dumplings were great and my favorite part, the service was fine and accommodating. The wontons in chili oil weren't very spicy so I'm not sure if the Chinese food was more Americanized to appeal to more customers. The powdered sugar on the meat we ordered was a bit strange and the meat was dry so I definitely don't recommend order the sweet rib. Highly recommend the xiaolongbao!

Datt Patel

Orange Chicken was all white meat, tender. Sauce not overly sweet, mixed with a subtle spice. Pork Baos were the best, with hint of vinegar on side. Good balance of soup and substance. Chili Fried Chicken was a bit dry and the small cuts although flavorful might have been cooked a bit too long.

Megan H.

On a busy street with lots of other places to stop. This place has a black awning and you walk up a couple of stairs but easy to get into. It's a small spot but they have lots of seating that's pretty close together and a quick turn around. All the dishes were coming out of the kitchen pretty fast. We got there at just about noon and there were plenty of seats but it filled up soon. We ordered the King Fu XLB, string beans, Shanghai noodles, and chili chicken. We also tried the plum sake and a tsing Tao. Everything was freaking fantastic. Amazing flavor and beautiful presentation. The Kung Fu xlb was one of the best I have had. Great flavor and the broth was amazing. These are pork btw. The string beans were delicious with a wonderful flavor, salty crispy, goodness. Order then. Eat them. My husband can barely stand heat but for this chili chicken he did it. He loved it. It was so good. There are a lot of chili's that come out on the plate but it's not as intimidating as it looks. It is spicy, don't get me wrong. I love heat and this was just a pleasant heat. They are breaded little chunks of chicken tossed with onions garlic and chili peppers and have a crunch and juicy texture all in one. Again, salty yummy goodness. The Shanghai noodles were a good add on to kill the heat. They had a wonderful grilled taste and had all the comfort food feelings that a good noodle gives you. There is one restroom in the back by the kitchen. The place is a tight squeeze but really I never saw a line. You may be seated by strangers but it's okay. The food is sooo worth it. Get there. Eat there. Die happy.

Anna S.

This place is nicely decorated and has good ambiance for groups of friends but I wouldn't recommend it to a food lover. The first time I came here, I was very excited to try the food but i was wildly disappointed by the mediocre food and the long wait line. The lines is very long for dinner which is to be expected for the location. However, they have a very uncomfortable and small waiting area right by the door where you are being pushed by new customers and leaving customers. The food is also very salty and greasy. It's not terrible but it's also not great. The best thing I had here are the soup dumplings. I also wanted to mention that their plates and cups were not fully washed. The Bao is very cute and intimate restaurant but you can find better and more authentic Chinese food elsewhere.

Bill T.

Wow, I'm still stuffed from dinner here last week. Was catching up with a friend of mine who had been here before so she knew what to order and it was all terrific. We started with some soup dumplings which were great. We followed that with Don Don noodles. They were great but spicier than I had anticipated. Then we had some perfect sesame chicken....it was so good. The last thing was was grilled cauliflower. Also kind of spicy but soooo good. I could honestly make a meal out of that. SErvice was quick and friendly. We got there about six and there were a few tables. When we left a little before seven, it was packed so if you get there later, expect a wait.

connorhawke

The soup dumplings opened a little too easily but the food was otherwise delicious and well-portioned and quickly served. Unfortunately they do not accept reservations on Fridays or the weekend so expect some waiting these days.

Mo L.

Skin -- thin and chewy. Meat -- thicc and bouncy. Soup -- hot and steamy. Nuff said.

Michael N.

I came here with my friend for lunch. The food was amazing. I really love the crab soup dumplings and the jasmine tea fried rice! You get free tea if you check in and post a review!

James Burns

Never disappointed here. Fresh and delicious at a reasonable price. Nice decor and service, too.

Lucy Smith-Williams

The Bao is simply a fantastic restaurant. I’ve been here several times with my boyfriend and each time we are so so so impressed with the quality of food, service and atmosphere. Sometimes there is a wait, but it’s so worth it!! We love the cucumber salad and finger Bao. Can’t wait to try the chocolate Bao next time! Try this place, especially if you are a fan of spicy food!

Garima G.

Stumbled across this restaurant in East village. What we ordered? Scallion pancake - crispy and tasty. Ma po tofu - it was spicy AF but so so delicious. Even if you love meat, do yourself a favor and order this and you won't regret it. My friend ordered non-vegetarian dumplings for himself and he seemed to love them. I can't comment much on those ‍ Overall a great spot with great food. Staff is so friendly. Wait could get annoying but we got lucky and were seated immediately. I'll definitely be back for some more. 8

Sumith S.

Went during rush hour. They had a big line, wrote down oru names to be called, it didn't took that long, it's worth the wait. Super amazed by their soup dumplings, went to Bao couple of times to eat the same soup dumplings. So flavorful with a spoon full of soup, also we tried their crispy pancakes. Overall great food!!! Really want to go back soon.

Anni Huang

Photos are from two different visits, but I recommend the Finger Bao over the XiaoLongBao! The Nutella Bao is very unique and has bananas so if you want a sweet dessert def recommend.

Master iOqY

Known for their Xiao Long Bao. They even have chocolate XLB. Not really authentic though but their dimsum morsels are still tasty if a bit salty. The dumplings have depth of flavour. Chic dining space in the dark with accent lighting. Pricing a bit on the high side for what you get.

April

Food is good. Service is not as great. They don’t even provide hot water.

Robby A.

For a party of 8 we got seated relatively timely considering it was a crowded night. This place was poppin. Young East village crowd. Very clean and modern furnished place for the area! Honest opinion: the food was great. Great sized portions. Soup Dumplings were flavorful. I got an orange chicken which was sweet but cooked nicely and not crunchy or overdone. Price wise was also great and affordable. Lots of drink options. Will be back to try some noodle dishes. Large communal table made the experience fun. 5 stars Bao you lived up to the hype .

Carrie C.

The kung fu soup dumplings and the pork soup dumplings were great, skin was thin, juice was rich, flavor was there. Too much ginger though. The dan dan noodles texture was good but flavors were very bland, just tasted like oil. The scallion pancake with beef was very oily, there was very little beef and it was overall soggy. I walked in on a weekday evening. The wait to be seated was rather quick but confusing. The atmosphere inside the restaurant was dim and crowded. The seating was weird. Like they just plopped a table in the pathway. The table was wobbly and everyone walking past my table was just slapping me with their bags or jackets. Every now and then a staff member would bump into my arm or chair. The whole meal was so annoying. I tried my best to enjoy it but they should really get their restaurant layout straight. You may put an extra table there, get me as a customer for the night but I would not return for such discomfort.

Ashley B.

The best bao buns in the city! We ambled over after a couple round of drinks at Angel's Share nearby (review to come). The host, slightly frazzled by the crowd, informed my group of 2 of a 30 minute wait so we decided to order some bubble tea at the nearby kung fu tea to escape the cold. We came back after about 20 minutes and were promptly seated. We followed the host and were given menus immediately. A waitress came by to offer us water as we perused the menu -- already a great start in my book. Over the course of the evening, we ordered 2 xiao long bao of the pork variety, one dan dan noodles, one dry pepper chicken, and one fried dumpling order. A lot of food for two people and by the end I was in a food coma, having to be rolled out by my boyfriend. The XLB were incredible. As the premier sentence indicated, the best in the city. The skin was thin and yielding, while firm against the heat of the broth. Placed in my awaiting spoon, the skin was easily pierced. The salty broth flowed out in waves that were eagerly slurped. The filling, an even mixture of pork and vegetable. I'm salivating thinking about this perfection. The dry pepper chicken was ok. It was much better than previous dry pepper chicken dishes, but I don't think I'm a fan of that style of dish. The peppers are too much for me and there isn't enough chicken in the fried pieces. The dan dan noodles were very good as well. The mixture of salty, oily, and carb-y deliciousness all wrapped in one dish, with a garnish of scallions -- perfection. The fried dumplings were great as well, but nothing really stands out as I am reliving this experience. The decor is dark and hipster ish with a mural on the wall. It was loud at a comfortable level where one could still hear their guests. This would be a good place for a date or for parents. Overall, a great experience from the staff, wonderful food, and a fun, young, ambiance. We will definitely be back for more!

Jaye Aster Broder

First time here. Loved the steamed soup dumplings. The scallion pancake was very flaky and well laminated. The flavors in ma po tofu were well balanced. The fried sesame balls were amazing. Wontons in chili oil were also good. I wouldn’t necessarily order the spring rolls or finger dumplings again. As someone who doesn’t like banana, I would also pass on the chocolate dessert dumplings. They forgot our ride and were somewhat aggressive about bringing it out as if we hadn’t asked.

Stephen Chuang

Excellent dumplings, and is what you go there for. However, their other dishes, like the Crispy Beef was delicious and unique.

Kimberly O.

This place gets five stars for having the best xlb in the city. For me, great xlb means the skin is thin and the soup is full of flavor. So this place meets both. I've had a few xlb in the Manhattan (and in flushing) and this place has the thinnest skin with great flavor. The other things my group and I ordered were also very tasty. One of my friends claimed that they had the best fried rice... But IMO it was pretty oily (which is probably why it tasted so good). I will say that the braised pork (we paid an extra $4 for four buns to go with it) was pretty delicious. I also think that the pork was extremely fatty in the best way. I usually HATE eating chunks of fat because it's chewy, hard to swallow, and the idea of eating pure fat kind of grosses me out. But I accidently ate a piece of fat and I was so confused because it instantly melted in my mouth. Yuuuuummmmm. I would 100% come back here again. I'm sure everything on the list tastes good. Honestly I would come back and order two sets of xlb just for myself lol. I will say that during their busy hours, their wait times can get extremely long (maybe like 60+ min.) Came during an off hour (like 4pm?) and had zero wait time. I've seen some people complain about service, but I guess I just didn't expect much.

Jay H.

Soup dumplings were all stuck together and impossible to not break. Flavor was ok but the whole experience was spoiled by not being able to enjoy the soup in the dumplings...

Anni Bellasnow

Photos are from two different visits, but I recommend the Finger Bao over the XiaoLongBao! The Nutella Bao is very unique and has bananas so if you want a sweet dessert def recommend.

Karl Vassallo

Lovely atmosphere, really friendly waiters and good vibe. The soup dumplings are delicious, full of flavor. We also had boc choi, pancake and peanut chicken. We Will be going back soon.

Phantom Kayne

Lovely food. Perfect for family, friends, and meetings. The atmosphere is very relaxing and overall just a wonderful time.

Dominika Z.

We came in at around 5:30 in the afternoon and it was already crowded. It seem like they have put way too many tables in the place that it was barely any space for you to take off your coat or walk to the bathroom. And the worst part is this: after I've asked the hostess to pack us the rest of our food, when I opened the container the next day, there was a nasty piece of goo with hairs sticking out in the soup I ordered the day before. It is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE and NASTY and it literally grossed me for an entire day. I even gave up taking any picture of it because it was so sick to look at. I don't know if the thing was already in the soup when it was in the kitchen, or it came in when the hostess packed it. The hostess was much not friendly anyway. I have been to this place couple of times before, but this exprience totally ruined my trust to the hygiene and food safety there. Even though I liked the food, I would not think about going back again. Plus, there are plenty more places you can alter for getting the same quality Chinese food around the area. Just help yourself saving your nerve and keeping your good health by avoiding this place.

Mike C.

Previous review was when I was sometimes a silly petty Yelper when I just started. Just ate here for the first time in forever and the food was all excellent. Highly recommended for Chinese food in this area, especially the soup dumplings and fried rice and get the tofu with minced pork too.

Penny W

The servers and the food was great. It was very first time here & I'll definitely be back. Can't complain about nothing

Allie D.

Love love love this place. Their soup dumplings are incredible! You can order a bunch of things to split here. The staff is friendly and the restaurant has a great atmosphere (very New York). I would recommend coming with a group but make a reservation beforehand!! It gets super packed, especially for dinner. I ordered the crab xiao long bao the last time I went, and my friend ordered the Kung Fu xiao long bao. All of them were amazing. Their sesame rice balls are also to DIE for - the best ones I've ever tasted. Would highly HIGHLY recommend. My boyfriend got the Shanghai noodles and loved them as well. This is an absolute gem in the east village.

Jim Aldridge

Excellent bao - both the pork and crab. Fried dumplings also very good.

Ken Naarden

I had soup dumplings for lunch, they were okay. Good place to visit if you're in the neighborhood.

Kelly K.

Solid 4 star. 1. Kung fu xiao long Bao - one of the best xiao long Bao I've ever had outside of Asia. Very juicy, flavorful, the skin is thin and the meat inside is high quality - highly recommend!! 2. Cucumber salad - wow, just wow. Again one of the best I've had. The cucumber presentation is too extra, they shaved the cucumber skin and left out the seeds. Personally I prefer the regular cubed cucumber. 3. Hot and sour soup - a little too spicy for my liking. Really flavorful thou! I can tell they use high quality ingredients. 4. Dan Dan noodle - meh, it was ok. Better than average but nothing special. 5. Sichuan chili fried chicken - ok... I was very disappointed. Where is the chicken? I had high hopes and recommended my friends who's never tried this dish before. However this one has a lot of dough and not enough chicken. Maybe I should've gotten their Chongqiang chili fried chicken, that one is supposed to have bone inside - maybe that one will be better?! Who knows. Too scared to try. 6. Rose green tea - I liked the tea. But the cup was a little extra and cut my lips.... Overall, I would definitely come back again but will very selective of what I order - definitely not the chili fried chicken.

Julie N.

I've been to the Bao multiple times and every time I come out satisfied. The XLBs are some of my favorite in NYC. They come out nice and hot, with perfect amount of juice, meat, and skin ratio. I really enjoy the cucumber salad, Dan Dan noodles, hot n sour soup here. One thing I wasn't a fan of was the Sichuan chili fried chicken was not great. There was no chicken! Just tasted like fried batter and spices.

Angel Espejo

Great selection of meat, veggies, noodle and rice dishes. Highly recommend the crab meat Bao and can't go wrong with the Pot Special with a mix of meats and veggies. Also avail, the classic takeout dishes one craves so often.

Elaine W.

The food is rather normal, but the Pineapple Churro Shrimp is good and very similar to real local food. Overall, not so good.

Frances U.

I love this place. I come here a lot and order the same thing - tofu with minced pork and crab meat Xiao long Bao. I've had friends recommend other XLB places but I have to say, this is the best one I've had in the city. The place is always packed for dinner, even on the weekdays but it's totally worth the wait!

Dave F.

Stopped in quickly to try a few baos as this place is highly regarded and we wanted to try the chocolate baos. The chicken dumplings were okay but rather plain. They needed the sour soy sauce to add some flavor. I love spicy food and tried the super spicy XLB. They were just moderately spicy and would not really recommend them for those who want truly spicy dishes. The chocolate dumplings were interesting. It was filled with I think chocolate covered banana. Very interesting though I'm not sure the value was great compared to all the other desserts in the area. Overall I'd come back to try some other items recommended here on yelp. It was rather busy even around 9pm on a Wednesday. Service was good and the food came fast.

Lacey Smith

Snuck in here while waiting for a friend. I was seated quickly, had my order in and out quickly. Fish fillet in chili oil + rice was so good, so satisfying! Definitely on the larger side but def not complaining!