Explore Harden's - The restaurant guide created by you for you
RestaurantsLondonSohoW1

survey result

Summary

“A hole-in-the-wall type place, but some of the best buns in London!” – these “hipsterish”, if “haphazard” Taiwanese cafés in Soho, Fitzrovia, and now also Borough, have made a big name for their “sensationally tasty” steamed buns and other “inventive, delicious plates”: superb “homely food at very reasonable prices”. The new SE1 branch, opened in Spring 2019, has a grab-and-go delivery hatch and a karaoke room upstairs; and both here and in Fitzrovia you can book – at Soho you run the gauntlet of a big queue and it’s more “rushed”.

£38
    £
4
Very Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Oriental steamed buns to die for” explain the “perpetual queue” at these “tiny”, “fast ’n’ furious” cafés in Soho and Fitzrovia, whose “reinvented Taiwanese street food” (“complex, apparently simple, always daring”) includes other intriguing dishes (“like beef cheek and tendon nuggets”), as well as “interesting Taiwanese teas”.

£37
    £
4
Very Good
3
Good
3
Good
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Heaven in a bun”; “very special steamed bao, with great fillings”, plus other “incredible” street food dishes – “as good as in Taiwan” – all at “realistic prices” have made this Soho café (and its more recent Fitzrovia spin-off) one of the biggest hits of recent years. You can book in WC1 for the basement, but in Soho “you have to queue behind a bus-stop-type sign on the other side of the road”“the bao are to die for… so you long as you didn’t die of the wait to get them…”

£28
    £
4
Very Good
3
Good
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

Summary

“Pillowy-soft” and “very more-ish” Taiwanese steamed buns – “sublime pockets of taste” filled with “fabulously spiced meats” – justify the ever-present queues for this Soho phenomenon. “They like you in and out quickly”, and “the tiny premises and jam-packed tables don’t encourage lingering”. (A second Fitzrovia branch opened in mid-2016 in the premises that were Boopshis.)

£28
    £
4
Very Good
2
Average
2
Average
* Based on a three course dinner, half a bottle of wine, coffee, cover charge, service and VAT.

For 28 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 50,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.

Have you eaten at Bao?

Opening hours

Last orders: 10 pm

Best similarly priced restaurants nearby

Honest Burgers
Burgers, etc restaurant in Soho
£28
    £
4
Very Good
4
Very Good
3
Good
Wong Kei
Chinese restaurant in Soho
£30
    £
3
Good
2
Average
1
Poor
Bar Italia
Italian restaurant in Soho
£28
    £
3
Good
3
Good
5
Exceptional