It's been a long time since I've had a decent bao bun. I wouldn't call myself an authority on the food in any terms, but I enjoy them immensely. Typically, the ones I've had are filled with meat and sauce and nothing more, but I'm mainly there for the fluffy bun itself.
While in Cincinnati over the weekend, my boyfriend and I stumbled across a hole-in-the-wall shop that had affordable bao buns and spring rolls. I am not exaggerating when I say this was the best restaurant we went to all month, and at the time of writing, I've been to 25 differents places this month! Without further ado, here's what to expect when you order the best bao buns.
Boom Box Buns: Their menu offerings and prices
This is what the menu looked like when we visited Boom Box Buns. As you can see, they do run out of some of their popular items. For an updated menu, click here.
We decided to get two pork buns ($4 each), one beef bun ($4), and a side of crispy rolls ($3) for the two of us. The food was extremely affordable. We should have gotten one more bun to fill us up, but we weren't sure about the portion sizes. We actually ended up going back an hour later for more food to bring home.
I cannot stress enough how amazingly yummy these things were. My boyfriend preferred the beef bao bun and I preferred the pork bao buns, but we loved them all. The crispy rolls were fantastic and I wish we had thought to grab two orders of them. The sauce they came with was great to dip the bao buns in.
The beef bao was almost like a savory barbeque sandwich, whereas the pork bao was light and sweet. The spring rolls were very snackable.
The only thing they lost points for with us was their lack of drink options. They do not offer bottled water or soft drinks. The staff will give you a cup of tap water if you ask, but the staff actually recommended we stop at a Starbucks down the street to get drinks. It was a little strange, considering we got tons of food and no bottled drink. They do offer Thai tea and an orange juice-inspired Blood Orange Shake-up, but we weren't interested in those drinks.
We loved Boom Box Buns. In fact, an hour after eating we returned and ordered two more of the pork buns and a side of spring rolls to bring home with us. The spring rolls and one bao bun were eaten during the car ride, but the remaining bao bun heated up surprisingly well in the microwave a few hours later. This place has incredible food and low prices.
They do have a small, sit-down/stool seating restaurant area, but there are no chairs available at the moment, likely for pandemic safety reasons. If the restaurant gets busy, you'll need to stand outside on the porch to wait for your order. They also do large catering orders if you'd prefer to hire them for events instead of picking up buns for your large group.
Remember to bring a bottled beverage when you visit Boom Box Buns - their main focus is your food!