1 West Wacker Dr
Chicago, IL 60601
When I first walked by one of the 5 Wow Bao locations found in Chicago, my initial reaction was to chuckle at the originality of the name. Two rhyming one syllable words, creatively summing up exactly what their product is, and how good it is....genius!
In a nutshell, Wow Bao (@baomouth) is a fast-food style eatery that serves Chinese/Asian fusion style steamed baos (bao being a Chinese word meaning bun), pot stickers, and rice bowls. The ordering and food delivery process is efficient and quick, making it a great grab-and-go option. And as a Chinese person who's had many a baos in my life, I have to say, the ones at Wow Bao are actually half decent!
Hot asian buns served here! ;)
Stacks upon stacks of steam tins filled with buns!
Our food orders and Homemade Ginger Ale
So I have to make a comment about this Homemade Ginger Ale. Seeing as it's advertised as Wow Bao's signature drink, we decided to give it a try. And let me tell you, it's not your typical soda type ginger ale. This stuff is as real as it gets. It had ground up bits of ginger floating in it, and a potent spicy ginger flavour. I'm not usually a food waster, but I just could not handle the taste and tossed it midway through.
What really impresses me about Wow Bao is their environmentally friendly initiatives. Aside from using completely recyclable containers and paper bags, they also offer a bicycle delivery service. Great way to go green!
Pork and Cabbage Pot Stickers ($3.99 for 5)
Whole Wheat Edamame Bao ($1.69 each/$8.79 for 6)
BBQ Pork Bao ($1.69 each/$8.79 for 6)
Having a more sensitive palate, I personally found the BBQ Pork Bao to be a tad on the saltier side, but the Whole Weat Edamame was just perfect. Both had pillowy soft buns that were freshly steamed making them so delicious. I wish I hadn't waited a bit before consuming them, but even cooled they tasted great.
So in conclusion: Wow Bao's Baos are....WOW! :)
Alright, now that I've got the cheesy word play remarks all out of me, I have one last thing to comment on. I didn't realize this until I looked it up after, but Wow Boa is owned by Chicago based restaurant conglomerate Lettuce Entertain You (@lettuceeats). It runs a list of many restaurants including Cafe-Ba-Ba-Reeba, and Joe's, both of which I went to during this Chicago trip and loved! I've also tried Maggiano's Little Italy last year and that did not disappoint either. Looking forward to crossing more restaurants off this list!