Bao or baozi—soft, steamed buns stuffed with savory or sweet fillings—originated nearly 1800 years ago. The tradition has endured: baozi is a popular street food and breakfast staple in China (with variants throughout Asia), but is not widely known or readily available in the United States.
Originally from the Fujian province in southeast China, Chef Ting Lin grew up enjoying juicy pork, egg cream, and red bean bao. After starting his own family in America, Ting wanted to make baozi for his daughter, and began to consider how he could share the traditions and flavors of his childhood with all of his family and friends. Following years of research, including trips to China to learn different baozi styles, Ting developed his own bao menu using authentic dough and delicious fillings.
In 2017, owners Ting and Alex Wu opened the first Bao’d Up fast casual restaurant in Austin’s Mueller District, expanding in 2019 to include locations on UT West Campus and in Sunset Valley. Although baozi is the signature menu item, Bao’d Up also serves rice and noodle bowls, Asian snacks, and boba teas—with vegetarian and vegan options available. The menu is specifically designed so every customer can find something they enjoy.