Chicago >Food & Dining > Wow Bao
835 N. Michigan Ave Lobby Level, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061141.892509 -87.616170
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
Delicious, fast and healthy. Their baos are fantastic. Compliment it with their pad Thai salad
Yummy shopping fuel – If you're shopping at Water Tower Place and need a pick-me-up, Wow Bao is a great choice. You can get sweet or savory snack baos - steamed Chinese buns - or pick up a more filling meal with soups, salads, potstickers and rice bowls. The peanut noodles with chicken are especially scrumptious.
Definitely try the ginger ale while you're here - it's so refreshing and homemade with fresh ginger! Shopping is hard work, and Wow Bao is the perfect fuel to keep you going.
Steamed buns, soups and salads star at this fast-food booth in the lobby at Water Tower Place. – In Short
Long a staple of Asian fast food, steamed bao (buns) draw shoppers to this takeout spot, which serves them hot, fresh and on the cheap just inside Water Tower's front doors. Each puffy, doughy delight is stuffed with a filling like kung pao chicken, spicy Mongolian beef or green vegetables. Among other offerings, pad thai chicken salad is served with chilled glass noodles, peanuts, greens and tangy sesame dressing.
Baos are small, but you've gotta try the soup! – It's nice to have something fast and different from your normal food court (or in this case, Food Life) fare. The baos are definitely small for the price, but boy are they tasty. I've tried every kind, from the spicy mongolian beef to the yummy veggie, and they're all good. But the most amazing thing is the soup -- the hot and sour soup, served in a coffee cup, will literally cure the common cold for at least a few hours after you drink it!
User review by crazycherie – If you really want to try baos, go to Chinatown. Wow Baos baos are really small for the price you pay. However, they are branched out into unusual fillings for a bao, which makes it kind of unique. Great for fast food and if you're shopping; not good if you're going to say that it was an Asian experience.
Good, cheap, different! – We ate at 11 places during our vacation in Chicago, from breakfast at the Ritz to Chicago style hot dogs to Morton's Steakhouse. I've got to admit, this place was one of the highlights! The bill for a filling (but not huge) lunch for two was under 15 bucks with drinks and tax. I had seen Asian people eat steamed bread when I was in the service, and just thought it was strange. I didn't realize there was stuff inside the buns! I'm more open minded about food these days, and was glad to be able to try something different but good!
Semi Wow Bao – The broccoli in the first Eight Vegetable Salad with Chopped Chicken was yellow and spoiled. They made me wait several minutes until they replaced it, and the second one was delicious.
The Vietnamese mocha frappe is delicious but there are chunks of whole coffee beans in it, and I think they should have mentioned this on the menu.
Prices are pretty good for being downtown.
You have to go up the escalator and turn around the corner if you want to sit down and eat there. It was clean and uncrowded though when I visited.
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