Mei Lai Wah

Mei Lai Wah

Bakery and Chinese Restaurant$$$$
Chinatown, New York
  • Stars
  • Tips
    Clyde Erwin B.
    "And yes, the pork buns are actually pretty good and filling as well."(101 Tips)
    Eòsaph U.
    "Pork buns & coconut buns are the best in the city"(5 Tips)
    Tiffany D.
    "Get the "Famous bun"!!!!! Delicious"(5 Tips)
    Charley M.
    "Best pineapple pork buns in Chinatown"(3 Tips)
Tips and Reviews icon150 Tips and reviews
  • pork buns
  • good for a quick meal
  • Chinese food
  • casual
  • egg custard
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  • Permen J.heart icon on user image
    Permen JagungFebruary 7, 2018
    Been here 10+ times
    don’t have anything else to add about the baked buns, they’re that good. but the amoy style rice noodles is also yummy! evrytime we visit nyc it’s a definite thing that we eat here every. single. day.
    Upvoted 2 weeks ago
  • YanaBelle W.heart icon on user image
    YanaBelle WaveJune 23, 2014
    Baked pork buns are better than steamed, more meat less fat jello. Coconut buns are everything so good I forgot to take a picture so just buy one and be happy. Get in, get out and no hurt feelings.
  • Untapped Cities
    Untapped CitiesJuly 27, 2012
    Still hungry after a night out on Bayard Street? Hard to believe, but Mei Li Wah's Big Bun will take care of you. Stuffed with chinese sausage, pork, and salted egg, it's the guiltiest of delights. Read more
    Upvoted 1 week ago
  • Ben H.
    Curious NYC residents should pass on this place when the guided tour folks are congregated outside. Walk by occasionally and wait for a quiet time to take your chance on deliciousness.
  • Lori L.
    Lori LuoFebruary 10, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    The baked roast pork bun sold here is definitely the best in Chinatown. The filling is tender and savory-sweet and the outer shell baked to the perfect sheen. Best of all, it's a mere $1.
  • Latiesha C.heart icon on user image
    Latiesha CastonAugust 16, 2014
    The baked roast pork buns are my favorite. I am obsessed. I discovered them as the result of a happy accident, I meant to get steamed. And now I buy them by the dozen. They are my treat to myself.
  • Jake D.heart icon on user image
    Jake DylanAugust 16, 2021
    GET A PORK BUN HERE IF ITS THE LAST THING YOU DO! Perfect for an early breakfast. $1.50 each and so so good.
  • Christina C.heart icon on user image
    Christina C.November 17, 2013
    Steamed (white) or baked (Brown) roast pork buns are delicious. I prefer the baked because the bread is a little sweet then you get a little salty from the today pork. Perfect combination.
  • John F.heart icon on user image
    John FrenchSeptember 24, 2015
    The Baked Roast Pork Bun is the closest I have found to the ones I had in Hong Kong. They are amazing, but the quest continues. The Famous Bun doesn't have anything in it, so don't waste your time.
  • K W.heart icon on user image
    K WSeptember 27, 2016
    The best buns in China town. Always hot. Always fresh. Cheap as hell. Pork buns are so filling and tasty. I always stop in and grab one.
  • jon f.heart icon on user image
    jon ferrerFebruary 29, 2016
    This was my parents go-to spot for Siopao / Char Siu Bao when I was a kid and I loved it. Unfortunately, the bao aren't as good as I remember. Too thick and bready but the price is still right.
  • Brian B.heart icon on user image
    Brian BDecember 28, 2018
    The best pork bun I've ever had - by a mile. I usually go for the steamed buns but Mei Li Wah has converted to to baked!
  • Joan P.
    Joan ParkAugust 17, 2014
    Make sure to order the baked roast pork bun (not steamed). Sweet glazed skin, savory & ultra juicy pork on the inside for $0.80.
  • Serious Eats
    Serious EatsSeptember 26, 2013
    Pass on the signature pork buns, which have been less impressive of late, but the rice rolls, congee, and steamed lotus paste buns are worth a buy.
  • Emily C.
    Emily ChenJanuary 19, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    the roast pork buns are amazing! make sure to get a fresh one, if you can! and they're less than $1!
  • Netsirkheart icon on user image
    NetsirkAugust 30, 2011
    99% Filipinos go here! The owners know what you are talking about if you order siao mai and siao pao!! Cheap and delectable, your money is worth a dozen of the steamed siao pao! Lami kaayo! Sarap! ;)
  • Julie J.
    Julie JEWELeSAugust 23, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Baked Pork Buns & Steamed Combo Buns - We always have to bring home a box of freshly made buns! #Yum (via @Foodspotting)
  • jake f.
    jake furstSeptember 8, 2014
    stick to the baked pork buns and the fresh shrimp rice noodle roll and you'll leave here happy. don't get too weird though, the rest of the stuff we tried was pretty suspect.
  • Real Cheap Eats
    Real Cheap EatsJune 17, 2012
    Avoid the steamed roast pork buns here and stick with the famous baked version. "These soft, lightly glazed buns don’t skimp on the saucy, sweet and savory roast pork filling." Read more
  • Michael H.
    Michael HowardAugust 16, 2014
    The baked pork buns are the best. Their fried dumplings were good too but it looks like they were taken off the menu recently.
  • Compass
    CompassApril 24, 2014
    Roast pork buns are huge and deep fried and egg custard is creamy and traditional at the popular bakery.
  • Bee
    BeeAugust 12, 2014
    the pork buns are on the sweeter side, but delicious. The lotus seed buns were not that great. Congee orders take up to 10 minutes.
  • David D.
    David DanzigerJune 27, 2013
    Good coconut buns. Just had unpleasant experience: counter boy wouldn't let me sit down (with drink I just purchased there). Restaurant empty. They need to train staff. (It is a tea house....)
  • Adam S.
    Adam SaiewitzSeptember 26, 2011
    Cheap, delicious pork buns. Two make a meal, three make a feast. Get one steamed and one baked -- the sweet coating on the baked is awesome!
  • Teresaheart icon on user image
    TeresaDecember 12, 2012
    Been here 50+ times
    If you like fatty pork, then their roasted pork buns are for you. I prefer the "Famous" bun. It's a plain bun, but slightly sweet and very chewy!
  • 陳雄暉 弟.heart icon on user image
    陳雄暉 弟兄March 15, 2015
    I love how rude and loud the ladies -- especially the one with the pink cap -- behind the counter are. When she shouts, "Next!" you better step up and place your order.
  • Linda C.heart icon on user image
    Linda ChowOctober 26, 2015
    Been coming here since I was a child! Love the pork buns and sweet buns.
  • Clyde Erwin B.heart icon on user image
    Clyde Erwin BarrettoMarch 10, 2014
    Twelve pork buns for only $10.80, nuff said. And yes, the pork buns are actually pretty good and filling as well.
  • Gerald S.
    Gerald SotoSeptember 18, 2011
    Fastest way to bypass a large line on busy days is to just step all the way in and be seated. Order 2 buns then place the rest to go from your table.
  • Naomi N.
    Naomi N.April 10, 2010
    Been here 10+ times
    Best fatty baked porkbuns in the city. Can easily make 2 into a quick, cheap dinner. In fact, all their dimsum is amazing!
  • Simone J.heart icon on user image
    Simone JungDecember 14, 2015
    Go here for some delicious pork buns (baked and steamed) and their coconut buns!
  • Danielheart icon on user image
    DanielAugust 14, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Best. Pork. Buns. $0.90. Best price I've found. And they're still warm. And full of meat.
  • Matthew R.
    Matthew RechsJanuary 5, 2013
    No need to bother with anyplace else when it comes to steamed or baked pork buns. Also try "cocktail bun" and "famous bun."
  • Kaoru K.
    Kaoru K.September 21, 2013
    The baked pork buns really come correct. The rice rolls take about 10 min but they are worth the wait.
  • Julie J.
    Julie JEWELeSAugust 23, 2015
    Been here 5+ times
    Try the Baked Roast Pork Bun - So good! One of my favorites! (via @Foodspotting)
  • Alyssa B.heart icon on user image
    Alyssa B.October 17, 2022
    Bbq pork rolls. Is it just me, or they taste better than before… plus there are kiosks for credit card now if you don’t have cash.
  • Larry M.
    Larry MakMarch 10, 2014
    Been here 10+ times
    Baked pork buns - get one, get a dozen, get a couple dozens and make new friends!
  • Kimmie O.heart icon on user image
    Kimmie OhhAugust 14, 2020
    Get the pork buns, egg custard & shrimp rice rolls.
  • K W.heart icon on user image
    K WSeptember 27, 2016
    $1 per pork bun can't be beat for how much meat comes in the bun. Yummy!!!
  • Malony S.
    Malony StaAnaSeptember 8, 2013
    Best Tai Pao in Chinatown. And try the coconut bread also it's really good!
  • Pauline P.heart icon on user image
    Pauline PJune 18, 2015
    Get the baked "char siao bao" or as my Fillipino friends call it "siao bao".
  • Ryan G.heart icon on user image
    Ryan GallagherSeptember 11, 2018
    Pork buns are the choice here. Grab one and move on. Eat while walking.
  • Andrew H.heart icon on user image
    Andrew HayakawaAugust 4, 2017
    Most amazing roast pork bun in the city
  • Eòsaph U.heart icon on user image
    Eòsaph UilleamMarch 24, 2016
    Pork buns & coconut buns are the best in the city
  • John F.heart icon on user image
    John FrenchSeptember 24, 2015
    Baked Roast Pork Bun is the best!
  • Chelle .
    Chelle 🗽February 24, 2011
    For the filipinos out there, their combination siopao/big bun hits the spot (delicious pork, shrimp, chinese sausage and boiled egg filling)
  • Susanheart icon on user image
    SusanSeptember 2, 2015
    Their rice crepes are a bit pricey but freshly made. Prepare to wait at least 10 minutes. Worth a try.
  • What's Good Hereheart icon on user image
    What's Good HereAugust 9, 2014
    Come here for the baked roast pork buns. Order extra so that you can freeze them and savor later.
  • Alèxia S.
    Alèxia Solé2 weeks ago
    I’ve been told they serve best pineapple pork buns of NY.
  • Mel Q.heart icon on user image
    Mel QOctober 6, 2022
    The roast pork bun and pineapple buns are divine!
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