If you’re not yet hip to the ‘bao’ trend that’s winning the hearts of foodies everywhere, we’ll give you the scoop: a bao is a super-soft steamed bun with various fillings ranging from meat to veggies. If Tom Haverford were to describe it, he’d likely call it a mouth pillow. Sometimes they’re sealed at the top like a dumpling, sometimes they’re flattened out and served like a thick taco, but one thing remains the same: they are always fire.
Restaurants in Madrid are quickly jumping on the bandwagon (‘baowagon,’ if you will), but one stands out for its prices, location, decor, varied menu, and incredible flavors: Buns & Bones, a streetfood oasis on near Plaza España and Gran Vía.
This place has much more than baos, though. Their menu is broken down into three sections: ‘buns’ (baos), ‘bones’ (meat and fish dishes), and ‘ni buns ni bones’ (other options), which includes alluring and modern Asian dishes such as yellowtail sashimi with ponzu sauce and jalapeño, mint hanoi spring rolls, charcoal-grilled octopus, or the farmer’s market vegetable tempura.
As you can see, there’s something for everyone here: the vegans and the meat lovers, the healthy and the indulgent, the daring and the traditional…
If you somehow have room for dessert, they have some unique options—we tried the green tea panna cotta with chocolate chips, and it was delightfully light and not overly sugary.
Buns & Bones is open for lunch and dinner (except on Mondays) and has two other locations: in the Antón Martín market and in Chamberí. All have a super laidback atmosphere and are open late, inviting you to digest over a Corona while you admire the quirky decor (one wall reads ‘reserved for Banksy’).