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A hand holds a pumpkin bun with a bite out of it on a New York street corner.
A pumpkin bun from Golden Steamer. The bakery opened a new location on Grand Street earlier this month.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

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A New Chapter for a Popular Chinatown Bakery

Golden Steamer has a new home for its affordable steamed buns

Golden Steamer has been a staple in Manhattan’s Chinatown since 2009. The bakery, a one-room operation on Mott Street, is popular in the area, and more recently on social media, for its fluffy steamed buns filled with a range of meats and custards, including barbecued pork, Chinese sausage, red bean, pumpkin, and salted egg yolk. Part of the appeal: They’re sold, steaming, in paper bags for $1.50 each — a slight uptick from before the pandemic, when they cost about a dollar.

Now, the decade-old business has another bakery in the neighborhood. Golden Steamer opened a second shop with a wider selection of pastries and prepared foods earlier this month, according to workers at the bakery. It’s located around the corner from its first shop at 210 Grand Street, near Mott Street.

The new bakery is larger than the original and serves more than buns. There’s a display case with croissants and moon cakes on one side of the space, and a tall refrigerator at the back, where customers can purchase steamed buns in sets of six for around $6. Occasionally, a trolley cart with trays of warm pastries emerges from the back kitchen. Its roast buns and fruit-filled puff pastries can be purchased right off the rack.

The exterior of a shop whose name, Golden Steamer Inc., is visible in red lettering.
The new Golden Steamer.
Luke Fortney/Eater NY

The original Golden Steamer anchors a block of Mott Street that serves as a dividing line between Little Italy, to the northwest, and Chinatown to the southeast: Di Palo’s, an Italian cheese shop, has been selling mozzarella from one end of the block for almost a century. Rice Roll Cart, a popular street vendor in the area, sells rice noodles in plastic containers near the other.

Golden Steamer has additional locations in Brooklyn that are more similar to the new bakery. There’s one in Sunset Park at 5224 Eight Avenue, at 53rd Street, and another on the border of Bensonhurst and Bath Beach, at 1964 86th Street, near Bay 23rd Street.

Golden Steamer is open on Grand Street from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday to Sunday.

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