Located in one of the mostly Asian-themed, mini-mall-esque food courts that are scattered around the Cal campus, Famous Bao specializes in Shaanxi cuisine, which owner Francis Sun describes as “spicy, sour, and packed with flavor.” The signature item is the rou jia mo, or “Chinese burger” — a kind of meat-stuffed sandwich that's hawked by street vendors in Xi’an. Because the chef (Sun’s father) has a background in Sichuan cooking, you’ll find a smattering of those flavors, too, especially in the assortment of sterno-heated “iron pots,” whose contents are laced with a hint of tongue-numbing Sichuan peppercorn oil. Our favorite dish of all might be the beef noodle soup — a Taiwanese-Sichuan fusion version that’s one of the very best you’ll find in the East Bay: tender chunks of meat, toothsome hand-made noodles, and a deep, full-flavored clear broth.

— Luke Tsai

Hours: Sun.–Fri. 11 a.m.–9:30 p.m.


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Price: $

Payment Type: Cash, all major credit cards

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