Courtesy of Alex Ostroff

Bao and bagels, together at last.

Charlie Heller
October 25, 2017

Move over cronut, there's a new round, baked food hybrid in town, and this one is savory. For the month of November, NYC's Black Seed Bagel and Nom Wah Kuai are teaming up to offer a potentially revolutionary food called the Baogel, which brings together a bao bun and bagel into a combo that looks, surprisingly enough, like something that should have been around forever.

Created by Nom Wah Kaui's Julie Cole and Black Seed's James Beard Award-nominated head baker Dianna Daoheung, the Baogel" will be filled with Nom Wah’s signature sweet pork belly, wrapped in Black Seed’s sesame bagel dough, and served with a side of house made chili cream cheese."

The Baogel is available at all three of Black Seed's locations, as well as Nom Wah Kuai, the latest restaurant to spring from Wilson Tang's Nom Wah Tea Parlor, a Chinatown Dim Sum fixture that opened back in 1920 as a tea parlor and bakery. The much younger… snack? Meal? Baked good? Or whatever you want to classify it as, will cost $8.50, and be available beginning Nov 1 for significantly less time.

Courtesy of Alex Ostroff

New as it is, the Black Seed/Nom Wah baogel is actually not history's first ever example. In Tampa, Ichicoro Ramen started offering its own take on the Baogel earlier this year. Where the Black Seed/Nom Wah version stays closer to the round, closed, steamed bun side of the bao world, Ichicoro's is a flatter, sandwich style take that looks like a bao-fied everything bagel with lox and cream cheese.

An Instagram post by Ichicoro seems to anticipate potential rivalry, but hopefully the now multiple baogel-makers out there can make peace, and help usher in a new era of baogel-based baking for all. After all, there's more than enough room in the world for more than one Baogel, and even more more than enough room in our stomachs.

The Nom Wah Baogel will be available for $8.50 starting Wednesday, November 1st at all three Black Seed locations (Nolita, East Village and Brookfield Place) in addition to Nom Wah Kuai in Canal Street Market (265 Canal Street).