One travels to Barcelona with visions of delicious gazpacho, paella and tapas in mind. As specialists in intimate food tours, we can assure you this will be the case! But did you know that there is also a thriving, first-class international food scene in the city as well? ¡Sí señor, sí senora!
Where to find the best Asian food in Barcelona
We looooove food, from all over the world. Here we are serving up a list of our favourite Asian restaurants in Barcelona. Craving a hearty hot pot? Can’t wait to have authentic bibimbap or a spicy curry bowl? We’ve got you covered.
For many years, finding an authentic Chinese restaurant in Spain was “more difficult than meeting the Pope” (that’s how we express in Spanish that something is almost impossible to accomplish). However, in the last decade, all kinds of truly excellent Asian restaurants offering cuisines from many parts of the continent have become available for the foodies of Barcelona.
In fact, not many people know this, but there is a fairly big Chinatown in Barcelona, in the area of Dreta de l’Eixample. It’s not touristy and well worth a visit (especially at Chinese New Year when parades and other activities take place in Eixample, Born and near the Arc de Triomf). For good curries (mainly from India and Pakistan) you should head towards the neighbourhood of Raval. Sadly, this part of the city does not always enjoy a great reputation, but it does hold some gems in terms of cuisine.
Our top Asian restaurants in Barcelona
Here is a list of our personal top favourites (as ever, and especially as a result of the economic impact of the pandemic, always check before travelling as opening hours have been subject to changes):
Hot pot (a simmering pot of seasoned stock and/or oil which cooks meat, leafy vegetables, mushrooms, dumplings, or seafood) was new to locals in Barcelona not that long ago. But now it has become the hip thing to do, especially for group celebrations. This branch of Liuyishou, part of a well-loved global chain, is very large and you can book a private room for you and your friends. Really tasty food and very reasonably priced.
Kenji Oueno moved to Barcelona from Kyoto in 2003. Inspired by the izakayas, Japanese tapas bars, he opened his own restaurant, a small and charming place in Dreta de l’Eixample. He combines Japanese recipes with the occasional Mediterranean touch. You will be nicely surprised by the menu. The wine list consists mostly of local and adventurous wines produced in small wineries.
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This a new discovery in the neighbourhood of Raval. A friend of ours (a chef) can’t stop talking about it. I quote: “Real authentic Indian food with an unreal depth of flavour”. We should add that they do traditional with a modern and adventurous touch, like their butter chicken burger (pav).
This Michelin-starred restaurant takes you back to Japan. It is located two minutes away from the Catedral of Santa Eulalia, a must-see when in Barcelona. They provide two tasting menus and a large a-la-carte menu as well. Take your time and enjoy. You won’t regret it!
If you walked by this place you might not catch its appeal from the outside. But don’t judge a book by its cover! It’s an informal restaurant, yes, but you will have really good Korean BBQ, bibimbap (a delicious mixed rice dish) and potato noodles. Authentic and well-priced, but beware, there are no desserts! They have a couple of tables outside, which is something you’ll appreciate in the hot Barcelona summer.
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And for a full-on fusion of Asian and Mediterranean, we suggest Casa Xica, a very cute, small place in Poble Sec. It is run by a Catalan couple of chefs that travelled for a long time around Asian countries. Upon their return, they started this project and won the title of the best restaurant in Barcelona by Time Out in 2015. Besides their delicious dishes, you will taste really surprising, natural, locally-produced wines.
If you are a fan of Asian food, I am sure you won’t be disappointed with this list of the best Asian restaurants in Barcelona. Give them a try and let us know how it went in the comments.