One of the best parts of traveling is the chance to try traditional and authentic food, which is mostly different from what our taste buds are used to. We all dream of escaping our routine and hopping on the first flight to an exotic country, but let’s face it, it’s not that easy.
Sometimes you just need a little imagination and without even stepping foot outside the city you can get a taste of a faraway land. With this guide, we take you on a gastronomic journey around the best Asian restaurants in Barcelona… fasten your seatbelt! Here are a few of the best places within easy reach from the city center.
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L’Olla de Sichuan
In this Chinese restaurant in the Gracia district, you will discover another Chinese cuisine: the hot-pot style of Si Chuan and Yunnan. It is a gastronomy where vegetables can get into the spotlight.
You will of course find the traditional spring rolls, noodles and meat on the menu, but also lotus, bean sprouts and especially “old eggs”. This strange dish is actually a salad whose main ingredient is a black egg… surprising but it’s worth the detour! For vegetarians: this restaurant offers a wide variety of plates of vegetables.
Plaça del Doctor Letamendi, 11 & Carrer d’Aragó, 224
The combination of Asian food and local craft beer is hardly a bad one. And that’s what you’ll find at Mosquito. It’s a hip little den where you will find delicious Asian morsels on offer. The specialism here is dumplings but the menu is quite diverse – including small plates like kimchi and gyozas. What to do is order quite a few dishes, tapas style.
Like the last two restaurants in the list, this is another place where you will find very good value for money. Despite enjoying a delicious meal, the bill might pleasantly surprise you when it arrives. Sister restaurant, Red Ant Noodle Bar, just around the corner is also worth a look. In that place, you’ll find a better selection of ramen and soups.
C/ dels Carders, 46,
Wakasa Tasca Japonesa
Japanese culture and cuisine are often changed in attempts to create a fusion of cuisines. If you want a traditional Japanese meal while feeling like you’re in a manga, then this is exactly what you need to try. Again, this place is quite small as it only serves 5 tables, so be sure to book well in advance. A lovely Japanese couple from Osaka will introduce you to the menu (which arrives on magnetic boards, illustrated with cute drawings) and explain the elaborations of each dish.
Don’t come here thinking to eat fast and leave, here it’s about enjoying the experience slowly to really appreciate the quality of the food. Start your meal with a particular and not so easy to find dish: Renkon Kimpira, lotus flower root, something really particular and exotic. Also on the menu is high quality evergreen sushi and many other amazing Nipponese delicacies that make the perfect choice for your next courses…
Carrer de Napols, 287
Asian Ways is a fantastic budget option for Asian food in central Barcelona. There’s a selection of the most popular Asian dishes on offer: Pad Thai, steamed gyozas, crispy duck, fresh Vietnamese rolls, ramen. And all of them are executed pretty authentically.
One of the best things about this spot is the prices, which give you great value for money when you consider the quality and flavours on offer. Don’t expect to be paying a lot more than 50 Eur for a meal for two people. Our tip is the Arroz Bibimbap from Korea, which must be one of the best available in town.
Av. del Paral·lel, 92
There’s no shortage of sushi restaurants in Barcelona, but some of them are overpriced and a touch overelaborate. If you want some good quality straightforward sushi that won’t cost an excessive price then this is your place.
The atmosphere in Machiroku used to be somewhat plain (not far from an authentic Japanese tavern) but they have just moved to a nicer venue in Gótic that gives you even more reason to go and has a nice open entrance that looks out onto the pedestrian walkway. Select the sashimi, which is always made from the freshest fish. The tuna belly nigiris, which are blowtorched for a bit of extra flavour, are our tip.
Carrer de les Magdalenes, 23,
There aren’t that many great Thai restaurants in Barcelona, but this is one of the best, All you have to do is take a trip to the adorable street that houses this restaurant. In fact it is a small “passatge” with a few small colorful bars and restaurants. The restaurant is considered the most authentic Thai place in town.
Among the must-try dishes you will find ravioli, steamed dumplings, with fish or meat and spicy duck with vegetables – the most exotic choice. Be careful with your order, their food is known to be extremely spicy! Now that you know all this, you just have to go to Bangkok Café to taste this delicious cuisine.
Bear in mind this one is a little bit further out in Sarrià, although still not too far from the centre.
Carrer d’Evarist Arnús, 65
And lastly to our recommended Ramen spot. Koku Kitchen is a touch difficult to find, tucked away in a tiny alley in Gótic, but it’s worth getting there for the top-quality Ramen.
You’ll find quite a few different varieties on offer, all good. And the laid-back atmosphere, just on the right side of hipster and quite local in flavour, adds to the experience. KoKu Kitchen has another restaurant in Born, which is also good and a little easier to find.
Carrer d’en Carabassa, 19
Enjoy! And if you fancy something a little more traditional, but with a distinctive slant, then you can always try our Historical eBike Tour.