One of the best parts of travelling is getting the chance to try traditional and authentic food, which most of the time is different from what our taste buds are used to. We all dream to escape our routine and jump on the first flight to an exotic country, but let’s be real, that’s not so easy. Sometimes you just need a little imagination and without even stepping your feet outside the city, you can have a taste of a faraway land. With this guide we take you on a gastronomic trip around the best Asian restaurants in Barcelona…fasten your seat belt!
Nestled between two of the most picturesque plaças of the El Born neighbourhood, this little eatery is as charming as the streets surrounding it. Born to bring together tastes from different Far East countries, it has rapidly become one of the top places for Asian tapas and good craft beer. In this colourful and cosy space you will try tapas inspired by the flavours of Vietnam, China and Korea. When it comes to look at the menu it becomes difficult to make a choice, so follow our advice and try the fried duck, “bang bang” aubergine and Thai fishcakes. If everything is to your liking and you’re left craving more from the same owner, then check out Grasshopper and Red Ant, two recently-opened restaurants, to expand your Asian gastronomy journey right in the heart of Barcelona. Due to its rising popularity and the reasonable prices this place tends to always be crowded, so be sure to get there early, you won’t regret it!
Carrer dels Carders, 46, 08003 Barcelona
Thailand has never been so close; all you have to do is take a trip down the adorable street that is home to this restaurant. In fact it’s a small “passatge” with colourful little houses that appear to have popped out of a fairy tale. The magic continues inside the restaurant, considered of the most authentic Thai place in the city. Among the must-try dishes you’ll find ravioli, steamed dumplings, with either fish or meat and the spicy duck with vegetables – definitely the most exotic choice. Be careful with your order, their food is famous to be extremely spicy! With that in mind you only need to head to Bangkok Café to try first-hand this delicious cuisine.
Carrer d’Evarist Arnús, 65, 08014 Barcelona
Among Asian cuisine, Indonesian is still doing its job quite quietly. We suggest you try another small and cosy bistrot where you can taste something totally new and different from what you’re used to. The owners are a lovely Indonesian-Catalan couple that decided to bring a little bit of the country to Catalonia, and more specifically a corner of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter. A must-try is the hibiscus drink together with the tahu isi, Gado Gado and Nasi Goreng, the most popular dishes on the menu. So if you’re dream trip to Bali still seems a utopia, let at least your taste buds get a touch of reality with the amazing food at Betawi, Barcelona.
Carrer de Montsió, 6, 08002 Barcelona
Tasca Japonesa Wakasa
Japanese culture and cuisine is widespread and often altered in attempts to create a fusion of cuisines. If you want a traditional Japanese meal while feeling like you are in a manga, then this is exactly what you need to try. Again, this place is quite small as it serves only 5 tables, so be sure to book in plenty of 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 and expect to eat fast and go, here it’s all about enjoying the experience and taking it slowly to really appreciate the goodness of the food. Start your meal with a particular and not so easy to find entrée: Renkon Kimpira, root of lotus flower, something really peculiar and exotic. Also on the menu is an evergreen high quality sushi and many other amazing Nipponese delights which make the perfect choice for your following courses…
Carrer de Nàpols, 287, 08025 Barcelona
If you’re looking for a chic little restaurant with a trendy but cosy atmosphere then this might be a great option. Hidden in one of the narrow alleys of el Barrio Gótico, just a few steps from the impressive Plaça de Sant Jaume, you will spot Green Bamboo, perfect for a night of tapas and good drinks. On its menu you can find mainly Asian-inspired dishes with a touch of South America. All the dishes are tapa-sized, perfect for tasting and sharing with friends. We recommend this place for an informal cocktail matched with tasty baos, colourful curries and spicy rolls. Not only are the tapas made with fresh and richly flavoursome ingredients but the range of beers and spirits is incredible. We suggest you to try their honey and basil gin & tonic or a more exotic Japanese mai tai. Whatever you choose you won’t be disappointed! (Note that Green Bambo is only open for dinner.)
Carrer de Sant Domènec del Call, 10, 08002 Barcelona