Are there Chinese Communities in Barcelona?

Before coming to Barcelona to study abroad, I kept having this nagging thought about how my ethnic identity would be perceived in a different country. Would I even be seen as American? Being Chinese-American, I was also curious whether there is a big community of Chinese people, like Chinatown. Would I be able to satisfy my cravings when I want Chinese food? Honestly, I wasn’t even sure if there would be many other Asians in Barcelona!

However, once I arrived in Barcelona, I realized I couldn’t be more wrong. All it took was one walk down the street in the Eixample neighborhood. Here, I immersed myself in the rows of Chinese restaurants and markets. The Chinese community has established a significant presence in Barcelona.

The snacks offered at DayDay Go Supermercado

I was so happy when I stumbled upon a Chinese supermarket for the first time. Until now, I have been shopping at my local grocery stores and big brand chains which are limited in terms of global ethnic foods. This one that I went to was called DayDay Go Supermercado, which has become one of my favorite places to shop. They offer authentic Chinese selections, I was able to get everything from instant noodles to pocky sticks and chicken feet. I was also able to find Asian spices, sauces, and ingredients. This really came in handy because frankly, I was a bit homesick. With these ingredients, I was able to recreate some dishes that my mom used to make for me.

Down the street, I also found multiple hot pot restaurants which had me so ecstatic. Back in the States, hot pot was one of my favorite places to eat out with friends. Even so, my last meal with my friends before departing to Spain was hot pot because I thought I wouldn’t be able to have it for a while. The flavors here in Barcelona are very on point to what I am used to. However, I do miss all-you-can-eat hot pot places since I don’t believe they are common here.

I also want to note that in addition to hot pot, Barcelona has a great selection of cheap Chinese restaurants. The portions are amazing and they are usually half the price of what other restaurants normally charge for the same amount of food and quality.

This experience isn’t unique to just Barcelona. When I was abroad in other European countries like Italy, the UK, etc., I also had a similar experience. All of this made me realize that I was in a way, privileged. I am fortunate that there are so many Chinese diaspora and communities around the world. This has allowed me to seek comfort and familiarity in many places in the world. For people of other communities, it may be harder for them. I am grateful for the sense of belonging this global network of Chinese communities provides.

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