In Brussels, there is an unofficial Chinatown waiting to be discovered by visitors in the capital of Belgium.
This Brussels Chinatown is located right in the city center and next to Brussels’ main tourist site; the Grand' Place also known as the Grote Markt or Market Square.
Inside Brussels Chinatown
Centered mainly on the streets of St-Katelijne, there existed all the typical features of a Chinatown; many Chinese restaurants, a handful of Chinese supermarkets, Chinese pastry shops, hair dressing saloon, art gallery, travel businesses and even a Chinese press.
These businesses play the dual role of catering to the needs of local Chinese community and also as a space of cross cultural interaction.
Of the various businesses in Brussels Chinatown, restaurants and supermarkets feature prominently as sites of cultural interaction since they have a good mix of clients not exclusively Chinese.
Officially unofficial Chinatown
Unlike Antwerp Chinatown, Belgium’s only official Chinatown, Brussels Chinatown does not have the boundary markers such as lions and archways. Despite that, it does perform the role of a Chinatown and is probably seen by the community as one.
Perhaps that is why a restaurant has called itself “Chinatown” almost like the officially unofficial announcement of its status of Brussels Chinatown.
Official Chinatown in the capital of European Union