Here are some of the best places to enjoy small bites of Basque cuisine. Enjoy creamy roast txangurro, mini pil-pil cod or a more international dish like a pastrami, sardine and chipotle sandwich. You won't be able to resist!
One of the main reasons why people visit the Basque Country is to try the delicious food. And it's becoming increasingly popular. Grilled fish and meat, stews and carefully selected local produce make this region a must for foodies! And foodies should definitely not miss going out for pintxos. Some restaurants have extensive menus and others display very interesting specials written on blackboards.
If you're planning to travel to Bilbao soon, here are some of the places that we love, so you can practise the art of “poteo”, a kind of stylish pub crawl where you try lots of different pintxos!
Gure Toki (Plaza Nueva)
Our first stop is in Plaza Nueva, in the heart of Bilbao's old town. At Gure Toki they serve traditional pintxos, but they also display a kind of creativity that is similar to that of the nearby city of San Sebastián. Just an example: rib steak with wakame, scallop with curried breadcrumbs, and pastrami, sardine andchipotle sandwich, which won second place in the “2017 Basque Pintxos Champìonship”. (12 Plaza Nueva)
La Viña del Ensanche and El Globo (Calle Diputación)
The bustling Calle Diputación is one of the best streets for pintxos in Bilbao. It's a pedestrian street lined with bars with outdoor seating, and they are all equally enticing. We have two favourites, though. One of them is La Viña del Ensanche, founded in 1927. Its most popular dishes include Iberian ham buns, pork cheeks, txipis (small cuttlefish), and a delicious mini skillet of egg, foie, mushrooms and mash. (10 Calle Diputación). Our other favourite, El Globo, is a small bar where you shouldn't miss the tasty roast txangurro (spider crab). (8 Calle Diputación).
Ziripot (Calle Licenciado Poza)
Just like txangurro, Bilbao has another treat that you simply have to try: pil-pil cod. And as we're talking about pintxos today, we would like to recommend Ziripot, where you'll be able to savour a mini version of this delicious dish. But they also offer other delicacies here, like shellfish in brik pastry, oxtail stew with fried apple, and stuffed peppers. This place shows us that the next generation not only keeps alive, but also improves, the most traditional dishes. (46 Calle Licenciado Poza)
Con B de Bilbao (Calle Santa María)
This bar is the newest on the list (it opened in 2014), but it has managed to become one of the best pintxos bars in Bilbao. Its great value for money also helps. We recommend its mouth-watering artichoke with Gorgonzola, for example. But anything you choose here is sure to be a hit. Con B de Bilbao expertly combines technique, creativity, great produce and wanderlust. You can't afford to miss it! (8 Calle Santa María)
The bottom line is that if you come to Bilbao looking for good food, you'll find it! If you've already visited the city but need an excuse to go back, we've got plenty! If you feel the urge to look for a cheap flight to Bilbao, listen to your instincts!