Pintxos in Bilbao!

Friday, 24 February 2017

Being originally from Granada, I thought that tapas could get no better than what you can find there. Granada is the city of free tapas. Yes FREE. That means, if you order a pint you'll probably get a double cheeseburger with fries for free. How could a tapa get better than that?

Well, there are probably thousands of spaniards who would agree with me. Tapas in Granada are definitely the best in Spain. 

Until you go to Bilbao...

Well, technically they are not the same, as in Bilbao they are called "pintxos" and in Granada "tapas". Also, whilst they are free in Granada, you'd need to pay for your pintxos (usually around 1.5‎€ each). 

So... conflict of interest over.
I'll tell you everything about pintxos now. Last weekend we went on an unexpected short break to Bilbao (you can't go wrong with 4 return tickets to Bilbao for £75 in total, can you?).

If you've been reading this blog for a while then you'd know that if there is something that can make the difference to me when I'm away is food.

Pintxos are small finger foods served at bars and taverns throughout the Basque Country, in Northern Spain. 

The name comes from the Spanish verb “pinchar” meaning "to poke" or "stab". Historically, pintxos used to be served on a small slice of bread and have a toothpick piercing them through the middle (therefore the name). However, with the evolution of Basque cuisine, pintxos have become much more diverse and these days only some of them are pierced to a piece of bread.

It’s typical to go into a bar in Bilbao and find the entire counter lined with plates of various pintxos. They range from traditional pintxos of Spanish omelette to mini haute cuisine experiments as the amazing ones you can see in the pictures I took over the weekend.

So the thing is... once you are in a pintxos area, go into a few bars and have a peek over the counters. Fancy something? Have one or two pintxos and move on onto the next bar. 

We tried over 30 different pintxos over 3 days, and if I had to choose my favourite one without a doubt it would be this "Idiazabal Cheese Soup with Quail Egg and Wild Mushrooms" from Gure Toki bar in Plaza Nueva, Bilbao. Honestly, the best thing I've ever eaten. Sooo good that I even broke the "never order the same pintxo twice" rule!


  1. They were absolutely amazing indeed!

  2. You are right, Bilbao is one of the best places to eat pintxos (pintxo history is not entirely correct but is very close). Did you try the grilled foie with sheep milk brioche? If you come back give me a yell and I'll discover you more secrets.

  3. A mí no me importa comerme las tapas y los pintxos, no le hago ascos a nada ajajajajaja
    ¡Feliz cumpleaños de nuevo, Raú!
    Y espero que un día no muy lejano podamos disfrutar de ese tapeo con el nuevo miembro de la familia!!

  4. My mouth is watering just looking at the pictures! I'm all for tapas, but feel I am missing out now - will make it a priority to visit Bilbao soon...purely for comparative research of course ;)


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