Monday, 27 May 2013

Pintxos Bars in Basque Country


One thing Basque country is famous for is its food. And what better way to be introduced to its culinary culture than by hitting the many pintxos bars in Basque country. Tapas are called pintxos in this part of the country. They are spiked on a piece of bread hence the name, which literally means spike or thorn.

Pintxos Bars in Basque Country

There are pintxos bars on pretty much every corner of the street, so it's hard not to have any. Locals seem to have them morning, noon and night, for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Washing it down with whatever beverage is appropriate for the time of day.

Pintxos Bars in Basque Country

Here are some of the pintxo bars we visited in Bilbao and San Sebastián. Tucked away in a corner of the Plaza Berria in Bilbao, you'll find a cosy little bar called Sorginzulo. The pintxos are freshly made and tasted divine. We opted for a mini baguette with Iberico ham, a Spanish omelette and a mini roll with goat's cheese drizzled with a tomato relish, all washed down with a glass of chilled, local rose wine.

On the same square you'll find lively Victor Montes. The pintxos here are a tad pricey, but taste good nonetheless and it's worth to take a look here. The decor is opulent with lots of interesting memorabilia everywhere, like a metal arm holding a beer mark on the bar and fridges filled with wine bottles.

Pintxos Bars in Basque Country

Further along the coast in San Sebastián the choice of pintxos bars doesn't get any less. You'll find one on every corner of the streets in the old quarter of town. We headed to a place called Zeruko for some experimental tapas. The bar was covered with platters of colourful and artistically decorated pintxos ranging from stuffed sea urchins, deep fried garlic and liver jelly with pine nuts. A bit too experimental for my taste.


Pintxos Bars in Basque Country


Our second stop of the day was at nearby Bar Etxaniz where the pintxos were a bit more traditional. Here we filled up on the traditional chorizo, tortilla and ham croquetas skewered on fresh bread accompanied by a glass of cava.

There were lots more of these pintxos bars in both Bilbao and San Sebastián and I'm sure there are many more that are just as good or even better. Your best bet is to just walk around and try a few, and make sure you come hungry.


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