Famous for its pintxos (bite-size pieces of bread and other products on a cocktail stick) and its txakoli (wine), the Basque Country has a lot to offer when it comes to gastronomy. Here’s our guide to 10 of the best bars for a taste of the Basque Country.
The Kafe Antzokia is a place surrounded by the arts of the Basque Country: it is located inside a former theater which has now become a cultural center, where music and drama performances take place. It was originally created for the Basque-speaking community in order to sustain their language and culture. Here you can enjoy a drink or a meal for good prices, perhaps after enjoying a concert at this multi-purpose venue or simply mingle with the Basque locals until the early hours of next morning. Kafe Antzokia, CalleSan Vicente, 2, 48001 Bilbao, Vizcaya, Bizkaia, Spain,+34 944 24 46 25
Restaurant, Bar, Cafe, Spanish, $$$
Café Iruña | Courtesy of Café Iruña
Cafe Iruña boasts a spectacular location, opposite the beautiful Jardines de Albia. With its elaborate interior and decor, Café Iruña is decorated in a typical Bilbao style. It offers tapas and delectable pintxos alongside great drinks. The building is split into different rooms, separating the more formal restaurant area from the more lively bar area. The evening entertainment often includes flamenco dancing.
La Granja is one of the most beautiful restaurants in the center of Bilbao. With filling portions it is a great place for having lunch or an early dinner, and for the late evening it is ideal for enjoying an alcoholic beverage (or two). La Granja, Plaza Biribila, 3, Bilbao, Biscay, Spain,+34 944 23 08 13
Irrintzi Pintxos and Friends
Santa María is one of the busiest streets of the Old Town in Bilbao and it is here where the pintxos bar Irrintzi Pintxos & Friends is located. Pintxos (small appetizers on a skewer) are an essential part of the Basque lifestyle as they are a great way of socializing. It is at Irrintzi where the most innovative pintxos are offered, influenced by cuisines from all around the globe to create the greatest flavors to accompany your wine or beer. Enjoy the Malomuymalo artwork on the wall while indulging in these exciting flavors. Irrinzi Pintxos and Friends, Santa Maria Kalea 8, Bilbao, Spain,+ 34 944 167 616
Pintxos Courtesy of Irrinzi Pintxos and Friends
Just behind the Church of San Vicente Martir is El 7, one of the most popular meeting places in Vitoria-Gasteiz. In the day it is a great pintxos bar and in the evening it becomes an excellent place to go and enjoy a drink. By midnight on Fridays and Saturdays, it turns into a disco-bar. El 7 is renowned for its heavenly patatas bravas. El 7, Calle Cuchillería 3 Vitoria-Gasteiz, Álava, Spain,+34 945 27 22 98
Bar, Restaurant, Sandwich Shop, Mediterranean, Spanish, Vegetarian, Wine
Juantxo Taberna is a small restaurant-bar located in the beautiful Old Town of Donostia-San Sebastian. The bar has become famous for its outstanding bokatas, made all the better by relatively low prices and by good portion sizes. The wine list is long so that customers may choose exactly the right txacolí(wine) to go with their pintxo or bocadillo.
Gatz serves unique pintxos with a contemporary, experimental twist: Gatz even offers pintxos which are suitable for vegans. This large, brightly colored bar has a lively atmosphere, where locals and tourists can discover the wonderful, luscious flavors.
Hiding round the corner of the main street 31 de Agosto is one of Donosti-SanSebastian’s most popular bars, La Cuchara de San Telmo. It is famous for its freshly made, hot pintxos. La Cuchara de San Telmo is a truly authentic Basque bar with a great atmosphere which makes every visit an unforgettable experience.
Le Bukowski is a prominent part of Donostia-San Sebastian’s nightlife.Here you’ll find affordable drinks, good music and creative decor. The bar plays music ranging from funk and electronic to soul and even rock and also hosts live gigs from underground bands.
El Puertito is Bilbao’s very first oyster bar. The menu at El Puertito offers a varied selection of oysters as well as a long wine list, so that customers may indulge in the finest flavors and aromas. Their oysters are transported from Galicia, France, Ireland, Asturia and the Ebro Delta, while their wines hail from Spanish regions.