Where to find the very best. There are so many places that serve excellent pintxos that sometimes it’s hard to pick one. So here’s a fail-safe list so you don’t go wrong. All the establishments were awarded at the 11th Amstel Oro Pintxo Championship of the Basque Country and Navarre, one of the most prestigious miniature haute cuisine events in the country. Here goes:
El Gran Sol – 63-65 Calle San Pedro. HONDARRIBIA
One of the most popular bars in Hondarribia, a quaint fishing town on the coast between San Sebastian and France. It is the third time Bar Gran Sol have won first prize. Thanks to the amazing, colourful variety of the pintxos they serve, the bar is always crowded but the service is so good that it hardly matters.
Haritza Gastro&Café. 6, Bermeo Bidea. MUNGIA
While renowned for its set lunch menu, an array of elegant award-winning pintxos jostles for space on the bar at the Haritza with more traditional fare such as the mushroom or cod in batter pintxos. Make sure to try the Asian-inspired Tsukalki pintxo, an excellent example of Nikkei cuisine.
Zazpi – 7, Calle San Marcial. SAN SEBASTIAN
If you fancy trying somewhere outside the city’s old quarter, head for Bar Zazpi in San Sebastian’s downtown shopping district. Choose from elaborately made hot pintxos such as the creamy oxtail or quail ravioli.
Gure Toki – Plaza Nueva. BILBAO
Try the pastrami, sardine, and chipotle sandwich roll at this classic establishment located in the main square in Bilbao’s old town.
Patri – 14, Calle Nagusia. USURBIL
El Patri is located in a farmhouse ten kilometres outside San Sebastian in the centre of Usurbil, a little town which is famous for cider-houses and elver-fishing. Customers will find excellent staples such as chorizo, calamari, and croquettes in this authentic eatery. There is a set lunch menu for 10 euros.
La Regadera – 41, Calle Dato. VITORIA-GASTEIZ
La Regadera offers a range of original pintxos and snacks on Vitoria’s most iconic street. The outdoor terrace is open all year round.
Urtza Taberba – 11, Calle Luis Urrengoetxea. AMOREBIETA
The influence of three-Michelin-star chef Eneko Atxa can be felt at this gastro-bar in Amorebieta, located 24 kms from Bilbao. Delicious pintxos served in an ambiance of art, music, and tradition.
Toloño – 3, Cuesta de San Francisco. VITORIA-GASTEIZ
Enrique Fuentes is an institution in the world of pintxos in the Basque Country, and his bar, the coolest in Vitoria, “is, in a nutshell, a gem of avant-garde cuisine, where rare is the day when there isn’t something new happening”, according to radio presenter and gastronome Carlos Herrera.
Gaztelumendi-Antxon – 3, Plaza San Juan. IRUN
You’ll find a magnificent selection of pintxos in Irun’s liveliest venue. They are experts at salt cod dishes so don’t miss the “tacolao” pintxo.
Asador Borda Berri – 5, Hueto Arriba. HUETO
It’s worth the 14km drive from Vitoria to Hueto just to try the PORK & ROLL pintxo at Borda Berri. It’s a mouthful of pork croquette with a smooth mellow filling.