The Basques have a tradition of eating small snacks – known as pintxo – in their bars. Sharing food with friends and family is a cornerstone of the region’s culture. The overwhelming number of establishments selling pintxo is evidence of that alone.
Here are five of the best pintxo bars in San Sebastián, the coastal capital of the Basque County.
The black walls and low-slung designer lighting are indications of A Fuego Negro’s modern take on the pintxo – some say it’s the most innovative in the city. Outdo the other cosmopolitan diners and opt for the nine-item tasting menu.
Arguably the most contemporary of the city’s pintxo bars, Zeruko is all about the kind of creative touches you’d expect of an upscale Michelin Star-chasing restaurant. Don’t miss the signature “La hoguera” dish where you smoke your own codfish at your table.
This homey place – its yellow walls are peppered with old photos – is best in the evenings. There’s no fixed menu – the chalkboard tells you what pinxtos are available. If possible, try the slow-cooked beef cheek and the mushroom risotto.
This dual bar and restaurant is a carnivore’s dream come true. True meat lovers might overlook the great pintxos on offer here in order to try the steak or the highly acclaimed pig’s nose.
The name of this cute little bar translates as the wooden spoon, which is indicative of the lack of pretension here. Be sure to try the “viera” dish, a scallop wrapped in bacon. It’s well known to locals and tourists – in other words, prepare to be “squeezed in” and/or wait for a table.
(Image: Kent Wang)
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