Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Bilbao, Spain - Pintxos Tour

On a recent trip to the Basque region of Northern Spain, I spent the day eating my way through Bilbao. Aside from the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao is famous for its pintxos bars. Pintxos are small snacks usually served on bread and pierced with a cocktail stick. Pintxos are a great way to try many different flavors and food combinations, which is exactly what we did at each stop. 

We began in the Old Town (Casco Viejo) at Victor Montes in Plaza Nueva, widely known as the Harry's Bar of Bilbao. You can eat inside at the bar, in the restaurant, or outside in the piazza. I love the black and gold old-world facade of their building.

Also located in a corner of Plaza Nueva is Zuga. This is a popular tiny little spot that focuses on more inventive pintxos. Among the highlights are goat’s cheese with manzanilla sherry, dried fruit vinaigrette and honey; liver with red fruits and Modena vinegar.

One of my favorites that we visited was La Vina Del Ensanche, just off the main shopping street. This large restaurant has outside seating, a restaurant and a long bar (carved from a single tree). The oldest bar in the city (1927), this wood-paneled spot is famous for its ham and chorizo. There is even a shop attached to it so you can buy some of their products to take home.

Our last stop of the day was a bar that serves only oysters called El Puertito (Poza Lizentziatuaren Kalea, 22). There are dozens of different varieties you can choose from, many of them local, which we paired with some delicious champagne. This is a must-visit for serious oyster lovers!

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