Bilbao and the Basque Country Restaurants

Foodies may never want to leave the Basque Country, where the avant-garde and home cooking mingle seamlessly. Though top restaurants are expensive in Bilbao, some of what is undoubtedly Europe's finest cuisine is served here in settings that range from the traditional hewn beams and stone walls to sleekly contemporary international restaurants all the way up to the Guggenheim itself, where superstar chef Martín Berasategui runs a dining room as superb as its habitat. San Sebastián is another enclave of delicious food, where sampling from pintxos bars is an art form.

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  • 1. Hermandad de Pescadores

    $$$ | Seafood

    One of the Basque country's most historic and typical fishermen's guilds, this central restaurant exudes tradition. At simple wooden tables...Read More

  • 2. Goiz Argi

    $ | Parte Vieja | Spanish

    The specialty of this tiny bar—and the reason locals flock here on weekends—is the garlicky seared-shrimp brochette. ...Read More

  • 3. Gorriti

    $ | Parte Vieja | Spanish

    Next to the open-air Brecha Market, this traditional little pintxos bar is a well-priced neighborhood standby filled with good cheer and delicious...Read More

  • 4. La Cocina de Alex Múgica

    $$ | Spanish

    In the heart of Pamplona’s old town, this sleek, contemporary bar is famed for its mix of traditional and experimental pintxos, which include...Read More

  • 5. La Herradura

    $$ | Spanish

    Rub shoulders with small-town riojanos as you tuck into a bowl of caparrones, a local stew made with Riojan red beans, sausage, and fatback...Read More

  • 6. San Marcial

    $$ | Centro | Spanish

    Nearly a secret, this quintessential Basque spot has big wooden tables and a monumental bar filled with cazuelitas (small earthenware dishes...Read More

  • 7. Txiriboga

    $ | Casco Viejo | Spanish

    Locals flock to this hole-in-the-wall for what might be the city's best croquetas—choose from jamón, chicken, bacalao, or wild mushroom. The...Read More

  • 8. Xukela

    $$ | Casco Viejo | Spanish

    The main draw at this tavern is the pintxos–-imaginative, internationally inflected bites ranging from smoked Cantabrian anchovies to mushroom...Read More

  • 9. Kiskia

    $$$$ | San Mamés | Spanish

    A modern take on the traditional sidrería, this rambling tavern near the San Mamés soccer stadium serves the classic menu of chorizo sausage...Read More

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