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Bilbao + Basque Country restaurants

Many travelers come to Basque country just for the food. The area has lately spawned a new generation of avant-garde and Michelin-starred chefs, but there's a rich culinary tradition here, too. The quintessential dining experience here includes pintxos (pronounced peen-chos—the local version of tapas, covered in our Nightlife section), as well as hearty dishes made with local produce. Crabs, prawns, clams, mussels, and fish (especially anchovies and  bacalao, or salt cod) are used in many recipes; so are choriceros (dried sweet red peppers), lamb and beef (often served as chuletas —grilled steaks served with a sprinkling of coarse salt); and a large variety of mushrooms. For most people, lunch is the biggest meal of the day, though high-end restaurants also host multicourse feasts late into the evening. Most folks here don't have dinner until around 9 p.m.

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A Fuego Negro, San Sebastián

San Sebastián's old town is best known for its pintxo bars (the Basque version of tapas), and with at least one on every block, competition is stiff. For...more

Editors' Pick
Aizian, Bilbao

Chef José Miguel Olazabalaga serves up some truly inventive creations in this angular, glossy wooden box of a dining room. Foie gras is wrapped in a thin...more

Editors' Pick
Andra Mari, Galdakao

Entering this converted Basque farmhouse, set next to a 13th-century church in the small town of Galdakao—about a 15-minute drive from Bilbao—feels...more

Editors' Pick
Arbola Gaña, Bilbao

The name means "above the trees" in Basque, and this glass-walled restaurant atop Bilbao's Fine Arts Museum really does feel like a sort of gustatory tree...more

Editors' Pick
Arzak, San Sebastián

For foodies, a visit to this Michelin-starred cathedral of haute cuisine is a necessary pilgrimage. Juan Mari Arzak (who runs the kitchen with his daughter...more

Editors' Pick
Asador Portuetxe, San Sebastián

For a classic but casual Basque meal, head to this 400-year-old farmhouse in the university district of Ibaeta. The historic structure, surrounded on all sides...more

Editors' Pick
Azurmendi, Larrabetzu

Since it opened in August 2005, Azurmendi has been one of the region's major hotspots—and the buzz is warranted. Set in a low-slung, warehouse-like...more

Editors' Pick
Etxebarri, Axpe

A bit off the beaten path but well worth the trip, Etxebarri is set in a small town about 30 miles east of Bilbao. Every dish you'll eat here will...more

Editors' Pick
Gaminiz, Zamudio

The culinary headquarters of native chef Aitor Elizegi, Gaminiz is set in an improbably pretty industrial park 20 minutes' drive outside Bilbao. Here, Elizegi...more

Editors' Pick
Jolastoky, Neguri

A bastion of highbrow, old-school gentility, Jolastoky occupies an elegant villa 15 minutes' drive from Bilbao. The surrounding community of Neguri is home to...more

Editors' Pick
Results 1-10 of 16  |   1 2 next
Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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