Pintxos are a staple of Basque cuisine and culture, and can be found in bars and restaurants throughout the region. These bite-sized snacks are typically served on top of a small slice of bread and held together by a toothpick, making them easy to eat. Pintxos range from simple combinations of cured meats and cheese to more elaborate creations featuring seafood, vegetables, and sauces. Whether enjoyed as a light snack or a full meal, pintxos are a must-try for anyone visiting the Basque Country.

While studying abroad in the Basque Country at the University of Deusto in Bilbao, Spain, I was able to experience the pintxos culture. Although there are a variety of high end Michelin Restaurants in the Basque country, you can still explore the amazing food Spain has to offer through pintxos for a low price. Every pintxos bar has an item that shines, but here are some of my favorites. 

1. Gure Toki

Kaitlin Chuang

I discovered Gure Toki through the Michelin Guide, and it was definitely worth the hype. Located in the lively neighborhood of Casco Viejo, coming to this tavern is a great way to experience the ambiance and food of Bilbao, Spain. Walking into the establishment, you can peep through the crowd of people to see the pintxos encased in a glass covering. My favorite item was "Cangrejo en tempura" a tender soft shell crab fried in tempura batter. 

2. Borda Berri 

Kaitlin Chuang

Borda Berri in San Sebastián has a variety of pintxos. If you're in the San Sebastián area, a perfect way to spend your weekend is pintxo hopping because San Sebastián is known for its gastronomy, with the highest concentration of Michelin stars in Europe. If you want to try something delicious and unique, I would recommend the pig ear because when I bit into it I was hit with the crispness of the bite and a fatty flavor with the perfect amount of salt. 

3. El Globo 

Kaitlin Chuang

El Globo is a must-visit spot for pintxos in Bilbao, Spain. The bar is always bustling with locals and tourists alike, creating a lively and friendly atmosphere. The pintxos themselves are a work of art, with a wide variety of flavors and ingredients to choose from. One of their most popular items is the pintxo txangurro grantinado, which is a crispy and slightly salty creme on top of a piece of bread. The ambiance at El Globo is relaxed and inviting, making it the perfect spot for a casual evening out with friends. 

Pintxos are more than just a type of food in the Basque Country, they are a cultural experience. From the vibrant and bustling bars to the intricate and delicious bites themselves, pintxos are a must-try for anyone visiting the region. So if you find yourself in the Basque Country, be sure to indulge in this unique and flavorful culinary adventure.