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10 must-try pintxo dishes in Bilbao

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If you are a food lover, you can’t visit Bilbao without trying its specialty: pintxos. These small bites full of flavor are a Basque culinary tradition that has become a gastronomic phenomenon. In this article, we present you the 10 pintxo dishes you can’t miss in Bilbao.


Pintxos are a very popular way of eating in Bilbao. They are small dishes that can be eaten standing up or sitting down in a bar. They are an important part of Basque culture and there is a wide variety of different pintxos that can be found all over the city.

What are pintxos?

Pintxos are a fundamental part of Basque gastronomic culture. They are small portions of food served on a toothpick or slice of bread, and can be found in many bars and restaurants in Bilbao. The custom of serving food on toothpicks originated in the 19th century, when bars in San Sebastian began serving small portions of food to accompany drinks. Since then, pintxos have become a symbol of Basque gastronomy.


The 10 must-try pintxos dishes in Bilbao



This pintxo is one of the most famous in Bilbao. It consists of an olive, a chili pepper and an anchovy, all skewered on a toothpick. It is named after the female character in the movie “Gilda” by Rita Hayworth, as it is said to be a strong and spicy pintxo, just like her character.




The txalupa is a pintxo served on a slice of bread with anchovies, peppers and hard-boiled egg. Its name means “boat” in Basque, as its shape is reminiscent of a small ship at sea.


Codfish omelette

Codfish omelette

This cod omelette is a classic of Basque gastronomy and a dish not to be missed. It is made with desalted cod, onion, garlic and beaten eggs. It is fried in olive oil until golden on the outside and juicy on the inside.



Prawn brochette

This prawn brochette is one of the most popular pintxos in Bilbao. It is served with a garlic and parsley sauce. The brochette is made with prawns, olive oil, garlic and fresh parsley. They are grilled until golden brown and crispy.

Moorish skewer


The pincho moruno is a typical dish of Arabic cuisine that has become popular in Bilbao. It consists of marinated and grilled meat on a stick. The meat is marinated with spices such as cumin, sweet paprika, garlic and olive oil. It is grilled until browned and tender.

Bell pepper stuffed with cod

1280px Pimientos del piquillo Bonito

This pintxo is a delicious combination of peppers and cod. It is served hot and is ideal for cold days. The green peppers are stuffed with a mixture of desalted cod, onion, garlic and tomato. They are baked until the peppers are golden brown and the filling is hot and juicy.


Foie gras toast

Foie Toast


This foie gras toast is a delicious combination of foie gras, cheese and fruit jam. The toast is made with toasted bread, foie gras, goat cheese and fruit jam such as figs or apples.


Ham croquette

Foie Toast

Croquettes are a classic of Spanish cuisine and ham croquettes are especially popular in Bilbao. They are made with a creamy bechamel sauce and chopped Serrano ham. They are then shaped into cylinders and dipped in egg and breadcrumbs. They are fried in hot oil until golden brown and crispy on the outside and soft and creamy on the inside.



Chicken brochette

chiken brochette

This chicken brochette is a simple but delicious dish. It is served with a yogurt sauce and fresh herbs. The skewer is made with chicken pieces marinated in olive oil, garlic, lemon, oregano and black pepper. They are grilled until golden brown and tender.



Salmon toast

This salmon toast is a fresh and light dish. It is served with cream cheese and pickled onion. The toast is made with toasted bread, cream cheese, smoked salmon and pickled onion in vinegar and sugar.



You can’t miss the opportunity to try these delicious pintxo dishes when you visit Bilbao. Also, remember that the best way to enjoy them is in the company of friends and with a glass of wine or a txakoli, the typical white wine of the Basque Country.




Author Profile

Irene was born and raised in Bilbao. She has a deep rooted passion for her country and culture. She has a Bachelors degree in education and has traveled to over 85 countries throughout the world.
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Zachary was born in Michigan, USA. He has lived in the Basque Country for over 10 years, and fell in love with the natural beauty and quality of life found here. He earned a Bachelors degree in economics from DePaul University in Chicago.