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On a recent trip to Bilbao, we had a little pintxo bar crawl around The Plaza Nueva.

The arcaded Plaza Nueva heaves with locals, from early evening on. Try to observe alcoholic convention by pacing yourself with a txikito (small glass of wine or beer). In pintxos bars, always throw paper napkins on the floor, only shy tourists leave them on plates or surfaces. At weekends, it gets busy from around 11.30 am.

Our favourite places and pintxos were.


Plaza Nueva, 1, 48005 Bilbao

+34 944 59 46 31

Absolutely amazing selection of canned anchovies and beverages! You can also purchase any of the anchovies to go. Try the Gildas and lightly battered/fried fresh anchovies as well. Great service from a really happy helpful team. Very clean bar and spacious. It has great music as well, I 100% recommend it.


Plaza Nueva 2, 48005 Bilboa +34 946 63 00 12

This is quite a large place.

Try the lata de antxoas (tin of anchovies)

Txuleton pintxo (T-bone steak)

Atún rojo en salsa de tomate y aguacate. (red tuna in tomato sauce and avocado).

Solomillo Ibérico Bellota

Wines: Monopole Siglo XXI, 100% verdejo. €14. Light and refreshing or Vega Sindea, Chardonnay. €15

ZUGA Plaza Nueva 4, 48005 Bilbao +34 944 150 321

This place gets packed, so you will need to push your way to the counter laden with mouth-watering pintxos. Generously piled on rounds of bread, in filo, or perched on a spoon are delightful

Foie de frutos rojos y vinagre de modena (foie gras with red fruits and Modena vinegar).

Also, try gambas gordas en salsa de mayonesa o un montículo de minúsculas gulas con Jerez (fat prawns in a mayonnaise sauce or a mound of minuscule gulas (fake elvers/baby eels) with sherry.

CAFÉ BAR BILBAO Plaza Nueva 6, 48005 Bilbao +34 944 151 671 ‎

Doing exactly what it says on the tin, Café Bar Bilbao has been a local institution since 1911. Grab a table in the ceramic-tiled, faintly belle époque interior, or indulge in some people-watching from the terrace on the Plaza Nueva.

It does get very crowded at times. Try their traditional pintxos with a caña, vermut, or a kalimotxo, a half-red wine, half-cola drink that is much loved in the Basque Country.


Plaza Nueva 10, 48005 Bilbao +34 944 150 119

A small literally Mum, Dad and Daughter bar with lots of locals. They have won the prize for the campeon de gilda (gilda es aceituna, anchoa y piparrak pintxo - gilda is an olive, anchovy and pepper pintxo) on several occasions.

This pintxo is named after the American film called Gilda, which was one of the first American pop cultural influences in Spain after World War II. “It's a little bit spicy, a little salty,” just like Rita Hayworth, the femme fatale in the movie.

SORGINZULO Plaza Nueva 12, 48005 Bilbao +34 944 15 05 64

This is tucked away in the corner of Plaza Nueva. The selection of pintxos is beautiful and well-presented.

The patatas bravas are served in newspapers (as in the old days!).

You can sit outside with an excellent vermut.

Chorizo, huevo primavera (chorizo, spring egg).

A very good calamari frito (fried battered squid)

GURE TOKI Plaza Nueva 12, 48005 Bilbao +34 944 158 037

Patatas rellenas de carrillada de cerdo y sal de vainilla (potatoes stuffed with pig’s cheeks & flavoured with vanilla salt).

The bar is the winner of best pintxos in town over many years for a reason.

Foie con Manzana y Pedro Ximenez (foie gras with apple and sweet sherry sauce).


Patatas bravas with aioli and bravas sauce.

Solomillo (sirloin).

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If you are visiting a Spanish city for a few days we can tailor-make your trip. Depending on your taste and style, we will plan the perfect bar and restaurant itinerary to enhance your experience.

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