Typical Dish

Bilbao, Basque Country, Spain

Loading map...

Bilbao is a vibrant city located in the Basque Country, in northern Spain. It is the largest city in the province of Biscay and the tenth largest in Spain, with a population of around 345,000. Bilbao is known for its rich culture, stunning architecture, and delicious food.

Basque cuisine is renowned worldwide for its quality and variety, and Bilbao is a fantastic place to experience it. The Basque Country is particularly famous for its pintxos, which are small plates of food that are typically served in bars and restaurants. They are similar to tapas but have their own unique twist. In Bilbao, you can find a wide variety of pintxos, from traditional classics to modern fusion dishes.

Some of the most popular pintxos in Bilbao include the Gilda, which is a skewer of green olives, pickled peppers, and anchovies. Another classic is the Basque-style croquette, which is made with a creamy bechamel sauce and is often filled with ham or bacalao (salt cod). Patatas bravas, which are fried potatoes with a spicy tomato sauce, are also a common sight on pintxos bars.

In addition to pintxos, Bilbao is known for its hearty stews, such as the famous Basque dish of Marmitako. This stew is made with fresh tuna, potatoes, onions, and green peppers, and is seasoned with paprika and garlic. Another popular dish is the Bacalao al Pil Pil, which is made with salt cod, garlic, and olive oil. The dish is named after the sound the sauce makes when it sizzles in the pan.

Bilbao also has a thriving seafood scene, thanks to its proximity to the Bay of Biscay. One of the most popular seafood dishes is the grilled or fried squid, which is often served with a side of alioli (garlic mayonnaise). Other popular seafood dishes include clams in green sauce and hake in a parsley and garlic sauce.

When it comes to drinks, the Basque Country is known for its cider, which is made from locally grown apples. In Bilbao, you can find a number of cider houses, known as sidrerías, where you can sample this delicious drink. The cider is poured from a height into a glass, which helps to aerate the drink and bring out its flavors.

Aside from cider, the Basque Country is also famous for its wine. One of the most popular types of wine is the Txakoli, which is a light and fruity white wine that is perfect for pairing with seafood.

The people of Bilbao typically lead a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle. Meal times are important, with lunch often being the main meal of the day. It is common for people to have a three-course lunch, which includes a starter, a main course, and a dessert. Dinner is usually lighter and is often served late in the evening.

Bilbao has a thriving nightlife scene, with plenty of bars and clubs to choose from. In the old town, you can find a number of pintxos bars that are perfect for a night out with friends. These bars can get very busy, particularly on weekends, so it is common for people to stand outside and socialize while enjoying their food and drinks.

Bilbao is a fantastic destination for foodies who are looking to experience the best of Basque cuisine. From pintxos to seafood, there is something to suit every taste. With its relaxed lifestyle, vibrant nightlife, and stunning architecture, Bilbao is a city that is sure to captivate visitors.