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While visiting Northern Spain, we had several opportunities to try pintxo. A pincho (literally “thorn” or “spike”) or pintxo (Basque) is a small snack, typically eaten in bars, traditional in northern Spain and especially popular in the Basque country.


The first place we went was in Bilbao which is not a touristy spot. There, we paid 1 euro per piece.


Pintxos are related to tapas, the main physical difference being that pintxos are usually ‘spiked’ with a skewer or toothpick, often to a piece of bread.


They are served in individual portions and always ordered and paid for independently from the drinks. The main differences, apart from the local ingredients, is that in southern Spain one would get a tapa for free with a drink, while one pay for pintxos in the North.


We also had a few sticks of pintxos at a cafe, sitting in the middle of a square in San Sebastián-Donostia. These were really disappointing – for a start, the bread were not even toasted !


We also had a snack of pintxos at the cafe inside the Guggenheim museum in Bilbao (see photos below).


Each item had an explanation of what were in it, in Basque, Spanish, English and French.

White tuna and vegetable pasty – 3 euros


Anchovies with Bilbao-style ratatouile – 2.5 euros


Stuffed egg and prawn – 2.5 euros


Roll with goat cheese, celery and sofrito – 2.6 euros


The other place where we had pintxos was in Madrid. Lizarran is apparently a chain of restaurants specialized in tapas/pintxos.


It was located in a touristy area and the prices were almost twice or 3x that of the other place in Bilbao.


We wondered if tapas is free and pintxos are not, does it mean drinks are more expensive or smaller in southern Spain ?


More pictures of tasty snacks to come.




One Comment

  1. Yummy!!

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