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Eat big in very small portions. It all started with a bite to eat between glasses of wine in the traditional ritual of the “txikiteo”, where groups of friends go from bar to bar.

Pintxos are miniature haute cuisine with a distinctive identity and a more elaborate presentation. They are small portions of food that are usually served with a drink, such as a local wine or a glass of beer.

Pintxos began as simple snacks served in bars, usually placed on a slice of bread. Over time, they have evolved into small works of culinary art, reflecting the creativity and excellence of Basque chefs. During your visit to Bilbao, don’t forget to stroll around the pintxo areas: Casco Viejo (Old Town), Ledesma, Diputación or Garcia Rivero.

Nowadays, going out for pintxos has become part of our popular culture.

You will be surprised to see the number of establishments with their countertops full of pintxos all along your travel route. Each pintxo is different. There are haute cuisine pintxos, with elaborate and sophisticated flavours, or simple, everyday pintxos, such as the famous Gilda, a spicy skewered pintxo with chilli peppers, anchovies and olives, originally from Donostia/San Sebastian and created as a tribute to Rita Hayworth.

Such is the importance of the pintxo in Basque gastronomic culture that dozens of competitions are held, with the Euskal Herria Championship held in Hondarribia a prominent example.