Typical basque food

The Most Typical Basque food Try When Visiting Northern Spain

Basque food has been, without a doubt, the most iconic distinction of Norther Spain. According to Saveur Editors:

It won’t take long after arriving in the Basque Country to understand why it has become a destination for epicureans. Sure, the region boasts a slew of showy Michelin-starred gastronomic temples, but the true strength of Euskadi, as the locals call it, lies in its exquisite  pantry. 

Saveur Editors (2021) – A Dozen Dishes from the Pyrenees

At Basqvium, we take pride in designing gastronomic projects worldwide from our base in Bilbao. .One of our favorite perspectives on Basque cuisine comes from journalist Susan Long, who dubbed the Basque Country as the «Land of endless feasts«.

A trip through the Basque Country is a must for food lovers. It’s a journey of abundance, excitement, and the best of the best. You eat and eat, then eat a bit more, to learn how to eat.»

This internationally renowned land for avant-garde cuisine wouldn’t be complete without considering its gastronomic culture rooted in the ancestral traditions of this rural and maritime community in the basque nation.

Typical Basque Food

One of the best ways to experience it today is by having a taste on the most traditional basque dishes, made from local products of the Bay of Biscay.

If immersing into the gastronomic basque experience is what you are looking for, then make sure to include the following dishes in you must-eat list:

Basque steak

Grilled Fish

The Cantabrian Sea has always been generous, and skilled Basque fishermen have extracted the best seasonal fish and seafood over the centuries.

When we talk about grilling and fish, the mind immediately goes to the Basque Country. In a land rich in iron and fire, grilling has been the most traditional method of enjoying freshly unloaded seafood. This combination, popular in Basque grills, has put restaurateurs and chefs on the map who have made fire and metal their way of life.

From the grills of Orio where fish is cooked directly on thin tubular rods or besugueras, the style of Getaria, it has evolved to the perfection of the embers at the acclaimed Elkano Restaurant, creators of the first flat fish with skin and whole grilled.

And the avant-garde grills with pulleys and metal containers with which the genius Víctor Arginzoniz tames any product over the coals from his Etxebarri Grill, recognized as the third-best restaurant in the world.

Grilled fish from the Basque Country

Cider Houses

The first historical reference to Sagardoa (Cider in Basque, which literally means apple wine) dates back over 1,000 years around San Sebastián, being used over the centuries as a drink on great naval expeditions because it preserved better than water.

To this day, this area, known as Sagardoaren Lurraldea, still houses most of the cider houses in the Basque Country, where you can taste cider directly from the gigantic kupelas or oak barrels, following the traditional «txotx» ritual. The cellar manager opens one of the kupelas, and diners rise from the table to fill their glasses.

The typical menu includes cod omelet, fried cod with green or red peppers, grilled T-bone steak, and Idiazabal cheese with quince and nuts for dessert. In the most traditional cider houses, the custom of eating standing is still maintained.

Cider houses a basque must-try

Gastronomic Societies

One of the most special places related to Basque Gastronomy. These historically male private redoubts represent a unique phenomenon and keep the attachment to local culinary traditions very much alive. Here, members, including some of the most renowned chefs, take care of everything: shopping (or hunting, fishing, gathering…), cooking, and maintaining the society.

It’s a place to share leisure time with friends and family. People frecuent them becauseis where they can express themeselves gastronomically, and where to taste traditional recipes such as pil-pil cod or hake cheeks.

Basque societies


Possibly the most recognized culinary expression in the Basque Country – miniature cuisine elevated to the level of art, forming colorful bars in bars. Legend has it that pintxos emerged in the 1930s in San Sebastián, specifically at La Espiga bar, an establishment still open in the city center. They became a form of attraction that enticed passersby into the bar by offering varied and succulent appetizers, skewered on a toothpick (hence the name) at reasonably affordable prices.

Currently, the preparation of pintxos has practically become an art. New flavors, textures, smells, colors…

Like a painter, musician, or sculptor, the chef plays with the tools at their disposal to create the perfect work. And the best way to appreciate it is to join a show cooking to learn the secrets of its preparation. An example of this, could be Chef Paul Ibarra’s shows at his restaurant «Los Fueros». This restaurants holds the oldest bar license in Bilbao and Michelin’s Bib Gourmand recognition.

Basque tapas

Explore the gastronomic richness of the Basque Country

Four enticing proposals, among the many that can be experienced in the Basque Country, that help understand the importance of gastronomy in Basque culture Live them firsthand alongside with Basqvium.

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