Explore all the culinary delights that the Basque Country has to offer with out guide to the ten best restaurants in Bilbao.
Bilbao, nestled in the heart of the enchanting Basque Country, is a gastronomic haven that beckons both locals and seasoned travellers to embark on a culinary journey like no other.
The city’s vibrant food scene, steeped in rich Basque traditions, boasts an array of eateries that are sure to tantalise your taste buds.
Join us as we explore the top ten best restaurants in Bilbao, each a gastronomic masterpiece in its own right.
The World Bucket List’s top tips for visiting the best restaurants in Bilbao:
- Always book ahead when dining out in Bilbao, especially in the more up-market restaurants.
- Many of the restaurants in Bilbao use the finest local ingredients for their delectable specialities. Be sure to try the local produce!
- If you have any dietary requirements, always call or message ahead to make sure you can be accommodated.
- Bilbao is famous for pintxos. There are so many pintxos bars to try out these delicious small plates.
- Check online reviews from previous visitors to get a feel of the restaurant before you visit.
10. Azurmendi − one of the best Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain
Tucked away in the lush surroundings of Larrabtzu, Azurmendi stands tall as a culinary beacon. With its three Michelin stars, Chef Eneko Atxa crafts dishes that pay homage to Basque roots while pushing culinary boundaries.
The tasting menu is a journey through the region’s flavours, incorporating locally sourced vegetables and seafood.
Address: Barrio Leguina, s/n, 48195 Larrabetzu, Biscay, Spain
9. Etxanobe – an Old Town charmer
In the heart of the Old Town, Etxanobe captivates diners with its blend of traditional Basque cuisine and modern flair.
The menu, curated by renowned Chef Fernando Canales, is a delightful fusion of classic dishes and innovative creations. Don’t miss the succulent squid, a true testament to Etxanobe’s commitment to excellence.
Address: Calle Juan Ajuriaguerra Kalea, 8, 48009 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain
8. Mina − a symphony of flavours on Plaza Nueva
Nestled in the bustling Plaza Nueva, Mina Restaurant beckons food enthusiasts with its contemporary take on Basque gastronomy.
Chef Álvaro Garrido orchestrates a culinary symphony with each dish, showcasing the region’s best ingredients. The tasting menu is a journey through Bilbao’s culinary soul.
Address: Martzana Kaia, s/n, 48003 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain
7. Bistró Guggenheim Bilbao − art on the plate
Adjacent to the iconic Guggenheim Museum, this Michelin-starred gem offers more than just a feast for the eyes.
The carefully crafted menu reflects the museum’s avant-garde spirit, with dishes that are as visually stunning as they are delectable. It’s a destination where art and gastronomy seamlessly converge.
Address: Abandoibarra Etorb., 2, 48009 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain
6. Il Basilico – the best Italian food in the city
If you’re seeking a delicious Italian meal in Bilbao, look no further than Il Basilico.
From the classic Caprese salad to a range of fresh pastas like fusilli, rigatoni, fettuccine, and pappardelle to choose from with a range of sauces like pesto and bolognese, you’re in for a treat here.
Address: Ribera de la, Botica Vieja, 22, 48014 Bilbao, Biscay, Spain
5. Zortziko − Michelin magic in Bilbao
Zortziko, a Michelin-starred establishment, entices diners with its innovative take on traditional Basque cuisine.
Chef Daniel García combines seasonal ingredients to create dishes that are not only visually stunning but also a celebration of Bilbao’s culinary heritage.
Address: Mazarredo Zumarkalea, 17, 48001 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain
4. Casa Rufo − seafood extravaganza
No journey through Bilbao’s culinary landscape is complete without indulging in the seafood delights at Casa Rufo.
Tucked away in a corner of the Old Town, this gem offers an array of dishes that showcase the freshness of the catch of the day. The squid, in particular, is a must-try.
Address: Hurtado de Amezaga Kalea, 5, 48008 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain
3. Bascook – a creative approach to Basque cuisine
Bascook is known for its creative approach to Basque cuisine, blending traditional flavours with international influences. The restaurant’s eclectic menu and vibrant atmosphere make it a unique dining experience.
Address: Barroeta Aldamar Kalea, 8, 48001 Bilbo, Bizkaia, Spain
2. Txakoli Simón − wine and dine in style
While exploring Bilbao, make a pit stop at Txakoli Simón, a hidden gem known for its excellent wine selection and delectable dishes.
The intimate setting and emphasis on locally sourced ingredients make it a favourite among locals seeking an authentic taste of Basque cuisine.
Address: Cam. de San Roque Bidea, 89, 48015 Bilbao, Biscay, Spain
1. Víctor Montes – Basque cuisine in a classic setting
Last on our list of the best restaurants in Bilbao is Víctor Montes. Located in the historic Plaza Nueva, Victor Montes is a popular choice for those looking to enjoy classic Basque dishes in a lively and traditional setting.
Address: Pl. Nueva, 8, 48005 Bilbao, Biscay, Spain
La Viña del Ensanche: For those with a sweet tooth, La Viña del Ensanche is a dessert haven. Indulge in their delectable cheese-based desserts, a perfect finale to your Bilbao culinary escapade.
Café Iruña: Step back in time at Café Iruña, an iconic eatery with a rich history. The classic ambience and hearty Basque dishes make it a beloved choice for both locals and visitors.
El Globo: El Globo, with its laid-back atmosphere, is a local favourite for those seeking a casual dining experience. The menu features a mix of traditional and contemporary Basque dishes.
Your questions answered about the best restaurants in Bilbao
What makes Basque cuisine unique in Bilbao?
Bilbao’s culinary scene is deeply rooted in Basque traditions, emphasising locally sourced ingredients and a commitment to preserving the authenticity of regional dishes. The fusion of tradition and innovation sets it apart.
Are reservations necessary for the top restaurants in Bilbao?
While some establishments, especially those with Michelin stars, may require reservations, many pintxos bars and local eateries welcome walk-ins. It’s advisable to check the specific policies of each restaurant.
What is the best time to explore the pintxos bars in the Old Town?
The Old Town comes alive in the evening, making it the ideal time to explore the pintxos bars. Locals often start their pintxos crawl around 8 pm, creating a lively and festive atmosphere.
The WBL culinary guide to Spain: