Gastronomic shopping tour
Today we’d like to invite you to join us on a gastronomic shopping tour. We’ll be nipping in and out of markets, corner shops and grocery stores that ooze tradition and quality; we’ll visit patisseries that have been in business for generations and others that are just new kids on the block – in both cases, their highly original and oh-so-delicious offerings are simply amazing! We’ll take you to specialist delicatessens and we can guarantee that you won’t be able to resist their must-try star products. In short, we invite you to join us on an appetising and tasty route that is suitable for all ages and tastes, no matter whether you’re a sybarite or a tourist looking for a typical Basque product to take home as a gastronomic souvenir.
THE BEST OF THE MARKET
La Ribera Market (Calle Erribera, w/n)
Known as the ‘Plaza’, Bilbao’s huge food market is where locals, chefs and gourmets come to stock up on the best products for their kitchens. A stroll through its stalls is a feast for the eyes, the nose and the palate, a veritable sensory delight. In 1990, Guinness World Records listed La Ribera as the most complete Municipal Food Market – at the time it was the largest covered market in Europe. Today it’s a must-see for any self-respecting tourist keen to experience the essence of the city. After the Guggenheim, it is the most visited building in the city.
Labayru Market (Calle Iparraguirre, 66 and Calle Labayru, 8)
The Labayru Market may be small in size but it’s big on quality and flavour. Here you can buy the best fresh seasonal produce, much of which is locally sourced from our ‘baserritarras’ (farmers) and livestock breeders. This is a great place to enjoy the magic and convenience of shopping in a modern market that is half a century old.
GROCERY STORES, DELICATESSENS AND LOCAL PRODUCE
Basquery (Ibañez De Bilbao, 8)
A bakery specialising in sourdough bread, a craft beer brewery and a grocery selling Basque products and exquisite imported goods is Basquery’s winning triumvirate. But it is also a brewpub and a restaurant, serving healthy, cosmopolitan fare with a local flavour in a friendly, informal atmosphere. Their breakfasts are epic!
La Oka (Marqués del Puerto, 1)
Master butchers, purveyors of fine charcuterie, a gourmet section offering some 7,000 different items and homemade takeaway dishes based on traditional recipes and top-quality ingredients – that’s La Oka in a nutshell. And you can sample some of their delicacies in their gastro bar next door.
López Oleaga (Astarloa, 3)
Specialising in wines, spirits and typical Basque products since 1904. A must for gourmets and anyone in search of authenticity and establishments with an old-fashioned ambience. As soon as you step inside, you’ll be enchanted by the smell of roasted peanuts and the perfectly arranged display cases. Be sure to look up! On the ceiling there’s an oil painting of a still life with a ham and bottles of liquor dating back to 1910.
Ultramarinos Gregorio Martín (Artekale, 22)
Founded in 1931 in the heart of the Casco Viejo, this is one of Bilbao’s hidden gems. Exuding tradition and renowned for its quality, this shop specialises in ‘fine foods’ and cod – there’s an old sign outside the shop in the shape of a codfish that leaves passers-by in no doubt about that. You’ll also find vegetables, cheeses, cold meats, preserves, wines, spices, chocolates… in short, select, high-quality food.
Ultramarinos Romaña (San Francisco, 24)
This shop specialises in bulk pulses. In business since 1945, it’s coming down with bags and sacks of beans, lentils, chickpeas, broad beans and so on, all of different origins and varieties and both skinned and unskinned. A paradise for legume lovers. The best canned fish and vegetables share the limelight on the shelves.
Lautxo (Colon de Larreategui, 20 / Correo, 1)
The best croquettes in the city, made fresh every day and a firm favourite with thousands of Bilbaínos who have no qualms about queuing up every Christmas to get their hands on these coveted delicacies. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without them! They have a huge variety of fillings on offer: cod, leeks, black pudding, ham and cheese, baby squid, eels, prawns, spinach, Idiazabal cheese… They also sell typical Basque dishes.
Le Bigott (Gran Vía, 58 bajo D)
An atelier stocked with thousands of gourmet products that specialises in creating the most exquisite combinations of flavours, aromas and pairings to give as gifts and share with your loved ones. Not only is each and every one of Le Bigott’s gastronomic offerings an authentic luxury to be savoured, enjoyed and experienced in its own right, but they can also be complemented with fashion, design and homeware accessories to create the perfect gift.
Cuarto y mitad (Mercado de Labayru (Iparraguirre, 66)
Cheeses with soul, artisan cheeses from carefully selected producers from all over the world. This is a cheese lover’s paradise, and it’s a real pleasure to be guided by staff who will help you discover hidden gems and the best wines and IPA beers to make the experience of tasting the cheese of your choice a sublime one. They also sell bread from Orozko.
El rincón del vino (Euskalduna, 5)
Wine takes centre stage. This wine shop offers original, designer and, of course, classic proposals from all kinds of denominations and wineries at the best prices. They also organise tastings, presentations, pairings…
Vinos y licores Ruiz (Hernani, 8)
This legendary shop, now run by the third generation of the Ruiz family, is one of the few that specialises in all types of spirits. They also offer an outstanding range of wines – they stock over a thousand different labels – and an excellent selection of imported beers.
FOR THOSE WITH A SWEET TOOTH
Pastelería Arrese (Ercilla, 29 / Berastegi, 1 / Gran Vía, 24 / Fueros, 2 / Rodríguez Arias, 35)
Arrese is the living history of Bilbao. This shop has been making our lives that little bit sweeter for no less than six generations, ever since 1852 in fact. Their famous truffles are the jewel in the crown, and the perfect gift. You can choose between cream, chocolate Cognac, Baileys and Cointreau varieties. Their bonbons are another of their top sellers, as are their irresistible chocolate palmiers.
Patxes (Heros, 15)
In record time, Patxes has become the place to go for croissants in Bilbao, thanks to their buttery taste and incredible fillings. Their varied and original menu includes cheesecake cream, pistachio, salted caramel, matcha tea… the flavours change with the season and their customers’ preferences. Their palmiers and doughnuts are also firm favourites.
Martina de Zuricalday (Ercilla, 43 / Plaza San José, 3 / Rodríguez Arias, 48 / Doctor Areilza, 38)
The oldest traditional patisserie in the Basque Country and the oldest shop in Bilbao. Every morning since 1830, they have been making their pastries (cakes, buns, tarts, macaroons, puff pastries, truffles, almond financiers, cupcakes…) with the best ingredients, kneaded by hand and baked at a low temperature. Their star product, and the one most loved by locals and tourists alike, is undoubtedly their butter bun, which has become a symbol of the city.
Bizkarra (La Cruz, 8 / Licenciado Poza, 12 / Ibaialde, 5 / Julian Gaiarre, 28)
A first-class bakery and patisserie. Ever since 1957, this bakery has been cultivating traditional recipes and unique specialities from the Basque Country and Vizcaya, such as Basque cake or Soconusco nougat, but it is also constantly reinventing itself with new creations and delicious combinations of flavours such as its Urkiola cheese or Intxaursaltsa truffles.
MissChocole (Heros, 11 / Dr. Areilza, 44)
Anyone with a sweet tooth, and especially chocolate lovers, will find this recently opened chocolate and pastry shop to be a place full of soul and magic. Its chocolates with their original colours and flavours are its hallmark, as are its famous chocolate palmiers. Its bakery produces pastries, cakes and spectacular cakes for celebrations.
Al Dente (Alda. Urquijo, 62)
If you like to cook and you enjoy Italian cuisine, Al Dente offers you the best ingredients all the way from Italy, such as cold meats, pasta, sauces, cheeses, oils, wines, sweets… No matter what you create, you’re bound to triumph! But if you’d rather let them do the cooking for you, they have delicious ready-made dishes you can take home. Every day their bakery prepares such unbeatable dishes as lasagne, cannelloni, pesto or tiramisu.
Charcutería alemana La Moderna (Colon de Larreategui, 20)
Their sausages, made by hand in the kitchen, are undoubtedly the star product of this German charcuterie, which has been located in Bilbao’s Botxo area since 1932. You’ll be hard pressed to find someone from Bilbao who doesn’t know La Moderna. Their list of top sellers also includes their typical Bavarian meat pie, as well as cold meats, mustards and German beers.
Le Chocolat (Sombrerería, 11)
Authentic Belgian chocolate and an unbeatable selection of handmade chocolates. Their Orangettes are nothing short of spectacular, and their original Baldosas de Bilbao, made with the best dark, milk, white and ruby chocolate, and their chocolates with natural lemon, strawberry and orange flavours and colours are their best sellers. They are all simply delicious and have become one of the sweetest souvenirs to take home.
Tuinkis (Artekale, 54)
Bilbao’s only shop specialising in American products, imported directly from the United States. This unique American market is where you’ll find all those cereals, snacks, sauces and chocolates from the most famous brands in the USA that we’ve seen in all those movies, such as Hershey’s, Pop Tarts, Froot Loops, Campbell’s, Mac&Cheese…