Enjoying traditional Basque cuisine in Bilbao

It’s not just the good folk of Bilbao who say that Basque gastronomy is one of the most famous in the world: some of its dishes have crossed borders and gained international recognition. It is a simple cuisine that places the accent on flavour and the quality of the raw ingredients: seasonal and local ‘km0’ produce, sourcing the freshest possible fish and seafood, vegetables from our baserris (farms) and meat from the most select livestock. Eating well is practically a religion in this land where day in, day out, the counters of its bars are laden with pintxos, genuine miniature haute cuisine, and anything and everything is cause for celebration around a well-laid table.

Here is our selection of restaurants where you can enjoy the best dishes of traditional Basque cuisine in Bilbao.

12 restaurants where you can enjoy delicious traditional Basque cuisine

Here is our selection of restaurants where you can enjoy the best dishes of traditional Basque cuisine in Bilbao. 

Asador Indusi

ASADOR INDUSI

Decorated in the most authentic rustic Basque style, this asador (grill house) in the centre of Bilbao owes its success to the excellent quality of its products and its mastery of the art of grilling. Its pintxo bar, its extensive wine cellar and its professional and friendly service complete its offer and turn your visit into an authentic gastronomic experience. On the menu you will find some of the most typical dishes of Basque cuisine, such as kokotxas in a green sauce, Biscay-style tripe and snouts, baby squid in their own ink, a cutlet with potatoes…

Speciality: Grilled meat and fish.

RESTAURANTE GOIZKO IZARRA EN BILBAO

GOIZEKO IZARRA (C/ Gregorio Revilla, 9)

Popularly known as El Chuletón de Bilbao (The Bilbao T-bone Steak) and it’s really no wonder, since its T-bone steak from old dairy cows – 1,200 grams cut in thin slices and served with fried potatoes – has been the stuff of legend since 1971 and is the ultimate pleasure for meat lovers. So yes, people go to Goizeko Izarra for the steak, but its gastronomic offer consists of an unbeatable selection of typical Basque dishes prepared with care, expertise and top-quality raw materials, which you can pair with excellent wines from its wine list.

Speciality: T-bone steak and sweetbreads Provençal style.

CASA RUFO

CASA RUFO (C/ Hurtado de Amezaga, 5)

Exclusively a grocer’s shop for 40 years, in 1995 its owners turned a back room into a makeshift restaurant which soon began to attract the city’s finest, all intent on enjoying the delicatessen and tasty morsels on sale in the shop. Today, Casa Rufo is an authentic benchmark for traditional Basque cuisine in Bilbao. Its hallmarks are its authenticity, savoir-faire and the quality of its products. A menu featuring a limited number of exquisite dishes in which the flavour and quality of the raw material are given priority over the elaboration. 

Speciality: Grilled T-bone steak from Galician or local cattle, smoked fish, baked cod, egg croquettes…

RESTAURANTE MARISQUERÍA SERANTES

SERANTES

Established in 1960, this seafood restaurant specialises in traditional Basque cuisine on three counts and is renowned for its commitment to quality and seasonal produce. In any of its three establishments you will feel quite at home and you will be able to taste the freshest fish and seafood and its local cuisine, not to mention its wide range of casseroles and pintxos that you can enjoy at the bar.

Speciality: Fish and seafood, acorn-fed Iberian ham and cutlets.

gure kabi bilbao, cocina tradicional vasca

GURE KABI (C/ Particular de Estraunza, 4)

The best traditional Basque cuisine with a personal touch. The menu features some of the most representative dishes of our gastronomy as well as other more innovative ones, but always with the emphasis placed firmly on local, fresh and seasonal produce. Its fish dishes, especially hake and cod, are outstanding. It is also worth mentioning its selection of Galician meat, not forgetting the home-made desserts and the extensive wine cellar, which will round off your culinary experience. 

Speciality: Rice with lobster, langoustine croquettes and stone-grilled T-bone steaks from mature cattle.

Restaurante Trueba en Bilbao

TRUEBA (C/ Colón de Larreategui, 11)

Tradition and modernity are the keys to Trueba’s success. While remaining faithful to traditional recipes, it uses new culinary techniques to enhance the flavour of the top quality, seasonal produce that forms the basis of its offer. The menu focuses on market cuisine and dishes that embody the best of Basque gastronomy. And what can we say about the wine cellar, which has a wide range of wines from La Rioja and original selections from small winegrowers.

Speciality: Spider crab Donosti-style, suckling pig roasted at a low-temperature, queen scallops with a Bilbao-style emulsion and fresh fish.

TXOCOOK

TXOCOOK (C/ Pio Baroja, 5)

Quality, produce and seasonality are the hallmarks of Txocook‘s gastronomy, which is based on traditional recipes and avant-garde techniques. Aitor Elizegi reinterprets the Biscayan recipe book while remaining firmly committed to market cuisine, where the product is the essence. His menu is based on seasonal proposals and local, ‘km0’ products. His restaurant offers authenticity, aromas, flavours and a delicious, healthy and traditional cuisine that respects time and origin.

Speciality: Seasonal produce from the market garden, sea and mountains with avant-garde touches. Highlights include cod in pil-pil sauce and kokotxas.

Traditional food

VÍCTOR (Plaza Nueva, 2)

Cod is one of the most emblematic dishes of traditional Basque cuisine, and even more so in Bilbao. If you want to eat a good piece of cod, you won’t be disappointed at the Víctor – it’s been their speciality since 1940. You can enjoy it prepared in all sorts of ways: pil-pil, Biscay-style and Victor’s own style, a recipe created in their kitchens and now found in the most prestigious cookery books. The menu also includes all the specialities of Basque cuisine in the form of meat, fish and seasonal vegetables. Víctor is a reference point for good food in Bilbao.

Speciality: Cod in all its variations, especially Víctor’s style.

VICTOR MONTES

VICTOR MONTES (Plaza Nueva, 8) 

Once upon a time, well, in 1849 to be more precise, this was a gourmet grocer’s shop, but over the course of the last century it has become one of the most outstanding restaurants serving traditional Basque cuisine. Today, using only products of the highest quality, its menu combines the best of our gastronomy with that of the rest of the world. Its façade, its bar, its dining room, its collection of wines and spirits, its pintxos… everything is unique and exudes authenticity. Víctor Montes is an icon of Basque Country cuisine and part of the city’s history, and a must for all visitors.

Speciality: Gourmet cod loin, baby squid with their own ink foam, sirloin steak from Galician blonde cows… and of course the pintxo bar which won three eguzkilores in 2022.

Restaurante Los Fueros en el Casco viejo de Bilbao

LOS FUEROS (C/ Los Fueros, 6)

The flavour of traditional Biscayan cuisine based on the best products and brought right up to date by Paul Ibarra and his team. A gastronomic proposal that eschews extravagance in favour of the typical dishes of our cuisine, sometimes modernised to suit today’s tastes, but always prepared with first-class raw materials. Its motto is to eat good, tasty and appetising food using fresh and recognisable products. It has a menu called Bilbao de Toda la Vida (Bilbao as We’ve Always Known It) which recreates the food that people have always eaten in this town.

Speciality: Grilled prawns, the authentic ambassadors of this restaurant.

LURRINA

LURRINA (C/ Barrenkale Barrena, 16)

In 2013, Chef Txomin Gomez decided to focus on traditional Basque cuisine, seasonal produce and sustainability. In his menu you will find what the sea and the land have to offer at any given time of the year, lovingly prepared to enhance the flavour and highlight the quality of the raw materials. You can enjoy these delicacies in the cosy dining room; and at the bar you will find pintxos and small casseroles of the most typical dishes from our recipe book. Flavour, tradition and product is the maxim of Lurrina.

Speciality: Traditional seasonal Basque dishes.

Toma y Daka en la Plaza Nueva de Bilbao

TOMA Y DAKA (Plaza Nueva, 1)

Passionate about raw materials and obsessed with local ‘km 0’ products – hence their commitment to small local producers who take extra special care of their livestock and vegetable gardens. In their kitchens they recreate our mothers’ recipes and cooking methods to bring out the authentic flavour of all the ingredients. You will enjoy a culinary experience based on childhood memories of primary flavours, all presented in small dishes so you can enjoy sampling a good number of their culinary offerings. Their menu is a declaration of love for product, variety and tradition. 

Speciality: Local ‘km0’ products and cuisine. Seafood, meat and grilled market vegetables. Cheese and gourmet products.

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