World famous Basque Cuisine 

Basque cuisine is world-renowned,  from the elaborate pintxos (tapas, pronounced pinchos) to the greatest number of Michelin-starred restaurants. Every foodie has this small region in northern Spain on their bucket list, but what makes their gastronomy so special? The answer lies in their talent to blend history with innovation. 

The Basque people pride themselves on preserving their unique local culture and respect what nature gives them. They have a history of creating exceptional dishes using seasonal local ingredients from the sea and the mountains. Their varied cuisine represents their land where you can delight in tender meats, fresh seafood, bright vegetables and crisp wines from the coast and lovely reds from the Alavesa part of Rioja wine country too. They also produce local cheeses and cider culture is very alive here. 

Food has always been a central part of the Basque way of life. An example of this would be the various txokos (gastronomic societies) that can be found throughout the region since the 19th C. These are private club venues where groups of friends get together to cook (just the men) and enjoy each other’s company.  

The New Basque Cuisine, which started in the 1970s, is all about recovering traditional recipes, reworking ingredients and being innovative. Born under the influence of Nouvelle Cuisine in France, the Basque chefs learned the best techniques to apply to their uniquely Basque ingredients. 

Pintxos, which are small but exquisite bites of food, line the counters at most bars in the region. It’s typical to see people enjoying these flavorful bites along with a glass of wine.  Pintxos tours and cooking classes are MustDo experiences here for foodies. 

Unsurprisingly, the Basque country boasts the highest number of Michelin-starred restaurants in Spain with a total of 40. The knowledge, technique and creativity the chefs put into each dish is unmatched. Here are a few of our best chefs:  

  • Etxebarri by chef Víctor Arguinzoniz
  • Arzak by Juan Mari Arzak
  • Akelarre by Pedro Subijana
  • Azurmendi by Eneko Atxa
  • Berasategui by Martín Berasategui (holds more Michelin stars than any other Spanish chef)
  • Mugaritz by Andoni Luis Aduriz

The Basque country is one of the most highly acclaimed gastronomic destinations in the world. Reach out to our team to plan your tailored culinary adventure.