Pintxos Crawl in San Sebastian
So, here I am on a Monday night is San Sebastian, gastronomic centre of Spain and possibly the world, with no reservations…and it is restaurant week! What’s a girl to do? But of course – a pintxos tour – the Basque answer to a pub crawl!
The pintxos bars were packed as I wandered the streets of old town San Sebastian. No matter where you turned, people were everywhere – it was standing room only! Locals and tourists alike were bumping elbows as they ate, drank and moved on through the various offerings of pintxos and bars.
Pintxos are a snack, typically eaten in bars, traditional in northern Spain and especially popular in the Basque country. They are usually eaten in bars or pubs as a small snack while hanging out with friends or relatives, having a strong socializing component. In Basque country they are usually regarded as a cornerstone of local culture and society. While they are related to tapas, the main difference between the two are that pintxos are usually ‘spiked’ with a skewer or toothpick, often to a piece of bread. They are served in individual portions and always ordered and paid for independently from the drinks.
Clearly uninitiated, I made my way through 4 pintxos bars before I had to call it a night. I pointed, nodded and used sign language to make my way through the various tastes of Spain, washing these bite sized morsels down with a glass or two of rose wine (I had read that rose, along with txikito – a young white wine, were the traditional wines to have with pintxos and I have to agree – they both went well with the huge variety of flavours that I sampled along the way).
A visit to the tourist information office showed that you can even sign up for an organized pintxos crawl. Perhaps this is the way to go as the people that I met on the Basque Culinary Experience told me that the guide gave them the inside track on what to eat and more importantly, where to eat it! San Sebastian Foods also offers Pintxos cooking classes for those who want to master this Basque tradition!
A pintxos crawl in San Sebastian – a great night out and the best part – no reservations required!
San Sebastian Pintxos Crawl – A Basque Culinary Adventure – Foodie International