"Going for pintxos"

One of the most popular local customs is "going for pintxos”. This Basque custom entails going from bar to bar, having a "zurito" (a small beer), or a "txikito" (a small glass of wine) accompanied by a pintxo.

Pintxos were originally a slice of baguette bread topped with food of any kind. To hold it in place, a cocktail stick, or 'pintxo' was used. But that traditional idea has evolved until becoming today's haute cuisine made miniature, flavours elaborated and concentrated into small mouth-watering experiences.

The busiest pintxo areas are to be found in the Old Town or Gros. Both areas are packed with bars, their bar tops choc-a-bloc with all kinds of pintxos. Every bar has its own star pintxo.

  • Cold pintxos are generally available right there on the bar and you can help yourself to them.
  • Hot pintxos should be ordered at the bar.
  • When you go for pintxos, it is normal to have one round (pintxo & drink) in each bar before moving on to another one.
  • You generally pay when you are about to leave. Normally groups of friends either take turns at paying their round, or organise a kitty (people here never pay for their own consumption in each bar).

Know more about the pintxo culture of San Sebastián