The typical cuisine at Bilbao is the Basque Cuisine, but that too comes with its quirks. If you want the authentic Basque dishes then they’d be inclusive of meats and fishes grilled over coals, lamb stews and marmitako, Tolosa bean dishes, cods added to a various recipes, paprika from Lekeitio, pintxo, Idiazabal sheep’s cheese, Basque cider and Txakoli wine. The Basque cuisine is obtained from the seas on one side and the Ebro valley on the other. The great mountainous nature has stroke a balance between coastal cuisine and cured meat.
Bilbao includes dishes with fresh vegetables which include chard, peas, beans, artichokes. They are often accompanied with lamb and eggs. Bilbao has some typical dishes which you don’t get in any other part of Spain. Some examples are Carolina which is a margarine tart or bollo de mantequilla which is a butter bun. There are some more dishes which fall on the culinary tribute list for the city. When people think of this, the most important dish to mention is Pisto a la bilbaina. It is a type of ratatouille made of peppers, onions, eggs, tomatoes and ham. You could also include the Ranero Club cod (Bacalao Club Ranero) in this list too. This had been created by a French chef of the Bilbao Society Club between 1930 and 1940, and it became an authentic treat since then.
The best part about the city is that they have numerous restaurants which sell the city’s authenticity has reasonable rates. Going for a “Poteo” (which means to go from one bar to another bar) that offers banderillas and pintxos at the Old Quarter, would be dishes you’d want to choose on the go. When you have time and you want spend on a good restaurant, you can opt for a Michelin star awarded restaurant. There are also some steak houses, taverns, cider houses and outdoors bars as options.
Finally, don’t miss out on these famous deserts in Bilbao:
- Carolina: this cake has a base of a tartlet, and is topped with 9.5 cm high meringue. It shapes likes a pyramid and decorated with two egg sheets and chocolate syrup.
- Pastel de Arroz (Rice Cake): this is pie crust filled with cream. It is also known as rice cake as the original recipe from Philippines added rice flour to it. You’d get these at the Indautxu area, Old Town Bilbao ‘Casco Viejo’ and in the neighbourhood of Pastelerias.
- Pastel Ruso: this dessert is authentically and only available at Bilbao. This looks like a white cube which has three layers of hard meringue, with buttery and creamy form of meringue in-between. It is sprinkled with sugar and then served.
- Turron Sokonusko: this is a pastry made of nougat which consists of three pralines. There is a white praline, a black praline and a toasted praline. This is then covered in black chocolate and sold.