Travel

The Real Food Capital of Europe Is Basque Country

Your guide to navigating Spain's culinary paradise

Nestled in Spain's northernmost region and lying just below France's southern border, Basque Country can seem like an enigma for many travelers whose gut reactions are to book flights to Madrid and Barcelona. Yet, with one of the highest concentrations of Michelin-starred restaurants in the world, a cultural respect for everyday dining unlike anywhere else and unparalleled access to the best ingredients in Europe, Basque Country is the place to be if food is the driving force of your travels.

Follow along as we dive into this culinary capital, from its traditional pintxo bars to its secret gastronomic societies to its many award-winning dining rooms.

The Force Behind Basque Country's Culinary Legacy

"Food in Basque Country is about taste, yes, but it's also about culture and patriotism."

READ THE STORY >

For True Taste of Basque Country, Head to This Seaside Village

Near the eastern edge of San Sebastián’s famous Zurriola Beach, a small staircase reveals the Camino de Santiago, Spain's most famous thru-hike. In your case, it's the start of one of the best Basque Country dining experiences you may ever take part in.

FIND OUT MORE >

This 5-Ingredient Cheesecake Has a Worldwide Reputation

In San Sebastián, you'll find La Viña, a bar where people from all over the world pack inside like Spanish sardines for a slice of the famous, flan-like cheesecakes lining the shelves.

GET THE RECIPE >

San Sebastián's 10 Essential Pintxos

We visited scores of pintxo bars, from neighborhood dives to cheffy hot spots, to track down the city's most memorable morsels. These are the non-negotiables—the dishes you'll crave long after you fly home.

GET THE GUIDE >

Añana Salt Is the Prized Ingredient You Should Bring Home

Of the abundant produce, cured meats and fruits of the Cantabrian Sea widely available in Basque Country, there is but one local ingredient that has won the endorsement of the region’s Michelin-decorated chefs: Añana flakes, also known as the "Rolls-Royce" of salt.

LEARN MORE >

Visit Biarritz, a Dining Paradise in French Basque Country

When it comes to the laurels of French cuisine, Lyon and Paris may get all the glory, but Biarritz—the quaint resort town located in the French Basque Country, only 15 miles north of the Spanish border—is a gem waiting to be explored.

EXPLORE THE CITY >

Where to Eat in San Sebastián, According to Chefs

A concentrated metropolis of pintxos (small snacks) bars and Michelin-starred restaurants, the coastal city in Spain's Basque Country is a true gem. Here's how to eat your way through the Michelin-starred city, according to the experts.

GET THE GUIDE >

Crispy Potato Salt Cod Fritters Are Your One-Way Ticket to Spain

Visit San Sebastián and alongside jars of vinegary guindilla peppers and ropes of chorizo, you'll find planks of dried salt cod, or bacalao.

GET THE RECIPE >

Learn How to Throw a Basque Dinner Party

"This type of cooking relies on everything being on point," chef Alex Raij says. "The priorities of the cuisine require you to either be a good cook or become a good cook. You can't hide behind sauces. You can't cover it. It's totally naked food."

START COOKING >

Master Mussels Escabeche at Home

Pile briny marinated mussels and mayonnaise onto toast for the ultimate crostini.

GET THE RECIPE >

 

Make a Basque Endive Gratin

Basque blue cheese adds tang and sharpness to bitter endive for this rich gratin.

GET THE RECIPE >

Tags:
#TTonTour

LET’S DISCUSS:

Get the Tasting Table newsletter for adventurous eaters everywhere
X Share on FB →