Old School Pintxos in Bilbao: Victor Montes, Café Iruña and Xukela

The Spaniards do old school eats properly. You have cranky old guys in white shirts and black bow ties, interiors that look like they haven’t been touch or updated since inception and classic dishes passed on from generation to generation.

Thus, when your setting off on your movable feast in Bilbao, seek out these places that transport you to another time.

Victor Montes has the easiest location to find since it’s right in the Plaza Nueva in the Casco Viejo section. As with most bars, if you see something that looks good, just point out it and say “Por Favor”. The crusty waiters might not take kindly for having to explain the entire display.


Located on the opposite side of the Arga River, Cafe Iruna is convenient if you choose to stay near the city center.  Dating back to 1903, the main dining room is extraordinarily beautiful and ornate. It’s one of those places where you stare at the walls for hours. The bar area with a grill station in the corner is perfect for grabbing some marinated kebabs and downing a few beers.

Cafe-iruna-1 Cafe-iruna-4 Cafe-iruna-3 Cafe-iruna-2

Xukela has one of the most extensive wine lists in Bilbao. They offer up Riojas for every taste and palate.

Xukela3 Xukela2 Xukela1

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