Some years ago Barcelona was a wasteland when it came to traditional Spanish tapas, and especially Basque pintxos. No one could imagine a place like Els Pinxus, where they've got an endless variety of top-class selections of both, as well as beer on tap pulled like the bar staff came straight from some of Madrid's best bars. In the kitchen is Toni Santanach, who was part of the team of chefs at Mey Hofmann's school and wanted to show that it's possible to make Catalan-style tapas and pintxos in Barcelona. High-quality bread is fundamental here, and the meat they use is of the best quality (the veal burger pintxo is highly recommended). You'll find something for everyone's taste: tripe that's like the best of a Spanish granny's home-made repertoire, scrambled eggs with salted cod, and crunchy strips of aubergine drizzled with aromatic honey – a total vice for anyone with a sweet tooth. And since Santanach studied at Hofmann's school, you know you won't want to skip dessert.
You may know your tapas inside and out, but have you the Basque Country's version? Pintxos can easily be described as 'tapas on bread', but they're so much more than that. Whether they're hot or cold, savoury or sweet, these small treats will make your taste buds happy and fill your belly. Among all the bars and restaurants tempting you with the platters of piled-high pintxos, we've come up with a list of some of our favourites. The staff will keep track of your toothpicks (try hiding them at your own risk!) to tally your bill at the end of your meal. And don't forget to order the cider, poured at arm's length by a bartender staring into the middle distance.