You can discover Bilbao’s gastronomic tradition in bite-sized pieces by taking a tour of its bars and taverns. The counters of these establishments are piled high with the famous pintxos, miniature culinary works of art which will make your mouth water as soon as you lay eyes on them. At the first bite, you’re bound to become a fervent admirer of the Basque custom of “going out for pintxos” –basically, talking a walking tour of several nearby venues to sample the greatest possible number of pintxos. We recommend the areas in the old part of town, Abando and Idautxtu, which are the most popular and always guarantee a great atmosphere. The tradition of going out for pintxos can be enjoyed all year round, but if you’re lucky enough to be in town in May or June, you can experience the annual pintxo contest, when the best-known bars in Bilbao compete to decide the best pintxo of the year.