Pamplona always delights with fantastic food but this time one place was firmly on my agenda to visit!
If like me, one of the reasons you love to travel is to get up close and personal and with the locals and experience authentic regional cuisine, eating tapas at Bar Gaucho should be on your ‘to do’ list.
A smallish bustling bar in the heart of the old town, just off Estafeta Street and very popular with locals and travellers alike, Bar Gaucho offers some the best pintxos (pronounced peen-chose) my tastebuds have experienced. These are complemented by a fabulous array of generously served wine and and spirits. Consistently ranked in the top 5 places to eat in Pamplona and with nearly 50 years of experience and tradition behind it, Bar Gaucho’s walls sport awards for the best pintxos and is a reference bar of the Northern Spain ‘pintxo’ culture.
I spent 2 hours of bliss enjoying fabulous food, chatting to the locals and absorbing the gregarious chaos around me. Somehow the very professional and attentive staff manage to keep all the orders in their head and keep the diverse food coming out quickly. I spoke to Vincent, an Aussie who works there, who thrives amongst the chaos and has been a resident of Pamplona for over 17 years.
This wonderful food mecca prides themselves on creating haute cuisine in miniature form using local, seasonal ingredients and their Navarran offerings are definitely innovative, authentic, and just delicious. Their are usually at least 20 varieties to chose from and they average 2-4€ per piece or plate. They are also featured in this lovely book below.
What should I try?
A few dishes that Bar Gaucho is renowned for…
- Freshly fried foie gras
- Mushroom truffle cream with lightly boiled egg
- Smoked eel with tomato toast and jelly tomato (featured on the front cover of the book)
- Beef cheek with prune and pickled onion
- Smoked sturgeon with ginger and flower petals
Small bite, great pleasure is the second book, where some of the offerings are collated.
Want to know more or go and see for yourself?
Where: Bar Gaucho, Calle Espoz y Mina 7 | Plaza Del Castillo, 31002, Pamplona, Spain +34 948 22 50 73
Read: TripAdvisor reviews
How to eat tapas or pintxos in Spain
- Don’t be shy. Go up to the bar and take a look at the pintxos displayed. Ask a local what is good. If you don’t know Spanish, charades always works!
- Select the pintxos you want by just pointing. If you are eating pintxos as your meal, three to four will fill you up; but be warned, you may want to try even more!
- Most Spaniards order their pintxos with a glass of the house wine or a caña (whatever type of beer they have on tap).
- It is unlikely you will immediately get a seat, so make some space for yourself or join a local and enjoy!
Plan a trip around a festival that celebrates pintxos
Semana del Pinch is the largest gastronomic festival in Spain’s northern province of Navarre, with 10 days of sampling and celebrating picture-perfect finger food created just for this occasion by up to 70 bars in Pamplona alone. In 2018, it runs from 30 March to 8 April and is a great way to start your Camino adventure.
The bars create delicate and sometimes surprising recipes that compete for – gold, silver and bronze – endorsing the quality of the prized delicacy and the winners claiming bragging rights for the coming year.