Paul Shoul, writer for GoNOMAD.com, found the best social, eating and drinking scene in Spain while out at the tapas bars in Bilbao. The delicious discovery is described in his article entitled, Eating Bilbao: A Celebration of Basque Cuisine.”
“Located in northern Spain, Bilbao is the capital of Vizcaya, one of three provinces that make up the autonomous community known as Basque country. It boasts of its own language and culture, unique to the rest of Spain.
Food is a central part of Basque life. The area is home to some innovative up-scale restaurants pushing the creative limits of international fine dining, but they all rest upon and incorporate a foundation of superior local products, historic recipes, and Basque traditions.
For me, the tapas bars were my favorite way to sample all the foods of the region, and to meet and mingle with the locals. Simply put, tapas bars are the best social, drinking, eating scene I have ever experienced.
To my delight, the entire town bar-hops. Like last call in a college town, everybody crams in together. This is an all-ages crowd and a relief compared to the age segregation of the States. All kinds of people seem to like to be near each other. After hitting four or five places, the Bilbainos move on yet again; it’s time for dinner, which can last over three hours. You’ve got to love this place.”