Bucket List of 10 Spanish Pintxos (Pinchos) to Eat

My first pintxos experience in Spain yielded nine toothpicks, though throughout my travels I have racked up quite a few dozen more. Here are the ones worthy of a spot on your bucket list.

Pintxos (or pinchos) are small snacks typically served in Spanish bars, particularly popular in Basque country. These finger foods have an array of toppings placed on crunchy bread, spiked with a toothpick and displayed buffet style.

1. Anchoas y Guindillas
Anchovy with Pickled Green Peppers

One of the prettiest pintxos is the picturesque Anchoas and Guindillas. This is also said to be the original Basque tapas.
Pintxos de Anchoas and Guindillas

2. Chistorra y Padron
Sausage and Peppers
Chistorra is a fast-cured sausage made of minced pork, a Spanish style chorizo. Padron peppers are typically mild and best served charred.
Chorizo Pintxos

3. Morcilla Cocida Pinchos
Blood Pudding

Blood pudding is a popular pintxos ingredient made with pork blood, fat, rice and onions. And the fried quail egg on top is an added bonus.
Blood Sausage Pintxos Pinchos

4. Piquillo Pepper Jam
The Piquillo Pepper is sweet and spicy, similar to the bell pepper. It is paired here with goat cheese and a vinegar reduction.
Goat Cheese Pintxos

5. Croquetas de Papas
Potato Crouquettes

These deep fried balls are made with a mashed style potatoes on the inside and bread crumbs on the outside. Much better than a tater tot!
Potato Croquette Pintxos

6. Angulas 
Young Eels

Angulas are 2-3 year old eels and about three inches long. They are served here with smoked salmon (ahumado salmón), but come in dozens of different variations. I am not going to say you will love them, but it should be on your unique eats bucket list.
Baby Eel Pintxos
photo credit: mswine

7. Pulpo Pinchos

When cooked properly, octopus should be ever-so tender, not rubbery. Though, it does tend to have a slightly fishiness to it. Many of the Spanish style octopus tapas are topped with a smoked paprika.
Octopus Pintxos

8. Pincho de Tortilla
Tortilla Omelet

In my Italian heritage we would call this a frittata bruschetta, but in Spain it is a Pincho de Tortilla, an omelet made with tortillas.
Egg Omelet Pinxtos

9. Jamon Iberico
Cured Ham

Jamon, made from Black Iberian pigs, will be mixed and matched with numerous different ingredients in tapas all over Spain. Similar to Italian prosciutto, it is a cured ham that should not be passed up.
Jamon Pintox
photo credit: agirregabiria

10. Oreo Cookie Pintxos
The grand finale to your tapas experience should be the Oreo cookie pinchos. Nothing traditional about this, just plain goodness.
Oreo Cookie Pintxos

Which one of these pintxos (pinchos) do you most want to try?

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2017-04-28T16:36:46+00:00 December 3rd, 2012|Categories: BUCKET LISTS, Europe, FOOD, QUIRKY, Spain, TRAVEL|Tags: |


  1. Jeff @ GoTravelzing December 3, 2012 at 6:27 pm - Reply

    Where did you find the Oreo cookie tapas?  I have never seen those before.

  2. Anita Mac December 4, 2012 at 6:28 am - Reply

    I loved the pintxos in San Sebastian – anything with goat cheese rated high on my list!  The little mini quail eggs were so full of flavour too!  Will clearly need to go back though as I did not see the Oreo pintxos – looks like a great way to finish off.  Love your photos….I can almost taste Spain as I read.

  3. EarthDrifter December 4, 2012 at 6:33 am - Reply

    Tough choice as I'd like to try and devour every one of these exotic creations.   I agree that the Chistorra y Padron is the prettiest but because I'm a sucker for both sweet and spicy, my first choice is the Piquillo Pepper Jam.

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey December 4, 2012 at 8:33 am - Reply

      Two GREAT choices. I did keep going back for “just one more” Chistorra y Padron. Those little sausages were delish!

  4. Andi of My Beautiful Adventures December 4, 2012 at 4:13 pm - Reply

    OMG these all look SO good!!!!!!

  5. These all look unique and very fun! I love trying local foods. Is this a different idea than tapas?

    • Annette | Bucket List Journey December 9, 2012 at 8:40 am - Reply

      Depending on the area in Spain sometimes the difference between tapas and pintxos is blurred. But, I consider pintxos anything on bread with a toothpick!

  6. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs December 15, 2012 at 9:37 am - Reply

    I love pinchos, I always did! But after my week in San Sebastian this year I'm totally hooked. San Sebastian is a Mekka for foodies, I think i have gained…I better keep m=the actual number for myself but a lot 🙂 Great post!

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