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Spain Travel Tips: Eating at Etxebarri

At Extebarri, a country restaurant in a tiny Basque village, Victor Arguinzoniz is creating a radical cuisine.

How to Get There

Etxebarri is located in the Basque province of Vizcaya, a 45-minute drive southeast of Bilbao, or more than an hour southwest of San Sebastián. The blink-and-you’ll-miss-it village of Axpe (south of Durango) can be tricky to find, so make sure to print out the directions that are posted on the restaurant’s website.

Best Time to Go

Lunch, which is served every day except Monday, is best: You won’t have to drive in the dark, and you’ll be able to see the Basque landscape.

What to Eat

Though the menu is à la carte, Etxebarri’s fans generally ask Arguinzoniz to prepare a multicourse tasting menu that revolves around seasonal ingredients—fresh anchovies in spring, tiny baby squid in July, woodcock in late fall—all cooked on the grill.

Insider Tips

Ask for a taste of the restaurant’s famous house-made ibérico-pork chorizo sausage to start. Save room for the buttery-tender sliced chuleta (bone-in rib eye) that’s served as a main course.

What to Drink

Try a bottle of Txakoli, the iconic, slightly fizzy Basque white wine, with the seafood, then choose a new-style Rioja from the restaurant’s small, well-edited list.


Open for lunch Tuesday through Sunday only from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; for dinner Saturday only from 8:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Closed during August.

Published June 2008


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