You’ll come across dozens of Basque tabernas (restaurant-bars) as you stroll across the city. With over 100 tapas available, for variety, quality and overall value, Maitea is among the very best.
The cold montaditos, or pintxos (slices of bread piled with an endless combination of toppings and speared with a toothpick), are arrayed along the counter.
Cheese and quince jelly? Yep. A slice of bacon with fried quail’s egg? Check. Smoked salmon wraps stuffed with crab? Of course. Goat cheese with ham? You got it. Creamed goat cheese with walnuts? No doubt. Tuna salad with anchovies? Yes. Potato, sobrassada (pressed pork) and grilled Gruyere cheese? Why not? Red pepper stuffed with creamed minced cod? Sardines? Obviously. And these are just a few of the cold pintxos.
Grab a plate, wander along the counter, help yourself to whatever you want and put in on your plate. Every now and then the friendly, helpful staff will offer you a selection of hot pintxos: a date wrapped in bacon, choricitos (spicy mini-chorizo-like sausages), or a mini-cheeseburger.
All the pintxos are the same price – € 1.65. Every item you choose will be speared with a toothpick – keep the toothpicks. At the end of your session the toothpicks will be counted.
Drinks on offer include cidra – a naturally fermented apple cider very different to fizzy English ciders – txakoli – a dry sparkling white wine – along with some very good reds from Rioja and Navarra – and Almogàver beer on draft.