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Insider A - Z of Ibiza: P is for pintxo

Pick n Mix

As we have already established, Ibiza is a melting pot of exquisite food. Hell - it's one of the main reasons I live here! So I present to you another gastronomically focused feature this week, this time dedicated to the wonderful ‘pintxo'.

Pintxo is literally translated as ‘spike' and sure enough, a pintxo is a small, delicious snack usually pinned to a piece of bread by a toothpick. It is a national institution and doesn't half go well with a cold beer or a luscious glass of wine.

So where does one to go sample these yummy little mouthfuls of deliciousness? Well, here's my insider's guide to the best pintxo spots on the island...

Can Terra

Located on the busy street of Ignacio Wallis off Vara De Rey in Ibiza Town, Can Terra is a real locals favourite. With crowds regularly spilling out into the warm summer street, these guys know their pintxos. The bar runs the full length of the restaurant and is piled high with every variety of pintxo that you could imagine. And for only €2.75 a pop and a fabulous wine list to boot, you really can't go wrong! They also serve a lovely homemade menu with huge portions of grilled squid, grilled prawns and solomillo etc at very good prices.

Insider Info - Try to get a table in the open courtyard right at the back. It makes you forget that you are on one of the busiest streets in Ibiza's new town! A veritable haven, it's quite easy to spend hours here with a group of friends nibbling on the snacks and drinking crisp glasses of Albariño.

Cerveceria Quintana

Located right in the centre of Santa Eulalia, this cosy little bar serves up some of the freshest and most mouthwatering tapas and pintxos you can find. The homely atmosphere makes it a great place to settle in and the tables outside make for some class people watching.

Insider Info - Cerveceria Quintana has the most astonishing range of excellent German and Belgian beers. They truly know their stuff. Many an hour has been spent working our way down the menu whilst casting our expert opinions on the quality of one ale compared to another!

El Zaguan

Just round the corner from Can Terra in Ibiza Town on Calle Bartolome Rosello is the authentic Spanish tapas bar El Zaguan. An absolutely no-frills establishment, this place is always bursting at the seams with both people and fresh hot and cold pintxos. Prepare to queue up for a space at a table, or even better, at the bar, and graze away at the selection of food that is replenished continually. When you've had your fill, the staff will count your sticks and charge you accordingly.

Insider Info - The wine list again is an absolute joy with a top notch bottle of Rioja coming in at just €12.50.No wonder this place is popular! A real insider's jewel...

Bar Can Toni

An unassuming road side cafe, this joint on the Santa Eulalia road just outside of Ibiza Town is popular with truckers and locals alike. With a big glass tapas display cabinet at the end of the bar, and pintxos on top of it, you are completely spoilt for choice. Simple home-cooked Spanish food in huge portions at ridiculously low prices. Squeeze in at the bar next to construction workers enjoying a feed before siesta, and don't forget to finish your meal with a hierbas on ice for the fully genuine experience.

Insider Info - The grocery store next door shares the same owner as the cafe and has a huge range of local and organic produce. The succulent fruit and veg is ploughed from the surrounding fields of the island and I swear you can taste the difference!

The San Antonio Pintxo Festival

Every February, the streets of San Antonio come alive on a Thursday for the annual Pintxo Fest. Over 40 bars and restaurants participate in this competition to be awarded with the accolade of best pintxos in town. For the measly sum of just €2, you will get a pintxo of your choice and either a glass of beer or wine. It brings the community together in the winter and provides us with an inexpensive and highly entertaining night out.

Insider Info - The kind people from San Antonio council put on a free tourist train (you know the type that chug along the seafront in the summer) to take you from one bar to the next. Cue much frivolity as the hilarious driver takes you round the same roundabout 5 times for his own amusement. A fine way to revert back to childlike behaviour fueled by countless beers and snacks!

Well who would have thought that a humble Spanish nibble could be such a popular way of life in Ibiza! Although remarkable eateries all over the island are ten to a peseta with every cuisine imaginable available, this is the best way to keep it real and get down with the locals.

Next week, Q is for Queens. An insider's guide to the best gay friendly and flamboyant spots on the island...

Insider's A - Z of Ibiza

WORDS | Leena Sharma

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