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Vintage Bilbao

Social life in Spain often takes place in the many bars in the city, from meeting points with friends to family gatherings, the bar is the preferred place to share conversations, a bite to eat and get a close up look at local life. We’ve selected some of our favorite vintage bars in the city, both new and old, that have their own personal touch. These bars and cafes get high marks for classic styles that break from your typical Starbucks mold while being unique and offering their own local flavor.

1. Bihotz, Bo

A small cozy bar located in one of the most iconic spots in the city, Bihotz Bo is part of Bilbao La Vieja an up and coming neighborhood. Opened in 2015 and renovated by entrepreneurs Pedro and Cristina, Bihotz is decorated in Nordic and vintage furniture, from the competition bicycle hanging on the wall, sixties fridge, quirky decorations and local art it’s a treasure trove waiting to be discovered.

This bar offers a great place to have a craft beer, coffee or tea with a friend. Choose from their artisan selection of beers from different countries or sample the local brew. You can also enjoy homemade cakes and sandwiches. During the weekends the place fills up with locals in the late morning catching up and simply hanging out.

Address: Calle Arechaga 6, Bilbao La Vieja

Hours: M-F 15:00 to 22:00, Sat 11:00 – 24:00, Sun 11:00 – 20:00



2.La Tasca del Abuelo

A crown jewel, this bar sits in a priveledged location overlooking the Casco Viejo and the winding river Nervion.  Opened in 1954, the bar maintains its classic look, according to owner Carlos Macias, “Every element is original from the period, exactly as my father and grandfather left it, the fridge, the tiles, the floors and the glass.”

Among grandpa’s specialties you will find sandwiches like pork loin with apple, olive pate, hamburgers and burritos made with couscous.

Address: Martzana Kalea, 16.

Hours: M-Th 17.00 h - 23.00 h, F 17.00 - 01.00 horas, Sat 13.00 - 01.00 and Sun 13.00 -23.00 


3. Cinnamon

Opened in 2014 by madrileños Julio De Vena and Verónica Garbajosa, this coffee shop takes pride in offering some of the best coffee in the city, with a distinctive aroma. Decorated with a touch of the 80’s much of the café’s furniture came from the well-known Rastro flea market in Madrid.

Also worth checking out are the artisan beers, fresh salads, tasty sandwiches on freshly baked bread and homemade baked goods from red velvet to cheesecake.

Address: Calle San Vicente 3.

Hours: M-F 08.00 to 21.30, Sat 8:00 to 23.00 horas. Closed Sunday and Monday afternoons. 



4. Galipó

Walking into Galipó is like taking a step back in time. While this bar opened in 2015, the look and feel of the renovation goes well back before its time. Old tiles, deconstructed walls, exposed beams, the marble bar and antique furniture and cabinets fill this quirky retro space.

Opened by four chefs from Bilbao’s hospitality and cooking school, the decoration from the bar comes from flea markets from all over, reused cabinets, bits and pieces of classic furniture and whatever was lying in the attic. Yet the best part is the high quality and authentic ingredients they serve. Delectable bar snacks from chorizo, cecina, mushrooms, onions and peppers are locally sourced from farms and prepared in different ways.

Overlooking the river this is a great spot to admire Bilbao’s past and present over a beer and some pintxos

Address: Erripa Kalea 5.

Hours: M to W 16.30 - 23.00, Th, F, Sat until 2.30 h. Closed Sunday.



5. Okapi

It was once an appliance store, and is now the Café Okapi. This small multipurpose space has been redone by Agustin Sanz who wanted to create a unique space, both personal that would capture everyone’s attention. Using furniture he inherited from his mother and restored, and traditional tiles, the Okapi is a cozy place.

Clientele are invited to exchange books, take pastry making classes, listen to local musicians and enjoy a wide selection of treats from their menu and homemade desserts.

Located right in the heart of the Casco Viejo, stop by for a bit of Okapi ambiance.

Address: Calle Belosticalle 26, Casco Viejo.

Hours: M - Th 10.30 h - 22.00 h. F, Sat 11.00 - 23.30 h. Sun 11.00 - 18.00 h.


Keep reading San Fermines.