Bar Nestor is the sort of place that food-lovers adore, but that seems puzzling at first sight: Packed with people, you have to stand whilst eating the txuleta; if you want a slice of the famous tortilla, you better get in early, as they only make two a day, and the slices are all reserved well before they are served. Depsite, or perhaps due to these rather peculiar characteristics, this is a very Basque establishment.
Whilst other pintxo bars try to adapt their ways to the tourists passing by, Bar Nestor is clearly not that kind of spot. Nestor is in charge, and you better play by the rules, as the experience can otherwise be far less enjoyable. In some ways, this is a little like Seinfeld’s soup nazi, given how strong Nestor’s character is.
The reason to come here is ultimately the food. The txuleta at Nestor is arguably one of the best in the Basque Country, and is supplied by Txogitxu, who also supplies this prized cut to places such as Arzak and Ganbara. The meat is served rare on a sizzling hot plate, and best to be eaten swiftly, as it will otherwise continue to cook. It is served simply sprinkled with a bit of salt, which is all it really needs, given the quality of the meat. Due to the age of the animals used and dry ageing, the meat is packed with flavour and has a complexity that you rarely get with a steak.
The other iconic dish for which a visit to Nestor is a must, is the tortilla. Served twice a day at 1pm and 8pm, you better stop by early and reserve a slice, as there is a run on it ever since Tony Bourdain claimed it being the world’s best tortilla. It is wonderfully moist and tasty, and with a price tag of €2,70 per slice hardly expensive for one of the most exciting bites a serious foodie should eat at least once in their life.
The way to do things at Nestor is simple: you come with a couple of friends, order a txuleta, which Nestor will let you choose from various pieces of meat, and then start with some drinks, a tomato salad and a dish of green peppers. Those demonstrate just how good the products served here are, and make it apparent why a visit here is an absolute must for anyone coming to the Basque Country.