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Irati Taverna Basca
Restaurants abound in the heavily touristed Gothic Quarter, but few of them are particularly good. Irati is one of the exceptions, a bustling spot popular with locals thanks to its excellent pintxos, traditional Basque tapas served on bread and speared with a toothpick. There’s seating in the back, but you’re really here for the experience of eating pintxos, which means standing shoulder-to-shoulder at the bar and helping yourself to the buffet of bite-size offerings. A sure bet is the jamón, lightly drizzled in olive oil, and the blue cheese topped with quince paste and walnuts. Save room for the hot snacks, like ham-and-cheese croquetas, which are brought out at regular intervals from the kitchen. And don’t toss your toothpicks—that’s how the bill is tallied.