The Pantry of Etxanobe, the new product party in Bilbao


Reading time 4 minutes

"Reborn, enjoy again after 30 years" that is for the two partners and friends, Fernando Canalaes and Mikel Population, this new and ambitious double adventure to which they have launched.

After 19 years at the helm of Etxanobe, one of the five restaurants in Bilbao with a Michelin Star, in the Euskalduna Palace, they have moved to the center of the capital of Vizcaya and created: The Pantry of Etxanobe and El Atelier Etxanobe (where follow the star). Two restaurants in one, in the same place, with two different entrances, the same kitchen, the same idea: love and respect for the product, the worship of Biscay cuisine as usual with a return. As the two chefs learned since childhood.

“An Etxanobe of product and an Etxanobe of creativity”, summary to define both proposals and complementary concepts. The Pantry can be for every day, The Atelier for a unique experience (which can be repeated). The Pantry is the informal, The Atelier the formal. In La Despensa you can eat a la carte (or with a menu of a selection of your dishes), in El Atelier there is a tasting menu with 14 dishes (“Each one has an average of 15-16 products”, says Canales). The two have the same origin and seek the same goal: "Enjoy."
La despensa del Etxanobe

A lifelong restaurant … but different. © The Etxanobe pantry

Enjoy: that is the kitchen for these two Bilbao chefs who, when asked about how they started in this world, both turn to their childhood, and their parents. The one of Canales took him to see the anchovy fishing. The Population was the one who cooked at home.

“The squid in its ink was its star dish. You eat them with your eyes closed and you know they are yours, ”he says. And that is a bit also what they are looking for for diners who arrive at any of their two houses. “Our kitchen is ephemeral, our memories are forever, ” they say in a video that they project on your table at the beginning of the experience at El Atelier. With their dishes they want to enter the selective memory of each one, that you get out of there and remember them forever.

La despensa del Etxanobe

Tuna chop: embers are a condiment. © The Etxanobe pantry

And it seems that they have succeeded and will continue to achieve. In the La Despensa menu they have dishes that have been accompanying them for almost two decades, authentic stars of their cuisine, such as anchovy lasagna, which their loyal customers continue to claim.

But they also want to renew and surprise them and the new ones that will come, after 19 years more tied in Euskalduna, now they are free to give free rein to their creativity. Their kitchen is their R&D department, they say, where each team member plays a crucial role.

As a novelty in La Despensa they have introduced the embers. "The embers as dressing, " says Fernando Canales. Where they make anchovies, kokotxas or cow chops that ripen at the sight of the diner in that pantry that receives at the entrance of the premises and that gives meaning to the name.

La despensa del Etxanobe

Fernando Canales and Mikel Population, chefs and friends. © The Etxanobe pantry

“It's called La Despensa because we like to be cooks, because it's part of all this, ” says Canales. In her they keep the meats, the seafood, fish and vegetables that the client is going to consume. "Everything flows, everything is in sight, there are several environments in the place, but from all of them you can see the movement of what is happening in the restaurant, and the waiters are part of the party."

The metal, leather and velvet sofas are in the place. The brick walls seen. An almost industrial decoration, designed by the Verno studio, but that is cozy thanks to what they put on the table and the service. "It's a staging scene, " says Channels, pointing "with the usual kitchen."

La despensa del Etxanobe

Tuna Tortellini © The Etxanobe pantry


Because Bilbao people cannot be wrong. And if in a little more than two months that they have been open, they have flocked, it is because it is something special. It is a traditional product and cooking party. Because the lasagna of anchovies deserves a trip to Bilbao and then already, if that, you go through the Guggenheim.


Desserts. Although you get carried away by the eyes before such a feast of product and eat entree, meat and fish, leave room for dessert. The same Fernando is there and delights you with one of his croquettes of orange juice and white chocolate that he does at the moment and melts in his mouth.

La despensa del Etxanobe

Modern aesthetics for a flavor kitchen. © The Etxanobe pantry

In data


Juan Ajuariaguerra Street, 8


944 42 10 71


From Monday to Thursday from 13-15: 30H and from 20-23H. Friday and Saturday from 13-15: 30H and from 20-23: 30H. Sundays closed.

Half price

€ 60/80