The Bodega Chez Gilles, on the banks of the Nive, with its terrace on the docks, is the rendez-vous for amateurs of fine wines (the cellar is superb) and carefully selected chipirons! Cooked in the traditional way, à la plancha with parsley and chives. You can also try the tapas option, puntillas de calamar washed down with a glass of vino tinto from Navarre.
23, quai Jaureguiberry, Bayonne - +33(0)5 59 25 40 13. www.bodegachezgilles.com
The Poisson à voile is one of the only restaurants in Anglet to provide views over the marina, the Bayonne docks, the Adour and the nearby ocean. In this marine setting the Madrid family gives pride of place to fish dishes and chipirons: fried with home-made garlic mayonnaise or in a méli-mélo à la plancha.
118, avenue de l’Adour, Anglet - +33(0)5 59 29 63 39.
Chez Albert, is the flagship address of the Fishing port: this fish and seafood restaurant has been settled on the wharf since 1967 and only cooks "natural" produce from the Luzienne Fish auction such as chipirons with an ink sauce. These little cephalopod molluscs are also pan-fried and can be enjoyed on the terrace when it's sunny.
51, bis allée des Pêcheurs, Biarritz +33(0)5 59 24 43 84.
The Socket, at the Ilbarritz golf course, provides a fabulous view of the southern Basque coast, all the way to Saint-Sébastien and a dish that all the local connoisseurs, and not just the golfers, adore: pan-fried chipirons, with a creamy 'ocean' sauce, creamy penne pasta and green vegetables, parmesan cheese, slivers of Iberian ham, a dish as renowned as patron Tonio's moustache!
Avenue du Château, Bidart - +33(0)05 59 43 79 07.
First comes the Kostaldea option on the shore front for tasting the chipirons en cassolette at apéro time, then comes the gastronomy option Getaria, at the top of the village, where chef Claude Calvet, formerly of the Hôtel du Palais, prepares the chipirons à la plancha served with crispy black sausage. A tip top terre and mer starter.
360 avenue du Général de Gaulle, +33(0)5 59 51 24 11.
Push through the doors to Chez Pablo, a legendary establishment in the pirate-city since 1932, to sit at a big table with a red and white checked cloth: Christian Ospital, his wife Mirentxu and son Peio go for simplicity, and the chipirons with squid ink are to be savoured after the must-have codfish omelette.
5, rue mademoiselle Etcheto. +33(0)5 59 26 37 81.
Chez Mattin, stronghold of the Toyos family for over half a century, renowned as the king of the ttoro (a fisherman's fish stew) is the big specialist of chipirons à l’encre that the chef Michel Niquet, a well-known local figure, also serves à l'américaine to keep everyone happy. One of the very best tables on the Basque Coast.
63, rue Baignole, +33(0)5 59 47 19 52.
Arroenia, this former farmhouse, cidery, asador and restaurant all-in-one, serves chipirons with an ink sauce and à la plancha in a cosy, rustic setting in Béhobie. The lady chef, Emmanuelle is helped by two cooks who specialise in preparing meat and fish in Outre-Bidassoa braziero style.
17 Rue Iturbidea Pausu, Behobie, 64122 Urrugne +33(0)5 59 20 16 29. www.arroenia.com