A visit to Basque Country Spain is not complete without a visit to the food mecca, San Sebastian. Boasting 3 out of the 7 Michelin star restaurants there are in Spain, and the highest number of Michelin star restaurants per square meter, San Sebastian has made gastronomy an art form like no other. My food tour guide, Irati, tells me that here, they eat all day and night. She’s right! The pintxos bar are open in the mornings from 11am till 11pm so you can eat non-stop even if you didn’t get the reservation at the starred restaurants. It is de rigueur (and very local) to hop from bar to bar, get a drink and only eat 1 or 2 pintxos per bar. Its easy as all the bars are close by and its good sense to exercise a little to work off some calories.
Here are my top picks, with the help of Irati of course. Remember to order the hot ones as they’re what the loans eat! DO NOT just pick all the cold ones at the bar.
Gandarias (Calle 31 de Agosto) – seared sirloin and the grilled shrimps
Ganbara (Calle San Geronimo 21) – the spider crab tartlet and fried mushrooms with egg yolk (setas y heuvo y foie)!!!
Bar Txepetxa (Calle Pescaderia 5) – Everything anchovy. I love the one with sea urchin sauce (Anchoa con enrizo de mar). Sir Ian Mckellen of X-men ate here! wash down your Anchoas with Txakoli the local sparkling wine!
Bar sport (Calle Fermin Calbeton 10) – the Foie Gras is outta this world, huge and affordable, best washed down with their house red. I also loved the Crepe of Txangurro (Crab crepe)
Atari Gastroteka (Calle Mayor 18, near the cathedral, you won’t miss it!) – Bacalao with caramelised onion is heavenly, end with Foie with white chocolate sauce. This place is bursting with trendy locals and the barmen are hot. Need I say more?
La Vina (Calle 31 de Agosto 3) – the cheesecake (tarta de queso) is Da Bomb! I had 2!
Have lunch at Nineu at the Kursaal Conference Centre because its a very good price and its delicious. Have it after walking Zurriola beach and oogling at the surfers. 🙂
Of course, with all the food, you need to burn some calories. San Sebastian has some of the most beautiful beaches for surfing, swimming and playing ball. The sunsets will enchant you and you have mountains for you to hike up so you have more excuse for foie gras after. Playa de la Concha is beautiful day and night and as I went there near Xmas, the whole pedestrian street was lit up beautifully.
I am so in love with you San Sebastian! I’ll be back!
Stayed at Pension Bule for 3 nights – Great location and clean, value for money.