San Sebastian is one of Spain’s most popular food destinations, known for its wide variety of pintxos and Michelin Star dining. From cheap local eats to the finest of fine dining, this small seaside city truly offers a bit of everything. Here at Devour Tours, we are experts on eating in San Sebastian (we offer a fantastic San Sebastian Pintxos Tour!) and here are some of our top tips, along with recommendations from our fellow food blogging friends!
Pintxo Bars in San Sebastian
For those unfamiliar with this strange word, all you need to know is that pinxtos are a food lover’s dream come true. Similar to tapas (small portions of food), pintxos are often (but not always) spiked with a toothpick and served atop bread. Displayed on top of the bar, it is common practice to take a plate and help yourself, and later tell the bartender how much you’ve eaten.
Bar Haizea: When a place is said to be the favorite of San Sebastian legend, Juan Mari Arzak, you go there. A humble pintxo bar, the explosion of flavors is almost unexpected. Order the foie gras!
Bar Azkena: Crammed between market stands in the modern food market at La Bretxa mall, this tiny place has about five pintxos on display. Don’t let the lack of selection turn you off, as the food is gorgeous, prices are low, and the flavors are spot on.
La Viña: While their pintxos are likely delicious, La Vina is known among sweet lovers for having the best cheesecake in San Sebastian. Squeeze into the corner of one of their wooden tables, and order a slice or two of their delicious, light and fluffy version.
Try it! Join our Ultimate San Sebastian Pintxos Tour for a taste of some of these delicious bites, as you also learn the history and culture of the Basque people.
For a Famous Basque T-Bone (Txuleta)
Casa Urola: Small and cozy yet at the same time refined, this restaurant makes you feel loved as you walk up the stairs to the intimate dining room. Order the bloody T-Bone for two, and share the green beans with hake as a starter. Save room for desserts, as they’re some of the best in town!
Txuleta: One of the city’s most popular steak restaurants. Make sure to reserve in advance as its key location in the old town makes it tough to score a table in its rustic dining room.
Food Bloggers’ Favorites
Casa Gandarias: For a mix of classic and creative, this is where you’ll find Foodie International who calls it her “favorite pintxo bar on the strip”.
La Cuchara de San Telmo: On nearly every blogger’s “must” list!
Bar Nestor: And if you want to try the most classic of Spanish dishes (done right) take Marti Kilpatrick’s tip for AFAR and line up for Bar Nestor, the city’s most famous place for tortilla de patatas (Spanish potato omelet).
We certainly hope to be eating in San Sebastian again very soon, to be able to try all of these recommendations and more! If you stumble upon a must-visit pintxos bar in San Sebastian while there, please leave us a comment and we’ll add it to the list!
Get a taste for the Basque Country’s famous cuisine no matter where you are in the world! Our online pintxos cooking class with Devour San Sebastian guide Claudia will show you the secrets behind some of San Sebastian’s most iconic bites.
Lauren grew up in an Italian-American family where 3-hour meals were the norm. After 10 years in the restaurant industry, she moved to Spain where she launched her popular Spanish food blog, Spanish Sabores, and soon after led groups on the first Devour Madrid food tours.