Where to Eat in San Sebastián, Spain

restaurant

Arzak

San Sebastián, Spain

This three-star Michelin restaurant is all about family; father-daughter duo Juan Mari and Elena Arzak are at the helm at this favoured taverna. The tasting menu rotates with new dishes fresh from an in-house research and development laboratory as well as old favourites, like the delicious “cromlech-egg balloons” that are filled with meat and dusted with onion and coffee powder.

Address

Alcalde J. Elosegi Hiribidea 273

restaurant

Rekondo

San Sebastián, Spain

Set midway up the Igeldo mountain is Rekondo. While the leafy terrace is prime seating, the cellar of this restaurant is the real coup. Choose from over 120,000 of the world’s rarest wines; for for those overwhelmed by choice, order a ’64 Rioja. Watch as sommelier, Martin, burns the neck off your choice bottle with fire-hot tongs and sip on a bit of enological history.

Address

Paseo de Igeldo 57

restaurant

A Fuego Negro

San Sebastián, Spain

One bar, one pintxo, one drink – repeat. San Sebastián’s most famous pintxos bars are in the Old Town and Calle 31 de Agosto offers some of the greatest hits. A “fuego negro” is a perennial favourite, famed for pushing pintxos into punk territory. Whether you deem their raw mackerel atop a cherry meringue as wretch-inducing or tastebud-tickling, the dish is a must-try.

Address

31 de Agosto Kalea

restaurant

Txepetxa

San Sebastián, Spain

Don’t like anchovies? This is the place for you. Txepetxa’s famous have absolutely nada in common with the dank brown things people order to leave off their pizzas. Top-quality Cantabrian anchovies are cured in vinegar, and the rest is a family secret. The menu features the silvery fish atop toasted bread with any number of toppings. Choose from blueberries, spider-crab cream or local favourite, the jardinera (a mix of onions and green and red peppers).

Address

Calle Pescadería 5

restaurant

Ganbara

San Sebastián, Spain

This labour of love opened in the mid-1980s as just another pintxos bar. Today, it’s a shrine to the best products that the Basque Country has to offer. On any given day, the bar top is scattered with gigantic porcini, fragrant chanterelles, bright green guindilla peppers and other seasonal produce. Seafood here is top quality, so order several plates and eat the pintxos way – standing up with a cool glass of txakoli in your hand.

Address

San Jeronimo Kalea 19

restaurant

Borda Berri

San Sebastián, Spain

Borda Berri’s motto is “here we braise”. Meat and fish – from beef cheek to cod tripe – are slow-cooked to perfection at one the city’s best pintxos spots. Choosing a favourite on the menu is difficult, especially since the tender cuts of meat are dressed with deeply flavoured sauces and jus. The cheese risotto, actually a saucy orzo dish, is an excellent vegetarian option.

Address

Fermin Calbeton Kalea 12

restaurant

Xarma Cook & Culture

San Sebastián, Spain

Aizpea Oihaneder and Xabi Díez manned the stoves at Xarma in the Antiguo neighborhood of San Sebastián for nearly a decade. Recently, they closed the doors of their white-tablecloth spot to focus on Xarma Cook & Culture. Serving modern Basque cuisine, diners can’t go wrong with roasted piquillo peppers with yuca. There is also a pintxos bar upstairs, making it easy to try a bite of these chef’s well-known cuisine.

Address

Miguel Imaz Kalea 1