San Sebastian food guide – Top 5 Tapas or Pintxos
San Sebastian has the wide open sandy beaches, the laid back Spanish culture and the charming old town to wander. But this isn’t why we’re here, see We Solo Travel for a full guide to San Sebastian. No, we are here for one thing only. The most important thing to know for any traveller here is where to eat Pintxos?
What is Pintxos?
Similar to tapas, Pintxos takes on a whole new meaning in this small city on the west coast of Spain. San Sebastian comes in second place for having the most Michelin starred restaurants in the world (shortly behind Kyoto, Japan). Walking through the streets of Donostia it’s hard to miss as every other shop seems to be brimming with tasty bite size treats and legs of jamon dangling from the ceiling. It’s a foodies paradise! But where are the best places to eat in San Sebastian? This is the foodies pick of the top 5 places to eat in San Sebastian.
Paco Bueno Pintxos Bar
Popular with both tourists and locals alike Paco Bueno is a big player on the San Sebastian tapas scene. Make sure not to miss on on the speciality of the house “Gamba a la Gabardina”, tempura style prawns in a light batter. Due to it’s popularity it can get pretty crowded here so embrace eating at the bar like a local and standing up if only for a few bites.
La Mejillonera – Seafood Tapas
Come for the papas bravas, stay for the 5 Euro litre of Sangria. This place has particularly good seafood, common with all the tapas bars in San Sebastian. But with plenty of choice and great prices it’s not hard to see why La Mejillonera is so popular. Try the mussels or “Mejillones” from which the restaurant takes it’s name.
Casa Alcade – Modern Tapas
A personal favourite of mine head to Casa Alcade for something a bit different. The pintxos here stand out from the crowd with delights such as “ham egg and chips” and “angulas” (baby eels which are actually just sliced fish). You absolutely HAVE to try the Iberian ham in some form or other, you will see the big legs drying here above the bar and it literally melts in your mouth! For around 2 to 3 Euros a dish you really can try a bit of everything, but save room for the melt in the middle chocolate pudding or the local speciality cheesecake!
Casa Vergara – Casual Tapas Bar
When you’re stuffed full of baby eels (or not as the case may be) make the long journey next door for some hard earned refreshment. Casa Vergara is a much more chilled establishment where you are more likely to get a seat. Now’s the time to enjoy a nice Cava or Rioja. They serve up sea urchins with cheese and shrimp on sticks, but don’t miss the cones of tiny chorizo! The Basque region is famous for it’s pork and these little bites of heaven don’t disappoint.
Heladeria Oiartzun – Sweet Treats In San Sebastian
While not technically a tapas bar Heladeria Oiartzun is one of the top spots on a food fuelled day in the city (I think I came here 3 times in one day once). It’s the perfect place to take a break from pintxos hunting in San Sebastian, grab a coffee and look out towards the main square. It’s full of delicious delicatessen cakes and perfect pastries. From fresh fruit tarts to truffles and brownies there’s everything a sweet tooth could desire.
Five of the best places to eat pintxos in San Sebastian. But of course the name of the game is to try them all! A top tip is to sample one at a time, get a feel for the restaurants prices and seating options (you pay at the bar generally) then if it’s great go back for more. If not move on! Lunch is quieter it starts getting busy after 8pm. Embrace the culture, take a couple of hours or even the whole day! Pintxos, pintxos, pintxos!
How to travel better for less
Booking.com – I always book with this site if looking for cheap accommodation as the filters are so easy to use. Become a genius member after five bookings and get great discounts too!
Air BnB – Sometimes you can find great local places to stay on Air BnB. In some countries, like Cuba, it’s the only way to book!
Transferwise – A debit card you can use all over the world and get great exchange rates with no hidden fees. This bank has saved me £100’s in bank fees!
Monzo – A similar travel card to the above with additional features like joint accounts and bill splitting.
World Nomads – Travel insurance is one of the most important things you can have while travelling. Don’t leave home without it! World Nomads provide the very best cover.
Ethical Superstore – My go to site for cleaning products, eco clothing and even groceries. All ethically tagged and delivered free from plastic packaging. Plus eco friendly alternatives to your toiletries.
Omio – The place to go for all of your public transport needs in Europe. Save a bundle!
G Adventures – A sustainable, fun, responsible travel company. I’ve travelled with them many times and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend any of their amazing trips.
Contiki – The day job. Group travel for 18/35 year olds and memories to last a lifetime.
Hey, some links in this post are to affiliate sites. If you purchase something through them, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you.
A note on Amazon Affiliates – LW no longer uses this program, instead focusing on eco friendly alternatives. Read the reasons why here. LW will not profit from any links that may remain on this site. Please advise us if you spot any. Thanks!
Travel like a pro
Did you know travel doesn’t have to be expensive? Imagine being able to afford a trip every month. Or how about not going back to work at all?
Lost Wanders gives you the tools you need to know right now to work less and travel more.