San Sebastian Food: What You Need To Eat In Donostia!
You cannot miss out on eating the San Sebastian’s food! It’s the best!
Amazing food is my vice and San Sebastian food is some of the best food in the world. If you love food and traveling, put this on your list of must-visit places. When I went to San Sebastian, I was originally booked my trip for 3 days. I enjoyed the city as well as my company so I extended my stay for a week. I then came back a few months later for another three weeks over Christmas. Had I more time on my Schengen visa, probably would have stayed longer too.
When I returned to San Sebastian over Christmas, there was a guy in my accommodations named Sean. He was from Florida, kind of brash, and would hit on every girl within his vicinity. Somewhere along the way, he annoyed me less and I became friends with him. Perhaps it was eating around town with a chef that did it for me. Oh right, did I mention Sean is a chef? Sean traveled to Spain to try to get work at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the area. Much later, he did end up getting to stage at famed Mugaritz and is now working at a Michelin restaurant in London.
Every day was a culinary adventure with him, Matt who worked Olga’s Hostel, and whoever happened to come into town. Our daily routine consisted of sleeping in, walking a few hundred feet to Bar Zabaleta across the street to have Spanish tortilla. Now I have had Spanish tortilla many times over but there was something different about Bar Zabaleta’s. I can still taste its rich creaminess. When I was in San Sebastian I would have one tortilla daily if not two with a cafe con leche. I probably spiked my cholesterol big time!
The best Spanish tortilla in the world is at Bar Zabaleta. No contest.
We would then putz around for most of the afternoon, siesta, go for walks, go for hikes, or watch movies if it were raining. In the evening, we would have a few drinks and play electronic darts at a pub, go into old town or some pintxo bars nearby and eat. Occasionally we would go out to dance well into the night.
If I could, I would fly back in a heartbeat. Just in case you’re wondering why I am using the term pintxo and not tapas, here’s the explanation. A pintxo, traditionally in northern Spain, is a small bar snack. They are similar to tapas except that a toothpick holds the ingredients together. When you go into a bar, you get a plate from the bartender and then you just pick out the ones you want yourself and then eat. You pay for them afterward and the toothpick actually does more than just holds your snack together, it also helps keep track of what you have eaten. Here are a few photos of things I ate around town. I didn’t shoot nearly enough but it will give you an idea of the food there.
Not very Basque but I learned how to make paella at my hostel
Kobe burger slider at A Fuego Negro!! The bun is infused with ketchup
Bacalao at A Fuego Negro
Uni and scallop pintxos at Bar Zeruko
Pintxos (I forgot what kind gasp!) at Zeruko
Rose infused lobster pintxo at Zeruko
Video of the infused lobster pintxo at Zeruko
More pintxos! San Sebastian food is the best!
San Sebastian food spots Chef Sean and I recommend:
- Bar Zabaleta for coffee and tortilla
- Bar Zeruko
- A Fuego Negro
- La Cuchara de San Telmo
- Borda Berri
- Bar Nestor
- Atari Gastroteka
I hadn’t even scratched the surface of San Sebastian food. I would like to go back and eat at Mugaritz and Arzak. Clearly, a return trip is a must for me. Whatever you do, go with an open mind, empty belly, and take loads of photos to share with me. If you love eating, I guarantee that you will love San Sebastian!
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