San Sebastian Food: A Food Lover’s Dream Destination In Northern Spain

Bar Zeruko

Travelling to San Sebastian? 

Amazing food is my vice and San Sebastian, Spain food has some of the best food I ate on my round the world trip. The food is also some of the best in the world. If you love food and travelling, put this destination on your list of must-visit places.

When I went to San Sebastian in 2011, I had a plan to visit for 3 days. Enjoying myself in the city, I extended my stay for a week. After travelling around Europe, I returned weeks later for 3 more weeks over the Christmas holidays. Had I more time on my Schengen visa, I probably would have stayed longer too.

Read more here: A Destination Guide To San Sebastian + Travel Tips

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When I returned to San Sebastian, an American traveller named Sean was at my hostel. He was from Florida, kind of brash, and would hit on all the female travellers. Somewhere along the way, he annoyed me less and I became friends with him. Perhaps it was eating around town with a chef that changed my mind. Did I mention Sean is a chef? Sean travelled to Spain to try to get work at one of the many Michelin-starred restaurants in the area. Much later, he got to stage at famed Mugaritz in the area and since has worked at Michelin restaurants in Portugal and London. 

Air Bnb
Every day was a culinary adventure with Sean and Matt (who worked at Olga’s Hostel) and whoever happened to come into town. Our daily morning routine consisted of sleeping in, walking a few hundred feet to Bar Zabaleta across the street to have a tortilla (Spanish omelet).

Travelling all over Spain, I have had tortilla several hundred times but there was something different about Bar Zabaleta’s. I can still taste its rich creaminess. When I was in San Sebastian, my hardest decision of the day would be to have one tortilla or two in the morning. Hashtag living my best life!

San Sebastian tortilla

The best Spanish tortilla in the world is at Bar Zabaleta. No contest.

Most days we would hang out for most of the afternoon by going for walks, hikes, or watch movies if it were raining. In the evening, we would have a few drinks, play electronic darts at a pub, and then go into the old town or pintxo bars nearby. Occasionally we would go out to dance at a disco. 

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, sometimes you get a plate from the bartender and then pick out the ones you want to eat. Afterward, you pay for them and the toothpick actually does more than just holds your snack together. It also helps the bar staff keep track of what you have eaten. 

Food I ate while in San Sebastian:


Not very Basque but I learned how to make paella at my hostel

A Fuego Negro - San Sebastian food guide

Kobe beef slider at A Fuego Negro!! The bun is infused with ketchup


Bacalao at A Fuego Negro

San Sebastian food guide

Uni and scallop pintxos at Bar Zeruko

San Sebastian food guide

Pintxos (I forgot what kind gasp!) at Zeruko

Bar Zeruko

Rose infused lobster pintxo at Zeruko

Video of the infused lobster pintxo at Zeruko

San Sebastian food guide |

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

When I was there, I hadn’t even scratched the surface eating the best of San Sebastian food. New places of note have opened and now I would like to go back to eat. I would also like to eat the Michelin starred restaurants like 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 culinary experiences, I guarantee that you will fall in love San Sebastian!

Enjoy food tours? Here are some by Viator




  • Flights: Find a cheap flight using Skyscanner or Momondo. I like these two booking sites because they both search all websites and airlines around the globe including budget airlines.
  • Accommodations: I use or Tripadvisor to find the best rates on hotels. offers a free night after booking 10 nights
  • Get up to $40 off your first Air Bnb stay by using this code!
  • Travel Insurance: Having gotten sick on my travels in the past, I never travel without being insured. You never know when something may happen. For my round the world trip and extended long-term travel, I use World Nomads. For other trips, I have used Roam Right and they cover activities like extreme sports.


San Sebastian Food - A Food Lover's Dream Destination

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