San Sebastian is stunning in many different ways. Lovely plazas, beaches, art events, and festivals bring lots of visitors to this coastal city, but the greatest gem in the crown of San Sebastian is the pintxo culture. Pintxo, traditional small snacks, an important part of the northern Spain’s cuisine, nowhere else are as delicious as there. Basque cuisine includes tuna and lamb stews, grilled meat and fish, paprikas, traditional Idiazabal sheep cheese, fine wines, ciders and a variety of other delicacies. It’s all unique and yummy, that’s why a culinary trip to San Sebastian is an excellent idea. Check out this list of food tours and best restaurants in San Sebastian, to organize your heavenly journey.
Organized food tours
Organized food tours have lots of advantages. First of all, you don’t have to wander around the city, search for the best places and get frustrated when nothing good enough appears, while you’re extremely curious and hungry. You also don’t have to ask around or risk wasting your time and money for a terrible meal. Local guides can directly take you to the best places in San Sebastian. Pleasant walks are combined with learning about the history of Basque cuisine and tasting traditional dishes.
San Sebastian Stroll
The tour organized by San Sebastian Food is a great chance to discover the city’s architecture, history, and flavors. You’ll pass the city’s top attractions, from churches to bars and plazas, and on the way through the charming Old Town stop a few times to taste some local delights. The tour includes a visit to pintxo bars during which you’ll eat and learn about the Basque food movement.
Meeting point: SSF gourmet shop, Hotel Maria Cristina, Paseo Republica Argentina 4, San Sebastián
Time: 11:30 – 14:00 on Sundays.
Price: 60 Euros
Details and booking: http://sansebastian.mimofood.com/en
San Sebastián Food Tour: Pintxos and Wine
During this evening tour around San Sebastian, you’ll be guided by a local guide and visit three great, award-winning pintxos bars. You’ll have a taste of a delicious rabbit dish, artisan cheese, various seafood delights and also local Txakoli wine. Each of the bars is different so that you can explore the variety of eateries in San Sebastian and decide what your favorite style is. Not only flavors but also stories are a part of the tour. The guide will also introduce you to the fascinating history of Basque cuisine and show around the city’s beautiful areas.
Meeting point: Central San Sebastián
Time: Usually 19:30. Check the website to make sure about dates and, in case the proposed terms don’t suit you, contact organizers to set flexible dates.
Price: 55 Dollars
Details and booking: http://www.viator.com/tours/San-Sebastian/San-Sebastian-Food-Tour-Pintxos-and-Wine/d5505-6172PINTXOS
Pintxo /Tapas Tour
Organized by locals passionate about food, the Pintxo / Tapas Tours are all about mixing flavors. You’ll visit several bars and get a chance to taste some truly unique combinations being a part of San Sebastian’s cuisine. Visiting up to five bars is included, so are the snacks and traditional wine or cider. During the tour, you’ll learn how and where to find the best traditional pintxo and how to order it by yourself. The tour focuses on traditional bars, but the guide will also show you trendy eateries and explain what their offer is, in case you want to experiment and try it out later.
Meeting point: It’ll be listed in your confirmation email.
Time: Almost every day at 12:30. To make sure if the tour’s available on a given day, check the website.
Price: 50 Euros plus VAT.
Details and booking: http://www.sansebastianwalkingtours.com/tours/pintxos-tapas
Do it yourself; an independent culinary trip to San Sebastian
If organized tours aren’t your thing, you can always discover the San Sebastian’s world of tastes by yourself. First of all, ask the locals where you should go and what you should try, they’re the best source of advice. Asking someone on the street is also a good way of receiving recommendations. And how adventurous! You also might make new friends in the meantime. Besides, getting lost and exploring can be lots of fun, so just go for it. You can also use the recommendations listed below: three eateries, each one completely different.
Best Restaurants in San Sebastian
Arzak: fancy and experimental
One of the best restaurants in the city, Arzak is a must-try point on every culinary trip to Sebastian. It’s an amazing place, located in a house that dates back 1897. The food there is heavenly, staff is very professional and attentive. The restaurant’s chef, also the owner, got an award from Universal Basque for “adapting gastronomy, one of the most important traditions of the Basque Country, to the new times and making of it one of the most innovative of the world.” As these words suggest, Arzak’s specialty is the modern version of Basque cuisine.
Address: Av Alcalde Elósegui, 273
Borda Berri: charming pintxos bar
An excellent pintxos bar, conveniently located in the old town, Borda Berri stays in the memory of many visitors. People frequently call it “my favorite bar in San Sebastian,” with warmth and also even a bit of sentiment. Broda Berri is a little, lovely place with perfect foods and wine. The atmosphere is great too, so if you visit it once, it’s possible you’ll keep coming back during your entire culinary trip to San Sebastian.
Address: Fermin Calbeton 12
Bar Azkena: simple, but delicious
Very simple, reminding of a food booth rather than a restaurant, Bar Azkena is full of culinary treasures. Hidden in a food market located in the underground part of the La Bretxa shopping center, Bar Azkena is surrounded by the stalls of veggies, meat, and fruit. That’s where the bar’s supplies come from; hence everything’s as fresh as it could be. Prices are relatively small, so you can try some yummy pintxos without spending a fortune.
Address: Mercado de La Bretxa, Alameda del Boulevard 3
Have you already been on a culinary trip to San Sebastian? Let us know and share your experiences with us.