San Sebastián Restaurants

  • Casa Alcalde, San Sebastian
    Casa Alcalde, San Sebastian
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  • Pintxos at Casa Alcalde, San Sebastian
    Pintxos at Casa Alcalde, San Sebastian
    by SWFC_Fan
  • Bar and pintxos at Casa Alcalde, San Sebastian
    Bar and pintxos at Casa Alcalde, San...
    by SWFC_Fan

Most Recent Restaurants in San Sebastián

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    Casa Vergara: Baby eels and Rioja in San Sebastian old town

    by SWFC_Fan Updated Oct 19, 2014

    In the autumn of 2012, I read an article in which the British consumer magazine "Which?" had conducted extensive research to identify the world's best city for eating out. Based on their findings, they concluded that San Sebastian was the best city in the world for foodies!

    This conclusion was based not only on the fact that the city apparently had the most Michelin stars per capita (a fact that was of no interest to me...or my budget!), but also on the fact that diners could expect to find good quality food in even the simplest of eateries. It was the latter fact that most appealed to me; the notion that I could work my way around the city's renowned pintxos bars and get tasty local food in any one of them.

    This article was still fresh in my mind when we visited San Sebastian as a day trip from Bilbao in December 2012. Needless to say, I was keen to put the "Which?" findings to the test and sample as many different bars and restaurants as I possibly could in one day!

    Casa Vergara, located on Calle Mayor in the shadow of Santa Maria Church, was our sixth and final pintxos stop of the day before we headed back to Bilbao.

    Casa Vergara was a little smaller than the other pintxos bars that we visited in San Sebastian's old town, but it still managed to stack dozens of plates of pintxos on its bar top. Being later in the evening, some of the plates were getting a little depleted, but there was still plenty to choose from.

    In common with the other bars that we visited, many of the pintxos here were bread based. We found slices of crusty bread topped with cheese and walnuts, bacalao (codfish), ham, chorizo, salmon, anchovies, chilli peppers, sausage, egg, morcilla, Spanish omelette...

    By now, I was pretty full, but I was determined to sample at least one more pintxos. And I was determined to try something a little different. So, I picked up a pintxos which consisted of a slice of bread topped with a roll of salmon that was stuffed with dozens of baby eels (angulas). I won't pretend that it looked appetising and I won't pretend that I enjoyed the feel of the tiny eels in my mouth, but it did taste nice. Angulas are a particularly popular ingredient in Basque cuisine around Christmas time.

    Emma opted for a slightly less adventurous pintxos which consisted of bread topped with cheese, ham and grilled eggplant. She enjoyed it.

    The pintxos here were cheaper than we had been paying elsewhere in San Sebastian's old town; just €1.80 each.

    We paid a further €6.90 for two glasses of Rioja wine, a lemonade and a cup of coffee.

    Good value pintxos and Rioja in a small bar next to Santa Maria Church!

    Casa Vergara, San Sebastian Pintxos at Casa Vergara, San Sebastian Baby eels pintxos at Casa Vergara, San Sebastian Pintxos at Casa Vergara, San Sebastian Pintxos at Casa Vergara, San Sebastian

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    Bartolo: Tasty pintxos...and delicious Pantxineta dessert!

    by SWFC_Fan Updated Oct 19, 2014

    In the autumn of 2012, I read an article in which the British consumer magazine "Which?" had conducted extensive research to identify the world's best city for eating out. Based on their findings, they concluded that San Sebastian was the best city in the world for foodies!

    This conclusion was based not only on the fact that the city apparently had the most Michelin stars per capita (a fact that was of no interest to me...or my budget!), but also on the fact that diners could expect to find good quality food in even the simplest of eateries. It was the latter fact that most appealed to me; the notion that I could work my way around the city's renowned pintxos bars and get tasty local food in any one of them.

    This article was still fresh in my mind when we visited San Sebastian as a day trip from Bilbao in December 2012. Needless to say, I was keen to put the "Which?" findings to the test and sample as many different bars and restaurants as I possibly could in one day!

    Bartolo, located on Calle Fermin Calbeton near Plaza de la Constitucion in San Sebastian's old town, was our fifth and penultimate pintxos stop of the day.

    By now, following visits to Casa Alcalde and Nagusia Lau Bar earlier in the day, I was used to walking into pintxos bars and finding the bar top filled with plates featuring dozens of different pintxos. It was no different here. What I wasn't used to was seeing a picture menu detailing the different pintxos. There were a couple of them at the entrance to Bartolo, so I had more of an idea of what the various nibbles consisted of. I now knew that those little pieces of "beef" were actually veal cheeks and those dishes of seafood in a black liquid were actually baby squid cooked in their own ink.

    One dish pictured on the menu immediately caught my eye. It was Pantxineta, a traditional Basque dessert, best described as a warm custard slice topped with chopped almonds. All of the pintxos we'd had so far during the day had been savoury...it was time for dessert!

    The gentleman serving the pintxos here spoke English, was friendly and jovial – more so than in any of the other pintxos bars we visited in San Sebastian. He was happy to help us pick our pintxos.

    I had a couple of savoury pintxos:

    - a "Gilda", which is a toothpick containing green chilli peppers, green olives and a deliciously salty and greasy anchovy;

    - two small pieces of octopus, including part of a tentacle which, despite its slightly off-putting appearance, was very nice.

    Emma had one savoury pintxos; a piece of battered bacalao (codfish), which she enjoyed.

    We then both had the Pantxineta for dessert and it didn't disappoint!

    I had a glass of Txakoli (slightly sparkling Basque white wine) and Emma had a cup of tea.

    Our total bill, for 3 savoury pintxos, 2 desserts, a glass of Txakoli and a cup of tea, was €20.00. This was more than we were used to paying in Bilbao and was more expensive than average in San Sebastian's old town (but still better value, in my opinion, than our previous stop, Nagusia Lau Bar).

    A good selection of tasty pintxos...and the delicious Basque dessert of Pantxineta! Nice food and friendly service. Prices above average.

    Bartolo, San Sebastian Octopus at Bartolo, San Sebastian Pantxineta on the menu at Bartolo, San Sebastian Bartolo, San Sebastian Pintxos at Bartolo, San Sebastian

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    Nagusia Lau Bar: Good choice of pintxos...but a bit expensive!

    by SWFC_Fan Written Oct 19, 2014

    In the autumn of 2012, I read an article in which the British consumer magazine "Which?" had conducted extensive research to identify the world's best city for eating out. Based on their findings, they concluded that San Sebastian was the best city in the world for foodies!

    This conclusion was based not only on the fact that the city apparently had the most Michelin stars per capita (a fact that was of no interest to me...or my budget!), but also on the fact that diners could expect to find good quality food in even the simplest of eateries. It was the latter fact that most appealed to me; the notion that I could work my way around the city's renowned pintxos bars and get tasty local food in any one of them.

    This article was still fresh in my mind when we visited San Sebastian as a day trip from Bilbao in December 2012. Needless to say, I was keen to put the "Which?" findings to the test and sample as many different bars and restaurants as I possibly could in one day!

    Nagusia Lau Bar, located on Calle Mayor (a great street for pintxos bars in San Sebastian's old town), was our fourth pintxos stop of the day.

    Just like at Casa Alcalde earlier in the day, I was immediately struck by the sheer variety of pintxos displayed on the bar top. And just like at Casa Alcalde, I had to rein myself in and limit the number of items I put on my plate!

    The pintxos here were largely, but not exclusively, bread based. There were also Spanish omelettes, pies and small pots filled with seafood, meat and sauces. The bread based pintxos featured all manner of toppings; cheese, ham, bacon, chicken, morcilla, anchovies, salmon, bacalhau, prawns, mushrooms, chilli peppers, olives, tomatoes...

    Most of the pintxos were priced at around €3.30, with some being slightly cheaper at €2.20 - €2.70. This was more than we were used to paying in Bilbao and also more than we had paid for similar pintxos at Casa Alcalde earlier in the day. On top of that, the drinks were also more expensive here; €3.90 for my fairly small beer and €2.50 for Emma's small glass of Txakoli white wine. Between us, we had 6 pintxos, a glass of beer and a glass of Txakoli and our total bill was €25. I must say that we found Casa Alcalde much better value than here.

    That's not to say that the pintxos weren't good. They were. They were as good as anywhere else. They were just a little overpriced.

    I chose the following 3 pintxos:

    - a slice of bread topped with Serrano ham, half a boiled egg, mayonnaise, herbs, a large prawn and a green olive;
    - a slice of bread topped with Serrano ham, green and red peppers and a greasy, salty anchovy;
    - a slice of bread topped with half a boiled egg, grated cheese, a large prawn and a green olive.

    A good choice of tasty pintxos...but, in my opinion, there are better value options elsewhere along Calle Mayor.

    Nagusia Lau Bar, San Sebastian Nagusia Lau Bar, San Sebastian Pintxos at Nagusia Lau Bar, San Sebastian Pintxos at Nagusia Lau Bar, San Sebastian Pintxos at Nagusia Lau Bar, San Sebastian

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    Casa Alcalde: Extensive choice of tasty, creative pintxos!

    by SWFC_Fan Updated Oct 19, 2014

    In the autumn of 2012, I read an article in which the British consumer magazine "Which?" had conducted extensive research to identify the world's best city for eating out. Based on their findings, they concluded that San Sebastian was the best city in the world for foodies!

    This conclusion was based not only on the fact that the city apparently had the most Michelin stars per capita (a fact that was of no interest to me...or my budget!), but also on the fact that diners could expect to find good quality food in even the simplest of eateries. It was the latter fact that most appealed to me; the notion that I could work my way around the city's renowned pintxos bars and get tasty local food in any one of them.

    This article was still fresh in my mind when we visited San Sebastian as a day trip from Bilbao in December 2012. Needless to say, I was keen to put the "Which?" findings to the test and sample as many different bars and restaurants as I possibly could in one day!

    Casa Alcalde, located on Calle Mayor close to Santa Maria Church, was our second pintxos stop of the day.

    I immediately liked the look of this place. It was exactly what I had in mind when dreaming about San Sebastian's renowned pintxos bars. Hams were hanging from the ceiling and a whole wall was devoted to large framed bullfighting posters. But it was the bar that impressed me most. Well, not the bar itself, but the huge spread of pintxos that was laid out on top of it.

    I could have spent hours choosing from the tempting snacks, but my plan to visit as many pintxos bars as possible meant that I had to limit my intake at each one (plus the fact that we were planning to do a little sightseeing in between eating!).

    Many of the pintxos here were bread based, with a myriad of toppings; cheese, ham, chorizo, egg, anchovies, chilli peppers, prawns, baby eels, salmon, Spanish omelette, pork, beef, chicken, morcilla...

    All of the pintxos were prices at €2.00 each – slightly more expensive that we had been used to paying in Bilbao, but the variety and creativity here was a notch up from the bars around Bilbao's Plaza Nueva.

    I managed to limit myself to two pintxos, both of which were delicious. The first was a slice of bread topped with seafood mayonnaise and a large prawn. The second was what is known as a "Gilda" – a toothpick containing three hot green chilli peppers, two green olives and a greasy, salty anchovy. Yum!!

    I had a small beer (€1.25) to accompany my pintxos.

    A fantastic choice of delicious and creative pintxos covering the entire surface of the bar. I was very impressed! Highly recommended!!

    Casa Alcalde, San Sebastian Pintxos at Casa Alcalde, San Sebastian Casa Alcalde, San Sebastian Bar and pintxos at Casa Alcalde, San Sebastian Casa Alcalde, San Sebastian

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    Akelare: Beautiful balance of creativity and flavor

    by alexchip Updated Jul 28, 2013

    This might be the best meal I have ever had. The setting (make sure you ask to sit by the window), service, and food were absolutely amazing. The restaurant is about a 10min cab from San Sebastian going up the mountain. The restaurant is situated on top of the mountain looking onto the sea: breathtaking. My girlfriend and I went for lunch, each getting a separate tasting menu (three available) so that we could try as many dishes as possible. Sometimes my girlfriend is a little hesitant with tasting menus but everything we had was delicious (earlier we debated going to Arzak but I preferred these tasting menu options from the online menus). The presentation of the pawns cooking on hot coals is very cool and the mushroom/ arugula on sheets of paper thin pasta literally melts in one's mouth. The foie gras is the best, period (and I have had a lot of foie after 3 weeks in Spain). The meal finished with the Chef coming out and talking with the customers. Every part of the meal was meticulously planned and timed. We had their sommelier pair wines with each course and, in total, we were at the restaurant for about 3.5 hours. The sommelier even exchanged a glass of wine as it didn't match our pallete. He reviewed where the wines had come from and specifically why they were chosen. It was exceptional. VERY ROMANTIC and a must if one can afford it, as it is expensive. I hope to return on my next visit to San Sebastian.

    Favorite Dish: Foie Gras--better than any other we had in Spain (and we had it about a dozen times over one month)

    Related to:
    • Wine Tasting
    • Food and Dining
    • Luxury Travel

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    Bar Kursaal: Simple pintxos behind Playa de la Zurriola

    by SWFC_Fan Updated Apr 28, 2013

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the autumn of 2012, I read an article in which the British consumer magazine "Which?" had conducted extensive research to identify the world's best city for eating out. Based on their findings, they concluded that San Sebastian was the best city in the world for foodies!

    This conclusion was based not only on the fact that the city apparently had the most Michelin stars per capita (a fact that was of no interest to me...or my budget!), but also on the fact that diners could expect to find good quality food in even the simplest of eateries. It was the latter fact that most appealed to me; the notion that I could work my way around the city's renowned pintxos bars and get tasty local food in any one of them.

    This article was still fresh in my mind when we visited San Sebastian as a day trip from Bilbao in December 2012. Needless to say, I was keen to put the "Which?" findings to the test and sample as many different bars and restaurants as I possibly could in one day!

    Bar Kursaal was our third stop of the day and was exactly the kind of place I had in mind when reading the "Which?" claim that even the most basic eateries serve up delicious food.

    It is a small and simple bar, located just behind Playa de la Zurriola beach. We sat at high stools at the bar and examined the small selection of pintxos. These included slices or tortilla (Spanish omelette) and small pieces of bread topped with seafood mayonnaise, meats and vegetables. It wasn't a particularly impressive spread (it certainly paled in comparison to the vast offerings that we found in the pintxos bars in the old town), but all the food looked well prepared and it was adequate for the small snack that we were looking for. It was also considerably cheaper than the pintxos bars in the old town.

    We ordered glasses of Txakoli wine (€1.70) and slices of crusty bread topped with ham and mushrooms (€1.80 each).

    The waitress warmed our pintxos up in a microwave. Despite their fairly small size, they were very generously topped; several slices of thin ham and half a dozen sliced mushrooms on each one. They weren't particularly memorable, but they were tasty and enjoyable.

    A simple bar with a small selection of pintxos near Playa de la Zurriola beach. Ideal for a quick lunchtime snack and a glass of Txakoli wine.

    Bar Kursaal, San Sebastian Seafood pintxos at Bar Kursaal, San Sebastian Pintxos at Bar Kursaal, San Sebastian Pintxos at Bar Kursaal, San Sebastian Tortilla at Bar Kursaal, San Sebastian

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    Bar Barandiaran: Breakfast baguettes near the town hall

    by SWFC_Fan Updated Jan 28, 2013

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    In the autumn of 2012, I read an article in which the British consumer magazine "Which?" had conducted extensive research to identify the world's best city for eating out. Based on their findings, they concluded that San Sebastian was the best city in the world for foodies!

    This conclusion was based not only on the fact that the city apparently had the most Michelin stars per capita (a fact that was of no interest to me...or my budget!), but also on the fact that diners could expect to find good quality food in even the simplest of eateries. It was the latter fact that most appealed to me; the notion that I could work my way around the city's renowned pintxos bars and get tasty local food in any one of them.

    This article was still fresh in my mind when we visited San Sebastian as a day trip from Bilbao in December 2012. Needless to say, I was keen to put the "Which?" findings to the test and sample as many different bars and restaurants as I possibly could in one day!

    Our first stop of the day was Bar Barandiaran where we stopped for breakfast following our one hour bus ride from Bilbao.

    We stumbled across this cafe on Alameda del Boulevard, just behind the town hall and a short walk from Playa de la Concha beach and San Sebastian's old town. It was a sunny (but cold) morning and quite a few of the outdoor tables were occupied. We decided to sit inside.

    Having already spent a few days in Bilbao by this stage, we had grown familiar with the concept of pintxos (Basque tapas) and so we grabbed a table and then made our way to the bar to see what pintxos were on offer. They were mainly of the sandwich variety; baguettes filled with ham, chicken, tuna, cheese, chorizo, peppers and a variety of Spanish omelettes.

    The prices were a little more expensive than we had been used to paying in Bilbao. Each baguette cost €2.60 – we rarely paid over €2.00 for a pintxos in Bilbao – but this was typical of our dining experience in San Sebastian; everywhere was just a little bit more expensive than in Bilbao.

    The drinks were very reasonably priced though; we ordered 3 café con leches and 1 green tea (€1.40 each).

    We each chose a couple of baguettes from the counter. I opted for one that was filled with a thick omelette (deliciously warm, lots of egg and small pieces of bacon) and another that was filled with a chicken breast in seasoned breadcrumbs and a green pepper. As sandwiches go, both were very nice. This was a good start to our circuit of San Sebastian's eateries!

    A good selection of baguettes in a nice cafe behind the town hall. I can especially recommend the omelette-filled baguettes for breakfast!

    Bar Barandiaran, San Sebastian Coffee and baguettes at Bar Barandiaran Pintxos at Bar Barandiaran, San Sebastian Omelette-filled baguette at Bar Barandiaran Bar Barandiaran, San Sebastian

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    La Muralla: Another good restaurant...

    by ilovespain Updated Oct 1, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    One evening I was scouting for a place to eat in the Old town. It was way past my dinnertime and it was cold and chilly. After a while I found this restaurant with an interesting tasting menu so I decided to give it a try. I never have to stand outside a restaurant and wait for it to open in America, but here in Spain, I have to do it quite often, whether it is for lunch or dinner. Since I did not call ahead for a reservation and I was all by myself, I did not get a very good table. It was in a high traffic spot so every patron who walked in saw what I was enjoying. Not a problem as I am so used to it. The food was pretty good, roasted pigeons, grilled tuna and chocolate souffle for dessert. If I remember correctly the bill came out to be about 60 euros. This restaurant is no Arzak but nonetheless I had a decent meal and will definitely come back. Gave it a 8.5.

    Favorite Dish: The roasted pigeons were good.

    I ordered the steak rare but it was chewy.  :(

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    Astelena 1997: Good food here too...

    by ilovespain Updated Sep 30, 2012

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Another good recommendation from Maria Cristina the first time I came to San Sebastian. Since then, I've been back numerous times. The food just gets better (or the same), I mean consistent. It is not exactly in Old Town, and you will not stumble upon it. Not as touristy as a lot of places. I got lazy last time, ordered off the English menu, didn't cross-check with the Spanish one. So for the 'Astelena-style Fish Cake", I got fish mousse, and 'chocolate pudding' turned out to be Chocolate Souffle. What a surprise!

    Good food, good service, and clean bathroom. I'll be back.

    Same sauce for so many years!  :)

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    Bar Martinez: Excellent tapas

    by ilovespain Updated Sep 30, 2012

    4 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The concierge at Maria Cristina recommended this restaurant. On a street somewhere in old town, I waited outside for it to open. It was well after 1PM. If there is such a thing as Basque nouvelle pintxos, you'll find them here. Very tasty.

    Favorite Dish: Deep fried artichoke hearts...Deep fried artichoke hearts...Deep fried artichoke hearts...

    Eat first and ask questions later! This guy is slightly underdressed. Merluza roe.  No gracias!!
    Related to:
    • Food and Dining

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    Gandarias Taberna: Good lunch here too...

    by ilovespain Updated Sep 30, 2012

    I looked around and most people ordered steak and they looked good. I had Gandarias Salad - crab meat and anchovies on lettuce hearts and tomatoes. Very tasty. Squab was delicious. Extremely busy and lucky enough to get a table.

    Favorite Dish: A small family will have an order of steak and fries to share. Will do the same next time!

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    Alberto: A few doors down from Bar Martinez...

    by ilovespain Updated Sep 29, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    The decoration is nothing fancy but the food is always good. I cannot get a glass of sangria in Bar Martinez, but in here, I can get it by the pitcher. The portion they serve tends to be heartier. I have tried their fish soup (similar to the French version, saffron and garlic... muddy color, excellent), duck breasts (medium rare), grilled prawns and anglerfish. Very good restaurant!

    Update (May 2006) -- Since Bar Martinez is closed (temporarily I hope), I 'had to' stop by here for a quick bite instead. The owner was "shocked" when I asked for ketchup with my croquettas. Later when I ordered the mushroom a la plancha he jokingly asked me whether I want Tabasco! Very good wine too for just 2 euro a glass.

    Update (Sept 2012) -- Quality not as good since the introduction of the daily menu.

    Favorite Dish: Tapas not as "eye-catching" as Bar Martinez but just as tasty.

    Not very good steak.  I couldn't finish it.

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    La Cuchara De San Telmo: I had a good lunch here!

    by ilovespain Written Sep 29, 2012

    Stumbled upon this joint. Not the most eye catching, but noticed a group of French tourists having a good time so I decided to grab a table. I was pleasantly surprised.

    Favorite Dish: Cod cheek tempura and braised veal cheek.

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    Mil Catas: One of the best...

    by ilovespain Updated Sep 29, 2012

    They won some prestigious pintxos award in 2009, so I decided to give it a try. A bit of a walk from Old Town (10 minutes after you cross the river), but it is worth it.

    Favorite Dish: Foie Gras on creamy risotto (aka heart attack on a plate)

    Treble bypass special Braised duck Had a glass of Piedemonte, so good!!

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    The restaurant at Hotel Mount Igueldo: Nice restaurant with a panoramic view of SS!

    by ilovespain Updated Sep 28, 2012

    3.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    While staying at Hotel Londres, one evening I went up to Hotel Mt. Igueido for dinner. The view of the La Concha Bay was magificient. The restaurant opened at 8:30 in the evening. But it wasn't very busy until 10PM. I had fish soup, tournedo rossini and a half bottle of wine. The tab came out to be 60 euro. It was well worth it. The service was attentive and friendly. Will definitely come back next time when I am in town!

    Came back in Sept. 2010. Still good!

    roasted suckling pig A view of the hotel from Mt Urgull

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