Pintxos, Tapas and Txakoli – Foodie Heaven in San Sebastián and the Basque Country!

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

Eating and drinking in different countries is definitely within the Top 3 of what’s great about travelling.

San Sebastián offers an amazing concentration of star rated restaurants, indicating, that this place might be a foodie’s heaven. San Sebastián is always on the list when it’s about foodie cities in Europe.

Fortunately, no one will have to leave the city bankrupt and eat at those expensive restaurants (though they’re probably worth any penny). The many tapas and pintxos bars are totally enough to catapult one into culinary heaven. And it’s actually surprisingly cheap.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

A weekend in San Sebastián just to eat – the dream

Now after we’ve seen the city and its surroundings, it would be a dream come true to come back for a weekend and just eat ourselves around. I’m imagining how they won’t let us get to the plane on the flight back saying ‘Dear Reichenbergers, you shouldn’t have eaten so much…’.

I wish we could have tried more but our stomachs were already filled.

Coming to San Sebastián while being on a diet is probably the most stupid idea ever. It would just be a waste of time.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

The city is bursting with life!

Eating isn’t only eating in San Sebastián. It’s more of a social event everyone takes part in. They’re not just eating quickly. They celebrate it. At night, the city is just bursting with life. We’ve rarely have seen something similar somewhere else though it was mid of April and not really warm at all.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

Partly, this was even too much for us. At 9 p.m. some bars were just so loud and crowded, we felt kind of uncomfortable. But the locals didn’t seem to bother at all and just enjoyed it.

We liked this relaxed lifestyle and the fabulous atmosphere on the one hand. But on the other hand, it was a bad idea to come here being too hungry. Mea culpa! Just try to start your Pintxo tour early enough if you’re coming from Middle and Northern Europe.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

National drink Txakoli

It’s pronounced ‘Chakoli’ and it’s wine from the Basque Country. When ordering it, you usually get the white wine.

I assume the white wine is more popular and they produce more of it. There’s also the red wine version. But when ordering they automatically serve the white wine.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

Txakoli is a young, slightly sparkling wine with a high percentage of acid. It’s a lot of fun watching the baristas pouring it into the glasses. Traditionally they pour the Txakoli from high above into the glasses. Drinking with tradition is just so much more fun.

What’s also really likeable: they mostly use simple wide glasses. The taste is more important than the (expensive and noble) glasses.

The Basque Country is also famous for its Cidre. In our opinion, it can’t compete with the Txakoli.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

Octopus, Serrano Ham, everyone is drinking outside!

We had the most delicious octopus ever in San Sebastián. They usually served them marinated on skewers, grilled or sometimes just pure. We don’t know where they exactly catch them but it seems reasonable, that they’re coming from out of the Bay of Biscay.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

We don’t need to talk about their ham. I’m probably the world’s biggest Serrano Ham fan in the world. The good news here is they don’t cut on the ham’s quality in their tapas and pintxo bars. The reason why I will always adore Spain.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

San Sebastián gets another point for their culture of drinking outside which is not allowed everywhere in the world.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

I haven’t seen huge booze anywhere here. Everyone just enjoys their drinks here especially outside at one of the plazas. We love this!

In the following, we recommend you a few tapas and pintxo bars according to what we experienced. We hope you’ll love them as much as we did. On egin eta topa! (Enjoy your meal and cheers!)

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

El Rincón

This restaurant is not located in the Parte Vieja. We came here as it was close to our apartment. They offer traditional pintxos which are nicely decorated and super delicious. Give it a try if you’re near the Catedral del Buen Pastor. It’s not far from there.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

Bar Zeruko

In the heart of the Parte Vieja this one was our absolute favourite. We tried it once the first time we passed, but it was just so full we had to abort the mission.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

We came the next day a little bit earlier (opens at 7.30p.m.) and it was our culinary highlight. They are said to serve molecular cuisine which you can partly see. We got the recommendation to order what’s offered on the board as they’re said to be better as the ones set up at the bar.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

Everything, really everything is so delicious here. The pintxos from the board were even better. We totally recommend this place. Thank God, we didn’t give it up after the first time. Come early!

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

Goiz Argi

Traditional Pintxos, partly grilled. They just taste really well. Order the octopus here!

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

Gatari Gastroteka

It’s similarly crowded as the Bar Zeruko and just in front of the Santa Maria church.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

The pintxos are nicely decorated and delicious. If there’s no space left in the bar, you can take your food and drink with you to enjoy them outside. The atmosphere here is relaxed and great.

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

Meson Portaleta

This restaurant is near the harbour. The pintxos look amazing and taste delicious!

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

San Sebastián/Donoastia, Spain/ Basque Country

What are your favourite pintxo bars? Any recommendations? Did we miss anything?

More posts about San Sebastián and the Basque Country:

The Basque Country/Euskal Herria – the highlights of our roadtrip!

City trip to San Sebastián/Donostia over the Easter weekend!

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