San Sebastian Travel Guide

Spain  #1 in Best Beaches in Spain
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Courtesy of Krzysztof Baranowski/Getty Images

What to Eat in San Sebastian

San Sebastian is serious about its culinary scene. If you weren't aware of its glowing reputation in the foodie world, you're in for a treat. And luckily, you don't have to pay a fortune to sample it (though, if you're willing to splurge, San Sebastian certainly has its fair share of Michelin-starred restaurants, including Mugartiz, Arzak, Akelarre and Martin Berasategui).

If you can't spring for one of these world-class dining experiences, take part in the time-honored pintxos tradition. Pintxos (pronounced "peen-chos") originated in San Sebastian and are essentially the Basque Country's take on Spanish tapas, infusing French nouvelle culinary traditions, which focus on presentation as an art. While most other places in Spain serve patrons a plate of tapas with the order of a drink, pintxos are laid out in bulk on the bar, allowing diners to pick what they want.

Traditional pintxos typically consist of a slice of a baguette with any kind of food on top (or anything that can fit on a single skewer). It's not uncommon to see Spanish staples, such as Iberian ham, manchego cheese or even a helping of the greasy tortilla Española, atop a thick piece of pintxo bread. The most traditional pintxo you can have is gilda, where guindilla peppers, a green olive and anchovy meet on a very small skewer.

You can find pintxos bars all over San Sebastian (there are more than 200, to be exact), but travelers say Parte Vieja is the best place to start your culinary tour, thanks to the neighborhood's large concentration of pintxos bars. Wherever you end up on your pintxos tour, adhere to the honor system. At pintxos bars in San Sebastian, you don't pay after every drink or pintxo you order. Rather you order whatever you want and tell the barman when you leave what you ordered. For more information on how to conduct your own pinxtos food tour, as well as great pinxtos bars to visit, read our guide to pinxtos food tours.

You can't sample any pinxto without a glass of cider or Txakoli wine. Txakoli is a fruity white wine produced exclusively seaside in the Basque Country. Cider or txotx, is another staple. It is produced only in the Gipuzkoa area of the Basque Country and is made from fermented apple juice with no added sugar or carbonate. If you want to learn more about San Sebastian's world-famous foodie scene, visit the tourism board's website.

Find the Best Restaurants in San Sebastian

  • #1
    Mendaur Berria
    #1 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 5 based on 555 reviewsTripAdvisor (555)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, European, Spanish, Fusion, Gastropub
    Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 8, 20003 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #2
    Tedone Jatetxea
    #2 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1500 reviewsTripAdvisor (1500)
    $ - $$ | Spanish, Healthy, Fusion
    Calle Corta Street 10 Calle pequeña transversal a la Calle Miracruz, 20001 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #3
    La Madame
    #3 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 1051 reviewsTripAdvisor (1051)
    $ - $$ | Spanish, International
    Calle San Bartolome 35, 20007 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #4
    Bar Sport
    #4 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2618 reviewsTripAdvisor (2618)
    $ - $$ | Bar, Mediterranean, Spanish
    Fermin Calbeton, 10, 20003 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #5
    Arzak
    #5 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 3095 reviewsTripAdvisor (3095)
    $$ | Mediterranean, European, Spanish
    Avenida Alcalde Jose Elosegui, 273, 20015 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #6
    Trikuharri Taberna Jatetxea
    #6 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 418 reviewsTripAdvisor (418)
    $ | Bar, European
    Matia Kalea, 35, 20008 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #7
    Txepetxa
    #7 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 944 reviewsTripAdvisor (944)
    $ - $$ | Bar, Mediterranean, Spanish
    Calle Pescaderia 5, 20003 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #8
    Gelateria Boulevard
    #8 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 268 reviewsTripAdvisor (268)
    $ | International
    Etorbidea Zurriola 1, 20002 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #9
    Bully
    #9 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 678 reviewsTripAdvisor (678)
    $ - $$ | Bar, Mediterranean, European, Spanish
    Paseo De Las Aves, 5, 20009 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #10
    Bar Nestor
    #10 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2038 reviewsTripAdvisor (2038)
    $ - $$ | Bar, Spanish
    Pescaderia 11, San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #11
    Chutney Gastrobar
    #11 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 355 reviewsTripAdvisor (355)
    $ - $$ | Indian, Asian, Middle Eastern
    Calle Pedro Egana 8 Bajo Izquierda, 20006 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #12
    Zazpi Bar-Restaurante
    #12 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 763 reviewsTripAdvisor (763)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, European, Spanish
    Calle San Marcial, 7, 20005 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #13
    Karrika Taberna
    #13 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 213 reviewsTripAdvisor (213)
    $ - $$ | Bar, European, Spanish
    Calle 31 de Agosto,26, 20003 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #14
    Agorregi jatetxea
    #14 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 559 reviewsTripAdvisor (559)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, European, Spanish, Contemporary
    Portuetxe kalea, 14, 20018 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #15
    Misura
    #15 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 235 reviewsTripAdvisor (235)
    $$ | Mediterranean, European, Spanish, Healthy
    Paseo de Miramon, 162, 20014 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #16
    Bar Gorriti
    #16 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 537 reviewsTripAdvisor (537)
    $ | Bar, Mediterranean, Spanish
    C. San Juan 3, 20003 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #17
    La Txuleteria del Iraeta
    #17 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 247 reviewsTripAdvisor (247)
    $ - $$ | Steakhouse, Bar, Spanish
    Padre Larroca 6, 20001 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #18
    Zelai Txiki
    #18 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 421 reviewsTripAdvisor (421)
    $ - $$ | Mediterranean, European, Spanish
    Travesia Rodil, 79, 20013 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #19
    Taberna Dakara Bi
    #19 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 492 reviewsTripAdvisor (492)
    $ | Mediterranean, Spanish
    Calle 31 de Agosto, 27, San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »
  • #20
    Atari
    #20 of 932 Places to Eat in San Sebastian - Donostia
    TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5 based on 2430 reviewsTripAdvisor (2430)
    $ - $$ | European, Pub, Spanish
    Calle Mayor 18, 20003 San Sebastian - Donostia Spain
    Read More »

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