Discover San Sebastian
San Sebastian provides a picture perfect getaway that’ll make you feel like you’re in paradise.
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When many think of San Sebastian, they think of food due to the city's culinary creations that draws in foodies from around the world. But it has even more to offer than just delicious dishes, as it is a city steeped in culture, tradition, and beauty. Why not see for yourself?
Food and Drink
One of the most well known local dishes is pintxos, little appetisers type foods that are arranged into culinary mini masterpieces. It’s hard not to go somewhere that sells pintxos as it’s become a quintessential part of the local culinary scene, but that doesn’t mean they’re all the same dish, by any stretch of the imagination. With so many places to eat in San Sebastian, you’ll be able to find a wide range of pintxo. Some bars choose to stick with traditional ingredients and styles, while other places are becoming more experimental to keep up with culinary trends. If you head towards San Sebastian’s Old Town you’ll find a pintxos stand pretty much on every corner so you can take a seat at which ever catches your eye. If you find it all a bit overwhelming, then you can find a variety of different pintxo bars around the city. For traditional pintxos Bodega Donostiarra is a good place to start, or check out Ganbara for some more unusual flavours. If you have more of a sweet tooth, save room for a trip to La Vina who are known for their delicious cheesecake pintxos!
Bar La Espiga
This is a bar we feel deserves a special mention and you’ll soon see why. Open since 1928 and handed down through three generations, Bar La Espiga offers diners a beautiful, open setting in which to savour the traditional foods of San Sebastian. Pintxos line the surfaces of the bar, the mini masterpieces that are waiting to be served to eager customers, from locals to tourists.
Everything about the restaurant immerses you in the San Sebastian culture, from the wall murals on the wall to the paved floor that uses the same tiles used on the path outside the premises to literally welcome the outside in. It offers a range of spaces depending on what you want to gain from your visit. If you want to drop by for a drink and a round of pintxos, hear to the main bar where the staff can recommend their favourite dishes. You can also immerse yourself in the bustle of the street by enjoying your food on the terrace and watch the world go by. For a more substantial meal, there are various areas of the restaurant where you can peruse a more extensive menu - it’s worth noting that Bar La Espiga are also known for their seafood dishes, especially anything with anchovy on!
Txakoli white wine
This sparkling dry white wine has become an ambassador for San Sebastian cuisine, offering a refreshing flavour that pairs well with fish and seafood, a local favourite. As well as being able to try it in various bars and restaurants around the city, you can also find a variety of tours around local vineyards and taste the beverage right at the source! You can buy tickets to go on tours around the villages of Getaria and Zarautz from the tourist office of Donostia San Sebastian. You’ll be shown the whole process from vineyard to bottle, ending with a wine tasting accompanied by traditional appetisers at the end. You can also find similar tours with Hiruzta and Txomin Etxaniz.
Being a city located right by the ocean, seafood makes up a large portion of the city’s cuisine and you’ll see locals gravitating towards fish restaurants and for good reason . Anchovies in particular are featured in many a dish, from salads to grills, and obviously pintxos where it’s often paired with olive and regional guindilla pepper. If you want something more filling, then ordering hake (merluza), sole (lenguado), and turbot (rodaballo) are good options as they can often provide enough for multiple people, especially with eaten alongside salads. The most unusual and potentially off-putting dish you’ll find is kokotxas or fish cheeks. Whilst most countries tend to discard this part of the fish, they’re a delicacy in this area and highly recommended by locals and tourists alike.