San Sebastian is famous for its beautiful scenery, cultural happenings and of course, FOOD! San Sebastian holds the title of The Culinary Capital of the Basque country and once you’ve sampled its food, you wouldn’t question this. Pintxos, what are these mysterious foods? A pintxo is similar to a Spanish tapa, but a bit smaller. The best, and traditional/local, way to try as many as you can is by ‘pintxo hopping’ – yep, that’s thing! You can either plan your route beforehand or go with the flow, just remember; one pintxo per place!

Here are our 8 delicious recommendations to discover while wandering the streets of the city. Play our discovery games to unlock even more local tips.

1. ATARI GASTROTEKA

Atari Gastroteka is a stylish pintxo bar during the day – and transforms into a (regular) bar by the night. Their menu consists of interesting cold pintxos and excellent hot dishes, from traditional to modern variations. Their octopus and croquetas are delicious and even though traditional Basque food has a lot of meat dishes, Atari Gastoteka offers multiple options for vegetarians too, yay! And don’t forget to try their Gin & Tonics, the staff knows how to mix them and treat your taste buds.
Neighbourhood: Parte Vieja

2. LA MEJILLONERA

If you love mussels but don’t want to spend all of your budget for food, La Mejillonera is THE place to visit. The place itself is just a simple and small pintxo bar, but don’t judge it by its cover, they have the most delicious mussels in the town. They offer 5 different mussel dishes, batatas bravas and other seafood dishes, we recommend trying mejillones con vinagreta. Yum!
Neighbourhood: Parte Vieja

3. BORDA BERRI

Borda Berri differentiates from many other pintxo bars, mostly because you won’t find a table filled with cold pintxos here. On the wall, you’ll see a menu on a chalkboard and all the pintxos are prepared once ordered. What makes this place so exceptional is the quality of the food, the dishes are traditional with a modern twist and the ingredients are locally produced and of top quality. Our favourites are risotto with idiazabal (a Basque cheese) and bacalao (codfish), for meat lovers we recommend veal cheek cooked in wine and if you feel more adventurous you should give a try for pig’s ear.
Neighbourhood: Parte Vieja

4. LA CEPA BAR RESTAURANTE

La Cepa is a classic combination of a bar and a restaurant. Their dishes are simple so the finest quality products can speak for themselves. On the side of the bar, we recommend to try their cold pintxos and sangria, on the side of the restaurant, where you’ll find a cosy dining room, you should definitely order Txipirones troceados Begi-Haundi en su tinta (squid in ink with rice) and flush it down with local produced Txakoli (a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine with high acidity).
Neighbourhood: Parte Vieja

5. BAR ZERUKO

This place will satisfy even the most experienced and demanding foodies! The extra-modern dishes are a joy for all of your senses. They are completely different compared to the traditional pintxos and will surprise you with the colours, outlooks, smells, even with sounds and of course with the taste. Our recommendations for Bar Zeruko are La Hoguera (The bonfire), it’s a charcoal smoked codfish and you are supposed to finish cooking it by yourself with wooden tweezers (yes, the dish comes with it’s own mini grill), place the cooked codfish on top of the herb cream chip on the side and last but not least wash it down with a lettuce chaser served in a test tube! For dessert, the most interesting one would be Bob Limon, don’t let it fool you; even though it looks like a fried egg with a piece of bread!
Neighbourhood: Parte Vieja

6. TAMBORIL

Tamboril is a small, traditional pintxo bar where you can enjoy the flavours of the Basque country. Their most famous pintxo is Txampis Tamboril, a mushroom skewer that’s poached in liquor and olive oil and served with a piece of bread. Tamboril is located in Plaza Constitución and if you are lucky you might have a chance to watch local dances or some other traditional celebrations here.
Neighbourhood: Parte Vieja

7. A FUEGO NEGRO

A Fuego Negro offers gourmet pintxos with a contemporary feeling – everything is made with fresh ingredients. Their stylish decoration and extraordinary pintxos create an unforgettable atmosphere. They have also an excellent wine list, from more traditional to more quirky and limited ones. Ask help from the staff, they know what to recommend with each dish. We recommend trying Tartare of bonito & watermelon with grated yolk or Tomato purée, mussels & béchamel. If you feel spending more time there you can also order a tasting menu but we recommend to make a reservation in advance.
Neighbourhood: Parte Vieja

8. PETRITEGI SAGARDOTEGIA

Petritegi Sagardotegia is a family owned Cider House located close to Donostia-San Sebastián and totally worth to visit if you desire a traditional Basque experience. The most traditional cider house menu consists of salt cod omelette, fried salt cod with peppers, 1 bone- ribeye steak, and for dessert cheese, quince jelly, walnuts and almond ’tiles’ and ‘cigarettes’ without forgetting Txiri (cider). A vegetarian menu is also available at Petritegi. The cider is served on a self-serve basis meaning you can drink as much as you want! But, remember to follow the cider house rules. The cider is served straight from the huge barrels; the txotx-master pulls out a small pin from the barrel and the cider starts to fly out of the barrel. People queue in front of the barrel and then the fun starts: everybody needs to catch the flying cider in their own glass, but remember to not to fill the glass, the maximum amount is two fingers!
Neighbourhood: Astigarraga, you can take taxi from San Sebastian’s Boulevard. 

If you happen to be in the area from late January to the end of April you have a possibility to visit a more traditional cider house, our recommendation for that is Gartziategi Sagardotegia.

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