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San Sebastián: Top 10 Bites

Your ultimate guide to eating your way around San Sebastián old town. Rain or shine, this is one of the worlds greatest foodie spots. Come and explore with me and the camera.

If you're looking for a long weekend to gorge on the finest selection of small bites this world has to offer, you're headed to San Sebastián. Otherwise known as Donostia, this beautiful seaside town in the Basque Country of Northern Spain has become world renowned for its easy, delicious, sociable and in some instances, Michelin starred cuisine.

San Sebastián City Hall with Blue Sky and Flowers

All photographs are taken by JPBoardman

Not only is this town a foodie pilgrimage but it's wildly picturesque. We spent 3 nights in San Sebastián as part of a wider trip including Bilbao, Bordeaux and the wine regions of south west France. A fair warning, the weather is unpredictable. Over the 4 days, we had beautiful sunshine, mild evenings and the most torrential rain (approximately 200 days a year). None of that matters though, as the town is designed to be both inside and out with crowds spilling into the streets in to conquer the culinary offers the town has to offer.

There are two important words in San Sebastián: Pintxos (pin-ch-oss) and Txakoli (chic-oh-li). Pintxos is the style of food served in 80% of restaurants, cafes and bars throughout the town and in short, are small, bitesized pieces of finger food, ordered over the bar. Prepare yourself for the hustle and be prepared to eat anything - it is so worth it. And of course you're going to need something local to wash it all down with, Txakoli. A lightly sparkling, low alcohol, dry white wine. Perfect for the food bar crawl you're about to start.

And if those pictures haven't wet your whistle. It's time for the ultimate list of restaurants for your trip to San Sebastián.


Iberico Jamon in San Sebastián

And here it is, the ultimate bar crawl but for food! Everywhere has their own speciality and whilst everything is delicious everywhere here my top hits:


TOP 10 Bites #1: GANBARA

Best for Griddled Mushrooms & Egg Yolk


TOP 10 BITES #2: Le Cepa de Bernardo

Best for Jamón Ibérico

Iberico Jamon in San Sebastián

Plate of Jamón at Le Cepa


TOP 10 Bites #3: Txepetxa Taberna

Best for Anchovies


TOP 10 Bites #4: Gandiaras

Best for Pintxos Variety

Pintxos in San Sebastián City

Pintxos at Gandiaras


TOP 10 Bites #5: La Cuchara de San Telmo

Best for Octopus, Black Squid Risotto and Suckling Pig


TOP 10 Bites #6: Bar Nestor

Best for Steak (Padron Peppers and Tomatoes - It's all they do)

Steak in San Sebastián

Steak at Bar Nestor


TOP 10 Bites #7: Borda Berri

Best for Crispy Pigs Ears


TOP 10 Bites #8: Bar Antonio

Best for Tortilla

Receipts on floor of bar in San Sebastián

Receipts at Bar Antonio


TOP 10 Bites #9: Cervecerías La Mejillonera

Best for Seafood (particularly Tiger Prawns)


TOP 10 Bites #10: Paco Bueno

Best for Deep Fried King Prawns


BONUS TIP for photographers

Behind the old town there is a beautiful climb up to the Motako Gaztelua, a castle on the top of the hill with amazing views of the San Sebastian coast line, a viewpoint of the Isla de Santa Carla with at bar called Begiralekua and a coastal path that often has a salt soaked rustic fair ground.

All photographs in this guide were taken by me, JPBoardman. Please subscribe to my mailing list to receive updates on new guides and photographs in my print store.


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