Eating in Arrasate-Mondragón

Eating in Arrasate-Mondragón

This peculiar town in the Basque province of Gipuzkoa has not reached a decision on what it wants to be called, so it is known interchangeably as Mondragón or Arrasate. At any rate, eating in Arrasate-Mondragón will give you the chance to taste delicious Basque cuisine, better yet if you do it in one of the town’s bars with some typical pinchos.

This town belonging to the comarca of Debagoiena is home to a culinary tradition representative of the Basque Country. Arrasate’s kitchens specialize in all kinds of traditional recipes such as porru (leek soup), Gipuzkoan stew, tripotxa, and the famous codfish al pil pil. Popular traditional meat dishes in Arrasate include grilled steaks, roasted lamb, and various kinds of pork products including blood sausage, chistorra, and other types of traditional embutidos (cured sausages). Fresh fish from the nearby Cantabrian coast occupies a special place on the town’s menus, so when you dine in Arrasate you can easily enjoy some turbot, monkfish, hake, and cuttlefish, all prepared in different ways.

The comarca of Debagoiena is also home to important gastronomic societies which host an endless list of fairs and festivals dedicated to regional products with the participation of local restaurants. When the right season arrives, mushrooms are picked and used as ingredients in different kinds of stews. Other renowned quality products like Idiazabal cheese and Txakoli de Getaria are also very common when it comes time to eat in Arrasate.

If you want to know where to practice the Basque art of txikiteo and the pincho, we’ll make some suggestions. First, we should explain that txikiteo refers to the custom of going with friends from bar to bar and drinking small glasses of wine, or as the Basques call them, txikitos. Luckily, this tradition tends to include pinchos, because there’s nothing better than drinking on a full stomach.

Our first recommendation is Bar Itzala, a welcoming place with nice ambiance. Their plentiful pinchos bar will make your taste buds water. It features all kinds of pinchos, ranging from typical ones like Spanish omelette, ham, and croquettes to more elaborate ones that are worth trying for yourself. This bar, located in the town square, won’t disappoint.

Another option for eating in Arrasate-Mondragón is Taxka, where you can enjoy different and elaborate pinchos for an economical price. Although the menu is written in Euskera, they’ll gladly translate for you.

Finally, right nearby Taxka is Txoko, where you can get wine, pinchos, and sandwiches. Their Pantxito sandwich is a standout, made with chicken breast, ham, cheese, and French fries directly on the sandwich. Definitely a good choice.

There are numerous options of places to eat in Arrasate. Hilarion is one of the town’s most popular restaurants. Their cuisine is traditional with contemporary touches. They offer a daily prix fixe menu as well as an à la carte menu.

Another good place to eat in Arrasate is Bitorri, a traditional barbecue joint where classic home-style cooking is prepared using fresh local products. This restaurant is also notable for the great variety of its pinchos bar.

At Erreka, a modern establishment located in downtown Arrasate, you’ll find a menu comprised of various Basque specialties including lamb and baked piglet as well as all kinds of fish from the Cantabrian coast. The facilities are able to accommodate events like weddings and communions.

In the neighborhood of Udala on the outskirts of town, the restaurant Larrinetxe is another reputable place to eat in Arrasate. In addition to serving appetizing high-quality cuisine based on the traditions of Gipuzkoa, it’s located amidst a first-rate natural environment which you can enjoy from the restaurant’s pleasant terrace.

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