Eating in San Sebastián – Donostia

Eating in San Sebastián - Donostia

Eating in Donostia is simple, so you can enjoy an abundant and good selection of restaurants and taverns with pintxos, an excellent alternative for eating dinner early. In addition, fish and seafood are very important in the local gastronomy, so eating in Donostia will be a unique experience. The extensive list of restaurants and bars to choose from is another reason that makes it one of the best places to try dishes in Guipúzcoa.

Basque gastronomy in general, and that of San Sebastián in particular, is one of the most appealing and significant attractions of the region. In this city, the tradition of pintxos is followed by locals and visitors who walk through the streets of the old town, or other popular areas such as the bars of the Gros neighbourhood, in search of these famous samples of miniature cuisine that are the most popular thing to eat in Donostia.

In general, it can be said that the gastronomy of San Sebastián is made with excellent products. From the land, the local stores are stocked with beans, peas, and all kinds of vegetables that are used to make stews, porrusalda and other similar recipes. At lunchtime in Donostia, beef products are one of the most notable specialities, although you can’t neglect the fish and seafood from the local fish market. Many kinds of seafood such as turbot, hake, cod, carnes de vacuno and squid are very common in the local recipe book and set the standard for what to eat in Donostia.

Here you can also find all kinds of traditional Basque products, some of them of great prestige such as  Idiazábal Cheese or Txakoli from Getaria, which are both protected under their respective label as a Denomination of Origin product. A festive visit to the  Semana Grande in August or the Tamborrada in January can be the perfect opportunity to get to know first-hand what it means to eat in Donostia.

In La Cuchara de San Telmo you will find many people– it is popular for a reason. This is a restaurant where you can eat for 3-4 tapas with traditional flavors but with a modern twist of original ingredients and innovative presentations. They have rich cocochas, a typical dish of the area. The pintxos are not displayed on the bar, instead you order them from a blackboard. We advise you to go early, because when there are a lot of people there, it tends to be chaotic.

In the Bar Zeruko you will find a lot of pintos to choose from. They are tasty and very elaborate, and include delights like the “Cod Bonfire” and saquitos, which are pastry sacks filled with blood sausage. The best of the best!

And on we go! The Antonio restaurant-bar also has a rich pintxo bar, which includes the fabulous pintxo de bonito. It has good proportions and original pintxos, although one of the most valued choices is the classic potato omelette. It is outside the tourist areas, so the atmosphere is quieter.

If what you are looking for is to eat pintxos in Donostia, the reality is that we could infinitely continue to give you recommendations…. The selections appear to have no end! However, to conclude our suggestions, we propose a bar with delicious and traditional pintxos, the Bar Haizea. The shrimp pintxo with seafood sauce is scrumptious. It is located in the Old Town, and you can also order tapas.

When it comes to eating in Donostia, you can find some of the most highly valued restaurants in the country here. Just as it is not easy to sleep in San Sebastián at a moderate price, if it is more feasible to eat well at a moderate price in medium and cheap restaurants, the most prestigious restaurants are different, where only the best quality products are made. It is worth mentioning the large number of restaurants run by prestigious chefs such as Arzak, Akelarre, by Pedro Subijana, Martín Berasategui, in the nearby town of Lasarte, or Mugaritz, in Errenteria and by Andoni Luis Aduriz.

Aside from these great names, Donostia has restaurants like the worthy Rekondo, a restaurant of great reputation and classic Basque cuisine that also offers good views of the town. In addition to a well-stocked wine cellar, this restaurant offers you a good steak, artichokes with foie gras and carpaccio, among many other dishes. It is located in an old but dreamy farmhouse.

La Muralla, also in the Old Town, is an establishment that uses trusted local products to create a purely Basque menu; it also has several special menus for groups and special occasions. We recommend the prawns and the avocado salad.

Back in the centre, and close to the port, Kokotxa is a well-known restaurant, among other mentions, with a Michelin star. Its cuisine is specialized in meat and fish, of local origin and prepared in an appealing, original and innovative way.

The restaurant Astelena 1997 offers a menu full of seasonal foods such as grilled mushrooms with egg yolk. It’s an elegant establishment with a large wine cellar and special menus for work and for groups. We recommend the battered monkfish with peppers and garlic mayonnaise.

Bodegón de Alejandro is another place to consider for lunch in Donostia. It’s a seasonal cuisine establishment that bases its menu on the classic recipe book of the region and offers its culinary selection through various options such as a tasting menu and a special for groups. We suggest the cod loin glazed in olive oil with crab stew and pil-pil sauce.

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