Last month I took a girl road trip down to the Spanish Basque country. Our destination : San Sebastian. We stayed a week in the city centre and enjoyed amongst other things pintxos ( basque tapas) and this is my experience I will tell you about.
San Sebastian which is truly a gourmet city : The city boast 16 Michelin Stars and is the only European city with Paris with 3 Michelin stars restaurants. San Sebastian is THE capital of the pintxos and one of the reason for its success is the quality of the products used. In fact, San Sebastian hosts many markets like la Bretxa market in the old town and San Martìn in the city centre. It is said that famous chefs are often spotted negotiating. It is the perfect place if you are looking for place to go food shopping for cured ham, fresh fruits and vegetables, fine spices, fresh fish, mushrooms, sheep milk cheeses, like Ossau Iraty, Bleu des Basques, Idiazabal …
I have spent many holidays in Spain and ate many tapas but pintxos another story. It is miniature culinary art. I was amazed to see the variety of ingredients used and the creativity displayed.
- in most of pintxos bar you will eat standing. Find a good place to have your glass of wine and eat at the same time.
- Most people take a pintxos and a glass of wine and then change bar
- pintxos can be cold or hot. The barmen will usually warm it if needed
- the price varies from 2 to 4 euros.
- Most local change bar after drinking one glass and a pintxos
- Be honest telling your consumption, anyway I experienced that many barmen are memorising what customers are taking.
- You usually pay at end .
The best place where to experience tapas bars is the old city centre. ( centro antiguo)
Here are the recommendations of the tourist office that we tried. We especially liked street Fermín Calbetón.
- Tamboril (Pescadería 2) for mushrooms
- Martínez (31 de agosto 13) sea food pintxos
- A Fuego Negro (31 de agosto 31)
- Goiz-Argi (Fermín Calbetón 4) for skrewers
- Txepetxa (Pescadería 5) anchovis
- Ganbara (San Jerónimo 21),
- Bernardo Etxea (Puerto 7) fish pinxhos
- Txuleta (31 de agosto, 40).
- Casa Vergara (Nagusia 21) & Zeruko (Pescadería 10) for their innovative cuisine
My personal recommendation :
if you enjoy world food cooked with very good quality products you should stop by this new address : Chutney gastro bar. This address is relatively new and it is always full for lunch and dinner. We found they jewel very close to the apartment we rented in a nice neighbourhood close. The pair used to run a restaurant in Valencía. They relocated a few months ago.
Here is the adress :
Pedro Egaña Kalea, 8, 20006 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
+34 943 35 89 39
here´s what we tried out 🙂