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Oct 26, 2010 11:50 AM

After the famous names, what is the best restaurant in San Sebastian?

We all know and love Arzak, Akelarre, Martin Berasategui, and Zuberoa in San Sebastian.

Has anyone had any other truly great meals, of the sit-down variety (not Pintxos), in San Sebastian?

I have heard of Urepel, any thoughts?

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  1. I was really impressed with Txuleta. For our first meal in San Se, we had the menu del dia there, and it was really delicious. Rustic and traditional, but really tasty stuff, really generous with the wine and incredibly good value. In the evening their tasting menu looks really good too.

    While I didn't get a chance to go there, I've heard really good things about Bodegan Alejandro, and at under €40 for the tasting menu it seems great value. Other places I've heard good things about are Casa Nicolasa (but seemed quite expensive for what it was doing), Aldonondo for the chuleta de buey and Ni Neu in the Kursaal. Sadly I didn't have enough time to try these though, so it's only hearsay.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Drogue

      I am quite a fan of Bodegan Alejandro. It functions as a nice traditional pause between two typically wowey inventive San Sé kind of meals.

      When one gets to the culinary strastophere like San Sé, it is very hard to say which is best.
      You aren't going to have one last meal and then commit harakiri, I hope. Why not experiment with a whole bunch of them, try out different eateries and different media: inventive, traditional, hearty, ethereal, pintxos, more nameless indescribable pintxos? In short, have your own experience and enjoy the hell out of it.

      1. re: Drogue

        Castillo, the chef of Casa Nicolasa is just retired (October) and the almost centennial Casa Nicolasa is closed down.
        What a shame!

        1. re: JuanDoe

          Thank you for the ideas. Bodegan Alejandro looks like a great option, a good place to get a feeling for Basque cuisine.

          I have a reservation for a lunch at Akelarre already, maybe I'll do a lunch at Alejandro the day prior as contrast -- Basque to New Basque Cuisine.

        2. re: Drogue

          Went to Ni Neu last month and it's an excellent recommendation. They do a very reasonably priced three-course lunch that's tough to beat. Enjoy.

        3. jollygourmand,
          Urepel is also first rate. Very classic Basque cuisine.

          But if you're in SanSe during the week (Tuesday-Friday), consider the incredible value €25 set menu at Kokotxa in the Parte Vieja (Old Quarter) tucked away from the fray at Campanario 11-one Michelin star and the best Michelin star lunch bargain in all of Spain.
          You'll have a set aperitivo and starter, then choose your main course, a meat or fish dish, then a set dessert and bottle of very nice Castilla-La Mancha red wine. This menú we've enjoyed several summers running, and it keeps getting better and better. Again, for my money, there is no better Michelin star lunch bargain in the Basque Country than Kokotxa. I keep trying to find a better value but can't.

          Another up and coming restaurant that the local (and Madrid) foodies are talking about, perhaps destined for a Michelin star, is Xarma, in the Antiguo district.

          The husband and wife chefs honed their skills at Rocamador in Extremadura, where we dined and were very impressed with their skills. I haven't tried their new venture in San Sebastián, but it's getting very solid reviews from professional food critics.
          They do have (or had) a business menu for lunch but I'm not sure of the current cost or if they still offer it. You can see their a la carte menu online.

          I also like Fagollaga- it's not classic but pretty cutting edge, in an attractive Basque farmhouse and located in neighboring Hernani, not far from Zuberoa.