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Jan 18, 2011 06:11 AM

Tip Etiquette

Just wondering what the tip/gratuity etiquette is for high end restaurants in Spain. In the US, you definitely tip at high end restaurants. I know the Spanish culture is not a tipping culture, but does that rule apply at high end restaurants (i.e. Mugaritz, Arzak, etc)? Thanks for your help!

Also, any suggestions for San Sebastian area are appreciated!

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  1. Tipping in Spain has been discussed in a couple earlier posts. Basically, there are two schools of opinions on restaurants regardless if they are high-end: one is to leave around 5% on top of the bill, the other is to leave nothing since the total bill includes a service charge. Most of my friends in Barcelona falls on the latter camp though they do leave extra if they received special service. In other cases such as breakfast and cafes, one doesn't need to leave anything though a little change is never out of place.
    As for eating in San Sebastian, search this board as there have been tons of earlier post on this subject, from pintxos to high-end restaurants. I am sure if you can be more specific, you will get some informed posts.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PBSF

      Thanks for the info. I will check the older posts for more info.

    2. One thing to know: whatever you decide to tip, you will need to do it in cash. There is no "tip" line on the check here.

      1. If paying by card, leave nothing. If cash, would normally not pick up any coins in the change. But no tip quite acceptable.

        1. I never had a tip thrown back in my face in 40 years travelling through Spain, and believe I get better service when I return...

          1. Folks, this thread is specifically about tipping in Spain. We've split off a digression about tipping in Europe generally to our Not About Food board. You'll find it here: .