Pinchos In San Sebastian?
We will be in San Sebastian in July. Tried to get reservations last month at Arzak or Akelare, and were told that nothing was available. Then, my wife suggested that, with all the great food there, maybe we should forego the outrageously expensive restaurants and just enjoy the pinchos bars there.
So, other than Fuego Negro, does anyone have any suggestions for the current crop of "can't miss" pinchos in San Sebastian?
Its been quite a few years since we visited San Sebastian, so I can't provide any specifics. Of course you'll want to visit the "can't miss" places, but I'd suggest to put aside at least one evening for an unplanned tapas crawl in the parte vieja.
The variety (some places have 3-4 tiers of pinxtos the full length the bar, others just a few specialized plates), proximity (its bar after bar after bar), and atmosphere (everyone is there for a good time, the bar staff laid back, eating&drinking overflowing into the street, mingling of locals and internationals) made it one of my top food experinces.
I really appreciated the laissez-faire attitude; we'd order drinks, then this tapa, then that, escape the crush of the bar and finish up on the street, return inside and ask how much we owe.
Couldn't have said it better!
If you do want a list. Here are the places I enjoyed a couple years back....I'll be returning in a month and cannot wait :)
Cucharra de San Telmo
didn't try Zeruko last time, so looking forward to checking that out. My friend, who worked at Mugarritz, also recommended the snacks at the restaurant in the Kursaal building (apparently it had some ups and downs, but was on the up when I was in town) - but hadn't had a chance to try it, either. Good thing there are second chances.
And as a warning, I thought Mejillon as nasty. I think it's popular because it's student-priced. I'd take my stomach elsewhere though.
Please give me your updated list of must-do Pincho bars/and what their specialties are (if you remember).
Also, is there any point to doing a Pincho tour with a guide (I heard of 2 companies that offer this- SS Food and todopintxos)- not much of a guided tour fan, but was wondering if any Chowhounders have used either of these groups and if its worth doing this just to get your feet wet.
Would also appreciate any recs for sit-down restaurants in San Sebastian or nearby towns, preferably authentic and moderately priced.
Also are all the high-end Michelin rated restaurants in San Sebastian molecular gastronomy/ experimental?
Tapas crawling in San Sebastian's parte vieja is a no brainer; its compact, you walk up one street then down the next, duck into bar after bar and see what tickles your fancy. A guide is not necessary (we did not have one).
A guide might add some insight to which bar has which specialties, might give you some history behind the neighborhood and the bars, might add a back story to your experience, and might give you a peek into the local scene.
Thank you all for the guidance. We tend to visit Spain every 2 years or so, but this is our first time in the Basque country, so I'm looking forward to a new experience, and have committed to be a bit more adventurous with the food (and not sticking only with jamon, tortilla espanola, churros con chocolate, etc.)
Should be fun.