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May 25, 2013 02:33 PM

3 Days in San Sebastian

Hello Hounds!

My wife and I are from San Francisco and will be traveling through Southwestern France and Northern Spain driving our way over to Barcelona. We're going to spend 3-4 days in San Sebastian in late August and I'm hoping you all can point us in the right direction. I lived in Seville for a while so I'm fairly competent in Southern cuisine. I grew up eating basque food as my grandparents are from there but have never traveled to that region myself so could use help. I am hoping to do a couple very high end meals and a ton of Pinxtos! Right now (I have yet to check schedules of restaurants) I'm hoping to do one night at Mugaritz and a lunch at Akelarre. Since we'll be doing Mugaritz it's unlikely we'll also want to do MB or Arzak. I'm also considering making the drive to A Etxebarri but would love to know if it's worth the drive vs staying local. For Pinxtos I've heard / read a lot about Astelena, La Cuchara & Zeruko. Are these the ones or am I missing a bunch of others.

We'll be there around a Thursday - Monday and budget is not really an issue.

How about the above. Are we on the right track or headed in the wrong direction?

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    1. First, ETXEBARRI IS WORTH THE DRIVE. ETXEBARRI IS WORTH THE DRIVE. I think you are repeating yourself a bit by going to Akelarre and Mugaritz, but that's just me (I'd choose Mugaritz). All three bars you name are solid. Astelena I really only go to bc it's open late all the time, I never go to La Cuchara bc Borda Berri is the same with waiters that don't treat you bad, and Zeruko...oh Zeruko.
      With those three, you are missing A TON. ;)
      A lot of my faves at

      1. i think it's worth taking a longer list of pintxo places with you, and ideally flagging some of the specialities to help you with ordering - we really enjoyed moving around and seeing the contrast between the more traditional places and those taking a more modern approach.

        zeruko is great for the extravagance of their approach and display - there was a wonderful pistachio-crusted morcilla. fuego negro we found too busy to enjoy. txepetxa was good for achovy focussed things.

        1. Etxebarri is definitely worth the drive. These are my favorite places that I return to again and again in SS.
          Bar Goiz Argi – gambas is their house specialty.
          Borda Berri - a few doors down from above. Risotto / iberian pork rib kebab / there are other great pintxos but I’m not that daring enough to try.
          Gandarias Jatetxea - they have Joselito iberico which is my favorite jamon.
          La Vina - cheesecake
          Bar Azkena - famous for their tortillas. They are on the lower level of La Brexta market. Not well known by tourists but highly recommend for breakfast/lunch.
          Bar Nestor - is said to have the best spanish tortilla in town that comes out twice daily 1pm & 8pm. They only make a dozen so you have to get there early. Tomatoes with olive oil. Chuleta.
          Txepetxa - known for their anchovy.

          I have yet to try the restaurant Ibai which is said to be have the best seafood in town. This is not fine dining but very expensive and open only for lunch. You can read more about it at this link:

          If you are making your way to Barcelona I would also recommend at stop in Roses at a restaurant called Rafas. The seafood is suppose to be out of this world. You can find many reviews online of all these places.