If you're in San Sebastian for a short amount of time and want to do a self-guided tour of some of the best local food, then follow this guide to the highlights of San Sebastian in the Spain's Basque country.
Each restaurant links through to the full review with its location, opening hours, photos and details about the food. This list is part of a bigger food guide to San Sebastian.
One of the reasons San Sebastian is such a fantastic place for food and drink is that the old town has so many world-class bars/restaurants in a small area. Apparently it has the highest density of Michelin star restaurants in the world, but the quality of the much more relaxed pintxos bars is so high that in my opinion it's not necessary to go to the fine dining restaurants.
The beauty of pintxos is that it allows you to sample small amounts in each place and do a bar crawl, happily grazing and drinking as you explore the town via as many pintxos bars as you can handle.
Steak & cider @ Petritegi Sagardotegia
Incredible experience of a three course meal at a cideria with unlimited cider and fantastic food all for about €30.
Suckling Pig @ La Cuchara de San Telmo
This is one of the best pork bellies I've ever had.
Pintxos @ Gandarias Restaurante
Their general pintxos selection was one of the best and it always seemed to be lively.
Cheesecake @ La Viña
Incredible baked cheesecake. Two large slices for €5.
Tortilla @ Bar Néstor
Bar Néstor only serves tortilla twice a day and you need to put your name down on a list but it's worth the effort.
Calamari & Patatas Bravas @ La Mejillonera
Known for their patatas bravas, I actually prefered the calamari but the sauce on the patatas bravas was really delicious. It's a very local place that's more like a little canteen, so it's a bit weird, but worth popping in and sharing the calamari and/or patatas bravas.
Smoked Cod @ Zeruko
It's worth going to Zeruko just for their smoked cod speciality which is delicious, different and fun.
Anchovies & spider crab @ Bar Txepetxa
It's probably the most well-known place for anchovies. It's a small and simple place. We ordered the anchovies and spider crab. Delicious!
"Volcano" @ Hidalgo 56
I realise that morcilla (black pudding / blood sausage) isn't everyone's cup of tea but Hidalgo 56's speciality "Volcano" is worth trying. Even my sister loved it and she says she doesn't like black pudding. The morcilla is shaped like a volcano and topped with a runny egg as the lava. It's rich, of course, but it was definitely a highlight.
Crab Tarts & Fried Asparagus @ Ganbara
The crab tarts are finished off in the oven for you so that you get it nice and hot. The fried white asparagus is interesting.
Possibly the most iconic pintxo of the region is the gilda, a cocktail stick with olives, anchovies and chillies. They're a perfect bar snack and I found it hard to resist them in every bar. They only vary slightly but you there are definitely some that are better than others.
According to Wikipedia, "Txakoli or chacolí is a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine with high acidity and low alcohol content produced in the Spanish provinces of the Basque Country...". It's tasty and a good option if you want to drink but pace yourself.
Every bar will have jamon and the salty melting ham is incredible. Make sure you have some!
Anchovies are everywhere in Spain, espeically in this area. White anchovies in vinegar and the intense salted kind. Make the most of them both!
And if you have time...
Shrimps @ Paco Bueno
Simple bar and a nice place to stop by for a drink and some fried shrimps.
Craft beer & snacks @ Gerald's Bar
Nice selection of local craft beer and anchovies.