best restaurants in San Sebastián

Guide to the Best Restaurants in San Sebastián

If you’re visiting the foodie capital of the world, San Sebastián then you’re in a real treat. The small coastal town in the Basque Country is filled with small bars and restaurants serving up incredible tapas. Our guide has the best restaurants and pintxos bars in the incredible city for you to discover.

Our Favourite Restaurants & Pintxos Bars

I visited the legendary town of San Sebastián in February and being off-season, there weren’t too many other tourists. Luckily this also meant that I managed to avoid the queues and had no problem eating quickly! We managed to hit a lot of th

Note: a lot of the staff and owners of restaurants and pintxos bars don’t speak English or even French. I’d advise having translation tool for Spanish at hand at all times!


One of the most recommended restaurants in San Sebastián has to be Narru and wow, for good reason. It was one of the first spots I hit up when I arrived in the fabled town and it left a lasting impression. It’s a fine dining restaurant that’s close to Michelin star level and take everything you love about tapas but makes it better. The dining space is lovely and, depending on where you’re sat, you’ll have views on the high tech kitchen and the chefs working their magic.

The menu is just incredible and I honestly wanted to order pretty much everything. They offer their smaller dishes in half portion format if you want to taste a lot (this is what we did). In addition they have whole, market fish and steaks to order (price dependant on weight). The clams in ‘green sauce’ were epic as was the mi-cuit lobster tail and perhaps the highlight was foie gras with oxtail ravioli. Oh and you can’t forget their Pluma Iberia pork which is grilled on a charcoal to perfect medium rare – heaven.

What to know before you visit

  • Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner!
  • You can reserve online

Address: San Martin Kalea, 22, 20005 Donostia
Tel: +34 843 93 14 05

Paco Bueno

Paco Bueno is the Pinxtos bar in San Sebastián for battered prawns and boy are they good. Like many pintxos bars in the town, it’s unassuming, unpretentious and full of locals. It’s mainly standing room next to counters. You order a caña and a portion of fried prawns wait for the next batch to be distributed. They’re superb – crisy on the outside, plump and juicy in the middle. This stop is perfect for a pintxos crawl (which is what we did) – we didn’t try any of their other tapas.

What to know before you visit

  • Closed on Fridays
  • Open around lunch and dinner

Address: C. Mayor, 6, 20003 Donostia-San Sebastian
Tel: +34 943 42 49 59


Perhaps the most legendary Pintxos bar in San Sebastián. Gabara is a must-visit whilst you’re staying here. In warmer months there are long queues to eat in the upstairs bar area (which is where you’ll find most of the famous dishes from Instagram). Downstairs and you’ll find a restaurant area which we ate in. You can reserve here but I’d advise eating upstairs – there’s a more lively bar atmosphere and the food format is more attractive.

The food at Ganbara is just epic. Wild mushrooms (ceps, girolles and trompette de la mort) are sautéd and served with a confit egg yolk. You also have to try their langoustine & monkfish skewer – it’s genius.

What to know before you visit

  • Closed on Sundays and Mondays
  • The upstairs bar area don’t reservations but the downstairs restaurant does
  • I’d eat in the upstairs area as it has a better atmosphere & service

Address: C. de San Jerónimo, 21, 20003 Donostia-San Sebastian
Tel: +34 943 42 25 75

Casa Urola

Casa Urola is another fantastic pintxos bar/restaurant with some killer a la minute tapas. They do a fantastic job at serving traditional gastronomic dishes into a smaller, pintxos format. On the bottom floor you’ll find a bar area and above, on the first floor, a proper restaurant with table service.

We had some simpler pintxos – croquettes – as well as some of their more refined tapas. Scallops in a beurre blanc sauce seasoned with seaweed were excellent as was the seared foie gras with steak tartare. You also have to get their famous roast red peppers, Chuleton steak and potato foam – awesome.

What to know before you visit

  • Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Address: Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 20, 20003 Donostia
Tel: +34 943 44 13 71

Bar Txepetxa

Another one of my absolute favourite pintxo bars is Bar Txepetxa. This spot specialises in one thing only – fresh, marinated anchovies. Now these aren’t anchovies out of a tin, these are fresh fish that are marinated served on bread with a choice of toppings. These are incredible. Like the most of the best Pintxos joints, it’s super local and friendly. You order your pintxos with the obligatory drinks and once your food is ready they’ll call your name. My favourite had to be the anchovies with a mix of peppers and onions – wow. We also had an incredible version with trout eggs and sea urchin.

Bar Txepetxa

What to know before you visit

  • Closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays

Address: Arrandegi Kalea, 5, 20003 Donostia
Tel: +34 943 42 22 27

Other Restaurants to Try

There’s so many incredible restaurants and bars to try out in San Sebastián, unfortunately I couldn’t try them all. If you’re looking for more options check out:

  • Bar Sport: For the best seared foie gras in town
  • Casa Julián: For the best sharing steaks, cooked over charcoal
  • Antonio Bar: For the best tortilla

Wait, What’s a Pintxo?

A Pintxo is a Basque word for a small snack. These are served in bars in Northern Spain and are a core component of the Basque food culture. They differ to tapas that you’ll find in other parts of Spain by the fact that many are on a skewer. In Spanish, Pincho literally means thorn or spike. San Sebastián is famous for being the culinary capital of the Basque country and is home to some incredible Pintxo (tapas) bars. My list isn’t exhaustive but has a pick on some of the best!

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