Butchers and Fishmongers
San Sebastian is situated between mountains and sea and, as such, it encapsulates both sides of Basque agriculture. The green hills and mountains of the Basque Country have led to hardy breeds of stock and agriculture that favors green vegetables over cereals. Southern part of the Basque Country is on the Spanish side and brings variety via wheat, potatoes and famous wines.
On the other side, there is a sea that has fed towns built near it, including San Sebastian. There even used to be whales! Basque whale hunting was the origin of their current rowing sport.
In addition, this seafaring culture pushed Basque people to sail over the world, bringing all types of foods with them. Some people even say that Basque fishermen exploited the Canadian codfish banks way before Columbus made it to the Americas.
Best fish to eat
San Sebastian houses a big amount of fishmongers offering their services at street level. You will find their shops in any neighborhood, and they will sell seafood caught by Basque fishermen as well as products from other parts of Spain like the Mediterranean!
Their catch will vary depending on the season, naturally, and we invite you to embrace this. Centuries of tradition and modern science mean that Basque fishermen will bring in their catches when it is both sustainable and also ensures maximum deliciousness.
Chorizo, jamón, blood sausage and steak
Pork and beef are mainstay in the Basque diet, and these products are easy to find in one of the many butcher shops around the city. Let’s start with products made of pork. Plain or spicy chorizo are locals’ favorite. There’s also a local specialty txistorra a deep fried sausage that is often served with a traditional corn tortilla called Talo. And finally jamón a Spanish cured ham with an international fame. It is an absolute delicacy, and we highly recommend to taste it! Any of these cold cuts will make an excellent snack. Just get a fresh baguette and settle in your favourite spot by the sea or in the park and enjoy your own personal banquet.
Besides cold cuts like jamón, txorizo, lomo, etc. there’s a great selection in beef and pork like ribs or locally loved txuleta - a thick steak on a bone. Also chicken, lamb, or rabbit can easily be found in the city’s butchers.