San Sebastian is recognised as a gastronomic jewel that offers a great variety of culinary experiences. Traditional Spanish food and Basque food share the spotlight with the avant-garde cooking from one of the many Michelin star restaurants, and people spend relaxing afternoons enjoying the city’s vistas from coffee shops while tasting the local pintxos.

The truth is that as much as cuisine is an identity mark of any culture, the Basque gastronomy has blossomed in the city of San Sebastian. This love for food extends to all rungs of society and permeates all the steps, from the farming of fresh produce to the art of crafting said produce into the tiny artful dish that is a pintxo.

But what is a pintxo?

Now, you will hear this word a lot - or maybe the word tapa if you’re familiar with other parts of Spain. A pintxo is in essence a bite-sized dish, but this description doesn’t cover the rituals around eating pintxos or the sheer deliciousness. Luckily, we’ve got you covered if you want to know more, or where to get the best pintxo experience.

If you prefer the more traditional restaurant experience

You won’t be disappointed. San Sebastian has plenty of top quality restaurants - including those that have earned one, two or even three Michelin Stars, as well as more affordable experiences. None of these will disappoint, though. Basque people take their food seriously, and nowhere is this more apparent than in San Sebastian.

Speaking of Basque traditional food

If you have the chance, you must try what the locals call a “sidrería” or “sagardotegi” (in Spanish and Basque, respectively). This Cider Houses are the evolution of the farm house that would press cider and sell it in ancient times. Nowadays, they offer a unique meal experience, together with an all-you-want-to-drink access to locally made cider. If this has peaked your curiosity, let us tell you more in detail what this tradition is all about.

Trying your hand at local recipes

For some people, eating out at restaurants is not enough. Some people want to cook for themselves. If you are one of these, you’re in luck: San Sebastian has an extensive offer of locally sourced meats, seafood and vegetables. Butchers and fishmongers offer delicate cuts and freshly caught seafood, farmers markets will let you buy produce from the men and women who cultivate it and the bakeries that you’ll see around the city will do more than spread the delicious aroma of baked goods onto the streets. And for the final touch, the Gourmet shops will offer you the special something you need to give that dish its special touch.

Sitting down at a coffee shop

Eventually even the most energetic tourist will want to wind down for a bit, and there isn’t a better place to do this than a coffee shop. Whether you want to sip on your coffee and watch the busy streets or enjoy the beauty of nature, San Sebastian has the perfect place for you.