Best trips are like love affairs- it never really ends. My trip to San Sebastian (or Donostia as referred to in the basque language), still lingers in my heart as a fond memory- that I am always ready to go back to ! First sight at this beautiful resort town in the shadow of pyrenees, time had slowed down for me and I was in love.
San Sebastian will steal your heart for many reasons- shimmering white sands of the crescent-shaped Playa de la Concha, beautiful hiking all around, numerous mouth-watering pintxo bars and an impressive lineup of world-famous restaurants including highest concentration of Michelin star restaurants per square meter.
If you are food-lover like me, wherever you go in San Sebastian and whatever you do, gastronomic delights will be the focal point. Below are top three ways to soak up the culinary delights here.
Wander the streets of old town for pintxos (PEEN-chohs) and txakolí (cha-koh-LEE)!
What makes San Sebastian so appealing are the numerous tapas bars all around town serving delicious snacks called pintxos. The best ones are around the old town (Parte Vieja) where you can wander around cobblestone streets admiring impressive baroque architecture. Some of my favorites here include La Cepa (the solomillo steak and bocadillio mixto iberico here are heavenly) and Casa Urola (variety of pintos with seasonal ingredients). I also loved Atari Bar near Santa Maria church not just for their fabulous variety of pintxos but amazing cocktails and a lively atmosphere. Savor your pintxos with a glass of txakoli- the local sparkling white wine where watching the bar tenders pour is a delight in itself.
Splurge at one of the many Michelin restaurants!
San Sebastian is amongst the top cities in the world to have highest concentration of Michelin Star restaurants per square meter and boasts home to some of the top restaurants such as Mugaritz. We had a wonderful meal at Kokotxa where the elements of the mountains and the sea beautifully came together in a delightful menu and exceptional quality of the ingredients.
Take a hike!
The Spanish basque region is a heaven for food. A day hike from San Sebastian brings you to the charming fishing village of Pasai Donibane, literally a single street by the bay, famous for giving shelter to Victor Hugo during his few months long stay there in 1843. The house is a museum now that you can visit. At 20 kms and moderate difficulty, the hike is perfect for a day adventure and offers spectacular views of the coast, and at the end of it awaits delicious food. We had one of our most memorable meals in Pasai Donibane at restaurant Txulotxo with superb water views and fresh seafood.