San Sebastian

San Sebastian is a world-class food destination, so pretty much anything you eat here is going to be delicious. The city is known for its experimental nature so keep an open mind and your curiosity will be rewarded. If you're looking for a taste of authentic Basque food the following ingredients and dishes are a great place to start. 

Best Dishes

Guindilla Chilli

Locally grown Guindilla chillies are sweet with a slight spicy kick. Dig into a pile of them fried, covered in sea salt in the style of Padron Peppers, or try the pickled version that you'll find adorning a variety of pintxo.

Antxoa (Anchovy)

Anchovies from Biscay are some of the best in the world. The cold waters give them extra fat that makes them tender and sweet. You'll find them in many bars and dishes around San Sebastian - both pickled and salt cured.


You'll find these skewers in most of the bars in town. A combination of a pickled guindilla chilli, salt cured anchovy and manzanilla olive is the perfect combination of salt, spice and umami.

gilda pintxo

© Gildas by Jeremy Keith (modified) License

Bacalao Pil-Pil

Very simple traditional basque dish. The salt cod is cooked very slowly for a long time with olive oil, garlic and chilli using a technique that produces a very thick emulsified sauce similar to a mayonnaise.

Bacalao Pil Pil

© Bacalao a pil pil by Jun (modified) CC BY-SA 2.0


A tuna stew made with tomatoes, peppers, potatoes and onions. This kind of stew used to be made and eaten by basque fishermen while they were at sea and the name translates as "from the pot".


© Tuna Marmitako by David Marcel (modified) CC BY 2.0

Txuleta (Steak)

The most flavourful steak you're likely to eat. Coming from aged Basque cows the flavour is much more intense than other steak, with a streak of bright yellow fat running up the meat. Best cooked over charcoal or wood.

Grilled Fish & Seafood a La Plancha

Near the harbour you'll find several restaurants serving freshly grilled turbot (erreboiloa), sardines (sardina), razor clams and a variety of other seafood usually offloaded from a day-boat a couple of hours before.

grilled sardines sardinas

© Gastronimo

Setas (Wild Mushrooms)

The forests and hills around San Sebastian offer some great foraging opportunities. Try the local wild mushrooms simply fried with an egg yolk on top to mix through (or scrambled eggs if you prefer).

mushrooms setas ceps

© Gastronimo

Txakoli (wine)

Lightly sparkling white wine with high acidity, low alcohol and crisp citrus flavour. You'll find Txakoli in virtually every bar and restaurant, and the staff will pour it for you from a great height to add to the flavour (and the fun).

txakoli wine vineyard

© Txakoli Ameztoi by Kent Wang (modified) CC BY-SA 2.0

Tarta de Queso (Basque Cheesecake)

Crustless caramelised / burnt cheescake with a subtle vanilla flavour and incredible soft oozy texture. Made from the local Idiazabal sheep's milk cheese.

cheesecake tarta de queso

© Gastronimo


Originally invented to please the visiting French royalty in the early 1900s. This decadent pastry consists of a puff pastry tart base, filled with custard cream and topped with flaked almonds.


© Panchineta by Martius (modified) CC BY 2.0

Fork Icon