Fact: My friend Ryan could definitely pass for a food critic.
Fact #2: The aforementioned friend swears by San Sebastian for an authentic food trip.
Fact #3: I could never say no to a food trip.
Before I carry on with this already assumable food post, I should first differentiate to you the difference between tapas and pintxos. Well, to be completely honest, I sometimes still don’t understand. Different cities define it differently. Like if you go to Seville or Andalucia, any small portion will be called a Tapa. In Granada, Leon or some parts in Madrid, any small portion, whether with a bread or not is a Tapa–and those are free. (Ching!) The Basque country, they serve pintxos. (And they are always spelled this way!) And they will never call it tapas. Still confused? Me too. I think. I think the main difference between the two is that pintxos is served with a toothpick.
Okay, enough chat.
The food.. *drum roll please* was/is amazing.
Lol. I’m clearly not a food photographer. But I did try.
And I absolutely loved the idea of picking up a plate and just picking out bits and bobs. (Which obviously turns out makes you eat more than you should, but who cares, I was on holiday.)
Pub Crawl? Everyone does a Pintxos Crawl! Which we did the whole time we were there, by the way. It was just a completely different experience and I loved every calorie.
Prices could vary but on average you would spend 3 to 5 euros for one pintxo so in the words of Grail Knight from the Last Crusade, “You must choose, but choose wisely.” (Because you could easily spend 30 euros and not realise it.)
They also have hot pintxos in the menu which don’t take long to prepare at all.
Fun fact #4: San Sebastian is home to some of the best seafood in the world. Being along the Bay of Biscay, the city is in a prime location and has great access to the freshest of the fresh.
And their desserts are just as good. Mmmmm.
Top Five Pintxos Bars
(For me atleast)
Applicable to all: Try their Txakoli – lightly sparkling white wine. (You have to wash down the food with something, right?)
Borda Berri – Veal cheeks and risotto – faves
Txuleta – Their squid croquettes! (I am craving them just thinking about it.)
Bar Zeruko – Innovative pintxos (In my picture below, I think this was some sort of squid burger or something?)
Bar Bergara – Their seafood pintxos are *thumbs up*
Atari Gastroteka – I present to you the holy grail of all french toasts.. I can’t even tell you how many times we went back for this. (Five?)
Other places we also tried: Zabaleta, Ganbara, Asador Portuetxe, A Fuego Negro, Gandarias. (And maybe a few more that I can’t even remember)
To burn off the calories, we did a fair bit of walking. The city is small though so when I say fair bit, I mean not enough.
And just when you think we should have done more exercise, we went on an e-bike tour with Go Local. It was fun! I have never been on a e-bike before so even that was an experience itself. We got to go around San Sebastian and explore more of its beauty. Going around with a local was cool too.
San Sebastian is pretty and quaint and even if you take out the great food, it’s still hard not to love this city.
There are no direct flights to San Sebastian so getting there can be a bit awkward.. or it can add to the adventure.
I decided to fly from Bilbao heading back to London. (Bilbao is only an hour away by bus.) Because I left later than I should have, I only had time to do one thing..
The Guggenheim Museum is iconic and home to loads of great modern art.
This one was an exhibit of people around the world laughing. Comments? Concerns?
Anyway, great food, great company–great long weekend.
Wished you were there pigging out with me,