Pintxos in Donostia (San Sebastián)

During your time in Pamplona, you’d be wise to stop in Donostia (San Sebastián), where they don’t serve tapas.  It’s pintxos all the time.

If you’re picky, and says things like “I don’t really like fish,” go ahead and remains at the kid’s table.  Otherwise, as  Gwyneth Paltrow told me in July 2006, “Peter, you have to try the beef cheek.”

Here’s our favorites (plus a few sit down restaurants): during fiesta this year, Ari and I will be attempting to dine at each place listed.  We will come dangerously close to success.

  • Alona Berri (Bermingham, 24).  (cod, mushrooms w/gizzards)
  • Astelena (corner of Plaza Constitucion)
  • Bar Ganbara (c/ de San Jerónimo 21).  (Wild mushrooms.)
  • Bar Zeruko – c/ Pescaderia, 10 (Cococha de bacalao – crouton base, foie, cod’s “chin” meat) (Bacalao (La Hoguera) – (Elvers (baby eels) on a crispy deep-fried potato shell served with a sunny-side-up quail egg) (cod (the “bonfire”). The barman will ask you to self-smoke and grill the bacalao for a minute each side).  Yes, Peter this is that place.
  • Bara Case Senra, San Francisco, 32
  • Bergara (General Artexe, 8).
  • Borda Berri (Fermin Calbeton, 12).  (Ask for the cow cheek (Carrillera de ternera al vino tinto), anchovies.  Also, Presa Iberica Asado con Komer.  Also, Risotto negro con txipiron)
  • Casa Gandarias, Calle de San Jerónimo, 25,  ( cod crêpes)
  • Ganbara (c/San Jeronimo, 21).  As discovered by PNM, but as popularized by Gwyneth.  (Mushroom w/egg yolk aka Revuelto hongos y gambas)
  • Gaztelu (c/31 de Augusto)
  • Gorriti (c/San Juan, corner c/Lorenzio) . All time favorite!
  • Kaskazuri, Salamanca Pasealekua, 14
  • La Cepa (c/31 de Augusto, 7) (Hongos a la plancha – grilled wild mushrooms, in olive oil served with egg yolk)
  • La Cuchara de San Telmo, Calle del Treinta y Uno de Agosto, 28 (sardines; carrílera de ternera al vino tinto (calf cheeks in red wine)
  • Nagusia Lau (c/ Mayor / Nagusia Kalea 4)
  • Narrika, c/Narrika (patatas bravas)
  • New 2012 — A Fuego Negro – Calle 31 de Agosto, 31 (Makobe with txips – Kobe beef patty served in a tomato sauce bun with banana chips.) (Txitxarro-queso-oveja-menta-cereza – horse mackerel in vinegar, little blocks of sheep cheese and chopped mint served on a cherry meringue) (Paloma, tiro, pum! – translates poorly into “Dove, shot, pum!”. Perfect piece of cooked pigeon breast)
  • NEW 2012 — Bar Goiz Argi – Calle Fermin Calbeton, 4 (brocheta de gambas – prawn bruschetta with their famous house sauce & Txangurro para calendar – cream of crab)
  • New 2012 — Casa Gandarias – Calle 31 de Agosto, 23 (Solomillo pepper paste on bread) (Bacalao and pepper on bread).
  • New 2012 — Hidalgo 56 – Paseo colón 15, Gros (Volcan de morcilla con yema, pasas y manzana – black pudding with egg yolk “volcano” with raisins and apples)
  • New 2012 — La Cuchara de San Telmo – Trasera, 28 (off Calle de Agosto, on a small dead-end street that is perpendicular to Agosto, near Bar Martinez) (Carrillera de ternera al vino tinto – braised beef cheek) (Foie con jalea de manzana – lightly seared foie with sweet and tart apple puree.)
  • New 2012 — Munto – Calle de Fermin Calbeton, 17 (Txipiron a la plancha – grilled squid and caramelised onions) (Txipi relleno (setas, gambas y jamon iberico) – Squid stuffed with cheese, prawn and jamon paste) (Tartaleta de txangurro al horno – baked tart with crab filling)
  • New 2012 — Tamboril – Calle Pescaderia 2 (Txampis Tamboril – mushrooms on a stick) (Pimientos de morcilla – battered pepper stuffed with black pudding).
  • New 2012 — Txepetxa – c/5 Pescaderia (anchovies, and lots of ‘em)
  • Just look for anything on: 31 de Augusto, Fermin Calbeton, Pescaderia, Aldamar, or San Jeronimo
  • Breakfast — Mercado de la Bretxa, along Calle de Aldamar in Parte Vieja
  • Dessert — Galparsoro, 6 c/6 Mayor (chocolate chip brioche).  Trust me.
  • Dessert – Otaegui , 30 San Martin (macaroons).   Trust me, but bring your loan application.
  • Bodegon Alejandro, c/ Fermín Calbetón, 4 (French toast for dessert!!!)
  • Arzak, Alcade Jose Elosegui 273, Alto de Miracruz 21 (we are tight with Juan if you need a short notice reservation) (not kidding)
  • Martin Berasategui Restaurant, Loidi Kalea 4 (Gipuzkoa) (World Top 50)  3 Michelin Stars
  • Asador Sagartoki – c/ Prado, 18 01005 · Vitoria-Gasteiz (Álava)
  • Asador Extebarri – PLAZA SAN JUAN, 1 48291 Atxondo, Spain
  • Mugaritz, Otazulueta Baserria, Aludura Aldea 20, 20100, Errenteria, Spain (top 10 in the world) (likely to ruin every meal for the rest of your life)
  • Akelare, Aita Orkolaga Pasealekua, 56

About The Philadelphia Peña and Taurino Club

¡Hola! Founded in 1989 in the Food Court of the Echelon Mall in Voorhees, New Jersey, by Peter N. Milligan and Aryeh ("Ari") L. Deutsch, the Philadelphia Peña and Taurino Club celebrates all things Festival of San Fermín between July 6 and 14, and all things Philadelphia, PA and its surrounds the rest of the year.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Pintxos in Donostia (San Sebastián)

  1. Craig M says:

    Awesome – thanks for this impressive set of tips! I arrive in Donostia on the 2nd. That should be enough time to at least make a dent in this list!

  2. Marlene Looney says:

    Meson Martin on the other side of the Paseo in Donastia (San Sebastian) was also a wonderful pintxo experience!!!! We just returned and wish we had never left “los Vascones” de el pais Vasco and their culinary magnificence!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s