Monday, 3 June 2019

My Top 10 Pintxos Bars in San Sebastián.

These are my personal favourite pintxos bars from several trips to Donostia over the years but are not necessarily 'the best'. There are often occasions where one or two bars really shine (I've tried to account for that on this list) but standards in general always remain extremely high in San Sebastián. For our next trip in December it may change again and we're always on the look out for bars we've not tried before. Please let me know your favourites and I'll try to visit them if we've not already.
1. Borda Berri.
A couple of times now the first thing we've done on arriving is go to Borda Berri for their supreme risotto. When those wonderful plates of brothy mushrooms and idiazabal (Basque cheese) arrive, I'm in seventh heaven. Also the beef cheeks are not to be missed. Must eat: Mushroom Risotto.
2. Bar Bergara.
As we're usually staying in the old town, whenever we make a trip over the river, we always head here. It's all good (and different) but I love the little pintxos pastries they do at Bergara.
Must eat: The Udaberri, courgette and crayfish tart.

3. Zazpi. 
We always head here for a long boozy lunch. It's a wonderful place to drink the lovely Keller beer and eat as many of the beautiful little plates of food as possible. Must eat: Oxtail Ravioli.
4. Zeruko. I'm always excited to try new and different stuff whenever we visit Zeruko and our meal at the new sit down Zeruko was impressive too. Must eat: La Hoguera (smoked cod).
5. Casa Urola was shut on our last visit, otherwise I'm sure it'd be further up our list. Must eat: Scallops.
6. La Cuchara de San Telmo.
We've rarely been here and it's never less than packed out but this place has to be done when in town so you must fight through the crowds. Must eat: Carrillera de Ternera.

7. Atari. We always end up at Atari at some point in the evening often for cream cheese ice cream but having tried quite a few things at random here, (like the foie) it's all so good. Must eat: Cream Cheese Ice Cream.
8. Mendaur Berria.
This more modern bar with a large TV screen showing football doesn't look that promising but I can assure you that the cooked to order pintxos are tip top. Must eat: Sea Urchin.
9. Gure Txoko. Another must visit in Gros.
Must eat: Soft Shell Crab.
10.  A Fuego Negro. 
We always find ourselves drinking here late at night, usually worse for wear. Must eat: Mini Burger.
Finally my top tip. I just realised looking at this that I rarely pick up pintxos from the bar tops. The best ones are always cooked to order.
What didn't make the list. Ganbara is great but quite expensive so it's not one of my personal favourites. I know Nestor is a lot of peoples top tip for the txuleta but the timing of adding your name to the list never quite works out time wise for us plus we have a few none meat eaters in our party. There are others still I've never been to Bar Antonio, Bar Sport and loads more.  Oh I just realised I never added La Viña for their cheesecake which is a must too.
So what would make your Top 10?
Further reading: Another recent list I like is this one from LuxEat.