10 Essential Pintxos in San Sebastián

By tenedortours on July 22nd, 2015

Menestra@Casa Urola.jpg
Courtesy of Gabriella Ranelli

1. Menestra - Casa Urola

Casa Urola does everything well, but the chef has a particular genius for vegetables. The menestra is a restaurant dish, but it can be served at the bar as pintxo versions of whatever vegetable is in season.


Fried Pig’s Ear @ Borda Berri.jpg
Courtesy of Gabriella Ranelli

2. Fried Pig’s Ear - Borda Berri

Crisp, salty and lashed with a garlic and parsley sauce, the pig’s ear at Borda Berri will change your mind about offal and all the odd bits of animals. The chefs here cook the way your grandmother would have if she had been Basque


Pimiento Relleno @ Martinez.jpg
Courtesy of Gabriella Ranelli

3. Pimiento Relleno - Martinez

Many bars have stuffed peppers, but Martinez has the best -- hands down. A wood-fired piquillo pepper is filled with albacore tuna (bonito del norte) mixed with homemade mayonnaise and a hint of tarragon. Ask for a fresh one instead of those on the bar and owner Jesus will make a quick vinaigrette to pour on top and soak up with the delicious bread once you’ve finished your pepper.


Anchovies @ Bar Antonio.jpg
Courtesy of Gabriella Ranelli

4. Anchoas - Bar Antonio

Bar Antonio is all about product. The best anchovies in town are folded around a spicy house-charred Riojan pepper on freshly toasted bread. The perfect accompaniment to a glass of Txakoli.


Tortilla de Patata @ Bar Nestor.jpg
Courtesy of Gabriella Ranelli

5. Tortilla de Patata - Bar Nestor

Maybe the best tortilla in Spain, this pintxos certainly is the best one in San Sebastián. Caramelized onion and soft potatoes are blended with a just slightly runny egg. No green peppers. But there’s a catch. They only make one in the morning and one at night. The first one comes out at 1 p.m., so you should be there at 12:30 p.m. to put your name on the waiting list. The evening tortilla makes its debut at 8 p.m.


Revuelto de Anchoas @ Bar Bergara.jpg
Courtesy of Gabriella Ranelli

6. Revuelto de Anchoas - Bar Bergara

Bergara is a classic spot in the Gros district, and the soft scrambled eggs filled with sweet peppers and savory fresh anchovies is a winner.


Antxoas a la Jardinera @ Txepetxa.jpg
Courtesy of Gabriella Ranelli

7. Antxoas a la Jardinera - Txepetxa

For the best anchovies in town, try the “antxoas a la jardinera,” white anchovies covered with a fresh onion, tomato and green pepper salsa; or the “antxoas con crema de centollo,” anchovies with a spider crab cream.


Wild mushrooms @ Ganbara.jpg
Courtesy of Gabriella Ranelli

8. Wild mushrooms - Ganbara

The grilled wild mushrooms with a one-step-from-raw egg yolk have deep rich flavors. Some are just slightly crisp on the edges and soft in the center with a judicious sprinkling of salt. There is almost nothing better, but you might want one of the mini croissants filled with ham while you wait.


Pimientos rellenos de Carne @ Tamboril.jpg
Courtesy of Gabriella Ranelli

9. Pimientos rellenos de Carne - Tamboril

The twins who run this bar sauté ground beef with a light béchamel, stuff it into a wood-fired piquillo pepper, dip it in a light tempura batter and deep fry this satisfying and delicious dish.


Cheesecake @ La Vina.jpg
Courtesy of Gabriella Ranelli

10. Cheesecake - La Vina

The cheesecake at La Vina is a no-crust version baked in a springform pan and just slightly burned on top, which suits Basque tastes and yours, too. It is creamy smooth and the essence of what a good cheesecake should be.

Meet the author

San Sebastián

Gabriella Ranelli de Aguirre is a Spanish food expert who contributes to Spanish and international media. She was named one of the top 10 food guides in the world by the Wall Street Journal. Considered the leading foreign observer of the Basque culinary scene, she appears frequently in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and many other food and travel publications. She has filmed food and travel programs for international media such as th…... More