Expect creative riffs on the classic pintxo at this ultra-modern spot. Everything from the colors to the flavor combinations are unique and draw in crowds from the street. Not everyone is a fan of their style—for instance, the old guard who remain staunchly faithful to tradition—but we had a fantastic selection of small plates.
Don't miss: La Hoguera de Bacalao, a charcoal smoked cod served on individual grills. You're meant to finish cooking the cod using wooden tweezers, place it atop the herb-cream chip on the side, and down it with one bite. Then, you wash it down with a lettuce chaser served in a test tube. Delicious!
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As food writer Jonathan Gold "warned" me before we went to San Sebastian, "the pintxos bars in the old town are among the best in Spain." Although you can't feel any sense of competition—the convivial spirit spills over from one bar to the next, and there are certainly enough customers to go around—you can see it and taste it. Every spot crafts its small-plate specialties to perfection, and a few, like Zeruko, above, take their pintxos into otherworldly realms of avant-garde food architecture. For pure satisfaction (amazing warm pintxos cooked to order) and neighborhood ambiance, we kept returning to Astelehena and La Cuchara De San Telmo, both recommended by AFAR contributor Lisa Abend. But nothing beats Zeruko for a visual spectacle and experimentation with ingredients and presentation.
Bar Zeruko. Love it for its incredible bar, laden with a feast for the eyes. Love it for its varied list of hot pintxos, most of them quite delicious. Love it for its theatrical 'bacalao a la hoguera', a piece of cod that is served on a smoking grill. Love it for its 'tosta de bogavante', a delicious take on a lobster roll.
You can hate it for the high prices. But it's still worth a try.