How to Brunch In Spain: Eating Tortilla in The World’s Culinary Capital

In a land where brunches are scarce, the tortilla española is your best breakfast bet.

How to Brunch In Spain: Eating Tortilla in The World’s Culinary Capital

Marti Kilpatrick

This iconic dish of eggs, potatoes and onions, aka the Spanish omelette, crowns the counter of nearly every tapas bar in Spain. Here are the best spots to do brunch the local way in Spain’s culinary touchstone, San Sebastian.

Bar Zabaleta

This unassuming corner bar, tucked away in San Sebastian’s lesser-known neighborhood of Gros, consistently contends for the title of top tortilla. One bite of the almost orange omelette (the owner swears by free-range eggs from the nearby countryside) with its perfect creamy consistency, and you’ll know why. Wash it down with local Basque cider.

Bar Zabaleta / Calle Zabaleta, 51 / + 34 943 27 64 88

A Fuego Negro

Plenty of people wax poetic about A Fuego Negro’s daring, molecular pintxos, but Sunday mornings are where it’s at in this hip Old Town bar. Chef Edorta Lamo brews a house vermouth on the side, so grab a slice of tortilla and pair it with a glass of his Beltza vermouth, prepared with the traditional shot of soda water and a touch of Campari. Relax and revel in your total Spanish-ness to the tunes of the DJ spinning some Sunday vinyl.

A Fuego Negro / Calle 31 de Agosto, 31 / +34 650 13 53 73


Iñigo Peña, the young chef of Narru, has gained worldwide recognition for his product-focused, paired-down menu. He has also, unwittingly, created the most delicious brunch in San Sebastián. The bar at Narru serves up tortilla, but pass on it for a deconstructed version featuring yolky farm eggs, creamy potatoes, and—bonus—some acorn-fed Iberian ham on top. To accompany, order their perfect pa amb tomaquet, a thin and crunchy bread slathered in fresh tomato, and finish it off with torrija, a crunchy Spanish-style French toast.

Narru / Calle Zubieta, 56 / +34 943 42 33 49 /

>> Next: Check out our guide to San Sebastián!

Marti is a freelance writer and a cook living in San Sebastián. She has contributed to Modern Farmer, Southern Living, Remedy Quarterly, The New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, EITB (Basque News), Mindfood, and Edible, among other magazines. She also gives regular cooking classes, runs a bakery business (@TheCookie_es), and founded a society for the appreciation of vermouth (@vermutsociety) that is making its way across the globe.
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