San Sebastián, Spain
Collected by Jim Gregory
Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 20, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
It's well-known around town that Casa Urola uses some of the best raw materials: fish, vegetables, ham, you name it. In its quiet, elegant dining room, you will find quintessential Basque locals (and the occasional well-informed tourist). The...
Calle Pescaderia, 10, 20003 Donostia, Bizkaia, Spain
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...
San Bartolome Kalea, 35, 20007 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
La Madame is one of the most forward-facing dining spots in San Sebastián. It's one of the only place in the city where you can find well-executed fusion cuisine, with touches of American, Japanese, French and Basque cuisine and perhaps THE only...
Calle de Embeltrán, 6, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
The bocadillo is an art form. Crusty bread encloses fillings of your choice: usually tortilla española or thinly sliced cured meats. It's also a patriotic symbol and staple of daily life. What else would you carry to the Real Sociedad soccer game?...
San Jeronimo Kalea, 3, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
The menú del día is a uniquely Spanish tradition. Who in the rest of the world has time to sit for two hours and drink wine, consume multiple courses, all in the normal workday? If you want to experience a traditional menú del día, food that is...
República Argentina Kalea, 4, 20004 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Okay, okay Maria Cristina—you've got it all. This hotel is perfectly situated next to the Old Part, overlooking the river that winds through San Sebastián. Recently given a modernizing facelift, the rooms are decked out in turn of the century...
Kolon Pasealekua, 15, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Bar Hidalgo 56 is probably one of my top three pintxo bars in the entire city. With a bar stacked full of equally delicious pintxos, a menu of hot pintxos that is incredibly varied and delicious, and an attention to product that you simply don't...
Mount Ulia, 20013, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Most visitors never cross the river from the Old Part, and the vast majority overlook what has to be one of the most beautiful hikes from here to California. At the edge of Gros, a trail heads up some stairs (at the end of Calle San Francisco) and...
De Igeldo Ibilbidea, 187, 20008 Donostia, Guipúzcoa, Spain
It was raining when we arrived in Donostia-San Sebastian, but the skies cleared on our second day, and we rode the funicular railway up Mount Igueldo to take in the view back on the city, La Concha Bay, and the empty beach. The "low" travel season...
Santa Korda Kalea, 4, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
At La Cuchara de San Telmo, on the corner of the plaza Valle Lersundi in San Sebastian, the specialties were hot pintxos, quickly prepared to order--from the menu or the specials board, or by pointing to what your neighbor was eating. This was one...
Kalea Isla de Santa Clara, 2, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
From May to August, a ferry runs from the port of San Sebastián to the island that sits serenely in the middle of the Concha Bay. The island is quiet, isolated, and empty. There is a café on the island with a mysterious timetable, and a lighthouse...
Bretxa Plaza, 3, 20003 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
La Bretxa shopping center houses the usual trappings of a modern-day shopping mall, but below ground one can find the city's largest and best market for the fruits of the sea. Cold, wet and crowded, this is the spot where you will find both...
Malkorbe Kalea, 5, 20808 Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Arriving to Getaria can be done by bus, but one of the most unforgettable parts of visiting this village is approaching (or exiting) it by the sidewalk that winds along the sea. Depending on the time of year, you will have endless views of a calm...
Rodil Zeharkalea, 79, 20013 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
One of my favorite sit-down dining experiences in the city, Zelai Txiki has a couple things going for it. One is a gigantic terrace that overlooks the entire city. On a summer evening there are only a few places I would rather be. Call ahead to...
Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 12, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
"Aquí, Se Guisa" is the motto at Borda Berri, one of the Old Town's best pintxo bars. The star of every pintxo is a braised critter: beef, octopus, rabbit, you name it. There's no pintxos on the bar at this spot, but don't let that keep you from...
46, 31 de Agosto Kalea, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Santa María del Coro is San Sebastián's token beautiful European church. It has the quiet, sunlit beauty that one comes to expect in European churches. It also is the site of several of the city's unique celebrations, organ concerts, and the...
Calle de Ijentea, 2, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Turning down that last gin-tonic has its benefits. The Old Part of San Sebastián is at its most peaceful in the morning. Head to Pastelería Oyarzun, grab a hot piece of what the locals call "brioche," but is actually a croissant with raisins, off...
Zurriola Ibilbidea, s/n, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Zurriola beach is slightly off the radar, or at least as much off the radar as one of a city's three beaches can be. The only tourists that typically venture over are of the surfing persuasion, and sitting to watch the sunset on the wall that...
Sanchez Toca Kalea, 1, 20006 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Getaria, Gipuzkoa, Spain
A unique feature of Getaria's city streets are the grills, built into the side of buildings. The outside observer can glean that the general purpose is cooking, but seeing them in action is a different story. Fish are brought fresh from the port,...
Miguel Imaz Kalea, 1, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Xarma restaurant lives and dies by their mission to take the best Basque produce and execute avant-garde techniques to create new, exciting plates. Chefs Aizpea and Xabi are regulars on the conference circuit and on lists of 'Best Young Basque...
20008, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Rekondo is a little hidden treasure of a restaurant, started by an aficionado of wine. A real aficionado. His varied collection means the restaurant has a wine list of hundreds of pages. These are wines critics dream about, at prices that are a...
Plaza Zuloaga, 1, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Museo San Telmo is a must-see for any art or culture-phile during a visit to San Sebastián. The newly renovated museum's architecture alone makes for fascinating viewing, and there are sections on Basque anthropology as well as revolving...
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