Pintxos bar in San Sebastian
Santa Catalina bridge in San Sebastián
They are the symbol of Basque cookery and the delight of everyone who visits the city of Donostia – San Sebastián. They are the Basque version of the famous tapas: original, tasty culinary creations that you can snap up in a bite or two.
Places for exploring the city from pintxo to pintxo
Few city tours are as delicious as the ones running through Donostia – San Sebastián. The essential sights include bars and restaurants with counters full of tempting pintxos. You can stroll beside the sea and the lovely beach of La Concha, visit Plaza de la Constitución, explore the streets of the old town centre, visit the Kursaal, and enjoy more pinxtos at every stop. We’ve listed some of the best-known places for pintxos in Donostia – San Sebastián. Parte Vieja: the narrow streets of the historic centre are home to some of the city’s most famous pintxos bars. La Concha beach is close by, and especially at weekends, the district is crowded and bustling with groups of friends, all out for pintxos. Some of the essential stops include the restaurants on Calle Pescadería, 31 de agosto, Fermín Calbetón, Puerto, Nagusia, and San Jerónimo. If you’re wondering where to start with pintxos, some recommended local specialities include skewers, anchovies, more complex seafood or mushroom recipes, and the innovative pintxos of creative cuisine. The centre: most of the city’s shops and businesses, and the most iconic buildings, are in this district, and naturally you will also find plenty of restaurants with bar counters covered in pintxos. Some of the best streets to enjoy them are Calle Bergara, San Marcial, San Martín, and Elkano. Some popular creations in this area are the “trainera” (combining Iberico ham, baby squid, and prawns), fish pie, and potato omelette. Barrio de Gros: this neighbourhood includes El Kursaal, the conference centre, especially striking when floodlit at night, and Zurriola beach, a very peaceful and pleasant spot to walk along. To find pintxos, we recommend exploring streets like Calle General Arteche, Padre Larroca, Usandizaga, Peña y Goñi, and Paseo Colón. Be sure to try pintxos like the “txalupa” (puff pastry with king prawns, mushrooms, and grated cheese), the morcilla volcano, variations on foie gras, and the classic “Gilda” (olive, anchovy, and hot pepper on a toothpick).
More than food, it’s a tradition
Going out for pintxos is part of the culture of the Basque Country, and people usually do it in a group of friends and family. The typical way is to wander from one restaurant to another, enjoying the speciality of each restaurant. Pintxos are usually accompanied by a small glass of beer (zurito) or wine (txikito). A popular choice is the local white wine, txacolí.
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