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San Sebastian, Spain


Elegant Spanish cuisine from a local and international cooking legend

What makes it special: The restaurant situated at the top of a hill in San Sebastian has been in the Arzak family for generations, but it was charismatic Juan Mari who revived the menu to make it what it is today. Now 74 years old, the venerable chef still oversees the kitchen while his talented daughter Elena runs daily operations.

Restaurant interior: The restaurant has several different dining rooms, including a light-filled downstairs room, which is formal yet relaxed. New diners and returning regulars receive the warmest welcome as Juan Mari roams the room to socialise with his guests.

The food: Arzak’s extensive offering includes multiple tasting menus and an à la carte, with specialties such as the Red Space Egg with a skin of red peppers, pig trotters and mushrooms, and seabass served on top of a tablet computer with moving images of the sea. A special feature of many of the dishes is the crunchy element – dishes such as Big Chocolate Truffle with candyfloss, carob, cacao and chocolate have a range of textures, including the signature crunch.

To drink: Arzak boasts an enormous wine cellar with over 100,000 bottles.

On the pass

  • Elena Arzak (pictured) with Juan Mari Arzak

Pastry chef

Style of food

  • Modern Basque

Standout dish

  • Pigeon with potato feathers