Juan Mari and Elena Arzak’s guide to the best pintxo bars in San Sebastian

Giulia Sgarbi - 22/03/2018

Header: a selection of pintxos from A Fuego Negro (images: Alex Iturralde), Bar Ganbara, Bar Txepetxa and Bar Bergara

As The World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2018 heads to Bilbao on Tuesday 19th June, we explore Basque Country cuisine with some of the region's finest chefs and restaurateurs.

Famous for its gastronomy on a global level, the Basque Country has plenty to offer from a culinary point of view, from some of the best restaurants in the world to equally delicious casual dining options, including the bite-sized snacks known as pintxos.

Last month, chef Andoni Luis Aduriz of Mugaritz gave us his top 10 tips on how to enjoy pintxos like a true Basque, and this month the father-and-daughter duo Juan Mari and Elena of Arzak in San Sebastian give us some of their favourite stops on a pintxo bar tour.

“It was almost impossible to choose,” Juan Mari and Elena Arzak said. “We are big fans of so many bars in San Sebastian and you can taste first-class gastronomy in every one." Here are just a few of their recommendations...

El Tamboril
C/ Pescadería 2
Recommended for: gambas gabardina y champiñones (battered shrimps and mushroom)

Bar Ganbara
C/ San Jerónimo 21
Recommended for: txangurro (spider crab) in a variety of preparations

Bar Ganbara's characteristic exterior in San Sebastian

Ormazabal Etxea
C/ 31 de agosto 22
Recommended for: delicious ‘miniature cuisine’


Bar Txepetxa
C/ Pescadería 5
Recommended for: antxoas (anchovies), featured in many different pintxos

pintxo with trout roe at Bar Txepetxa

Hidalgo 56
C/ Paseo Colón 15
Recommended for: volcan de morcilla con yema y arroces (blood sausage ‘vulcano’ with egg yolk and rice)


Bar Bergara
C/ General Arteche 8
Recommended for: bacalao a la Vizcaína (salted cod casserole)

Ajoarriero, a preparation of crumbled cod, tomato, potatoes, prawns, raw garlic and olive oil at Bar Bergara

Paseo Miraconcha 22
Recommended for: tortilla de patatas (Spanish tortilla)

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