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San Sebastian Restaurants: Recommendations


cabrales
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Many thanks! I've never heard a word about El Lagar. Is Kike the last name of the owner---are they relatively new, or have they been around for a long time. Is the bar close to Alona Berri and Bergara, or closer to the Kursaal?

Kike García Casares... He's been working before at El Patio de Raimuntxo. I've been told that the owner of this place is opening a new wine&pintxos bar in the same street :rolleyes:

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  • 1 month later...

In planning my trip to Barcelona/Costa Brava/San Sebastian in March/April, it became painfully obvious that many gastronomic restaurants are closed on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Are the pintxos bars in San Sebastian also closed on these days? How about tapas bars in Barcelona do they follow this tradition? Is there a list of the hours for pintxos bars in San Sebastian and Barcelona?

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Thanks for your reply but I have already done an exhaustive search and I cannot seem to find any info regarding opening times/days for Pintxos bars in San Sebastian. None of the links that you listed provide any info either.

There are lots of threads on the subject here. Please use the search engine an you will find:

Pintxos bars in San Sebastián

San Sebastián, tapas and more

Four days in the Basque Country

And so on...

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Not sure if its open on Sunday or Monday but check out Las Cucharras de San Telmo. They had the best tapas I experienced in San Sebastian.

Future Food - our new television show airing 3/30 @ 9pm cst:

http://planetgreen.discovery.com/tv/future-food/

Hope you enjoy the show! Homaro Cantu

Chef/Owner of Moto Restaurant

www.motorestaurant.com

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Thanks for the reply. I will definately try Alona Berri. This is a gastronomic tour of northern Spain, Cal Pep, Alkimia, Comerc24, El Bulli, Rafas, Arzak, Akellare, Mugaritz and Cinc Sentits. I tried to fit Can Fabes into my schedule but it is tough.

I will have a full trip report when I get back.

You should definetly go to Alona Berri, theyve taken the price for best pinxtos in recent years. Very innovative, without losing touch with the basics.

San sebastian is great, hope to get som reviews from you when you get home

Jakob

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Cal Pep, Alkimia, Comerc24, Cinc  Sentits.

It's really peculiar how the very same Barcelona restaurants get mentioned and scrutinized over and over again on eGullet - and some others never appear.

To my taste, for instance, Àbac is clearly better than any of the above. Yet it's very seldom mentioned here. Curious.

Edited by vserna (log)

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Thanks for the input. I will surely take your suggestion. Maybe I will change Alkimia to Abac. Does Abac have a web site? I have been searching but havent found one.

Cal Pep, Alkimia, Comerc24, Cinc  Sentits.

It's really peculiar how the very same Barcelona restaurants get mentioned and scrutinized over and over again on eGullet - and some others never appear.

To my taste, for instance, Àbac is clearly better than any of the above. Yet it's very seldom mentioned here. Curious.

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I live in San Francisco and I see that all of the restaurants mentioned here on eGullet are always the most popular ones but there are also many fantastic restaurants that never get mentioned for some odd reason.

Cal Pep, Alkimia, Comerc24, Cinc  Sentits.

It's really peculiar how the very same Barcelona restaurants get mentioned and scrutinized over and over again on eGullet - and some others never appear.

To my taste, for instance, Àbac is clearly better than any of the above. Yet it's very seldom mentioned here. Curious.

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  • 1 year later...

Going there for a few days next month (a Fri, Sat, Sun) and want to know exactly where to go. Help please...

Is a visit to the likes of Arzak or Mugaritz a necessity? Is there a more informal place to get avant-garde cuisine?

Where for pintxos? Five or six meals' worth...

Any interesting places for a menu del dia that might be better than picking from the bar?

Any breakfast recommendations?

Any cheese / charcuterie / booze stalls or shops that need to be tried?

And unmissable bars?

All suggestions welcomed. Don't have to be fancy, ultra-traditional or tourist-friendly. Just good.

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I haven't been to Mugaritz yet, but Arzak was not particularly formal. In fact most restaurants in Spain are not overly formal in my experience. I would definitely do at least one of the top haute cuisine retaurants while in the area. Opinions vary widely as to which is the best. I enjoyed Arzak very much when I was there in 2004.

La Brecha market in central San Sebastien is a wonderful place - especially the seafood vendors.

As for Pintxos bars, I would recommend Bar Bergara, although half the fun is doing a crawl and eating whatever catches your fancy.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I haven't been to Mugaritz yet, but Arzak was not particularly formal. In fact most restaurants in Spain are not overly formal in my experience. I would definitely do at least one of the top haute cuisine retaurants while in the area. Opinions vary widely as to which is the best. I enjoyed Arzak very much when I was there in 2004.

La Brecha market in central San Sebastien is a wonderful place - especially the seafood vendors.

As for Pintxos bars, I would recommend Bar Bergara, although half the fun is doing a crawl and eating whatever catches your fancy.

I agree with Docsconz except for his lack of experience with dining at Mugaritz. We think Mugaritz is an absolute MUST! Mugaritz has no notable dress code. It is nevertheless a remarkable, outstanding restaurant with extraordinary innovation and delivers an exceptional cuisine. Andoni Aduriz is one of the finest chefs in the WORLD!!!

The San Sebastien market is enjoyable, but so is walking the beach of La Concha Bay and admiring the Chillida's Wind Combs. DO NOT miss this extraordinary experience! Judith Gebhart

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I've had several of the best meals of my life at Arzak, and can't recommend it highly enough. It is quite informal, and Juan Mari and Elena are always very gracious. Excellent wine list and service, just an amazing selection of fairly priced Riojas and Riberas, with many producers and vintages rarely seen in the US.

As for pintxos, you will do just fine by wandering the Parte Viejo and winging it. The locals can guide you to just the place where a particular item is a specialty, but you hardly can go wrong here!

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Thanks for the comments so far. Please, if you're reading this and there's anything you can add, help me out. Even if it's a single dish in a single place. That's just the sort of thing we could be looking for...

Dear Dan, I must add another pitch for the excellence of Mugaritz: Grant Achatz of Chicago's Alinea restaurant in an interview with Michael Ruhlman who is a co- author of The French Laundry and other cooking texts of much interest reported that Grant found Andoni Aduriz one of the most outstanding dining experiences he has savored.

I also recently learned, via email, of a significant Mugaritz endorsement by a 2007 Michelin newly starred chef, Arnaud Daguin and his wife, Veronique from Hegia. They celebrated their first Michelin star at Mugaritz and it was a stellar evening.

My comments are not to dissuade any diners to sample the outstanding fare of Arzak or Arkalare both of whom offer exceptional dining experiences. We are just unabashed supporters of one of the world's most talented young chefs--Andoni Aduriz. We hope egulleteers come to share our opinion. By the way, I would recommend the talents of Bergara, of San Sebastien. Judith Gebhart

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Dan,

When we went to San Sebastian a couple of years ago I couldn't afford a trip to Arzak (or any starred place) but I still had one of the most enjoyable gastronomic trips of my life.

The pintxos tour of the old town left me almost in tears: of happiness because of the food and hospitality we'd enjoyed, and of frustration at what I was unable to eat.

We went to the places that are always recommended and they didn't let us down: Bar Gambara for the mushrooms and Bar Astelana for the fishcakes. Pretty much everything in those 2 places was superb, and the mushrooms (in autumn) were sensational.

Knowing you, you'll prefer La Cuchara de San Telmo which served up less traditional pintxos. It was also hard to fault but I was over-full by the time we got there and could only try a couple of plates.

For breakfast, there's an old churreria that does unbeatable chocolate and churros, but I can't remember what it's called...

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for tapas bar Gandarias (sp?) in the old town near the cathedral was my personal favourite. No-one ever mentions Berasategui when restos are mentioned, it was our best meal the last time we were there, along with the usual suspects. The sommelier from Montreal was particularly kind to us and we had way more wine than we were charged for.

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Cuchara San Telmo is definitely a must. Inexpensive and great food. Zero atmosphere in the traditional sense. Who cares? Espaldita de conejo with prunes for 3 euros. Foie for 3 euros. Maigret de pato, 3 euros.....and better here than some places I fear to mention.

I love Arzak and Akelarre....how can you not go?......but I get blasted on this site every time I say so. I was pleased to see the previous posters standing up for Juan Mari Arzak. Akelarre is breath-taking as well. You can take the bus to either one.

Meanwhile, Alona Berri on Calle Bermingham in Gros is the bomb. Way more formal than Cuchara, but with a great host and beautiful, wonderful food. It is a bar, but the crowd is more ladies of a certain age in furs than the soccer guys at Cuchara. Alona Berri wins the best pintxo in Donostia award every time it is handed out. Go crazy, eat everything on the menu, have six glasses of tempranillo and spend 40 euros. Try not to cry.

Meanwhile, for a great lunch for no money....Bodegon Alejandro is the second string Martin B joint on Kalea Fermin and you would never know it from the food. I just finished working at The Masters with a former Bodegon chef who is now running a great fun place in Mexico. The new chef there is also very, very good. Well worth the 13 euro lunch, or go crazy and get the 30 euro tasting menu.

Also, no one ever mentions the sidrerias. Not cool enough, I guess. Still, it is as much fun as you can have with your clothes on: tortillas, bacalao, thick ox steaks cooked over charcoal, membrillo and local sheep cheese.....and mass quantities of cider squirted from giant steel tanks while rubbing elbows with the locals. We love Zelaia in Astigarraga, but there are a dozen. Even Andoni from Mugaritz mentions an Astigarraga place in his top picks in Spain restaurants somewhere on this site. You can take a taxi, or it is a 20 minute drive from downtown.

If you want fotos or addresses or phone numbers send me a message.

Edited by Txacoli (log)
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Well, I haven't been to Mugaritz, but I did have the good fortune to have Andoni Aduriz cook dinner for me last weekend. He was over here in Oz for the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, bringing a couple of his staff with him and they cooked a special dinner for about 36 people at a local restaurant where a former member of his staff is head chef. I'd been fortunate enough to attend his master class the previous day. Even got the recipes for his "edible rocks" (potatoes) and his lovely "gnocchi".

My report and photos of the 10-course degustation are here on my website.

Website: http://cookingdownunder.com

Blog: http://cookingdownunder.com/blog

Twitter: @patinoz

The floggings will continue until morale improves

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