Pintxos aren’t just food in San Sebastian—they’re a way of life.
As such an important local tradition, it makes sense that you’ll only want to eat the very best pintxos on your crawl. But with so many bars to choose from, finding the very best can be overwhelming. That’s why we put together this list of the top 10 bars in San Sebastian so you can be sure you’re eating only the best of the best. In no particular order, here they are!
1. A Fuego Negro
Long touted as one of the best pintxos bars in San Sebastian for good reason, it’s no surprise why A Fuego Negro makes our list. From its contemporary decor to its experimental menu, this is a pintxos bar for the new generation. In addition to some seriously fabulous pintxos, they also offer a spectacular wine list. And if you’re looking for something a bit more upscale, try their tasting menu.
Address: 31 de Agosto Kalea, 31
2. Bar Zeruko
Another local favorite with well-deserved renown, Bar Zeruko takes their innovative pintxos to the next level. Their pintxos are true artistic and culinary masterpieces, so well-crafted that they’re almost too pretty to eat (but they’re also too delicious not to eat!). Despite the young and hip vibe in addition to the creative menu, though, it remains true to the heart of traditional Basque cooking and flavors.
Address: Arrandegi Kalea, 10
3. Bar La Cepa
If more traditional pintxos are what you’re after, Bar La Cepa is the place for you. This place hasn’t changed much in the 70 years it’s been open, but that doesn’t mean it’s stuffy and old. It holds true to its traditional roots while adapting to the modern pace and culture of the city. A no-frills, simple atmosphere staffed by friendly servers and bartenders will make you feel at home, and the food helps cement its place as one of the best bars in San Sebastian.
Address: 31 de Agosto Kalea, 7
4. La Cuchara de San Telmo
Yes, we know, La Cuchara de San Telmo gets a mention in just about all the guidebooks nowadays. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all touristy! Locals and visitors alike love this bar in the Old Town for their fabulous, cooked-to-order pintxos as well as its hip and trendy atmosphere. You won’t see any pintxos on the bar here—look at the chalkboard and order from there.
Address: 31 de Agosto Kalea, 28
5. Atari Gastroteka
Traditional flavors take on modern twists at Atari Gastroteka, one of the most happening bars in San Sebastian. Its low-key, unpretentious vibe make it a popular meeting point for local friends. Both their hot and cold pintxos are excellent, but if you can’t decide, their pulpo (octopus) is one of the best items on the menu. It gets pretty packed here, so don’t be surprised to see the crowd spilling out of the bar and onto the steps of the church next door!
Address: Calle Mayor, 18
6. Goiz Argi
Get to Goiz Argi early if you want to grab a seat (or even squeeze in to stand). Like clockwork, it fills up every evening with locals and visitors eager to try their famous brochetas de gambas (shrimp skewers). It sounds simple, but no place has perfected it quite like Goiz Argi! However, anything you order will be incredibly delicious, and the fantastic food makes it one of our favorite bars in San Sebastian
Address: Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 4
More than 25 years ago, locals José and Amaia opened Ganbara with a vision of creating delicious pintxos from fresh, local ingredients. Decades later, they still hold true to that mission. Ganbara is one of our favorite bars in San Sebastian for this commitment to quality as well as their friendly service that will make you feel at home. They also offer a delicious and wide range of meat-free tapas, perfect for vegetarians.
Address: San Jeronimo Kalea, 19
8. Bar Sport
If you’re not much of a sports person, don’t let Bar Sport‘s name throw you off. While its true that its moniker comes from its popularity as a spot for locals to catch the game, you’ll want to stick around for the fabulous pintxos. Their pintxos are beautifully assembled using simple ingredients. Throw in a casual, vibrant local vibe and you’ve got one of the most authentic bars in San Sebastian.
Address: Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 10
9. Bar La Espiga
Although it’s a little ways away from the Old Town, Bar La Espiga is worth the trip for the anchovies alone. (Not an anchovy fan? You will be after eating here.) This lovely little traditional bar near La Concha Beach is bursting with local atmosphere and flavor. They’re best known for their seafood, but you can’t go wrong with any of their fabulous pintxos.
Address: San Martzial Kalea, 48
10. La Mejillonera
Another one of the best bars in San Sebastian for seafood, La Mejillonera is where you’ll find the best mussels in the city. Try the tigres (“tiger mussels”) with spicy red sauce for an explosion of delicious flavor unlike anything you’ve ever tasted. You’ll probably need to stand due to the amount of people who pack in here, but that just adds to its authentic charm.
Address: Calle del Puerto, 15
Ready to discover even more of the best bars in San Sebastian? Join us on our Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour and eat your way around town with us! From traditional gourmet shops to bustling pintxos bars, you’ll step into establishments that locals have loved for generations. And, of course, you’ll try some of their fabulous food! Join us and get ready to discover the world’s best foodie city.
Life is too short to speak one language and stay in one place. In 2015, this philosophy took her from familiar Ohio to sunny southern Spain. Usually drinking tinto de verano, reading Lorca, or attempting to dance flamenco (not all at once). Follow her blog, Viatic Couture, for more.