When it comes to San Sebastian’s renowned culinary scene, the fun doesn’t just stop with the food.
To really experience the gastro goodness to the fullest, be sure to wash everything down with a refreshing local drink. Our choice: txakoli! It’s hard to come by outside of northern Spain, so be sure to get your fix while you’re here. When we’re craving txakoli in San Sebastian, you’ll find us at one of these excellent local bars. We hope you’ll join us at one of them!
Wait—what is txakoli, exactly?
We’re glad you asked! Txakoli is a semi-sparkling white wine hailing from the Basque Country (the best stuff comes from the town of Getaria, just outside San Sebastian). It’s young and fruity, with a slightly mineral aftertaste thanks to the coastal climate where the grapes are grown. Txakoli is especially tasty when served alongside the Basque Country’s famous seafood, but it’s also delicious on its own!
Want to learn more about what to drink here in the Basque Country? We’ll let Devour Tours cofounder James and Devour San Sebastian city coordinator Ania take it from here. In the video below, they’ll walk you through the best local drinks in San Sebastian and explain everything you need to know about txakoli—from the unique growing conditions to how to pour it like a pro!
Where to drink txakoli in San Sebastian
Luckily, there’s no shortage of places to enjoy this delicious drink here in our favorite Basque city. Practically any bar you step into (and there’s a lot of them) will serve txakoli—they’re pretty proud of it here, and for good reason! Here in San Sebastian, it’s as ubiquitous as the classic Rioja is throughout most of the rest of Spain. However, if you need a little help narrowing it down, you can’t go wrong at any of these places.
The traditional, rustic pintxos bar: Txepetxa
As we mentioned earlier, our favorite food pairing for txakoli in San Sebastian is easily seafood! And here along the coast, you can’t get much better than the mouthwatering anchovies at Txepetxa. (“But I don’t like anchovies!” We hear you, but give these a try—we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.) The no-frills bar in the Old Town may not look like much, but draws everyone from a crowd of locals out on their nightly pintxos crawl to iconic chefs and celebrities. In fact, we love this place so much that we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to include it on our Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour!
Address: Calle Pescadería, 5
Classy, sit-down elegance: Gandarias
The simple elegance and fabulous food at Gandarias has helped it win the hearts (and tastebuds!) of generations of San Sebastian locals. Additionally, they’re home to an extensive and fabulous wine list, which happens to include not just one, not two, but eight excellent txakolis. Among them: an organic variety from Getaria and a rare Atlantic red txakoli. If you already know and love txakoli in San Sebastian and want to try something new, you’re sure to find it here.
Address: Calle 31 de Agosto, 23
A modern, experimental locale: A Fuego Negro
Think you’ve gotten the full pintxos experience here in San Sebastian? Think again. At A Fuego Negro, everything is experimental, theatrical and contemporary–in the best way possible. Its youthful energy makes it a standout on San Sebastian’s culinary scene, perfectly bridging the gap between the traditional concept of pintxos and modern gastro delights. Plus, with a full wine list where everything is available by the glass, it also happens to be one of our favorite places to drink txakoli in San Sebastian! Come for the mini kobe burgers and modern twist on the classic gilda; stay for the excellent 2014 Agerre complete with the coastal flavors of Getaria.
Address: Calle 31 de Agosto, 31
We don’t know about you, but we sure could go for a nice, crisp glass of txakoli right about now. Want to join us? It’s as easy as signing up for our Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour, where the classic Basque wine is just one of the fabulous drinks on offer. And don’t worry—we didn’t forget the food! You’ll sample everything from impossibly fresh seafood to the best cheesecake in Spain. We can’t wait to have you along!
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.