Hidden among fresh seafood and Basque sausages, there are actually quite a few vegetarian options on most menus in San Sebastian.
Given that members of the younger generation are moving toward a more health-conscious lifestyle, the number of plant-based products keeps going up. It’s easier than ever to eat meat-free in San Sebastian! This vegetarian guide to San Sebastian will help you discover equally delicious options without the meat. In fact, many are even vegan-friendly as well. Get ready to enjoy Europe’s best foodie city, veggie style!
Handy words and phrases
Even back home, communicating dietary restrictions can be particularly complicated. Throw in an unfamiliar language such as Spanish, and you may be understandably overwhelmed! For that reason, here are some useful phrases for communicating your dietary needs to start off our vegetarian guide to San Sebastian.
Yo soy vegano/a. I am vegan.
Yo soy vegetariano/a. I am vegetarian.
Yo no como ni carne, ni pescado, ni huevos, ni productos lacteos. I don’t eat meat, fish, eggs or dairy products.
¿Me recomiendas algo rico por favor? Can you recommend me something tasty please?
Yo no puedo comer… I can’t eat…
Yo puedo comer… I can eat…
Leche de soja: Soy milk
Vegetarian and vegan tapas
Now time for the fun part of our vegetarian guide to San Sebastian: the food! Despite what meat fans may think, many popular vegetarian tapas and pintxos are delicious. In fact, many may even be tastier than their meat-based counterparts. Here are just a few of our favorites!
- Risotto with Idiazabal cheese sauce: This is a delicious way to experience the Basque Country’s pride and joy: its delicious cheese! Queso idiazabal (considered one of the world’s best cheeses) is produced right here in the region and has a smoky, nutty flavor that is absolutely divine. A common vegetarian tapa is creamy risotto with idiazabal sauce—incredibly delicious!
- Padrón peppers: As the saying goes, “some are hot and some are not!” Sharing a plate of these tasty peppers is always an adventure. While the majority are mild, nobody knows who will be the lucky winner and bite into the occasional spicy one unexpectedly! And as a matter of fact, they’re vegan, too!
- Tortilla de patatas: Looking for the Spanish dish? Forget about paella. Tortilla de patatas is as simple as it gets—potatoes, eggs, and salt occasionally coupled with onions—and it’s found all over the country. It’s proof that in general, you don’t need a ton of fancy ingredients to make delicious food. Plus, it’s vegetarian—it’s basically perfect!
- Salmorejo: Enjoy a taste of sunny southern Spain here up north! Salmorejo is a cold tomato-based puree, almost like a thicker version of its more popular cousin, gazpacho. Despite its creamy texture, there is absolutely no milk or cream in it at all—it’s totally vegan! The magic ingredient that makes it so rich and filling is actually bread.
Veggie-friendly restaurants in San Sebastian
So you’ve got some suggestions for what to eat. But where to eat it? After all, it wouldn’t be a vegetarian guide to San Sebastian without listing some of the best veggie-friendly restaurants! Here are a few of our favorites. You’ll enjoy food equally as good as the meat-based products around town.
- Borda Berri: Made-to-order vegetarian pintxos and tapas abound at this fun, eclectic restaurant. It’s a great place to try the risotto with idiazabal we mentioned earlier. Additionally, their version includes perfectly grilled mushrooms!
Address: Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 12
- Km. 0 Taberna Jatetxea: Farm-fresh, locally sourced products come together into delicious vegan and vegetarian food at this off-the-beaten-path restaurant. Even more, it offers one of the healthiest menus in town!
Address: Duque de Mandas, 35
- Ganbara: Although not strictly a vegetarian restaurant, the meatless options at this family-run place are abundant and full of flavor. Owners José and Amaia use fresh products from local farms and turning them into incredibly flavorful dishes that are basically perfect for sharing.
Address: Calle San Jeronimo, 21
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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.