The Ultimate Vegetarian Guide to San Sebastian

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!

Enjoy Spain's best foodie city without the meat! Our vegetarian guide to San Sebastian will show you how.

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…

Carne: Meat

Cerdo: Pork

Pescado: Fish

Marisco: Seafood

Leche: Milk

Queso: Cheese

Mantequilla: Butter

Nata: Cream

Huevo: Egg

Miel: Honey

Yo puedo comer… I can eat…

Verduras: Vegetables

Ensalada: Salad

Judías/Habichuelas/Alubias: Beans

Lentejas: Lentils

Soja: Soy

Leche de soja: Soy milk

Almendras: Almonds

Nueces: Nuts

Arroz: Rice

Aceite: Oil

Pan: Bread

Champiñones/Setas: Mushrooms

Espinaca: Spinach

Fruta: Fruit

This vegetarian guide to San Sebastian will help you navigate the city meat-free!
We’re obsessed with the fresh, colorful produce at San Sebastian’s markets!

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!
Risotto flavored with the Basque Country's famous Idiazabal cheese is the #1 tapa in our vegetarian guide to San Sebastian!
We can’t get enough idiazabal cheese!
  • 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!
Pimientos de padrón are one of the best vegan tapas in our vegetarian guide to San Sebastian!
Pimientos de padrón are perfect for sharing!
  • Tortilla de patatas: Looking for the Spanish dish? Forget about paellaTortilla 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!
A classic meat-free tapa, tortilla de patatas is one of the most popular dishes all over Spain and a must-eat in our vegetarian guide to San Sebastian.
Nothing beats a perfect, gooey slice of tortilla.
  • 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.
A tip from our vegetarian guide to San Sebastian: ask your server to hold the jamón and egg from your salmorejo, and you have a delicious vegan tapa!
A refreshing bowl of salmorejo is perfect in the summer.

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

We hope you find this vegetarian guide to San Sebastian helpful! Additionally, you can enjoy more delicious food as well as incredible wine like a local on our Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour! Vegetarian options are available, each unquestionably as delicious as its meat counterpart. We hope you’re hungry!

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.

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