Elena Arzak’s information to San Sebastián, Spain: 10 high suggestions | Travel

Restaurant Bokado

Bokado is a restaurant overlooking the gorgeous Bahía de la Concha. It’s nice for dinner (the summer season tasting menu prices €47pp and contains seared Iberian pork, langoustines and wild bonito) or for a drink on the terrace watching the solar set over the ocean. The individuals behind Bokado additionally run the restaurant and cafe on the San Telmo museum and magnificence themselves as “pioneers in miniature cuisine”, with dishes corresponding to squid croquettes (€2), crispy octopus (€5) and steak skewers (€2). The museum is within the previous city and is a must-see. It celebrates Basque heritage by archaeological finds and greater than 6,000 work, sculptures and images, together with the 11 Sert Canvases (housed in San Telmo church), which illustrate a very powerful occasions in Basque historical past.
• Both at Plaza Zuloaga, +34 943 573 626,;

Topa Sukaldería

Photograph: Oscar Oliva

Topa is new on town’s restaurant scene. Award-winning chef Andoni Luis Aduriz, of two-Michelin-star-restaurant Mugaritz, opened this Basque-Latin American restaurant within the Gros neighbourhood – a contemporary industrial area of wooden, polished concrete and suave graffiti. The workforce shakes issues up a bit by exploring the culinary connections between the Basque nation and Latin America – tuna ceviche (€13), Peruvian causa with crab (€15), Ecuadorian chocolate quesadillas (€5). Also, ensure you attempt the taco-talos (fried hake taco, €7).
• Calle Aguirre Miramón 7, +34 943 569 143,

Bar Antonio

Antonio Bar, San Sebastian, Spain. from

Bar Antonio is a traditional. Humberto Segura and his workforce take delight of their use of exceptionally contemporary components, so there’s nothing that has been sitting round because the morning. There are a number of tables within the downstairs eating room however my choice has all the time been to face on the street-level bar with a beer and the house-cured anchovies (€19), which is the restaurant’s speciality. It additionally has an incredible listing of scorching pintxos which can be made to order – go for the crayfish ravioli first (€19).
• Calle Bergara three, +34 943 429 815,

Bar Ganbara

Pintxos at Bar Ganbara, San Sebastian.

Photograph: Alamy

Heading out and about for a number of rounds of pintxos [the Basque take on tapas] and wine is one thing that may’t be missed whereas in our metropolis – and this place might be my favorite bar in San Sebastián. It’s a family-run institution within the Parte Vieja neighbourhood that makes use of seasonal and native components. Packed with locals on the weekend, the pintxos on the bar – which is laden with all method of dishes – and those ordered from the kitchen are each unbelievable. I all the time order the crab tartlet (tartaleta de txangurro, €three). There’s additionally an in depth number of wines (rioja and Ribera del Duero) and cava.
• Calle San Jeronimo 21, +34 943 422 575,


Xarma, San Sebastian

Chefs Aizpea Oihaneder and Xabier Diez picked up and moved neighbourhoods (from Antiguo-Igeldo to Gros) with their beloved Xarma. The pair have stored the identify however revamped the model and idea – once more, that’s been completed within the up to date industrial vein. What was as soon as a fine-dining restaurant has been changed into a characterful, full of life spot with an open-plan kitchen and nice pintxos on the bar. Xarma’s Kutixi six-course tasting menu prices €45 – beginning with bacalao and ending with caramel mousse with peanuts and almond nougatine; or just simply savour the truffle of morcilla (€Eight.50).
• 1 Miguel Imaz Kalea, +34 943 142 267,


San Sebastián Aquarium.

Photograph: Alamy

Built in 1928 in one in all San Sebastián’s most picturesque spots – the harbour, proper subsequent to the previous city – the Aquarium doubles as a maritime historical past museum, with shows of historic ships and the early exploration of the brand new world, when the Basques had been crusing additional and additional afield, fishing for cod and looking whales. Important marine species are displayed in its 31 aquariums, together with the Oceanarium, with a 360-degree tunnel, the place you may observe 40 species of fish swimming overhead – together with two sand tiger sharks.
• Plaza de Carlos Blasco de Imaz 1,

Shop like a neighborhood

Minimil, fashion store, San Sebastian, Spain.


Casa Munoa is a third-generation jeweller with its personal workshop. It sells authentic items, such because the Donostibay pendant, designed within the type of town’s bay with Santa Clara island depicted in inexperienced glass, in addition to classic jewelry and ornamental equipment. For clothes, take a look at Minimil. Founded by Contxu Uzkudun in 1977, the company has been directed and managed completely by girls, setting “a benchmark in the defence of women’s rights and autonomy at work”. This is a good native label whose influences come from the landscapes, tradition and colors of Euskadi [the Basque country], together with the distinctive txapela, a beret. Just stunning, and really wearable.
• Munoa, Calle Aldamar 28,; Minimil, Calle Garibai three,

Eduardo Chillida sculpture

Eduardo Chillida sculpture The Comb of the Wind (Haizearen orrazia XV in Basque, Peine del Viento XV in Spanish)

Photograph: Alamy

Eduardo Chillida was a neighborhood sculptor whose work has been exhibited all through the world. His artwork consists primarily of huge, summary interpretations of the human type, forged in metal. Although the sculpture park devoted to his works (Museoa Chillida Leku) is closed for renovations till the autumn, one in all his works, The Comb of the Wind, a collaboration with Basque architect Luis Peña Ganchegui, is put in on rocks on the western finish of La Concha bay. It is an ideal spot to view the swish city sweep of San Sebastián because it meets the wild sea.

• Museoa Chillida Leku,

Contemporary artwork

Tabakalera, International Centre for Contemporary Culture, Donostia, San Sebastian, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain, Europe.

Photograph: Alamy

A one-time tobacco manufacturing unit, Tabakalera is now a global centre for up to date tradition. There is a library, youngsters’s actions, exhibition rooms and theatres, a rooftop terrace that overlooks town, and a boutique lodge, the One Shot. It’s additionally proper subsequent to Cristina Enea, one of many metropolis’s most stunning parks, which over the summer season hosts Tabakalera’s Ud-Ha! competition of open-air live shows, cinema and performing arts, with deckchairs and hammocks.
• Andre Zigarrogileak Plaza 1,, doubles from €170,


The Kursaal Congress Centre and Auditorium, San Sebastian, Spain.

Photograph: Alamy

Opened in 1999, the Kursaal constructing stands proud in opposition to the ocean on the jetty at Zurriola seashore. It was designed by Rafael Moneo to resemble two massive rocks. It’s a venue for live shows, conferences and the San Sebastián International Film Festival, which takes place each September.• Avda. de Zurriola 1,

Getting there

BA, Iberia and Vueling and easyJet fly from the UK to Bilbao, an hour from San Sebastián.

Where to remain

Hotel Okako (doubles from €120 room-only, ) is just a few minutes from town’s previous quarter.

When to go

The International Film Festival is on from 21-29 September; Tamborrada, the noisy drum competition takes place from 19-20 January; the annual gastronomic competition, Gastronomika, runs from Eight-10 October.

Elena Arzak is joint head chef together with her father on the three Michelin star Restaurant Arzak in San Sebastián

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