|Pinchos Galore, Nagusia Lav Bar, San Sebastian|
One of the best things about San Sebastian apart from the huge beach-front, is their small bites or Pintxos (Pinchos) Bars throughout the Old Town. San Sebastian itself has had quite a destructive history with most of the city destroyed in battle around the early 1800's. As a result a lot of the reconstructed stone architecture is relatively young compared to other European towns. The folk in San Sebastian pride themselves on their culinary skills, and boast to have around eight michelin star restaurants - although you wont find many in the town itself, its still pretty good numbers for a small city.
|Outside one of many bars, Nagusia Bar, San Sebastian|
So with eating Pinchos, the idea is that you have 1-3 Pinchos preferably with a small glass of wine at each bar and repeat this process until your heart is content (well actually it was supposed to be a light snack in between meals) - sounds great right? It is, and I did notice that their wine is quite potent. It can get a little chaotic and cramped as it gets quite busy during peak eating times and service in the more traditional bars (apart from one who specialised in anchovies and were amazing ) can be contumelious.
|La Concha Beach, Stone Architecture, San Sebastian|
Think of lining up at a British Airways queue and all the staff pretending to be on the phone and ignoring you, its like that. lol. However, the bites are very nice indeed, I'm not going to say they're all-out viral worthy, as it is very local and if you're not used to basque cuisine, and not a fan seafood (there's some wonderful prawn and egg bites) you might find it a little too much but be adventurous because its the perfect place to push past those palate boundaries.
|Mushroom Pinchos from Gandarias Bar, Fresh Anchovies, pepper & ham pinchos|
But if you're like me and love everything from anchovies to black pudding or foie gras you'll love it. After a while you may want to retire to a more civilised form of dining at a restaurant or just some nasty western food, we found a wonderful little American diner (see my video) in the newer part of the city, they also have restaurants either tucked away on the side or below the bars. If I'm really honest the Hotels were overpriced but the time I did have there I enjoyed it probably more due to the company of folk who were there and the more modern styled Pinchos bars that have popped up.
|Anchovies from best anchovy place Txepetxa Bar, Foie Gras Pinchos from Zumeltzegi|
All in all try a few bars that you like the look of and then try these recommended ones after.
Txepetxa - these guys are the best .... anchovies are their specialty and they're friendly!
Nagusia Lav Bar