Please help critique San Sebastian & Bilbao list (plus fill a few gaps)

Hello everyone, I’ll be traveling to San Sebastian & Bilbao for the first time, solo later this year. I’ve been reading about the wonderful food here for years and am really looking forward! I would appreciate some feedback on the places I’m thinking about checking out! I won’t be driving but reasonable cab rides are OK. Thanks!

San Sebastian

  • Pintxos: Borda Berri, Bar Nestor, Ganbara, Gandarias, La Cepa de Bernardo, Bar Sport, Txepeta, Bar Nestor, La Viña, Atari Gastroleku, La Cuchara de San Telmo

  • Restaurants:

    • Rekondo
    • Casa Urola
    • Martin Berasategui: I’ve read a lot of mixed reviews and am not sure
    • Casa Julian
  • Petritegi Sagardotegia

Bilbao

  • Late night, 1:00 AM’ish: NEED A PLACE

  • Restaurants:

    • Azurmendi
    • I’ve been trying to get a spot at Etxebarri but it does not look promising. Any suggestions for an alternative? Considering Mina, Irrintzi, Restaurante Aizian Jatetxea.
  • Pintxos: El Globo, La Vina del Ensanche

Any other must-visit places that I’m missing? Thank you very much!

I prefer the restaurant section (back room) of La Viña to the bar.

Lunch excursion to Asador Etxebarri?

Thank you Robert! Any dish recommendation at La Viña’s restaurant (or any of the other places)?

Re. Etxebarri, I’ve sent them requests for multiple dates but other than the automated email they send to acknowledge the request, nothing from them so far. At this point, I have no idea how does one get into that place these days :slight_smile: If you have any suggestions, would love to hear. Thanks!

The ham, chuleta de buey, and oxtails are what I remember but everything was good. And of course the original of the world-famous cheesecake.

Great, thank you! I was planning to go to La Txuleteria del Iraeta and Casa Julian for Txuleta (plus, I guess it’ll be a part of the meal at Petritegi Sagardotegia). Any suggestion on which one to replace with the one at La Viña’s? Thanks!

Welcome to FTC!!!

A note on pintxos crawling in San Sebastián: Conditions on the ground are ever-changing. Check out todopintxos.com to get the latest on best bites at specific bars around town in any given week. The list is constantly being updated.

If you don’t mind a 25km trip to Getaria, the signature turbot at Elkano is worthy of the pilgrimage.

Akelarre and La Viña are still great meals.

Etxebarri used to be an easier rezzie. Now it’s easier to gain an audience with the Pope than to eat at the Asador…

¡Buen provecho! And please report back!

Thank you! I’m not sure if I’ll be able to make it to Getaria this time around but definitely keeping Elkano in mind if I’m able to go. I few friends who’ve been highly recommended it as well!

Would you happen to have any thoughts on Martin Berasategui? People’s experiences seem to be all over the place - some say it was the best meal of their lives, others say it was really underwhelming. Can’t decide if I should try it or not, esp. given the price. Thanks!