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12 Hottest New Restaurants in San Sebastián, Spain

Where to find juicy lomo saltado, squid ink tacos, and tinned seafood with vermouth in the Basque coastal town

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Today, Eater returns to the glorious coastal Spanish town of San Sebastián to highlight a dozen of its most notable newcomers. We asked local writer and cook Marti Buckley to weigh in with her picks for the most exciting openings of the last 12 months or so. “If New York is the city that never sleeps, San Sebastián is the city that never stops eating,” says Buckley. Among her picks, a Peruvian sanguchería (Ekeko), a top chef’s foray into Basque-Latin fusion (Topa Sukaldería), and a newly awarded Michelin star (Amelia).

So, without further ado, here is the Eater heatmap to San Sebastián, Spain.

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Note: Restaurants on this map are listed geographically.

1. Oteiza

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Padre Orkolaga Ibilbidea, 56, 20008 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

As part of his jump into the hotelier world, Pedro Subijana has added a (more) casual dining concept to his new hotel Akelarre, named for his three-Michelin-starred restaurant. Oteiza serves the kind of food you can imagine Subijana whips up at home: his signature sea bass with green pepper, vegetable Bolognese, and fried egg with potato “glass.” The terrace outside is one of the best along the coast, and is the perfect spot for a cocktail by the renowned Patxi Troitino.

The terraces at Oteiza
Photo: Oteiza/Facebook

2. eMe Be Garrote

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Igara Bidea, 33, 37, 20018 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

Hometown hero Martín Berasategui goes casual at eMe Be Garrote, his latest venture, on the outskirts of San Sebastián. Here, the cuisine of Berasategui’s three-Michelin-star restaurant in town comes down to earth, with a market-based menu that dips into haute-cuisine techniques and presentations. The decor is a similar combination of traditional Basque and contemporary Nordic, which seems fitting for the formidable farmhouse and former ciderhouse. It’s a delicious mix; diners can eat a plain old Basque txuleta or take a turn for the modern with dishes like the crunchy oyster with grapefruit granita and walnut hollandaise.

A dish at eMe Be Garrote
Photo: eMe Be Garrote official

3. Takatak Bar

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Zaragoza Plaza, 4, 20007 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

An ever-changing menu under the direction of Dmitrii Modestov shows a preference for Japanese seafood preparations and homey Russian tastes, but with a nod to global trends, as in the house-marinated anchovies and a dish of hummus with Basque pork sausage. The glass-enclosed dining room features an open kitchen, a cellar loaded with organic wines, and a cozier bar area serving cocktails by Manel Vehí, one of Spain’s star mixologists. The ensaladilla rusa, or Russian potato salad, is a must.

A caviar-topped dish at Takatak Bar
Photo: Takatak Bar/Facebook

4. Convent Garden

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Manterola Kalea, 15, 20006 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

What happens when the restaurateurs behind San Sebastián’s famed Atari take over the better part of a former convent? Something like a miracle: a modern eatery replete with decorative trappings from the original convent, and a menu that’s a well-priced foray into vegetable-centric eating — a rare concept in this corner of the world. The dishes feel like modern comfort food: cabbage rolls with demi-glace, a chunk of pancetta over quinoa, roasted eggplant with miso —  all served beneath antique candelabras. The historic building also houses a hostel and music venue, complete with confessional booths at the back.

Convent Garden
Photo: Convent Garden/Facebook

5. TX Klub

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Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 3, 20003 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain
+34 843 68 50 19

It was no surprise when the power houses behind an ever-growing empire of bars and restaurants, including Atari and Sirimiri, took over another pintxo bar in the Old Town. The shocker came when they turned the basement of Txalupa into a reservations-only, clubstaurant. Book a table in advance and the waiters upstairs will buzz you in to the speakeasy-style spot. The food is a delicious mix of Spanish classics with a twist, like a creamy wild mushroom rice dotted with yuca and a Scotch egg made with blood pudding. An excellent cocktail and wine list and weekend DJ makes this a one-stop shop. 

6. Misura Restaurant

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Paseo de Miramón, 162, 20014 San Sebastián
Guipúzcoa, Spain

At Misura you’ll find a mixture of Basque tradition, haute techniques, and organic ingredients. The stylish restaurant is part of the new Hotel Arima, located on the outskirts of the city, and has a fun approach to vegetable-centric cooking. Featured proteins and vegetables are available in several variations — order your cauliflower as a puree topped with roasted florets, with a sous-vide egg, or with salt cod and smoked olive oil.

A vegetable soup at Misura
Photo: Misura Official

7. Ekeko

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Reyes Catolicos Kalea, 6, 20006 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

A Peruvian restaurant has popped up inside an artisanal bakery, and for good reason — its specialty is stuffing traditional Peruvian flavors into sandwich form. The Loaf bakery’s research and development team have created a purple-corn focaccia and miniature burger buns sprinkled with quinoa to act as the canvases for Ekeko’s flavor-packed fillings. As special as the house-marinated botifarra, roasted ham, and juicy lomo saltado may be, the appetizers are even more so. Don’t miss the ají gallina croquettes or the marinated beef-heart anticuchos. For dessert, it’s purple corn, lúcuma, and quinoa ice creams sold by the scoop.

A ceviche at Ekeko
Photo: Ekeko/Facebook

8. Amelia Restaurant

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Prim Kalea, 34, 20006 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

Chef Paulo Airaudo comes to San Sebastián by way of Argentina, and his latest restaurant, Amelia, holds the most recently bestowed Michelin star in the city’s constellation. Here he strives for an international vibe, from the reservations-only, locked-front-door policy (you have to buzz to be let in) to the Italian sommelier Mario Giunti’s diverse wine list. With artful plating and dishes that reflect global trends — like the avocado, caviar, and creme fraiche ice cream starter — this is a restaurant that looks beyond local food in an effort to gain international attention.

Crab salad with pickled cucumber and avocado mousse at Amelia
Photo: Amelia Restaurant/Facebook

9. Ezcaray

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Paseo, República Argentina Kalea, 4, 20004 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

For the last three years, the grand dame Hotel María Cristina has hosted a different star chef for a summer pop-up. This year (through October) it’s Francis Paniego (of Echaurren and Marqués de Riscal, for a total of three Michelin stars) at the helm. Choose from the two tasting menus (115 euros and 145 euros), whose dish descriptions (think “fresh herbs or tasting a high mountain meadow”) are meant to reflect “feelings that the 10 kilometres of nature surrounding the Ezcaray Valley transmit to us.” Most importantly, and a lot less flowery, the tastings include Francis’s mother’s uber-famous croquettes.

The dining room at the Hotel María Cristina
Photo: Hotel María Cristina Official

10. Topa Sukaldería

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Agirre Miramon Kalea, 8, 20002 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

San Sebastián’s first successful attempt at a contemporary Latin American eatery comes from a surprising yet highly qualified set of hands: Andoni Luis Aduriz, head chef at Mugaritz. Inspired by his travels to Latin America, Aduriz says the mission of Topa is “to celebrate centuries of interaction between Basques and Latin Americans.” The cultures coexist happily in dishes like tacos filled with ink-tossed squid and cocktails like the Euskojito, which reinvents the mojito using a local Basque white wine. The cool concrete and raw-wood interior is dominated by a gigantic mural by local artist Judas Arrieta that fuses Baque imagery with Latin street style.

Chicken croquettes at Topa Sukaldería
Photo: Topa Sukaldería/Facebook

11. Xarma Cook & Culture

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Miguel Imaz Kalea, 1, 20002 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

Aizpea Oihaneder and Xabi Díez closed the doors of their aspirational white-tablecloth spot to focus on something more fun. The revamped result is a vibey basement restaurant with an open kitchen plan that serves the chefs’ edgy take on contemporary Basque cuisine, from roasted piquillo peppers with yuca “coals” to a superb suckling pig. There’s the requisite pintxo bar upstairs, lined with unique creations like a smoked salt cod kebab.

12. Rita

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Mandasko Dukearen Pasealekua, 6-8, 20012 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

Chef Ismael Iglesias, of the chic Kata 4 oyster and pintxos bar, opened Rita in the locals-only neighborhood of Egia. Here you’ll find many typical pintxo bar offerings — charcuterie platters, fried calamari — but always with an upmarket presentation and top-quality produce. The focus is, however, on the menu’s full-size dishes, like salmorejo with basil ice cream or mackerel with paella socarrat and curry flan. Rita’s midday prix fixe, priced at 25 euros and also available in half-portions, is a price-conscious way to sample the menu.

A fried seafood aperitivo bite at Rita
Photo: Restaurante Rita/Facebook

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1. Oteiza

Padre Orkolaga Ibilbidea, 56, 20008 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
The terraces at Oteiza
Photo: Oteiza/Facebook

As part of his jump into the hotelier world, Pedro Subijana has added a (more) casual dining concept to his new hotel Akelarre, named for his three-Michelin-starred restaurant. Oteiza serves the kind of food you can imagine Subijana whips up at home: his signature sea bass with green pepper, vegetable Bolognese, and fried egg with potato “glass.” The terrace outside is one of the best along the coast, and is the perfect spot for a cocktail by the renowned Patxi Troitino.

Padre Orkolaga Ibilbidea, 56, 20008 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

2. eMe Be Garrote

Igara Bidea, 33, 37, 20018 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
A dish at eMe Be Garrote
Photo: eMe Be Garrote official

Hometown hero Martín Berasategui goes casual at eMe Be Garrote, his latest venture, on the outskirts of San Sebastián. Here, the cuisine of Berasategui’s three-Michelin-star restaurant in town comes down to earth, with a market-based menu that dips into haute-cuisine techniques and presentations. The decor is a similar combination of traditional Basque and contemporary Nordic, which seems fitting for the formidable farmhouse and former ciderhouse. It’s a delicious mix; diners can eat a plain old Basque txuleta or take a turn for the modern with dishes like the crunchy oyster with grapefruit granita and walnut hollandaise.

Igara Bidea, 33, 37, 20018 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

3. Takatak Bar

Zaragoza Plaza, 4, 20007 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
A caviar-topped dish at Takatak Bar
Photo: Takatak Bar/Facebook

An ever-changing menu under the direction of Dmitrii Modestov shows a preference for Japanese seafood preparations and homey Russian tastes, but with a nod to global trends, as in the house-marinated anchovies and a dish of hummus with Basque pork sausage. The glass-enclosed dining room features an open kitchen, a cellar loaded with organic wines, and a cozier bar area serving cocktails by Manel Vehí, one of Spain’s star mixologists. The ensaladilla rusa, or Russian potato salad, is a must.

Zaragoza Plaza, 4, 20007 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

4. Convent Garden

Manterola Kalea, 15, 20006 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Convent Garden
Photo: Convent Garden/Facebook

What happens when the restaurateurs behind San Sebastián’s famed Atari take over the better part of a former convent? Something like a miracle: a modern eatery replete with decorative trappings from the original convent, and a menu that’s a well-priced foray into vegetable-centric eating — a rare concept in this corner of the world. The dishes feel like modern comfort food: cabbage rolls with demi-glace, a chunk of pancetta over quinoa, roasted eggplant with miso —  all served beneath antique candelabras. The historic building also houses a hostel and music venue, complete with confessional booths at the back.

Manterola Kalea, 15, 20006 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

5. TX Klub

Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 3, 20003 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain

It was no surprise when the power houses behind an ever-growing empire of bars and restaurants, including Atari and Sirimiri, took over another pintxo bar in the Old Town. The shocker came when they turned the basement of Txalupa into a reservations-only, clubstaurant. Book a table in advance and the waiters upstairs will buzz you in to the speakeasy-style spot. The food is a delicious mix of Spanish classics with a twist, like a creamy wild mushroom rice dotted with yuca and a Scotch egg made with blood pudding. An excellent cocktail and wine list and weekend DJ makes this a one-stop shop. 

Fermin Calbeton Kalea, 3, 20003 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

6. Misura Restaurant

Paseo de Miramón, 162, 20014 San Sebastián, Guipúzcoa, Spain
A vegetable soup at Misura
Photo: Misura Official

At Misura you’ll find a mixture of Basque tradition, haute techniques, and organic ingredients. The stylish restaurant is part of the new Hotel Arima, located on the outskirts of the city, and has a fun approach to vegetable-centric cooking. Featured proteins and vegetables are available in several variations — order your cauliflower as a puree topped with roasted florets, with a sous-vide egg, or with salt cod and smoked olive oil.

Paseo de Miramón, 162, 20014 San Sebastián
Guipúzcoa, Spain

7. Ekeko

Reyes Catolicos Kalea, 6, 20006 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
A ceviche at Ekeko
Photo: Ekeko/Facebook

A Peruvian restaurant has popped up inside an artisanal bakery, and for good reason — its specialty is stuffing traditional Peruvian flavors into sandwich form. The Loaf bakery’s research and development team have created a purple-corn focaccia and miniature burger buns sprinkled with quinoa to act as the canvases for Ekeko’s flavor-packed fillings. As special as the house-marinated botifarra, roasted ham, and juicy lomo saltado may be, the appetizers are even more so. Don’t miss the ají gallina croquettes or the marinated beef-heart anticuchos. For dessert, it’s purple corn, lúcuma, and quinoa ice creams sold by the scoop.

Reyes Catolicos Kalea, 6, 20006 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

8. Amelia Restaurant

Prim Kalea, 34, 20006 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Crab salad with pickled cucumber and avocado mousse at Amelia
Photo: Amelia Restaurant/Facebook

Chef Paulo Airaudo comes to San Sebastián by way of Argentina, and his latest restaurant, Amelia, holds the most recently bestowed Michelin star in the city’s constellation. Here he strives for an international vibe, from the reservations-only, locked-front-door policy (you have to buzz to be let in) to the Italian sommelier Mario Giunti’s diverse wine list. With artful plating and dishes that reflect global trends — like the avocado, caviar, and creme fraiche ice cream starter — this is a restaurant that looks beyond local food in an effort to gain international attention.

Prim Kalea, 34, 20006 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

9. Ezcaray

Paseo, República Argentina Kalea, 4, 20004 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
The dining room at the Hotel María Cristina
Photo: Hotel María Cristina Official

For the last three years, the grand dame Hotel María Cristina has hosted a different star chef for a summer pop-up. This year (through October) it’s Francis Paniego (of Echaurren and Marqués de Riscal, for a total of three Michelin stars) at the helm. Choose from the two tasting menus (115 euros and 145 euros), whose dish descriptions (think “fresh herbs or tasting a high mountain meadow”) are meant to reflect “feelings that the 10 kilometres of nature surrounding the Ezcaray Valley transmit to us.” Most importantly, and a lot less flowery, the tastings include Francis’s mother’s uber-famous croquettes.

Paseo, República Argentina Kalea, 4, 20004 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

10. Topa Sukaldería

Agirre Miramon Kalea, 8, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
Chicken croquettes at Topa Sukaldería
Photo: Topa Sukaldería/Facebook

San Sebastián’s first successful attempt at a contemporary Latin American eatery comes from a surprising yet highly qualified set of hands: Andoni Luis Aduriz, head chef at Mugaritz. Inspired by his travels to Latin America, Aduriz says the mission of Topa is “to celebrate centuries of interaction between Basques and Latin Americans.” The cultures coexist happily in dishes like tacos filled with ink-tossed squid and cocktails like the Euskojito, which reinvents the mojito using a local Basque white wine. The cool concrete and raw-wood interior is dominated by a gigantic mural by local artist Judas Arrieta that fuses Baque imagery with Latin street style.

Agirre Miramon Kalea, 8, 20002 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

11. Xarma Cook & Culture

Miguel Imaz Kalea, 1, 20002 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain

Aizpea Oihaneder and Xabi Díez closed the doors of their aspirational white-tablecloth spot to focus on something more fun. The revamped result is a vibey basement restaurant with an open kitchen plan that serves the chefs’ edgy take on contemporary Basque cuisine, from roasted piquillo peppers with yuca “coals” to a superb suckling pig. There’s the requisite pintxo bar upstairs, lined with unique creations like a smoked salt cod kebab.

Miguel Imaz Kalea, 1, 20002 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

12. Rita

Mandasko Dukearen Pasealekua, 6-8, 20012 Donostia, Gipuzkoa, Spain
A fried seafood aperitivo bite at Rita
Photo: Restaurante Rita/Facebook

Chef Ismael Iglesias, of the chic Kata 4 oyster and pintxos bar, opened Rita in the locals-only neighborhood of Egia. Here you’ll find many typical pintxo bar offerings — charcuterie platters, fried calamari — but always with an upmarket presentation and top-quality produce. The focus is, however, on the menu’s full-size dishes, like salmorejo with basil ice cream or mackerel with paella socarrat and curry flan. Rita’s midday prix fixe, priced at 25 euros and also available in half-portions, is a price-conscious way to sample the menu.

Mandasko Dukearen Pasealekua, 6-8, 20012 Donostia
Gipuzkoa, Spain

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