Wednesday, November 20, 2013


With one of the world's highest concentration of Michelin stars, San Sebastián is a food lover's paradise. During our visit, we spent our mornings surfing at the beach and our early afternoons pintxos hopping in the city's picturesque old quarter. While many other parts of the country take a midday pause for siesta, the people of San Sebastián hit the bars for pintxos, a Basque tradition who's infectious popularity has spread throughout Spain and far beyond it's borders. Small bites, roughly the size of canapés or hors d'oeuvres spanning an awe inspiring gamut of flavors and textures are set out in impressive bar-top displays visible from the streets. Staff members who are surprisingly collected in the face of the substantial crowds pushing and shoving their way to the food oversee grazing tourists and locals alike. Though some places can get pretty fancy (and pricey), after visiting about a dozen different locations, we found the more traditional spots to be best; there's really no good reason to pay more than 2.00€ per unit for great pintxos. Vermouth, beer or Txakoli (a regional specialty) in hand you grab a bread plate, and fill it up with whatever looks best. Most places employ an honor system and let you run a tab, confident you won't pull a fast one - be respectful. Still, others cautiously request that your bill be payed as frequently as you refill.