Pages Menu
Categories Menu

Posted by on Mar 7, 2016 | 42 comments

My Favorite Pintxos in San Sebastian

Spain has left a huge impression on me.

I do not know where to start in order to describe what attracts me of the country.  It is a combination of things.  Architecture.  Big plazas.  Museums.  Atmosphere.  Culture. Night life.  Inhabitants.  The connection I feel to the country since it colonized the island I come from.

Food is another aspect that made me fall in love with Spain.  To me, it feels great to walk around town while stopping to devour delicious morsels.

In San Sebastian, the small snacks offered in bars and small establishments are called pintxos (the “tx” sounds like “ch”).

Pintxos are related to tapas, the main difference being that they are spiked to a skewer or toothpick, often to a piece of bread.  A younger generation of chefs has introduced the hot, made to order pintxos to the scene.  They serve individual portions of reinvented classics.  This modern version is not held together by a toothpick (they are served in small plates).

I must confess I cannot follow the txikiteo (pintxo crawl) rules very well.  You are supposed to have one or two things in a bar and move on.  Or, you should try the house specialty and move on.

Every time I entered a bar, with a long counter covered entirely with pintxos, my eyes doubled in size.  I started to survey each offering.  Once I asked for a plate, I proceeded to fill it will all the things I wanted to try.  Problem is I wanted to try everything.

Pintxos, San Sebastian, Spain

The first night in San Sebastian, I was able to visit three places (and I was very full on establishment #3).  On my second day, I made a conscious effort to pace myself.  It was not easy but I was able to make it to Borda Berri, one of the bars offering a modern take on pintxos.

Pintxos, San Sebastian, Spain


Places like this have menus written on a chalkboard (instead of pre-made food on the bar).  Even with a menu, I had problems restraining myself.  All the offerings on the menu sounded delicious.  Plus, you were able to take a peek at what other people were eating.  Plus, the smells emanating from the kitchen were so enticing.

Well, we ended trying half the menu. And, things do not end there.  We liked the place so much that we went for lunch the next day and tried the rest of the menu.  I know. I know.  I already said I have some restraining problems when it comes to food.

The thing is that we enjoyed the food at Borda Berri enormously.  I know there are other places offering the same food concept in the city.  We are looking forward to go back to San Sebastian and the Basque Country.

In here, I am including descriptions of what we ate.

Grilled octopus with quince paste

Pintxos, San Sebastian, Spain

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

Toasted goat cheese

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

Crab ravioli

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

Veal cheeks in red wine

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

Octopus in its own ink

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

Duck breast with plum sauce

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

Pork rib “kebab”

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

IBorda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

Pig ears

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

Steak with grain mustard and piquillo peppers

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

Pineapple covered in coconut foam

Borda Berri, San Sebastian, Spain

If you enjoy good food, adventurous eating and a fun, social scene, San Sebastian is the place for you.  I am recommending all travel loving friends to visit ASAP.  Therefore, I recommend you to go to.  I am sure you will thank me later.

Have you been to San Sebastian?  What is your favorite establishment?






  1. At first glance I thought your octopus tentacle was a lizard’s tail.

    • That is funny! now that you say that, it reminds me of Rango. Have you seen the movie?

    • Think of a piece of meat over a piece of bread. The meat is hold in place with a toothpick. It is what you see in the first photo.

    • Sometimes our most memorable food experiences occurs in the least expected place.

  2. I have never been to San Sebastian, but I’m working on remedying that situation. LOL on your attempt at the crawl. I made the same mistake, if that is one, when we attempted a tapas crawl in BCN. I think we just ended up in 2 places because just like you I wanted to try many things in one spot. But can you blame us? The food was awesome. I would move in Spain if I can.

    Worth a Thousand Words
    Photo Cache recently posted..It Could Not Get Any Crazier Than ThisMy Profile

    • I would move to Spain too. The good thing is that we ate a lot but I loose weight because of all the walking. At least, I know I am not the only one with this “problem.”

  3. There’s not much to say here except: WOW and DELICIOUS. I’m off to go eat something that won’t look half as good as any of this stuff! Love your posts, thanks for linking up with Travel Tuesday!
    Christy Swagerty (whatupswags) recently posted..6 Miracles in MilanoMy Profile

    • Thanks Christy! Hope you find a great place to eat.

  4. I would not be able to order that stuff (except maybe the last one) I’m not brave enough to eat that, I once ate octopus in Prague, but because it came with what I ordered, haha.
    Thanks for linking up with #TravelTuesday
    Diana Elle recently posted..A Berlin Sort of WeekendMy Profile

    • Well, you know, there are certain things I would not necessary eat or order on a constant basis. But, in here, everything tasted beyond delicious. Same thing with my husband. He does not like duck but love the version from this place.

  5. I’m vegetarian, so most of the food isn’t appealing. But I’ve heard that San Sebastian is a great place for eating.

    • There are plenty of vegetarian options in San Sebastian. There are vegetable bases dishes and rices.

  6. Oh I wouldn’t be able to control myself at all and would want to eat everything, it all looks so good. The thing is the portions look huge especially in the first photo and I’m sure I’d be full after one or 2 things! I’m dying to go to San Sebastian I’ve heard such great things about it. #citytripping
    Phoebe @ Lou Messugo recently posted..Sunday Photo – 6 March 2016My Profile

    • Maybe the portions look big in here because I am showing closeups. In reality, the portions are generous but I cannot consider them big. If you are sharing with another person, it is possible to try 4 or 5 plates.
      Ruth recently posted..My Favorite Pintxos in San SebastianMy Profile

  7. These kind of restaurants are seriously my idea of heaven!! I would want to eat EVERYTHING too. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach! All the dishes pictured looks soooo good, except for the octopus (I have a strong aversion to mollusky seafood). I’m hopefully headed to Spain this fall, and while I’m not going to San Sebastian, I hope to find some of these pintxos!
    Anna | slightly astray recently posted..A day in the life: Beijing, ChinaMy Profile

    • Anna, places like this are my idea of heaven too. I have heard a lot about the food scene in San Sebastian but I wasn’t prepared for so much goodness. I am sure you will find excellent food when you visit Spain.

  8. These look incredible – your food photos are great! I would never be able to restrict myself to a couple of plates in each bar either. Perhaps after a few days I’d learn the routine! San Sebastian looks amazing. #citytripping

    • I agree with you. Initially, the variety drives you crazy and you want to try everything. I think it has to do with the novelty effect. Like you mentioned, it may take a couple of days to adjust to the routine.

    • That dish consisted of pineapple bits and mint leaves covered by a coconut flavored foam. Not sure how they made that foam but seems like all sorts of foams are make an appearance in food shows.

  9. This sounds and looks amazing – I am starving suddenly! I think I’d have exactly the same problem restraining myself, especially when they’re mouthful sized, it would be so easy just to have one more. And one more. And one more… #citytripping
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted..City Tripping #17My Profile

    • I know, you think you are not eating that much and suddenly, you are full. Not so good when there is a lot of food around.

    • Jan, you have to visit the Basque Country. It is an amazing place (and I only saw a little bit of it). My dream is to go back, hire a car and explore.

    • I was hesitant about ordering the crab ravioli because sometimes crab dishes lack flavor. This ravioli filling was so soft and smooth. I wanted an entire plate.

  10. San Sebastian is definitely the place to go for foodies. It’s amazing and the pintxos outstanding..loved the culture of going from place to place (although we could never manage more than 3/4 either). Your pictures have made me very hungry! Thanks for linking to #citytripping
    Elizabeth (Wander Mum) recently posted..Olympic Cauldron, Romans & Fire At Museum Of LondonMy Profile

    • I am recommending all my foodie friends the place. I have not shown them photos yet but I think they will make the decision to go once they see them.

  11. I had the same exact problem in San Sebastian! I wanted to try it all!! Most of our activities revolved around food 😀 … I absolutely LOVED Borda Beri! The Pork Kebab was one of my favorite dishes of the trip! So tender and flaky!
    Lauren recently posted..Madrid Must-Do’sMy Profile

    • Good you can confirm this place is amazing. There were so many other places I wanted to try. Will have to wait till next time.

    • I think you would adore San Sebastian too! It is incredible how much good food is packed in such a small town.

    • Sally, I like that idea. We basically did that (even though it wasn’t planned).

    • Hope you make it one day because the food is supper good (and the views are not bad either).

  12. Everything here looks ah-mazing. The presentation is appealing to the eyes as well as the stomach. I can easily see why you filled your plate, I’d have a difficult time choosing too.
    I hear you about Spain. We were former colonies and there was a lot that reminded me of home, especially the architecture, but I wanted to stay because of the food! I know I gained weight during the 4 months I was there but I didn’t mind.
    Marcia recently posted..How Much Will Cuba Change?My Profile

    • Spain feels like home to me. I really want to visit more cities (and islands and natural spaces).

  13. Some amazing looking dishes here Ruth – the ribs look so yummy and the tentacle one is fascinating, how did it taste? – Tasha

  14. The rib tasted delicious and the octopus was very soft and buttery. In general, all dishes surpassed my expectations.

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge