In order to get an accurate picture of why San Sebastian is a so interesting, you’d have to conduct an in-depth interview with our tastebuds, because they were definitely the real winners here. San Sebastian is famous for Pinxtos, the Basque version of tapas. Pinxtos means that at mealtimes, every flat surface in the bar area is covered with huge plates of tiny food, and you are welcome to serve yourself on a per-item cost basis. This is exactly the kind of system that leads me to believe in multiple lunches per day – not to mention roving dinners that involve more than one restaurant or bar.
To give you an idea of what pinxtos feels like (I was too busy eating to take many photos), I’m going to just list off a bunch of ingredients. Any combination you can make out of them was probably available. Ready? Grilled peppers, morchilla, baked camembert, chorizo, prawns, whitebait, calamari, manchego, bacon, crusty bread, grilled octopus, caramelised onion, dumplings, fried chicken, ( I could go on, but I’d rather go back!)
Food aside, San Sebastian is also famous for its beaches and waterfront. The twin bays which comprise its coastline are as different in nature as cats and dogs – one is calm and clear, while the other is a roaring and very popular surf beach. The beach culture is also evident here, and despite the historical flavour of the old parts of town, it’s clear that Sab Sebastian is place to get away from normal life for most of its visitors. From the amazing cake shops and many bars, to the surfing spots and high-rise hotels, and out to the exhibition centre and even the cathedral, there’s a lot here to draw the eye and make for pleasant, full-bellied wanderings between lunch and second lunch.