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Edmonton, Canada
posts: 1

I am aware that tipping isn't typically compulsory in Spain, and when done isn't the 15-25% that is more common where I'm from... But we would like to dine at one of San Sebastian's 3-Michelin Star restaurants. What is the tipping expectation at a place like this?

Madrid, Spain
posts: 545
1. Re: Tipping

Don't know how works in splurge restaurants, but tipping DOESN'T exist in the Old Town traditional tapas bars, even the bartender might be offended.

posts: 539
reviews: 84
2. Re: Tipping

I would love to hear more on this too. Had heard the same last year about non tipping in SS. But when in a few places saw tips and when I had left some was thanked ??? I am very unsure as well and will def watch this thread for more info from locals.

thanks a bunch


Getaria Gipuzkoa
posts: 45
reviews: 2
3. Re: Tipping

You are not expected to give any tip. Waiters have their wages which are not too bad compared to other areas) so do it, if you feel liike, if the service has been better than expected. I have been at Akelarre, (I enjoyed it a lot) and gave no tip... I will go back for sure: just an example of local behaviour...

O Savinao, Galicia
Destination Expert
for Galicia
posts: 4,882
reviews: 9
4. Re: Tipping


Do what you feel is right. If the service is good than a little present, act of kindness goes a long way. If the service is below 3 stars then don’t (or tip less)

Waiters are not bankers wages are considered low compared with the likes of a lot of occupations.

Destination Expert
for Cantabria
posts: 1,087
reviews: 96
5. Re: Tipping

I think waiters are used to getting tips from foreigners, as people are so confused they tend to tip just in case. Locals will rarely tip though, and the waiters are used to that too. I would go with Casa Santo's advice really.

posts: 539
reviews: 84
6. Re: Tipping

thanks.. it is true.. I def dont want to offend anyone


Madrid, Spain
posts: 545
7. Re: Tipping

An easy clue: if the bartender put the change in your hand --as usual in the Parte Vieja-- tipping is not expected. If put it on a saucer not be offended by tipping :-)

Edited: 3:31 pm, April 12, 2011
San Sebastian...
posts: 184
reviews: 2
8. Re: Tipping

In my opinion, tipping is uncommon and not part of the culture here. For the locals at least.



Seattle, Washington
posts: 9,275
reviews: 16
9. Re: Tipping

Tipping, a troublesome topic in Spain and France. Unlike Canada and the USA, you do not leave a percentage of the bill. Even for the most expensive meal (1, 2 or 3-star Michelin restaurants) you leave only pocket change, but seldom more than 5 Euros.

Please note that every restaurant bill includes a service charge, and can be at least 20% for a large group.

Houston, Texas
posts: 1
10. Re: Tipping

I really don't appreciate Casa Santo's advice - the question is not about how one "feels"! The question is: What is expected? If it is not customary to tip, if indeed, 20% is ALREADY added, then why add more?

For a meal at Arzak, it is particularly difficult - our meal came to 770 Euros - a 20% tip would be quite a ridiculous waste if 20% is already in there.