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Is it Possible to OD on Pintxos? Trip Report

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Paris, France
posts: 11,652
reviews: 12
Is it Possible to OD on Pintxos? Trip Report

Arrived yesterday in rainy San Sebastian. I was happy when the showers didn't last long and I could wander Parte Vieja in search of Pintxos. I had made a short list of places to try on day one - but things didn't go as planned.

On my list were: La Cuchara, A Fuego Negro, and Borda Berri.

I found A Fuego Negro first, but didn't stay. The place was too smoky for me, and I think was there at a time when they were only serving drinks.

It took me awhile to find La Cuchara only to discover that they were closed for renovations.

Next, Borda Berri was easy to find - but they weren't open.

With it only being 5pm or so, I was just too early for Pintxo prime time.

Needless to say, this was just a bit frustrating. But I didn't give up. I decided to stop in Txondorra, near Borda Berri, mostly due to the looks of the place, and it wasn't filled a bunch of smokers.

I ended up having 4 Pinxtos, and 4 glasses of wine here. I guess I was hungry and thirsty after 20+ hours of travel. I thought the Pinxtos here were very good. My favorite was one with iberico ham, grilled goat cheese and a drizzle of honey. Muy bueno! And I met a nice couple from Australia, a group of French people who were amused when I told them to throw their napkins on the floor. And some young British men, including Homer Simpson :) The bartender was very nice, and eager to please. And the best,and IMO, most amazing part is that my bill was 16.70€.

I thought I would just head back to my room at Pension Itxasoa, but noticed that Tamboril was now open, so why not stop for more? Tamboril was mentioned in my RS guide ( Maybe not the best recommendation....) but the place looked inviting. I've since learned that it was one of the first non-smoking Pintxo bars. I had 2 more Pinxtos here and 2 more glasses of wine.....what was I thinking?????

I managed to survive, though slept in today. Am sure it was because of the long travel day...... It's been raining all day today, but I've managed to wander through Centro, Bretxa market, and Parte Vieja.

Only 1 Pintxo and 1 cerveza so far.

Even in the rain I think that San Sebastian is an amazing city and I've only seen a small part of it so far.

Torrox Costa, Spain
Destination Expert
for Torrox
posts: 5,260
reviews: 39
1. Re: Is it Possible to OD on Pintxos? Trip Report

<<I found A Fuego Negro first, but didn't stay. The place was too smoky for me, and I think was there at a time when they were only serving drinks.>>

I suppose it has to happen somewhere, but the bar is breaking the law by allowing smoking!!!

Copenhagen, Denmark
posts: 213
reviews: 83
2. Re: Is it Possible to OD on Pintxos? Trip Report

Hi F1racegirl

Great to hear about the great pintos... I am going for 4 days in July... So please if you go into a place and have some god pintos i a place where they do not speak English... that wold be great... with the Spanish name into English ... that goes for others too...

I am travelling alone and do not drink... is it accepted to only drink water at the bars ?

Paris, France
posts: 11,652
reviews: 12
3. Re: Is it Possible to OD on Pintxos? Trip Report

I guess it could have been from people smoking outside. But when I walked in it seemed to me that the bar was smoky too.

I noticed some bars seemed to be smokier than others and just assumed that some were non-smoking and others not. Based on your comments it must be that some bars had more smokers hanging around outside.

Am glad to know that smoking is not permitted. I will be mor inclined to walk through the smokers to get in now.

posts: 545
reviews: 90
4. Re: Is it Possible to OD on Pintxos? Trip Report

you have the Basque attitude, which is good !

you are finding something good regardless of circumstance !

Please dont pass Gandarias by... they are just to the right as you leave the side street from La Cuchara... ask for the solomilo...it is superb !

also...if you need a sit down... try the back for thier shrimp & avocado salad..or the pulpo con pimento...it is the dish in the pic I took in the review

the stack of mushroom & ham is also very nice and a smile will have them warming it to perfection in no time

as well... Bar Haizea is a must stop if you like gambas..the large prawn with the egg emulsion on top is so very good..it with a crisp glass of vino blanco is divine..the barman is very friendly and will gladly create what your fav is

for a good honest tortilla... walk past Bar Nestor just before 1pm... she does make a very good one and it is snapped up quick... for Spanish Tortilla done with michelin flair... do visit Bar Azkena in the lower level of La Brexta in the morning... honest racegirl..the best I have had in almost 9 weeks of time traveling Spain... her bacalao tortilla topped with fresh fried peppers is indeed sublime..as well as the classic potato & onion, mushroom & Iberico ham with ham chips... Mertxe is a genious in her small kitchen..the place is off the radar and so very good

Bar Izkina has great Morcilla ...a local fav ...and a friendly crew as well

or venture into gros & visit el lagar... the prawn & pig jowl is so good

can you tell yet how much I love the pintxos there ???

so jealous !!

If you like mushrooms...then you must try Egosari... many of the bar pintxos are not up to par with other places..but the mushroom & prawn brochetta is one of the best around...you wont see this place in the guide book either..it is a love/hate kind of place ... but they send your fresh pick down the dumbwaiter to the 'forno' and it returns cooked to perfection... the wine is good and well priced..i have a few photos if you check my reviews... I stop here every year...usually at least twice..just for this brochetta & a glass of wine...so very good

ok...will relax now and wait to read your reviews lol

even in the rain... such a great place to be in

enjoy !!!


Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Negril
posts: 2,958
reviews: 96
5. Re: Is it Possible to OD on Pintxos? Trip Report

great reading, I think the answer is Yes, one can OD...thanks for the great trip report and your suggestions, Alberta.....

Malaga, Spain
Destination Expert
for Malaga, Andalucia, Madrid, Zaragoza, Valencia, Seville
posts: 40,202
reviews: 2,678
6. Re: Is it Possible to OD on Pintxos? Trip Report


Good report.


Yes, you do not have to drink alcohol at bars. You can drink water. If you want tap water, ask for "agua del grifo". My wife does not drink alcohol, so she always asks for water and has never had a problem.

Biarritz, France
Destination Expert
for Biarritz, San Sebastian - Donostia
posts: 3,229
reviews: 325
7. Re: Is it Possible to OD on Pintxos? Trip Report

Spain has had a smoking ban in place for 2 years. I've never personally been in a bar in any part of Spain where someone has been smoking. Hope it doesn't catch back on...

8. Re: Is it Possible to OD on Pintxos? Trip Report

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