When we got San Sebastian reservations, it was for the Hotel Codina, which is excellent, but not close to the Old Town. We had a chance to check out many of the restaurants and pintxos bars near the hotel, and the real standout was Bar Danena! We visited three times in two days, and each time the pintxos selection was varied...some were standard, but there were many new pintxos each time (including a pintxos del dia). Memorable ones included a fried artichoke heart with jamon iberico, and another with brie, duck confit, pimiento piquilo and basil...WOW! House wines were perfectly drinkable (which I can't say for Barcelona), and they had a nice selection of better wines and spirits...they also had a daily breakfast, which we didn't try.
The bartender, whose name I couldn't catch, and seemed like it consisted entirely of consonants, controlled the room with balletic grace--he was really fun to watch.
Old Town is filled with pintxos bars, each more interesting than the last. But Bar Danena was by far the most interesting and enjoyable outside of Old Town. If you're in the neighborhood, drop by...you'll thank yourself!
Oh, the address above is incomplete...should be Calle Matia 20008, Donostia.
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