Food & Wine
A Michelin-starred chef's restaurant recommendations in San Sebastián
The Spanish city is world famous for its culinary offerings. These are some of the city's restaurant favourites. At least for Paulo Airaudo, the holder of no less than two Michelin stars.
"Of course, you spend a lot of time out eating when you live in San Sebastián. Mostly because it's nice, but also to support colleagues and keep up to date with what's happening on the food scene elsewhere in the city," Michelin-starred chef and restaurateur Paulo Airaudo tells Picolo.
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The world's most famous restaurants
Originally from Argentina, Airaudo operates a number of restaurants around the world. He has six restaurants in San Sebastián alone, including Amelia – a two-star restaurant in the Michelin Guide. The city in the far north of Spain is widely known for its fantastic gastronomic options with find everything from traditional and simple pintxos bars to some of the world's best restaurants.
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In other words, it's hard to go wrong, but why not ask a real star chef where he himself goes when eating out?
"Of course, it depends on your mood and what you want. But I can say that if I'm in the mood for Italian, I'll go to my own trattoria Da Filippo," he says with false modesty.
In addition to his own restaurants, feel free to check out the expert's recommendations in the Spanish food heaven below.
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Here are some of Paulo Airaudo's top picks in San Sebastián:
Casa Urola – an iconic restaurant
Located in the old quarter of San Sebastián. The restaurant is known for its first-class Basque dining experience and authentic atmosphere. Founded in 1956 and run by chef Pablo Loureiro Rodil since 2012.
Adress: Fermín Calbetón Kalea, 20
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Ganbara – an intimate spot with good service
An intimate and charming place praised for its service and excellent staff by the Michelin Guide. Nevertheless, their small dishes have become even more famous, due to the good selection and authentic Basque flavours.
Adress: Ganbara, Calle de San Jerónimo, 21
Gandarias – a luxurious place for both locals and tourists
The place has white tablecloths and focuses on fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients. Known for its premium steak and authentic atmosphere. Locals are just as likely to dine here as people from all over the world.
Adress: Gandarias, 31 de Agosto Kalea, 23
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Restaurante Zelai Txiki – a green Michelin star and impressive views
This place, whose location and panoramic terrace are worth the visit in itself, has a green star in the Michelin Guide. À la carte menu focusing on organic produce, from its own vegetable garden.
Adress: Restaurante Zelai Txiki, Rodil Kalea, 79
Arzak – a long history of high quality
Arzak has been featured in the Michelin Guide since 1974 and is thus an institution in San Sebastián. The restaurant is run by Juan Mari Arzak and his daughter Elena.
Together, they deliver innovative Basque dishes in a modern style that has earned them three Michelin stars.
Adress: Arzak - Alcalde J. Elosegi Hiribidea, 273
Akelarre – three Michelin stars and a world-renowned chef
The head chef of Akelarre, Pedro Subijana, is no stranger to San Sebastián. He is one of the founders of the modern Basque food movement and is constantly focused on development.
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The restaurant is located in the beautiful 5-star hotel of the same name. Here, you get exclusive interiors, great views, and delicious food with two tasting menus focusing on seafood. The restaurant has three stars in the Michelin Guide..
Adress: Akelarre, Padre Orkolaga Ibilbidea, 56
Elkano – three generations over a burning hot grill
Elkano is a family restaurant that combines traditional and modern cuisine. They take pride in using ingredients of the highest quality. Here, you get seafood made over a wood-fired grill. Elkano boasts one Michelin star.
Adress: Elkano - Herrerieta Kalea, 2
Editor's note: The airline Norwegian covered air travel expenses in connection with this article. Picolo makes its own editorial choices, freely and independently.
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