San Sebastian is a small beautiful city located on Spain’s North Coast. It has all the charm that you see throughout Spain: old churches, beautiful people and wonderful fresh food. Pintxos (the x sounds like “ch”) is the Basque word for Tapas, and the Pintxos in San Sebastian are what the rest of the world wishes their tapas tasted like. Think of a high end restaurant serving tiny bite size plates in the middle of Time Square. If you are traveling in Spain and you have any interest in the culinary arts, or even just enjoy good food, San Sebastian is a must visit destination.
To go out for an evening of Pintxos the way the locals do, you will start by heading to the center of old town around 7 or 8 in the evening (or the Spanish afternoon). After pooling your money together and picking a designated person to make their way to the bar to place an order, you should head into the first packed bar you see. At first ordering may seem a bit daunting but this is why you pick one person to fight their way to the front rather than your entire group (even if its just 2 or 3 people). You will quickly learn that despite the chaos everything seems to flow quite smoothly. Usually the order is one pintxo per person and a small glass of wine, cider or beer. When an order is ready the bar tender will pass the plates over ducked heads to the proper people. Once you have finished its time to head back to the bar to pay where the barman will baffle you as he thinks for a moment or two and spits out a price seemingly off the top of his head. After a few hours, 4 or 5 different bars, and some of the best food in the world you will feel that you just tasted multiple gourmet meals, while your wallet feels like it just paid to eat a low priced quick lunch.