The Local Lowdown, Travel
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The Local Lowdown | Javier on Donostia


A 13 year resident to Donostia-San Sebastian and strong believer in the tradition of Vermouth , Javier Zuñiga – a fashion consultant based in Madrid –  shares his Sunday afternoon bar route along with restaurants to peak the interest of any foodie from the neighborhoods of Antiguo to Egia and everywhere in between.

Javier’s bar tour of Donostia-San Sebastian —

1. Borda Berri Calle Fermin Calbeton, 12 (Old Town)

Better known for their carrillera (beef cheek) or oreja (pig ear), this gem of a bar has a full menu of fantastically delicious food. Don’t miss out on the queso de cabra (goat cheese), risotto de idiazabel  (Idiazabel risotto), pulp (octopus) or kebab! Javier recommends callos de bacalo (cod tripe).

2. Bar Etxeberria Calle Iñigo, 8  (Old Town)

Part of the “Vermut o muerte” (vermouth or die) club bar tour, this is a place that serves prepared Vermouth amongst an ecletic array of Czech and Holland brewed beers. Also ask for the mini bocadillos and greet the owner as “elegante” to get on his good side.

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3. Bar Nestor Calle Pescaderia, 11 (Old Town)

Eat: Ensalada tomates (tomato salad), chuleta (t-bone steak)
Drink: Sidra (cider)

4. Bar Ostertz Paseo Kaiko, 11  (The Port)

Drink: Gin tonic and Café Irlandes (Irish Coffee)

5. El Morgan Calle Narrika, 7 (Old Town)

Eat: CARNE  (MEAT) – it’s all amazing.
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6. Societies 

Where you bring your own food, men are only allowed in the kitchen and women may come if invited – Societies continue to hold strong to their original traditions of being a mens only club.

While the waiting lists are long to actually become a memeber, if you roll with a Basque you’ll more than likely end up in one.

One of the best: Askatuak – the gastronomic society of the local basketball team. If you can get an in at this place, you won’t be disappointed.

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7. Txubillo Calle Matia, 5 Bajo (Antiguo) 

A Japanese-Basque infusion, this couple only buys the freshest food daily from the markets. If it isn’t the best quality, it won’t go on their plates. And if it isn’t good enough, they might not even open. This place is a must visit on your visit to Donostia, but don’t forget to make a reservation as they have very limited seating, creating a very intimate and special dining experience.

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8. Never Stop Calle Reyes Catolicos, 6 (Center)

Located behind the famous Buen Pastor Catedal (Good Shepard Cathedral) in the heart of Donostia-San Sebastian, the street Reyes Catolicos is lined with bars, outdoor seating and some amazing pintxos.

Good beer is hard to come by in this Gin tonic infused town, but a few quality beer bars do exist – one being: Never Stop. Home to Cerveza Gros – the cities local artesanal brew amongst many great contenders from around the world. Featuring brews from the following countries: USA, Scotland, Denmark, Belgium, Germany, England, Holland, Sweden and Italy.

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