20 Dec 2019

For this visit to San Sebastian in early December, we concentrated on pintxos rather than sit down meals. We started our pintxo tour in the Parte Viejo (old town). We always prefer hot pintxos as they are made to order. There is not a problem with the pintxos on the bar but you may eat too much bread!

We tend to have no more than two pintxos and a glass of wine or beer per bar, so as, not to be too full, to early. The best time to go to the pintxo bars is 8.30 pm - 10.30 pm.

We stayed in the Hotel Niza, set opposite Playa de La Concha. 

which has wonderful views from the bedroom balcony.

We then strolled...

26 Jul 2018


What Eastbourne hotels could learn from Hotel Niza would fill a telephone directory. It’s got the seafront location you want and the period facade that every kiss-me-quick hotel needs.

The bedrooms are fresh, airy and stylish, in an untrendy way

The front rooms overlook the promenade and the stunning playa de la Concha

 The view to the right takes in the parte vieja (old town) and harbour

It is a lovely spot to sit out and watch the world go by whilst having a glass of Basque vino.

A word of warning, the ocean view rooms do not have air con because you are told the breeze from the ocean should be enough. T...

20 Mar 2018

BAR IBAI (ibai)

A fantastic old School Restaurant, run by an old Basque couple serving the very best produce from whatever is available at the market that day,  in a basic set menu form.

You enter by the ground floor bar, which always seems empty

and are then taken downstairs to the small traditional room

You will be offered a menu from what is fresh from the market that day, we had......

Bogavante salpicon (lobster)

Verdura (artichokes, borrajas, and baby peas, in a vegetable broth)

Hongos (mushrooms)

Kokotxas de merluza (hake throats)

Lenguado (sole) - Probably the best you will ever taste


If you visit the restau...

20 Mar 2018


 This is one of our favourite bars in Donostia parte vieja (San Sebastián old town)

You will find excellent old style top quality pintxos in this always buzzy traditional bar and restaurant 

The bar is always laden with pintxos or you can order freshly cooked hot options.

Gulas (fake elvers (baby eels)

These pintxos are always good:

Gernikako piperra (Gernika peppers)

(these are seasonal and available in summer only and not hot like Padrón peppers)

Setas con jamón (Mushrooms and Jamón)

Pintxo gilda (guindilla pepper, green olive and fresh anchovy - named after Rita Haywood - hot, tall and spicy)


9 Feb 2018


This is a very traditional, social club, old school style Pintxo bar. There are always many local families here, the young to the very old mixing amongst the tourists. The bar is big on boxing, rugby and Basque rowing with lots of old memorabilia on the surrounding walls.

It is run by owner Paco Bueno (who was a boxer in his younger days ) and his sons.

It's lively, entertaining and a friendly atmosphere.

The specialties are deep fried seafood like calamares, but the prized dish is the deep fried gambas, you need to wait for them to come up piping hot, but be quick as they are soon snapped up!  


28 Oct 2017


Chef Jon Ortega is at the stove grilling sensational looking gambas, hake, monkfish, turbot and T-Bone steaks. Famous for its spider crabs which it keeps in the basement this has become a place for trendy thirty something’s. 

Look out for the Ibiza style chill out to be added soon.

The food is traditional so if you order turbot or red sea bream, that its what you get, no extras, but expertly cooked.

The menu is quite spider crab based, but so it should be with such a great product

Starters include

Tortilla de bacalao (salt cod omelette)
Revuelto de ajo fresco y txangurro (scrambled eggs with fresh g...

20 Dec 2016


At the back of the  parte vieja (old town), the red and black scheme is as elegant as the food, which is miniature cuisine at its most exquisite.

Grab a stool at the bar and try the delicacies on the counter  or anything exciting looking that is emerging from the small kitchen.


Olives with a splash of vermouth inside

A shot of shrimp soup

Ham coffee with gizzard cookies followed by icy blobs of spider crab.

Mini Burgers

T-bone popcorn salad 

Wash down with a glass of Txacoli (the slightly sparkling Basque white wine).

There is also a chefs 14 course tasting menu.

A little more expensive then others in the ar...

3 Oct 2016


You will find this place down the end of a side alley off of Calle de 31 Augusto at the back of the old town. Its well worth seeking out and do not be shy about walking in even it is busy.

You will not see any cold pintxos on bread set out on the bar as is normal in most pintxos bars, all the pintxos here are hot (and made to order) and you order from the blackboard menu behind the bar.

It can get very busy at weekends and when special events are on, like the San Sebastián film festival.

A few of the excellent pintxos to try include.......

Sopa fría de tomate con jamón y Idiazábal (cold tomato sou...

3 Oct 2016


When you walk into this traditional bar and see all the retro, ceramic anchovy pintos displayed on the bar you may have second thoughts.

Don‘t …………….. nothing here is false. 

All the anchovy/boquerone pintxos here are made to order and appear within a few minutes.

You pick from the variety of toppings shown on the fish shaped menu boards at the back of the bar.

One has the antxoas (anchovies), the other board shows the excellent hot pintxos also available, but it’s the anchovies you are really here for.

Try these sensational antxoas

Crema de centollo (anchovy toast with cream of spider crab)

Coco (anchovy Toast...

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September 3, 2020

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Renoir Spanish Guides  
Our own personal take on Spanish food and places. The obvious and not so obvious........    
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