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Getaria is the picture postcard Basque Country fishing village, that produced designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, Plácido Domingo’s mother and Juan Sebastián Elcano (who was the first mariner to circumnavigate the globe).

Getaria fishing port.

You can wander down the old streets to the harbour.

Walking past various shops selling their wares.

There are a couple of nice beaches in and around the town.

Set on a crossroads above the harbour of Getaria, Restaurante Elkano was rated as number 16 in the Best fifty restaurants in the world 2022 list. On driving past recently, we noticed the outside of the restaurant had been modernised.

See here for full list

They were pioneers in roasting and baking whole fish and crustacea over hot coals in the open air, in what, according to many a good judge, may just be the best fish restaurant in the world.

The decor has an olde world charm to it, which adds to the atmosphere.

They turn out superb versions of the following.

Sopa de pescado (a very rich fish soup)

Pimientos asados (grilled peppers)

Almejas a las brasas (grilled clams)

Anchoas a la parrilla (grilled anchovies)

Percebes (goose barnacles)

Cangrejo (crab)

langostas a la parrilla (wood charcoal grilled spiny clawless lobsters)

Besugo (whole wild sea bream)

Lenguado (whole wild sole)

Rodaballo (whole wild turbot)

All are filleted at the table.

They also do, an excellent version of the Getaria speciality, tartar de chipirón (a tartare of small, line-caught squid with sea urchin and ink sauce)

Grilled chipirón.

Kokotxas de merluza (hake throats/cheeks) are served three ways, grilled, deep fried and pil-pil.

The prized dish though is the turbot.

With caramelised skin on the outside and tender meat on the inside, it is a stunning dish that you will need to eat with your fingers, according to the owner, Aitor.

You need to suck the marrow from the bones and will be shown how to extract every delicious bit by the expert waiters.

One turbot is normally sufficient for two hungry people.

Also, when in season, try the very expensive angulas (elvers/baby eels) or camerones (small scarlet shrimp) which only appear during the full moon.

Accompany this, with a light refreshing Txacoli white wine, which comes from the local Getaria vineyards.

They have a good selection of desserts, like sufflé chocolate

Flan de la casa

But remember, it's the fish you are here for. Finish with a café solo and a brandy.

Service is attentive and instructive, you are shown the fish by the waiters or you may pick your own before you order.

It is not cheap, but it's difficult to get this standard of fish, anywhere else!

Closed 1st April - 15th April, 2nd November - 18th November, Monday, Tuesday & Sunday evening.

Getaria is a working fishing port, so it's nice to have a walk around after your meal.


Herrerieta 2, 20808 Getaria (Guetaria), Guipúzcoa, Spain

+34 943 140 024

Twitter - @Elkanojatetxea

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