San Sebastian pintxos

San Sebastian pintxos food tour: an adventure for the senses

When planning my visit to San Sebastian, I knew I was in for a treat when a friend told me it’s one of the best places in Spain for a food tour. Food is always a great way to learn about a destination, so I got ready to dive right into the famous culinary delights and eat my way through San Sebastian pintxos offerings.

Despite my initial hesitation due to dietary restrictions (I don’t eat meat, which is huge in Spain), I tried the San Sebastian Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour with Devour Tours. And let me tell you, it was one of the best decisions I made on my trip. To be honest, I still think about all that food.

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What are pintxos?

Pintxos (pronounced pinchos) is a more fancy appetizer, similar to tapas. According to the tour guide, tapas are more like olives or chips you get with your drinks, while pintxos are more substantial and have better ingredients. Typically served on a slice of bread and skewered with a toothpick, pintxos come in various flavours and ingredients, ranging from seafood and vegetables to meats and cheeses.

The true essence of experiencing pintxos lies in hopping from one bar to another, savouring different creations at each stop, and pairing them with local wines. I can easily say that San Sebastian pintxos offerings were abundant and delicious.

San Sebastian food tour experience

Our journey began in the bustling Old Town, where our guide, Amaia, introduced us to the history and culture of pintxos. Her passion for the local cuisine was infectious and made me very excited to taste all the pintxos on

San Sebastian pintxos
San Sebastian pintxos offerings

We started with a stop dedicated to Spain’s most famous delicacy: cured Iberian ham. While I tasted the smoked sheep cheese, my tour mates got to try two of the most renowned (and most expensive) cured hams. We learned about the differences between the two and what influences their taste. All I can say is that the cheese was delicious.

San Sebastian pintxos
San Sebastian pintxos meat offerings

The next stop was at the bar that’s been a local favourite since 1974. Here, we savoured a selection of the best mussels in town, paired with dry Basque cider. We even tried our hand at pouring it, which is an art form in itself. You have to pour the cider from a height straight into the glass—a cultural phenomenon known as “txt.” The cork has a special opening, which makes it easier to pour. The cider reminded me of kombucha, and pouring it from a height creates bubbles, making it foamy.

San Sebastian pintxos
Sea food is a common part of San Sebastian pintxos eperience

From there, we headed to the Old Town’s picturesque main square, which has a surprising past. You see, most of the balconies facing the square have numbers painted above the door. In the past, the city made a deal with the occupants, which meant that whenever there was an event in town, people could buy tickets to watch from, you guessed it, the balconies. So, the numbers above the doors corresponded with the ticket. If someone purchased a ticket with your balcony number, you had to let them enter your home and watch the show below.

San Sebastian pintxos

Just a block away was our next food stop: a bar serving the best house-marinated anchovies I’ve ever tried. While I don’t always love anchovies, this secret family recipe changed my mind. We also got to try local wine, which was very good and perfectly complemented the pintxos.

San Sebastian pintxos

The next few stops were like a culinary treasure hunt. Each place served different pintxos and wines. Some of my faves included a stuffed crab in a shell and the muscles. Whenever meat was on the menu, I got delicious alternatives ranging from mushroom risotto to fried artichokes.

San Sebastian pintxos
Artichokes anyone? A delicious addition to the San Sebastian pintxos offerings

We ended the tour with one of my favourite discoveries in San Sebastian – the Basque cheesecake. It’s a delicious dessert with a texture that is more of a mix of pana cotta and creme brule rather than the cheesecake we know in North America. It was paired with sweet wine and was the perfect ending to the San Sebastian pintxos tour.

Why you should take the San Sebastian pintxos and wine tour

If you find yourself in San Sebastian, the Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour is an absolute must. It’s more than just a food tour. It’s an immersive cultural experience that will give you a deeper appreciation of Basque cuisine and traditions. Whether you’re a foodie or simply looking to explore the local culture, this tour offers something for everyone.

I left the tour not only with a full stomach but also with a very positive experience. The tour guide made the experience fun and interesting, and I learned about the local flavours and how people used to watch events in town. So, if you’re planning a trip to San Sebastian, don’t miss out on this incredible culinary adventure. Sign up for the Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour and prepare to be amazed by the flavours, history and hospitality of this beautiful city.

Disclosure: I was invited to this by Devour Tours, however, all opinions shared here are my own.

Other San Sebastian food tours

Devour Tours also runs other San Sebastian food tours. I really enjoyed my San Sebastian pintxos tour experience with Devour, and I can absolutely recommend its tours. Here are several other options for food tours in San Sebastian and other parts of Spain.

San Sebastian Food Tours

Barcelona Food Tours

Seville Food Tours

Madrid Food Tours

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