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San Sebastian Food Tours

The Real Basque Way: San Sebastian, Beyond the Stars

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On this full-day exploration of San Sebastian, we’ll get an edible crash course on the very roots of this seaside city's cuisine, delighting in peak seasonal ingredients, learning about local culinary traditions and visiting iconic haunts, old and new. Stop by stop, from classic pintxos to new school ciders, funky gastrobars to sleek dining rooms, the throughline will reveal itself, and that is the irresistible Basque way of enjoying food.


Basque cuisine has been grabbing attention – and Michelin stars – for years, nowhere more so than in the historic port of San Sebastian. Many come here just to eat their way through town on a gastro-pilgrimage route that goes from historic bars to cider houses and elegant fine dining rooms. But once you veer off that well-trodden path and into the city’s less-known backstreets – as we will on this tour – another, more intriguing, culinary scene comes into view.

The industry built around the city’s culinary reputation – iconic pintxos, abundant seafood, avant-garde presentations – has certainly helped nurture local talent and has also attracted kitchen luminaries from outside Basque Country for decades. You can’t swing a flounder around here without hitting a name-brand chef. But equally exciting things are happening in San Sebastian’s backstreets. Here, the “Basque Way” is less a set of iconic dishes and dazzling cooking skills and more a way of experiencing food that revolves around seasonality, quality ingredients and a commitment to culinary excellence. On this full-day tour, we will track this way of eating and cooking and its expression through both tradition and innovation.

We’ll start our day with the most perfect tortilla imaginable – both crunchy and oozy at the same time – at a busy locals’ cafe. We’ll then visit a neighborhood market where chefs and grannies line up to buy fresh kokotxa – fish necks, a Basque favorite – by the kilo on the way to meet a cheesemaker thinking way beyond the region’s borders. Down the street we will stop by the workshop of a Mexican of Basque origin who is reviving a chocolate tradition that once connected this port to his home country. Heading out of the historic center, across a bridge where the Urumea river meets the Cantabrian Sea, we will be welcomed into a number of restaurants and food shops run by a tight-knit circle of culinary professionals who are filling in the gaps between San Sebastian’s Michelin-starred restaurants and its simpler neighborhood spots. Here, depending on the season, our day may include a homey fish stew and a sip or artisanal cider, or perhaps exceedingly fresh and delicate Cantabrian anchovies accompanied by a new school txakoli, the classic Basque white wine, minerally and smacking of the sea. Committed to quality, but restless for change, it is in these places where we will taste what is of the moment, meet the young leaders of the city’s pioneering kitchens and truly experience the Basque Way.

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  • Group Size: 2-7
  • 5.5 hours long
  • Tuesday-Saturday 10am
  • La Concha - Gros
  • Culinary Backstreets
    Price: Adults x $150


Can accommodate vegetarian and gluten-free diets. Some pork is served, but can be substituted.


Children welcome. Terrain fairly flat.
What is included in the fee? In addition to your Culinary Backstreets guide, all food consumed on the walk – almost a dozen different edible specialties – are included in the price.
Why is the Culinary Backstreets tour more expensive than some other walking tours? Our approach is different than most tour companies. Each of our culinary walks is the outcome of considerable research. We work with academics in the field and our own team of experienced professionals – both guides and local journalists. Our ongoing publishing of articles, from restaurant reviews to features about the intersection of food and culture, constantly feeds new material into the culinary walks, so they evolve and constantly improve. Though costly, we believe that this is how to create the quality experiences we strive for. We practice honest tourism and would never accept a free lunch or any sort of commission. On the contrary, we are proud to know that the money spent during the culinary walk goes to support businesses that we believe in, helping to preserve the social and cultural fabric of the cities we love so dearly.
How does the payment process work? Once you have made a reservation, we require the full fee to be paid in order to complete the online booking. Our online booking system uses Stripe to process secure payments.
What is your cancellation policy? 90% will be refunded if given 1 week notice prior to walk and 50% will be refunded if given 72 hours notice or more. Less than 72 hours is non-refundable.
Are your walks public or private? How many people are on them? Our walks are 2-7 people and are open to the public. If you would like to do a private walk, you can book it for a supplement by selecting book entire excursion. If it is not available on booking, we may be able to arrange one for an additional fee. Please contact us at for more information.
Can I get a discount if I join more than one walk? Yes, we offer a 10% discount to those who join more than one walk. Please email us at if you’d like to join multiple walks.
Are your walks suitable for people with food allergies? This can vary based on a number of factors, including the food item in question. Please email us at to discuss your situation before booking.
Are your walks suitable for vegetarians and pescatarians? Our San Sebastian route can accommodate vegetarians and is very suitable for pescatarians.
Are your walks suitable for a gluten free diet? We can accommodate a gluten free diet on this walk but there are a few stops that you may need to opt out of.
Is alcohol served on the walks? Wine and cider are served on this walk.
Can children join the walks? Of course! We offer a 50% discount to children ages 12 and under, and we charge $25 for children 6 and younger.
Can you pick me up from my hotel? How will I return, once the tour is over? Our tour prices don’t include transportation. If you book a tour, you’re responsible for arriving to the pre-arranged meeting spot on your own. Once the tour is over, we will help you get an authorized, safe taxi to your hotel, or provide directions on public transportation, if you’re interested in that.
How much food will I get to try? This is really up to you. We generally make between 9 and 12 eating stops on our walk and try to include some breaks from eating along the way. The price includes as much food as you’re open to trying. We offer a suggested portion size at each stop and you can take our recommendation if you’d like. Our walks often involve street food and sharing food.
How are you dealing with COVID-19 risk on your walks? We have reinforced our commitment to safety with new guidelines to assure maximum safety of our guests on our walks in terms of social distancing and hygiene while maintaining the quality of the experience. For more details on our precautions, read here. Our routes have been altered during this period of time to ensure the safety of our guests, guides and community. Our cancellation policy is extremely flexible to deal with changes in travel plans.

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Age 13+
Ages 7-12
Ages 6 & under
The Real Basque Way: San Sebastian, Beyond the Stars
Adults x $150
Fee includes everything consumed on the walk.
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