5 of the Best San Sebastian Pintxos Tours

san sebastian pintxos tours
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In my opinion, one of the best ways to experience a city, region, or country is through its food.  That’s why, when I traveled to San Sebastián, I knew that I couldn’t miss out on all things – pintxos.  “Pintxos” is a staple of San Sebastián and the Basque Country (a region in Northern Spain), having originated in San Sebastián in 1946.  This guide will inform you on the best San Sebastian pintxos tours and give you a brief overview of the history of pintxos and some of the best pintxo restaurants in San Sebastian.

 

If you’re exploring the Basque Country, don’t miss…

 

READY TO BOOK?  CHECK OUT THE BEST SAN SEBASTIAN PINTXOS TOURS HERE!

 

1.  San Sebastian Ultimate Pintxos & Wine Tour

This 3 hour tour run by Devour Tours not only allows you to get a feel for the pintxos in San Sebastian, but it also allows you to taste some of the local wine!  This pintxos and wine tour focuses specifically on the Old Town neighborhood where there are tons and tons of choices.  I suggest booking a tour when you arrive to the city so that you can get the best tips for the rest of your trip!

Here is what you can expect when booking the San Sebastian Ultimate Pintxos and Wine Tour

  • 8+ food tastings
  • 5 drinks (non-alcoholic available)
  • Not for celiacs
  • Departure times:  11:30 am or 6 pm
  • 8 people max

 

BOOK THE SAN SEBASTIAN ULTIMATE PINTXOS AND WINE TOUR HERE!

 

2.  An Evening Out in San Sebastian:  Centro Neighborhood Pintxos Tour

This 2.5 hour pintxo tour run by Devour Tours focuses on a less touristy neighborhood in San Sebastián – the Centro Neighborhood.  This is the perfect tour if you’re looking for a later start while enjoying local food and drink somewhere other than the Old Town.  On this tour, you’ll also get to visit the very first pintxos bar in the city!

Here is what you can expect when booking An Evening Out in San Sebastian:  Centro Neighborhood Pintxos Tour

  • 10+ pintxos
  • 5 drinks (non-alcoholic available)
  • Not for celiacs
  • Departure times:  6:30 pm or 7 pm
  • 8 people max

 

BOOK AN EVENING OUT IN SAN SEBASTIAN:  CENTRO NEIGHBORHOOD PINTXOS TOUR HERE!

 

3.  Evening Pintxo-Tapas Tour

This 2.5 hour food tour run by Discover San Sebastian takes you to both tourist spots and local spots that showcase the best pintxos in the city.  The tour takes place in Old Town San Sebastián.

Here is what you can expect when booking the Evening Pintxo-Tapas Tour

  • 5 different pintxos
  • Departure time:  7 pm
  • 8 people max

 

BOOK THE EVENING PINTXO-TAPAS TOUR HERE!

 

4.  San Sebastian Evening Pinxto Tour with Wine

This 3 hour pintxo and wine tour run by Mimo, takes you through Old Town where you’ll taste pintxos and local wines and ciders.  Mimo is a food based company specializing in food tours through San Sebastián as well as cooking classes – so you’re in good hands!

Here is what you can expect when booking the San Sebastián Evening Pintxto Tour with Wine

  • 6 different bars with 1-2 pintxos at each bar
  • 5 pairings of cider/wine
  • Departure time:  6:30 pm
  • 10 people max

 

BOOK THE SAN SEBASTIAN EVENING PINTXO TOUR WITH WINE HERE!

 

5.  San Sebastian Pinxto, Wine, & Market Foodie Tour

This 3 hour tour not only includes tasting the best wine in pintxos in San Sebastián, but it also includes a visit to the local market to dive deeper into the culinary scene.  Not to mention, this tour got ranked as the #12 spot on the 2023 Traveler’s Best Choice Best of the Best!  Please note, the market is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays at noon so if you choose that time slight you will receive 2 more pintxos instead of a market tour.

Here is what you can expect when booking the San Sebastian Pintxo, Wine, & Foodie Market Tour

  • 5 pintxos
  • 5 wines
  • Market tour (2 more pintxos allotted if market closed)
  • Departure times:  12 pm and 6:30 pm
  • 9 people max

 

BOOK THE SAN SEBASTIAN PINTXO, WINE, & FOOD MARKET TOUR HERE!

 

 

What are Pintxos?

Simlar to tapas, pintxos are small, bite-sized dishes, oftentimes served on a piece of bread.  The idea of a pintxo was that it was easy to pick up with a toothpick, thus pintxo came from the Spanish verb for the action of picking up food with toothpick or “pinchar”.

Also, eating pintxos usually occurs while standing up at the bar and having a drink.  You don’t generally sit down in a restaurant and order pintxos to your table.

 

How to Eat Pintxos

Today, pintxos are eaten with your hands, but years ago they were eaten with a toothpick that was then thrown on the floor.  Usually your pintxo will come served on a small plate without any silverware.

 

History of Pintxos & Basque Country Culinary Culture

Pintxos are a cornerstone of Basque culinary tradition.  These small dishes evolved from simple bar snacks to more sophisticated bites during the mid-20th century.  The transformation was particularly notable in the 1980s when Basque chefs began to innovate and elevate pintxos, mirroring the New Basque Cuisine movement which sought to modernize traditional recipes while emphasizing local ingredients.  This culinary revolution helped San Sebastián become the foodie paradise it is known for today.

 

The Best Time to Eat Pintxos in San Sebastian

The best time to eat pintxos in San Sebastián is all day long!  Generally, pintxos bars start to open around lunchtime and close late at night.  You might also notice locals stopping in at different pintxos bars after work for a small bite and drink with friends before dinner later on.

 

Best Pintxos Restaurants in San Sebastian

Whether or not you choose to do a pintxos tour in San Sebastián, here are some more of my favorite pintxos restaurants to add your list!  By the way, when ordering pintxos I highly recommend asking the server what they are best known for.  Most pintxos restaurants will be famous for a couple of different plates so it’s a great way to branch out and try what the restaurant does best!

  • Atari Gastroleku
  • Bare Bare Taberna-Jatetxea
  • Casa Tiburico
  • Gandaria Jatetxea
  • Sidreria Beharri

 

Is San Sebastian Worth Visiting?

Finally, is San Sebastián worth visiting?  I would say absolutely.  In fact, it’s one of my favorite cities in Spain!  It’s clean, safe, has an incredible food scene, and is nearby the Rioja wine region and several other attractions in Northern Spain.  San Sebastián has managed to keep its local charm while attracting a more upscale clientele (as my tour guide pointed out – you won’t see any hostels here).

 

Spain Essentials – What You Need & Need to Know About Visiting Spain

TRAVELING THROUGH SPAIN

  • The easiest way to book train tickets in Spain is through Omio
  • The easiest way to book bus tickets in Spain is through Bookaway
  • To book a flight to Spain, I recommend using a big search engine to compare options
  • For car rentals in Spain, I recommend Discover Cars
  • If you want an English speaking driver waiting to pick you up at the airport, use Welcome Pickups
  • I highly recommend travel insurance when traveling through Spain – I use and recommend SafetyWing
  • If you need a SIM card, aloSIM for an easy and affordable e-SIM – use code “KYLEE5” for 5% off

ACCOMODATION IN SPAIN

  • To easiest way to book hotels in Spain is through Booking.com or Expedia
  • The easiest way to book rentals in Spain is through VRBO

TOURS IN SPAIN

  • For tours and activities in Spain, I recommend using Viator
  • For food tours in Spain, I recommend Devour Tours
  • For walking tours in Spain, I recommend Take Walks
  • For cooking classes in Spain, I recommend using Cookly

WHAT TO BRING TO SPAIN

 

Eating your way through San Sebastian is a bucket list experience for anyone visiting Northern Spain!  If you have any questions about San Sebastian pintxos tours, let me know in a comment below!

 

If you’re planning a trip to Spain, don’t miss…

 


For more information on things to see and do in Spain, make sure to check out my Instagram page/highlight reel by searching “#ppinspain” or under my highlights for “Spain”; alternatively, head to my TikTok and search for the saved “Spain” highlight


 

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Disclosure:  This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I get a commission if you decide to purchase through my link, at no cost to you.  Passports and Preemies is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees.

 


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Kylee is a NICU nurse passionate about making travel affordable and accessible to nurses. Inspiring nurses to travel both near and far, Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering in Skopje, North Macedonia as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee has been a NICU nurse for 9 years and a travel nurse for 7 years. Since starting her career in travel nursing, she’s worked in six different states, 10 different hospitals, volunteered as a nurse in North Macedonia, worked as a nurse in Saudi Arabia, and has traveled to 45+ countries. Her favorite travel nurse assignment was in Seattle and her favorite destination is Georgia (the country). Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – a vacation geared towards nurses who aim to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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