A great place to eat in San Sebastián/Donostia, once you’ve tried pintxos, is the Aita Mari Restaurant. They are located in the Old Quarter, with great views of the small harbour. No, it´s not a Michelin-starred restaurant, but it definitely doesn´t make any difference.
I found this place by chance and the menu outside was not only reasonably priced, but showed very creative food. I had the Menu del Mediodía, or lunch menu – a semi-set menu with four options of starter, main course and dessert. For just over €20 per person including house wine and water, it was a no-brainer.
The restaurant itself is simply decorated and very bright, with large windows offering great views over the small harbour. Service was casual and the waiters were very friendly and really knew what they were doing and serving.
My starter was smoked salmon salad with sherry vinaigrette. The salad was nice an crunchy and the salmon perfect. As a main course I ordered stuffed cuttlefish cooked in its own ink which is a popular Basque delicacy.
Both starter and main course were delicious, but the biggest surprise was my dessert. I ordered chocolate and coffee cake with mandarine ice cream. The ice cream itself was great and was covered in lines of melted chocolate – which had already hardened. The moment I tried it with the chocolate, it was like a feast in my mouth. The different textures together were something so special that I was talking about it for days.
This small restaurant showed the Basques really know how to eat – and cook – well without having to spend a real fortune.
If you want to try it…
Calle Puerto 23 – near the arches
20003 San Sebastián/Donostia, Spain
Phone: +34 943 431 359
Reservations: Click here
Open Thursdays to Mondays for lunch & dinner
Lunch only on Tuesdays, closed on Wednesdays
Daytime menu: €17.75 (midweek) or €19.75 (weekends and public holidays) per person
Evening menu: €26.50 per person (water and house wine included)
À la carte: starters between €8.50 and €18.00, mains €14.00 to €38.00 and desserts €5.50 to €8.00
8% VAT not included