STAR CITY

THE PEO­PLE OF NORTH­WEST SPAIN ARE PROUD TO BE DIF­FER­ENT FROM THE REST OF THE COUN­TRY – AND IT SHOWS IN THEIR FOOD

The Advertiser - SA Weekend - - CONTENTS -

San Se­bas­tian in Spain has the most Miche­lin stars per capita in the world.

WALK­ING

from the train sta­tion to the cen­tre of San Se­bas­tian, I’m re­minded of a quote widely, but in­cor­rectly, at­trib­uted to Mark Twain: “The cold­est win­ter I ever spent was a sum­mer in San Fran­cisco.” It’s not known who ac­tu­ally said this, but I know what they mean. Though it’s only three weeks shy of the Euro­pean sum­mer, a street tem­per­a­ture gauge reads 12C; with the breeze blow­ing in off the At­lantic, it feels more like two.

San Se­bas­tian is the premier surf des­ti­na­tion on Spain’s north­west coast, but with the beach not much of an op­tion right now it’s a good thing the place is equally fa­mous for some­thing else. Boast­ing the largest num­ber of Miche­lin stars per capita of any city (13, shared by six restau­rants) and a unique bar-din­ing cul­ture, San Se­bas­tian is true Span­ish foodie heaven.

I meet up with guide Cristina Konyay for the best kind of city tour: a few sights, some chat about cul­ture and his­tory, and sev­eral tav­ern stops. As cap­i­tal of the Basque re­gion of Spain, San Se­bas­tian (“Donos­tia” in the Basque lan­guage Euskara) is the spir­i­tual home of the pin­txo – sim­i­lar in con­cept to tapas, but big­ger and more lav­ishly cre­ative.

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Eat­ing lunch by the beach at San Se­bas­tian.

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