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San Sebastián, known as the "Northern Pearl" of Spain, is blessed with the refreshing embrace of the Cantabrian Sea. With fresh produce in abundance, some of the best local seafood dishes can be found at many of the restaurants that line the shores of Playa de la Concha.

Widely regarded as one of Europe's finest and undeniably beaches, Playa de la Concha stands as the most emblematic location in town. This coastal gem captivates visitors with its natural charm and more importantly, mouthwatering seafood delicacies.

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The Best Seafood Dishes from San Sebastián

Discover our selection of the top 5 seafood dishes from this gastronomic paradise. Below we uncover some of the most iconic choices from the regional menu.

Steamed Seafood

This is a chance to savour the day's catch, found anywhere from the bustling ports to the busy taverns. If you crave an authentic local experience while taking a stroll amidst the vibrant coastline you'll find fresh shrimp, sea-snail crabs, lobsters and paper cones filled with clams.


Spider crab has long been an essential element of San Sebastián cuisine. However, its popularity soared when Queen Maria Cristina, introduced the novel idea of using cutlery to relish it instead of the hands-on approach. 

Thus, a stroke of culinary genius was born - serving the delicacy by stuffing the crab's head. This ingenious concept has remained unchanged for a century, delighting palates and preserving tradition.

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Oysters and Soft Shell Crab

Go ahead and treat yourself to an incredible burger like no other, a fusion of bao bread served with succulent soft-shell crab. The local stalls always attract a bustling crowd, especially during peak hours as the crab meat is incredibly popular. If you're going all out for lunch, then order a batch of oysters to go on the side.

Anchovies and the “Gilda” Pintxo 

The Cantabrian Sea is renowned for housing some of the finest anchovies in the world, and San Sebastián knows precisely how to elevate them. 

Revel in the harmonious combination of these delicate anchovies with green olives, zesty local pickled peppers. To truly enhance the experience, savour it alongside a glass of local vermouth or cider.

Salt Cod

In the 15th century, Basque fishermen sailed to the New World, catching codfish (bacalao) off the Canadian coast. This delicacy soon became a staple of the Spanish diet and a valuable global commodity.

The fishermen of San Sebastian are often credited with inventing the method of salting and drying salt cod. One such culinary masterpiece is the Pil-pil style, this method yields a mouthwatering sauce, combining the fish's natural juices with garlic and olive oil.

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Restaurante Alaia in San Sebastian

In our Restaurant Directory, you'll find a wide selection of exquisite seafood options. Among the many choices, one particular gem shines bright, offering a delightful alfresco seafood dining experience overlooking the sea.

Alaia is a restaurant that comes with breathtaking views, both indoors and outdoors. The dining area showcases panoramic scenes of San Sebastián and the mesmerizing sea. Book a table and be sure to order the chef's speciality of authentic seafood paella.

Top 5 Seafood Dishes from San Sebastián

Go ahead and treat yourself to these wonderful seafood dishes at a local tavern or restaurant in San Sebastian. Looking for a memorable experience, then how about one of these luxury food tours featured in our recent blog here? At tabl. we have an outstanding team ready to reach out and lend a hand. Contact our advisors through the live online chat or email us at [email protected],

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